|10-16-2009, 10:06 PM||#1|
Not Mission Capable
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Underachievement Nexus of the Universe
Goodbye Corporate America
So what do you do after 8 years of being stuck in a completely meaningless job? You could resign yourself to yet more meaninglessness (Thoreau said “what is called resignation is confirmed desperation”), or you could do what any sane rational ADVer would do: quit and go for a ride. I chose the latter.
Some backstory: I was born in Hopewell, VA and spent the better part of my childhood in the area (Petersburg & Prince George County, to be exact), but moved away in ’92. I’ve been back to the area only a few times since then, but the place haunts my memory. So much of what happened to make me who I am took place in and around this area. It had been several years since my last visit, and it was time to return.
And so it began. Loading up during a break from the rain at my buddy Dan’s house, Lincolnton NC:
First stop, my dad’s house in south-central VA. Dad’s the reason I’m into motorcycles—thanks, Dad! Some of my earliest memories involve riding around town with Dad on his CB360; I was hooked by the time I was 4. I didn’t get my own bike ‘til I was 10, and from that point on, I was either riding, or thinking about riding. Some things never change.
Dad lives right down the road from Patrick Henry’s grave, and being a history buff, naturally I had to stop and see it (again). "Give me liberty or give me death," said Mr. Henry. Amen, brother.
The roads in and around the area are fantastic—twisty and very lightly traveled.
The first house my family lived in bordered Petersburg National Battlefield Park, and I spent many a summer day in the park, riding my bicycle, playing hide and seek in the woods, watching reenactments, and climbing on the cannon. Nowadays a little kid would probably be arrested for climbing on the cannon. But that was a different time in America. Park rangers weren't quite so uptight then.
There’s one particular place in the park that holds a special place in my memory, it’s the site of the remains of a house that witnessed the battle that took place here so long ago.
Close to the remains of the house was a gigantic old oak tree, which for all I know could have witnessed the battle as well. This tree was huge 30-odd years ago when I was a little kid, and I used to ride my bike out to it and rest in its shade. The recreated “sutler store” about a mile away sold cold root beer in the summer, and my friends and I would ride out to the tree and enjoy our drinks. When I was in high school, and things weren't going the way I wanted them to, I would go sit under it, watch the sunset, and it always made me feel better. Took my wife (then-girlfriend) out to it about 10 years ago, and told her the story of how I'd been knowing that old tree since I was a little kid. So the tree’s pretty special to me; I’ve got a lot of memories tied in with it. It’s so special, in fact, that I had instructed my wife in the event of my demise, to scatter my ashes under it. Since moving away from Virginia, I’ve made a point to go and see that old tree every time I go through Petersburg. Well, this time I said goodbye to it.
Yeah, I know about the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and how nothing can escape entropy—but I really thought this tree would outlive me. It had lived so long already, and it seemed so resistant to the effects of time, it was like a permanent fixture of the landscape to me. I was stunned and saddened to find it lying on its side.
I sat on the stump for a while and pondered the brevity of life. The Philosophy of Bill and Ted came to mind: "Dust. Wind. Dude." It seemed like just a few years ago I was a little boy resting in the shade of this old tree, in the summer of ’77. And it was just a few years ago. Where did that little boy go? What became of him? Life goes by so fast.
Goodbye, old tree. It was good knowing you. You'll be missed. Thanks for the memories.
I'll probably get called a tree-hugger for this. I don't even care.
The sun was setting, and the sad realization that the day was almost over was upon me. I’d like to find a way to slow time down on days like this.
The last stop, and Tennyson comes to mind: he spoke of tears caused by the sight of “happy autumn fields, and thinking of the days that are no more.” Yea verily.
Having long admired the idea behind the “Tent Space Thread,” I’ve never actually put the idea to work until this trip. Contacted manganos in advance, and does he ever know how to treat a fellow ADVer! Never had Berkshire Springs Stock Ale before, but it earned a place on my Top 10 Beers of All Time List. And this steak was grilled to absolute perfection:
Got a good night’s rest in the tent and hit the road early after a fantastic cup of coffee. Thanks again, manganos!
I can’t describe the feeling of ultimate freedom that comes only when you’ve rid yourself of your job responsibilities, you’re adhering to no schedule of any kind, and you’ve got the open road before you. Remember when Wyatt threw his watch away at the beginning of Easy Rider? That’s what I’m talkin' about.
-MORE TO COME LATER-
Everything I really needed to know, I learned in Schneider School.
Official Organizer of the ADVrider Sandbox Hooligans Anti-FEE Movement
Quoth the Photojournalist: Am I gonna be the one that's gonna set them straight? Look at me--WRONG!
ineptizoid screwed with this post 10-26-2009 at 03:42 PM
|10-16-2009, 10:12 PM||#2|
Joined: Nov 2006
Happy trails, tree hugger!
BMW 650 KDX 220 TS 400
If they can't hear you, they won't know you're there.
|10-16-2009, 11:19 PM||#5|
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Federal Way, WA
I'm in. DO you have a direction? Any whim of an idea of somewhere you want to go to?
Baja trip to the tip
6:10 to Yuma
trials and tribulations in the Mojave
Baja Blitz Yard sale
View Current Location via Spot Tracker
|10-17-2009, 04:02 AM||#7|
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: New Albany, IN
Great pictures and great title. I plan to steal it some day.
And you can find ANYTHING on YouTube.
1982 Yamaha Virago (RIP)
2003 Yamaha V-Star Classic (sold)
2012 R1200 GS Adventure (I can dream, can't I?)
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
|10-17-2009, 04:31 AM||#8|
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Great start! Love the bike. Makes me miss my KLR. Keep it coming. Oh yes, do throw the watch away.
A '00 KLR 650 37,000 miles, A '07 1250S 75,000 actual, A '03 5.3L Chevy Truck 75,000 + '43 style dude , Simper Fi ;-)
|10-17-2009, 05:50 AM||#11|
Joined: Jan 2007
f this im outa here
take this job and shove it
f - the man
nice job , keep us posted
how bad could it be ??
07 ktm 990 adv woods turtle
01 ktm 520 exc
04 ktm 250 exc
08 polaris sportsman 550
01 honda xr 100 wifes
02 honda crf 50 with training wheels for joe b
08 KTM 50 son
08 polaris 50 (pink) daughter
1971 cb 450 cafe racer wannna b
|10-17-2009, 06:09 AM||#12|
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Leesburg, VA
Keep 'em coming
Corporate America dumped me in early July, and could not have done me a bigger favor, so I applaud your guts to resign instead.
After about the same time in a f-ing meaningless job, at what I believe to be the nexus of incompetence and waste (borrowing from your signature) I understand completely.
Since then I did one 1600 mile tour, and may be starting another this week.
ROCK ON! By my calculation you are much younger than I , and apparently MUCH smarter. My son figured it out in his thirties, and I am so glad.
Watching for your adventures. Hope to cross your path. Stay safe.
You can never have too many motorcycles and musical instruments. But if it is only one of each....... a R1200GS. And a Martin 00-18H......
Read my blog: http://jeffszen.blogspot.com/
|10-17-2009, 07:06 AM||#15|
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: St. Bethlehem, Tennessee
You should go back...
and get a slice of your favorite tree, display it in a case, hang it on a wall so you can see it whenever you want to. Allow it to be passed down though future generations of your family as a special chapter in your life.
I had a similar calling a few years back myself. I managed to grab a brick from the old church I had attended when I was a child in the 50's. It was well over 100 years old but it was being razed for other purposes, with the remains bulldozed and just dumped into awaiting dump trucks. . Although it's packed away for prosperity; it's has been shown to all that cared to see it.
Great lead in to a great story. More please.
I apologize for jumping into your thread. Stories like this have a special meaning to this road wanderer/ThunderDog
I'm retired. Go around me.
2008 Kawasaki Versys
2009 Yamaha TW200
"One of the things that make motorcycling so great is because it never fails to give you a feeling of freedom and adventure." – Steve McQueen
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