Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Leaving Louisville, Day 1 Aug 2

Well, I left Louisville at 11 sharp with a Harley loaded down to the gills. The only thing not on it was a passenger, and there was no room for hair dryers and all that nonsense!

Packing up a Harley is a little like making love the first time. You’ve got all this stuff that has to go someplace and you’re not exactly sure how it will all fit. Then, somehow it happens and you’re off and running.

Hit a headwind on 70 heading East. Pretty strong. It was so strong that Dad was being blown all over and I was afraid that I would lose him. So, I had to take him off of his front row seat and store him away someplace safe. (See the expanded pic for the Indian Medicine Bag on the handlebar. In it are my lucky stones and a small zip loc with some of Dad’s ashes.)

But, rolled the miles off. Thank goodness the weather was relatively cool.

The folded foothills and sharp peaks of the Continental Divide faded in my rear view mirror and up ahead the major landmarks that gradually appeared were grain elevators and steeples of the plains churches. The concrete and asphalt carried me into a different political and cultural landscape, too. In Kansas, anti-abortion signs appeared, with one that read, “YOUR mother chose life.”

At one stop, a man came up to me and asked which direction I was heading. When I said east, he said, “Uh oh!” I had looked at the grey, low-lying clouds ahead and figured that I would be running into rain. Sure enough, 70 miles down the road I hit it and the last 100 were in the rain.

Passed three 18-whlrs that must have been blown off the road...all within 100 yds of each other...and another with the top torn off. Sure glad I wasn't in that spot sooner. Some cars and trucks would pass in the rain and the passenger or driver would give me the Thumbs Up sign. Sure enough, after they passed I could see the orange HD emblem in their back window.

Super-8 never looked so good. Now, my Harley is sitting outside in the rain like an abandoned puppy. The riders who got here soon enough were able to park their bikes under a small section of the covered sign-in area.

Met up with an RN from Denver who was riding to Ohio and points further east. He had no windshield and said, “I’m getting too old for this shit!” No kidding.

All in all, 450 miles on a bad day with a late start. I should arrive in St. Louis one day early, which will give me Friday there to work.

So, now’s it’s time to crash. OH MY GOD, I just thought! Dad is out there on the bike in the rain. He’s stowed away, but still, he might be pissed in the morn. Hmmm…I’m sitting here on the bed, butt-naked. Sorry, Dad. I’ll make it up to you…I promise.

(Couldn't get pic to upload...will try later)

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