On the road. Swing a leg over the motorcycle and settle in the saddle, toe into first and leave home on a road trip. That first turn out of the drive and down the street is delicious, intoxicating. Shift through the gears, up to speed and down the highway, destination far away. The bike is heavy, over loaded but the weight becomes familiar. A motorcycle trip feels like being in a parallel universe to me. Back home everyone else is going to work, taking care of chores, paying bills and on the road, none of that matters. Not really. The weather, passing smells, traffic all matter more. The road is immediate, now. I’m buying gas and a sausage biscuit from a country store heading west and the real world is combing its hair and putting on a work face and none of that matter on the road. The man at the counter asks where I’m heading as he looks me up and down in my armor, pork sizzles on the grill, a greasy smoke swirls around us. Colorado. The answer he hears roots him to the ground as quickly as it sends me west. Stuff the biscuit in the tank bag, plan to eat it later, the road calls and it’s stronger than hunger right now. Go
I’m apparently invisible to the chrome cowboys talking styles and parts of their bikes. Gas up, feeling somewhat smug, I have a ride on my hands. I saddle up on brand X and hit the West VA turnpike, Charleston then cross into Kentucky. Later pass all the distilleries to whiskey I enjoy but keep moving.
Indiana. I’ve made good miles; I’m hot and tired but happy. Eating ice cream in the air conditioning and a light olive green model A touring car pulls up to the pumps next to the Pig. This is novel and I head outside to check this out. My goodness, the plate reads Virginia. The grill boasts a Hampton VA badge. Cute couple, they are on a trip from a meet in French Lick Indiana. They drove out here from Hampton and are heading back. He says they make 300 miles a day on the back roads.
I get back on the highway and within minutes see two bikes in the right hand lane, lights flashing on the one in back. Curious, I pull in behind them and they park on the side of the interstate. The hog in front is out of gas. I have a gallon of gas and give it to him. He is back on the road in minutes. If I hadn't have talked with the Model A couple, I would have been ahead of this pair and they would have had to figure out something else.
I made it as far as Illinois the first day. Hit the rest stop and some guy starts asking me if I am a friend of Big Dog. I know the name and of course I've read his excellent reports here but no, I only know him from the site. He warns me about a an approaching storm and I hide out in a motel in Mt. Vernon I think. I also think it is Big Dog's home town. Good sleep then I head out in the morning.
When the St. Louis Arch appeared, I decided to stop and give my Dad a Father’s day phone call. Dad has a heck of a two wheel history, he taught his kids to ride in eastern woods, hare scrambles, enduros, time trials and woods trailing. Dad rode the Nurburgring, Daytona, South Africa, New Zealand, Europe and other tracks and trails more local and mundane. He rode Huskys and Beemers during his two wheeled days. He is exceedingly fond of his John Deere, chain saws and loves his kids. Still in great shape, he struggles with surviving cancer and heart problems from the radiation used to kill the cancer. I love my Dad. Happy Father’s day!
The second day is hot and uneventful but enjoyable for the miles covered.
Kansas is long after Missouri. Russell Kansas is my final resting place that day. Tired but happy because Colorado is within striking distance. I find a fleabag and settle in as a storm approaches out of the west. Later as it hits, rain, thunder and lightning flash. It's good to be dry and out of the storm. People at cheap motels don't complain when I park my bike outside of my room, under the eave.