And so I was off…

I was pretty sure I was ready. The bike was fully loaded. I was itching to roll. Before I took off, I asked a passerby to snap a picture of me. It was at that moment that I realized I was wearing running shoes and my waterproof riding boots were still in my apartment. Oops. 

So then I was off. I wasn’t really sure how far I was going to go. I called my friend Dave in Frederick MD before I left. That was my first stop last year. How could I resist. We caught the crest of the fireworks in Frederick as his kids were getting ready for bed.

Dave and his wife Joi have a new addition to the family since my last visit. Say hello to Sam.

He’s a tiny little bugger and seems to wear a smile like it was a part of his skin. And then there is my favorite little biker girl Noa. A year older. 

She is darling. She made me feel good too. After dinner she sang a Pat song she made up, and before I left she did a Pat cheer! She kept telling me, “Pat, I like you!” I like you too kiddo!

The next morning it was time to venture to new lands. In Virginia I passed a house once owned by George Washington.

Then I road through the rolling hills of West Virginia. West Virginia Mountain Mamas served up some good riding through twisty foot peg scraping roads. It always freaks me out when those pegs scrape the ground, especially when I am fully loaded. Big Thrills! And lots of good old Americana along the way.

I went to Blackwater Falls. I had been here once before, many years ago. I remember a lot about that trip, but don’t remember the actual falls, so I had to check em out.

On tis journey I have seen a number of abandoned schools. I am assuming that’s because they built new schools. But after meeting some locals one has to wonder.

I woke up yesterday morning feeling a little queezy. Could be the heat. It’s been over 100 degrees in the daytime. Sometimes I am a little over eager to check things out without concern for thing like eating and drinking. I got up and want to investigate when I saw this sign.

Cool, right. So without breakfast I headed up this path. It was a steep uphill climb. With each turn of the switchback there were interesting facts to wet your appetite for what was to come.

And so I continued that climb. Upward to the fort I ignored my yearning for the basic needs like water. The forested path opened up as I reach the top. Tall brush prevented me from seeing the fort. I still needed to round one more turn. And then…this.

A canon and a porta a potty is all that marks this landmark where apparently a fort once stood. Not a great way to start the day.

So I rolled along. I got a hardy breakfast at a Waffle House and chugged a lot of iced tea. I had one of those good ol’ Southern stye waitresses who overflowed with “darlins” and “babys”. “OK darlin, can I get ya some more tea baby!” 

There were lots of signs in Kentucky to visit the many bourbon distilleries. I road by just one that wasn’t open for tours.

It is inevitable that some local at a pitsop will ask me the same question once we get to talking and they find out I am traveling and camping out alone. “Are you packing?” It seems everyone is but me. I told this guy Earl that I cross too many state lines to be packing. He said he doesn’t go anywhere without his 38 under the seat. I asked Earl about some road as I had gotten lost after a truck jack knifed on my desired route. He suggested 93 South. He said he has taken it when he enters the Bass fishing tournaments down there. So what is the great appeal with the guns. Maybe I should find out.

When I stepped inside the gun range I immediately heard the guy behind the counter talking to this old dude sitting on a chair. “All I know is I feel sorry for the poor bastard that enters my house unwelcome.” Beside him was a box of posters of Obama they use for target practice and on the fence outside a political poster for Rand Paul. Every time I hear that Rand Paul I expect him to be selling chickens. So I thought about renting a gun to fire off a few rounds, but I don’t really know what I’m doing and these fellers didn’t seem like they were the type for teaching me. So I just grabbed a cold drink and some jerky and moved on.

I road along the Ohio River as I headed west. It’s a beautiful ride.

I had planned on camping out once I crossed into Illinois, but I got lost again. I ended up on a road that turned to dirt as the sun was going down. Bugs were everywhere. The dirt road eventually lead to a paved road which dead ended at the river. But there was this grand old bank at the river side.

The sun dropped and I was still lost. I rode like a mad man to Harrisburg to get a room. I must have killed a thousand bugs with my face on the way there. But I got a cheap room and had a good night’s sleep. Tonight I should be in Memphis.

2 Responses to “And so I was off…”

  1. Brian Sherman Says:

    You and I must have passed each other on the road or darn close to it. I as in WV, Western Maryland, Frederick at about the same time. I did 3 days on the road myself. I told my wife that if I run into you, I could be gone for a few more days!!!! Sounds like your having an awesome trip. did you get the starting issue sorted on your bike yet?

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