FIRST RIDE OF 2024
Wondering How It Will Be
January 30, 2024
|On December 29, 2023 I did serious damage to beloved RedBird and broke four of my ribs on the right side. It has made me stop and ask the inevitable questions - 'Should I still be riding? How will it be if I do? Will I be tentative and not enjoy it?' It is just part of the human psyche to prefer to continue existence without pain if at all possible. And the last month has been very difficult as the pain level has been very high and tough to live with. We tend to desire to avoid those things that we think threaten our well being and comfort. However, there are some of us that probably don't have good sense and we 'get back on the horse that threw us off'. So I'm on a different horse today - BlueBelle - as it will be a while before poor RedBird is roadworthy again.
|I decide I'll head west then north into Kentucky so I pass by my church. It is a place where my heart is and some of the most caring and loving people in the world are found. And I know beyond a shadow of doubt they are in prayer for me and my well-being. That is an incredible source of comfort to this old hillbilly as I ride around this wonderful world before me.
|I stop by Eddie's, a little country store just down the road from me a bit to get some fuel for BlueBelle and some fuel for me. No need of either one of us starting out on empty.
|Eddie's has some really good breakfast biscuits and I just happen to bring along a ripe mater for good measure. It don't get much better than a steak and egg biscuit and a sausage and egg biscuit with a slices of mater on them!
|I take my usual run down Old Charlotte over to River Road then north up to Kentucky. I've got a GPS on all of my ST1100s, but fortunately my brain still works pretty good also. I may not remember people's names but I seldom forget roads or good places to eat.
|As I make my way out River Road, I pass by an old mansion that stands on the banks of the Cumberland River. From what I've been told the interior is a real work of art and a display of craftsmanship.
|A little further along I pass by a place that I've always liked - sitting out on a peninsula jutting into Sam's Creek - which runs into the Cumberland. I've always sort of fancied having a place on the water but that's probably not going to happen at this late a date in my life.
|As I near the bridge that will take me back across the Cumberland, I see a tugboat pushing what appears to be petroleum barges up river.
I find myself still a bit tentative as I roll along so I just take my time and take extra care with the throttle. When I pass this I have to wonder about two things -
|As I move into Kentucky I get into prime tobacco country where it is raised and processed. I see an excellent example of 'smoking' barn where you hang the sheaves up after you spear them, then build a smoldering fire of slabs and wet sawdust to 'cure' the product before selling it. As a teenager, I worked as a hired out hand in the farms around where I grew up. One of things I did was plant, care for and harvest tobacco. Since I was a bit adventurous I usually ended up being the 'high' man when we hung it in the barns for curing. The 'high' man was the one who climbed up into the upper reaches of the barn and stood on old wobbly struts to hang the sheaves up there. I also hand pegged it, suckered it and sprayed the chemicals on it that had the 'skull and crossbones' on the barrel. I can tell you there are few places as hot as tobacco patch on an August day when there ain't no breeze blowing.
I come across this village water tower and I ask myself in my head -
"How in the world would you pronounce that?"
|You see all sorts of stuff when ride out in the country on two wheels. This sign has to be a classic that asks a really good question. I reckon some folks think the world is their garbage can and just throw their trash out like it was. What they need a little 'little policing the area duty' in the USMC where you are on your hands and knees picking up trash for hours. That would certainly help them appreciate the reason for not throwing it out your car window.
|This part of Kentucky has some might fine examples of nineteenth century architecture from splendid old plantation houses ...
|to beautiful places of worship. It so nice that somebody has taken it upon themselves to keep these works of art in good condition after all of these years.
|I love this particular one because of the 'flying' porches that surround all the front of it. It too has seen good upkeep and care through the years.
|The sky looks a little less than welcoming so I decide I'd best point BlueBelle back toward the Holler before we both get an unscheduled bath.
|Today has been a good day as I have managed to stay upright and encountered no drama. I am still reasonably comfortable on two wheels though my recovering ribs are not - that will take about two months. But the joy of riding is still there for me though I am still a bit 'over cautious' and wobbly. But that too will be overcome with more miles and some healing of the body and mind.