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Old 08-19-2012, 09:54 AM   #86
jdrocks OP
Gravel Runner
Joined: Jul 2007
Oddometer: 4,492
I went through the front door, and the young lady that had just entered ran slam into me coming back the other direction, caromed off me like she’d run head first into the center field wall, there were way worse things that could run into ya, she had impressively big…presence. Thank goodness she wasn’t hurt, and I might have enjoyed myself more, but I was distracted by cooking pig part smells, and the GPS screen I had just looked at that said “MAX SPEED 89.6mph”. Heck, I had been riding on gravel roads most of the day so far…maybe that’s why I came up on those deer so fast first thing this morning.

Ordered a bacon and egg biscuit from the gal cook, she’d been cooking here every time I stopped. A wizened old guy was fiddling with some wine bottles behind me, I’d forgotten they sold wine here, and I asked him “Having a party?”, before I realized he was stocking the shelves, must own the place. Slightly stooped, everything he did was at a measured pace, no hurry, no wasted motion. Lest you think he was over the hill, just catch the look in his eye…bright, penetrating, stoic, and unblinking, the man had been up and down the river more than once. He said “I don’t know why people make such a fuss about wine, just go by the color, it all tastes about the same.” Now we something in common, and we talked for another half hour, the cook kept my biscuit warm. So long my friend, we both had places to go, besides, I was standing in the way of a mousse haired man who wanted to inspect the wine labels. My friend and I made eye contact a last time, he had the faintest of smiles, a twinkle in his eyes, yup, this dude needed a few weeks at man camp in the worst way.

I was eating my biscuit, washing it down with some fizzy water that I had purchased by mistake, an alphabet soup of local culture and visiting potentates all on view, man, ya can learn a lot around these places. For instance, I learned that if you drive one of those big septic tank pumper trucks and have been sucking crap out people’s tanks all morning, it was not necessary to wash your hands before you eat an egg and cheese biscuit, ya won’t die of some exotic freakin’ disease that the CDC can’t even begin to identify. I learned that Jimi Hendrix was still alive, I swear it was the same guy I had seen set fire to a guitar in Chicago back a few years, lookin’ a little skinny, no ass end in those drawers, still walking that pharmacologically induced loose limbed strut. Also learned that if an odd looking couple were holding hands and smooching, but looked like twins, they could be brother and sister, their parents too, the betting line was a coin toss.

Lastly, I learned from two bib overalled guys leaning on the outside soft drink machines, if you have to give your hound an enema because he got into that 5 gallon pail of husked walnuts and swallowed more than a few, he won’t come back to the house anymore when ya whistle.

I had to leave, the red flag on the meter had popped up, outta time once again. On 250, a short jog that doesn’t get me out of third, and I was on Braley Pond, the final gravel leg on this trip before the turn for home, a high speed run all the way in.

A pileated woodpecker flew across the road in front of me, damn, these are big birds, hadn’t seen one for awhile. These are protected birds, but many are shot when they start pecking on someone’s house with that big beak, it sounds like someone pounding with a claw hammer. When someone says “She kisses like she has them woodpecker lips”, they were thinking of the pileated, no thanks, I’ll pass.

I had ridden by an inexhaustible number of abandoned homes along the route, some with a newer dwelling close by, most still standing alone. These fallen in buildings are found all across the country as the jobs moved to urban areas, and the people too, no return.

I put the camera away for good just as car passed heading south, beat up, fender in primer, mismatched tires, no hubcaps, two young shirtless guys, black ink tats, might be gardeners on the way back from tending their pet plants back in the National Forest woods, and this was only vehicle number three on the gravel.

Made another turn below the reservoir, now northwest and back on the border, the road was graded, and I was up to speed until I came up on a pair of horse riders. I hated passing horses on a bike, it seemed you automatically pissed off the rider, horse, or both. Pulled in the clutch and rolled by, idling, as far left as I could get, the women riders surprised by the courtesy, I got smiles and a friendly wave. Ask any horse rider forced to ride the shoulder of a road, many drivers intentionally tried to spook the horse.

A final turn up NF85, and I was climbing the road to Reddish Knob from the southwest, the road rough on the steep grades, no more stops except Bridgewater for lunch, and fuel along the way, I wanted to be home by dusk. I’d seen hundreds of deer on this ride, but there are twice as many near home. Nobody around at Reddish Knob, vehicles, bicycles, people, or motos, and I didn’t see another vehicle until I was down near 257, falling in line behind a drunk in an Audi. He had crossed the centerline a dozen times when I made up my mind to drop a dime, off on the side, no cell, damn, back on the road in time to see the Audi turn left, lucky for him, I wasn’t going to follow.

A light breakfast, and that biscuit was just a snack, I needed lunch, how about seafood at Mr. McDonalds, thanks, I’ll try that big Angus burger, and for anyone who doesn’t think seafood is served under the arches, y’all have simply forgotten that those ol’ cows are really good swimmers.

I rode the slab home at 85 cruise, the deer hadn’t come out for social hour yet, my wife was watching the SPOT, and I found her standing in the drive waiting for me, big hug…and I was home, with a 20p nail stuck in the rear tire, no flat, my luck had held once again.

THE END...until next time.

jdrocks screwed with this post 08-19-2012 at 03:04 PM
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