MONDAY AUGUST 15, 2016…..DAY ONE!! MILES TODAY: 552.4 TOTAL MILES: 552.4
Here’s a couple of facts that I have for you that you can stuff away in the old brain and then sometime in the future you will be able to use said facts if you ever are selected as a contestant on Jeopardy. First of all…I’m sure that it is a little known fact but.it is still dark at 3:30 in the morning AND 3:30 in the morning comes awfully doggone early…..just sayin’!
Even when I was a little kid I was pretty well known for getting up early. Except for my short stint working the second shift with General Motors I have always gotten up with the roosters. That being said, getting up at 3:30 AM after watching BOLT win the 100 meter gold medal in Rio the night before on TV…….was pretty stinkin’ EARLY. Still, I did it and I must say that I was a real trooper. I made myself presentable…..not that anyone would be seeing me FOR HOURS (and by then my presentable self had pretty much evolved to Unpresentable)…..and then made my way into the bedroom and gave my wife, Lisa, a goodbye hug and kiss. I did make it a point to remind her later that I actually did hug and kiss her before I left because I’m not so sure that she truly woke up for the hugging and kissing ceremony.
I donned all my gear and headed out to the garage and with a push of the button I was rolling out and onto the driveway at 4:15. The problem that I was facing was even at that moment of departure I didn’t know what route I was going to be taking. I could either do all back roads U.S. 1 & S.R. 100 and head from Daytona to Lake City but there was also the route of jumping on I-95 to I-295 to I-10 and also get to Lake City. I like that back road ride BUT because it was dark (as I previously mentioned!!) so scenery and sightseeing weren’t really factors. I like the speed of the expressway but I had a lot of time so the clock wasn’t an issue. What’s a guy to do? Speed won and I hit I-95.
It was a fantastic morning for riding. There was a bit of patchy fog….either that or I was still a bit fogged up from sleeping. Traffic was really light which is always a big plus for I-95. I rode north to I-295 in Jacksonville and then to I-10 west. I finally left the expressway on U.S. 441 in Lake City and headed north into Georgia. Since there was obviously no hotel stay the night before I didn’t have any Hotel Lobby Breakfast to see me off. That meant that I had to stop and get a breakfast. Being my normal health conscious self I got a Gatorade, a can of Starbucks energy coffee drink, and a cherry/cheese Danish…..all from the equally health conscious convenient store.
I’ve mentioned this before in other blogs but when I am on the road EARLY in the morning and stop somewhere for fuel for the bike and my stomach I will marvel at the American worker. Let’s face it; part of our job is to moan and groan about our jobs, workplace, bosses, and other workers….NEVERTHELESS……..millions upon ten millions of us are on the job each and every day. While riding along I-95 at 4:30 in the morning with cars, pick-ups, and 18 wheelers buzzing around me I can assure you that they aren’t all on a pleasure trip to Michigan. The vast…VERY vast majority of them are either already working, heading to work, or heading home from work. They show up and they produce…..All I can say is “YAY for us working stiffs”!!
As I rode on I got that first indication that I as traveling north. There on the side of the highway was the OFFICIAL sign that stated Ice Forms on Bridge Before the Roadway…..YIKES!!! Even the word “ice” sends chills up my spine….pun intended!!! One thing to note about the ride is that a while back my wife kind of lost her motorcycle enthusiasm and doesn’t ride much with me anymore. It has been a LONG time since I have had a rider on the back. Although my 50 or 60 pound bag is a bit lighter than a passenger would be I still had to get used to that extra weight feeling. It didn’t take long but for a while I could sure feel that extra weight.
I stopped in Columbus, GA to grab a lunch at Hooters and to get a shirt. My waitress, Valerie, did good and mastered getting my shirt signed and drawn on by all the girls.
She is working there while her husband is stationed at Ft. Benning as a Ranger. I had a burger and was back on the road.
As I was heading to my destination of Oxford, AL I went through LaGrange, GA. I don’t know how many of you are into cemeteries……well, I know that you are not IN the cemeteries or you wouldn’t be reading this…….but I find them fascinating. There is one right along U.S. 27 in LaGrange that is really awesome to look at. You can tell that the graves go back MANY years…..decades….centuries. Apparently there are a large number of Confederate soldier graves in the cemetery. I don’t know if you would ever have reason to go through LaGrange, GA but if you do go by the Shadowland Cemetery (try not to stay if you can help it).
I finished the ride by swinging into my Comfort Inn and Suites in Oxford, AL. I confess that after a night with only 5 hours sleep and then 14 hours of traveling pretty much did this OLD guy in. I showered, Skyped with Lisa, went over my social media accounts, and shut everything down. My “nourishment” for the night was the soft-baked chocolate chip cookies that Lisa made for me and that I didn’t leave ANY for my next door neighbor, Bill…..sorry Bill, they WERE good!! Being careful not to get any cookie crumbs in the bed I shut off the light and ended Day 1.
I hope that you enjoy my trip as you read along with my traveling. Don’t forget that anytime you might feel it appropriate you may “Like” or “Share” this or any of the posts on social media which would, of course, give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. You can also drop me a line or leave me a comment. You can write to me at email@example.com using “Your Blog” as the subject line. You can check me out on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/don.bova also because I will generally have more pictures and comments over there. Also you can read the blog about my 2015 road trip from Florida to Michigan at www.donbovaroadtrips.wordpress.com. Lastly, you can look at pictures of my past yearly road trips to Michigan dating back to 2009 at www.gotyourpic.com/Vacation.