Saturday was the only day in the weather forecast without the possibility of rain. I packed my gear for a hard ride and set out at 6:30 AM. My old Road Star didn't let me down. Nine short hours later with stops only for gasoline and comfort, I arrived in front of the dealership. I reached them by cell phone and they agreed to stay until I arrived to give me an estimate on my bike. The estimate was within the acceptable range so I told them I would see them on Tuesday. They are closed on Sunday and Monday. An old FBI buddy of mine was there to help broker the deal. I followed him another 50 miles to Tyler, Texas and parked my cycle in his garage. He is 77 years young and had just purchased a used Honda 1300 cc adventure bike to go with his Goldwing Trike.
We visited friends from years past and told war stories. Most of them still have some semblance of the truth, but as the years have passed the legend has become the authority. It rained on Sunday night and turned cooler. On Monday I rode Harold's trike and he rode his new adventure bike. At the halfway point in the trip we switched rides and headed for a local motorcycle shop and burger bar. The burgers were great and we got to look at all the latest in riding accessories before we headed home.
In the evenings we watched the news and both agreed we are in deep aaaah, well, you know. I could feel some future posts rumbling around in the back of my brain. But, my main concern for the next day was the weather. Rain and further cooling were in the forecast.
We awoke on Tuesday morning to a cool and cloudy day. I put on most of the clothes I brought with me and we headed back for Palestine. Harold took most of my gear in his car and I rode the Yamaha. Even with the layers of clothing I was cold when we got to the dealership. We spent the morning doing paperwork and making the new bike ready. I had to get a short course in all the instruments and buttons on my new ride. The dash looks like the cockpit display on a 747. It has navigation, radio, heated seats and handlebars, and a variety of other features I've yet to figure out. The clouds continued to build and by the time I left at noon they looked down right leaky. The air was definitely getting cooler. I looked like the little brother in the seasonal favorite, "A Christmas Story" with all my layers of clothing topped by my "Frog Togs" rain gear. I had to get help to get my leg across the saddle of the bike. I left just after noon and headed south. I hoped to get half way before I stopped. The first fifty miles were dry.
Soon the rain started to hit my windshield and a cold northwest wind buffeted me from the right side. The Goldwing's heated seats and handle bars sure felt good. After a hundred and ten more miles I was numb. The rain was getting harder and I decided to tuck it in for the night. I found a budget motel with a large overhang on the front and pulled in. The desk clerk had to put a towel down on the counter when I signed in. I unloaded my gear and stripped down to only one layer and turned the heater in the room on high. I had articles of damp clothing hanging on every chair in the room. I called home and told Bebe and the girls I had stopped for the night. I was without covered transportation in a relatively small town and the rain wasn't going to stop until morning. I made a pot of coffee and ate my last cereal bar. My daughter called a friend she knew who lived in the area and he brought me a burger meal from a local restaurant. By the time he arrived, I had moderated the heat in the room, showered, and put on my last set of clean clothes. I thanked him for his considerate treatment of the elderly and after he left I finished off my meal and settled in for the night.
It was cold and dry the next morning and I packed up and headed south. The rest of the ride was dry and without incident. I listened to the radio through my headset in my helmet and enjoyed the quiet smooth ride of my six cylinder Honda. After I unpacked, I sat down and opened my e-mail to find 129 new entries. Thanks for all the blog comments. I will be trying to decide which area of concern needs further examination.
"President Obama was shown in photos Friday smiling with the couple who crashed his state dinner. The photos showed the husband, the wife and the president. If it's a crime to talk your way into the White House without a background check, all three of them could face charges." --comedian Argus Hamilton