The hangover from the night prior kept me laying in bed long after I planned on leaving. Groggily, I stepped into the shower in a weak attempt to wake myself up. Nearly a half hour later, I stepped out, dressed, and slowly walked to the gas station next door for a bottle of my cure-all: Coke. On my walk back to my hotel, it started to rain. I knew from a previous glance at the weather, that it would. But it was sunny further up on my route, and only figured this was a then band of showers. Little did I know that the rain would last for the next 2 days.
I packed my bags, tossed on my rain gear, and a few minutes after 11am I set off, only to find myself stopped at a red light prior to the Interstate. While waiting, I began to think. My parents were only two hours away. I could easily make it there, have lunch, and arrive back to DC a couple of hours after night fell. Why not. When the light turned green, I changed lanes and headed for I-77S.
Almost immediately, the constant patter of rain on my helmet made me reconsider. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" I'd ask myself. I only answered by letting the miles keep rolling beneath me. After an hour, the rain began to seep through my jacket and I felt the cold spot of water on my stomach. I reconsidered again, but since I was half way there...I kept going. I pulled into their driveway after another hour, drenched. They were surprised, first that I came, and second that I came in the rain. I put on a pair of my dad's clothes, while thy let me toss my soaked ones in the drier.
Pizza and hugs goodbye later, I was mostly dry again, this time with a oversized trash bag as extra rain protection under my jacket. They offered to let me stay the night, but I declined and left later than I wanted, certain I could cover the remaining 500 miles without incident.
As I recovered my route back through Charlotte, I realized I had seen 12 other motorcyclists, and a moped riding in the rain too. I wasn't the only crazy one. I pushed onwards until night fell. By then, I was again cold, wet, and tired from the 8 hours I had been in the rain. A hotel was in my near future.
I woke the next day, and left early, hoping to make it back home in good time. The rain hadn't let up, the constant patter of raindrops welcoming me back to my journey. As I covered the remaining miles, I found myself singing. Classic rock songs such as "Sharp Dressed Man" "Life in the Fast Lane" and "Ob La Di, Ob La Da". I realized I must have been a sight, a lone motorcyclist in the rain, head bobbing along to the tunes only he can hear. Soon I began improvising lyrics, with songs like "Sugar Sugar" rewritten as "Shiver Shiver"
Eventually, I made it back to DC, stripped from my wet clothes (trash bag had done zero good) and as I warmed myself in the hot shower, I thought back over the last couple of days and smiled. Despite the cold, and the rain...I wouldn't have changed a thing!