It Wasn't So Long A Time As I Thought

December 29, 2021

After my left shoulder replacement, I thought that I would be out of the saddle until I recovered from my right shoulder replacement sometime in January. My ortho doctor told my at my six week follow up that I could pitch the sling and that most of the healing was done by this point. I guess sometimes my desire to ride overcomes my good sense, but I start the 'thinking' process that goes something like this -

"Hmm, if everything is pretty much healed, then I shouldn't tear anything lose if I am careful. And there's that year end ride down at the StageCoach in Alabama on the 29th. And It would be pretty much all interstate there and back and I could always just let the left arm flap in the breeze ...."

and so my last ride I did back in November with the prospect of no riding for six months suddenly changes. It is amazing what we can talk ourselves into when we only consult with ourselves. I do take a little forty mile ride to see if I can 'operate' things as I should and I think I will be okay. So once again, Frost is still got the Russell seat mounted so she gets the honors. I figure if I get in trouble, I'll just turn around and head back or get a motel room and rest. If life ain't an adventure, then it's a rut and a rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out.


My big concern is getting out of Nashville and getting through Birmingham, as they are the only really sizable cities on the route down I65. If somebody does something stupid or I get in a traffic jam, I will probably be in trouble dealing with the stop and go traffic. Fortunately, Nashville traffic is thick but it's moving and I can check that one off my 'concerns' list.

  Once I'm south of Nashville proper, the traffic thins out and I can put Frost on cruise and just relax. When I need to, I just let the repaired left arm flop in the breeze.
  Once I cross over into Alabama, I see my favorite roadside attraction - an old Satrun 1B booster in a roadside park. It was the generation before the Saturn V that blasted the Apollo ships to the moon. My original educational goal was to be an aerospace engineer and work in the space program. But by the time I got to college, AEs were out of favor and the space program was on the rocks.
  The sky does not look favorable for a dry ride but I press along anyway, figuring I may make it to the blue before the liquid comes down.
  Given my physical 'challenges', I take more frequent breaks on the ride down to give my 'new' shoulder extra time to rest.
  When I get to the outskirts of Birmingham traffic starts stacking up. But fortunately it maybe slow, but it ain't stopping and for that I am very thankful.
  As I pass through Birmingham proper, I can barely see my old friend Mr. Vulcan off in the distance perched on his hilltop.
  Before long, my left shoulder tells me I need to take another break so I avail myself of the next Loves truck stop that I see.
  At last I pull into my destination for the evening - the Log Cabin Inn in Bay Minette, Alabama. At least I've made it this far so now all I have to do is make it back home tomorrow. Shuey and Wes, two riding friends from Florida happen to be checking in just as I pull up. They are a bit surprised to see me, knowing the surgery that I just had weeks ago. And matter of fact, I'm a bit surprised I've made it with no major drama to speak of.
  Our usually watering hole for supper is the Monterey Mexican restaurant just up the street from the motel. So we head that way once folks get pitched and cleaned up a bit.
  I get a chile relleno and some other stuff that is quite good as usual. It's great to catch up with friends over great food and great company - especially those that I don't get to see very often during the course of the year.
  And what would a good meal be without a little dab of sweetening afterwards?  
  We get back to the motel and pull out some chairs and shoot the breeze for a while as only good friends can do. But the wear and tear of the day has had it's effect on me, so I bid the group a fond adieu and head for the horizontal shuteye device.  


December 30, 2021
  Breakfast will be just up the street again at Streets Seafood Restaurant. They are a real deal local place and I always enjoy eating there.  
  When I'm on the road, I like to order omelets because I really like them. I can cook them at home but it's a lot more trouble that just throwing some eggs and pig meat into a skillet - which is my usual breakfast. Sometimes laziness just plumb overcomes a feller ...  
  And as usual, there's nothing left but ashes after the fire is gone.  

Soon it's time to mount up and head for the Stagecoach Cafe where riders from all over come to their 'Last Ride Of The Year' gathering.

  They used to serve breakfast as part of it, but decided it was too hard to do that then serve lunch. We get there early before the parking lot looks like ...  
  this. All makes and models show up now to what used to be primarily a long distance rider event. That's okay because I still get to see riders that I normally do not cross their paths in the course of a year.  
  Needless to say, our little group does not hang around long, knowing the crowds will get thicker and thicker. Shuey has a restaurant picked out for lunch, so we just follow him north to Brewton, Alabama. It's not too far off of I65 so I figure I'll be fine to do the little dab of extra distance.  
  He takes us to Camp31 BBQ and I can tell you...  
  it is well worth the trip. Not only is the food excellent and plenteous, the service is even better and a feller could not ask for better company. I can't even eat all of it so I get a to go box and figure it will make me a dandy lunch tomorrow.  
  But I've got to still get myself back to the Holler which is about 450 miles from where I sit. What I don't know at this point, is that I have the beginning of a really bad kidney infection coming on. So I wish all safe journeys, give hugs to those that want them and I am off like a dirty shirt. It's a long journey as I make my way back up I65 and I know it will be late when I get home. I notice that I have having to stop a lot more for bathroom breaks on the way home, but I don't make the connection to the infection that I am getting.  
  I finally pull into my beloved Holler, worn to a frazzle but so glad I took the chance. In the next two weeks I am in pretty rough shape from the infection which requires two rounds of serious antibiotics to knock out. It's so bad, that I don't even think about my left shoulder for while - which ain't a bad thing as it is somewhat unhappy about my little 'adventure'. I have determined that this will definitely be the last ride until my right shoulder is replaced on January 31st. But some days you just have to play the cards in your hand. It's all about memories as that is the only thing you get to take with you to the other side.