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Old 06-08-2013, 08:50 PM   #28
Near Normal
Joined: May 2013
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 140
Day Four

The Toad in it's natural habitat, a Mississippi swamp.

After a late arrival in Adamsville, we did not have the energy to look for an RV park or campground. The parking lot at Walmart was handy, so we decided to crash there. Like in many small towns, the kids considered the Walmart parking lot to be a great gathering place. It was fun to watch them scatter when police patrols arrived about every 30 minutes, only to return moments after the patrol car left. They did not bother us, fellow squatters that we were. In the morning I changed the tranny oil in the Toad after the first 600 miles. The Bel-Ray gear oil started life colored red, but as the new clutch plates wore in, the oil had turned to black. Riders of small bore bikes know that our left toes (shift lever) and left fingers (clutch lever) are VERY active participants in any ride. As I serviced the bike in the parking lot, I soon had an audience. Two fellows in particular seemed to be excited to see a living Hodaka again. “Wow, a Hodaka. I have not seen one of those for about thirty years! And now I am looking at three!” and “I used to have an Ace 100, my brother had a Super Rat!” This was a reoccurring theme. People connect to these bikes because it brings back so many memories. The Toad may be old, slow and homely, but it will be the bike people will gravitate to and want to talk about. It has certainly been a great ice-breaker on this trip for me. I have met several interesting people simply because they wanted to look at and ask questions about the bike.
The ride today from Adamsville, Tennessee to Sardis, Mississippi was enjoyable. I was treated to many more dirt roads than in the previous days. It had rained recently along my route, so there was almost no dust. I saw little traffic on these back roads, only the occasional rural postman, farmer in a pickup, or UPS delivery truck. Oh, and lots of wildlife. Wild turkeys, hawks, raccoons, armadillos, and of course, deer were everywhere. Even though I am on a slow bike, I have nearly nailed Bambi a couple of times on this trip already. Many times you can see the deer on the side of the road. Other times, they will just sprint out in front of you unseen from the brush. Scary stuff.
Sardis, Mississippi is a farming community that has seen more prosperous days. We ate catfish in a restaurant downtown. The people were very gracious and friendly, like most people we have met on the trip. We camped at John Kyle State Park at Lake Sardis. The people camped next to us sent their kids over to invite us to dinner. They had caught a bunch of catfish and had plenty to spare. Bad timing on our part, having eaten earlier, but I just love that Southern hospitality.

Good ole red Mississippi dirt, now this is more like it!
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