CHAPTER “6”….DAY 2…2016 FLORIDA TO MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP!!!

TUESDAY AUGUST 16, 2016…..DAY TWO!!   MILES TODAY: 442.7   TOTAL MILES: 995.1

I have to tell you that I slept like a log all night. I don’t have to remind you that sleeping like a log ALL night at my age is a pretty darn good feat. Having the short night of sleep the previous night and the 14 hours through a relatively hot day (well 13 hours of riding and 1 hour in the air conditioned Hooters) had me tuckered out and I went to bed and didn’t move again until morning. If I did move during that time I slept through it!!

The first thing was to converse with Lisa to make sure that she was up and getting ready for work. It is important to keep her in good standing on her job to support my motorcycling retirement! She was good. She was up, fed the dog, and was getting ready…..good, my retirement is safe for at least another month.

Next on the agenda was to hit the hotel lobby for a small breakfast. It was 6:00 straight up just the way that I like it. That way I am usually first and can get the table I want. A lot of times I will find one that has a wall socket close by so I can plug in. You can imagine my surprise that when I got into the lobby breakfast area at 6:05 for their 6-9 breakfast…….IT WASN’T READY. In fact, I had to wait a good ten minutes before the coffee was brought out. What is the deal!!! The thing that got me the most was the gal working the breakfast was just meandering around cleaning and straightening and not really doing any breakfast preparing. Does she not know there are starving people out here?? She was lucky because no one came down. I am pretty tolerant and can sit there and sip on my coffee and pound my keyboard. Others might not be so Ghandi-ish. She finally got around to bringing stuff out and by the time that others started coming she was pretty well caught up. Now…..before you stomp your feet and raise your fist in the air screaming “off with her head” I implore you to read on for there will be an answer to the mystery coming up later.

I gathered my belongings, handed in my key, and headed out to the parking lot to get on my bike. As I was preparing the bike and stowing things away a guy pulled up in a car. He had a piece of paper in his hand and looked a little baffled. He stopped and said “since you’re a biker I’ll ask you”. Ok, I thought, I’m a biker but I’m also a traveler so I probably don’t have an answer but what the heck. So I walked over to the car. Let me tell you something about my experience in traveling…….It is not an official trip until someone asks me for money. Usually you can spot them a hundred yards away but this guy caught me off guard. He went on about his pontoon broke down and he needed a wrecker and his dad was calling a wrecker and he drove ALL THE WAY to this exit to talk to some service guy and they said he needed a wrecker and now he had to get back to the pontoon to meet the wrecker that his dad had called BUT….his wallet and cash and credit cards were on the dash of the pontoon and he figured that $5 would be enough to get him back. He went on to say that he had tools and things in his car and it was obvious that he wasn’t buying a bottle of wine or anything…..he just needed gas AND he would give me one of his tools for the 5 bucks.   HOLY CAR SALESMAN BATMAN!!! I thought that I ought to give him the $5 just for coming up with such a concoction of a story. However, I stuck to my “don’t give away money” guns and said “Nope…can’t help you”. I’m sure that I have been confronted by people who really need the money for what they claim but it is guys like this that ruin any chance that I will give in these situations. So NOW it is official a trip!!

I shot up I-59 out of Oxford heading toward Tennessee. I did get to go through about 20 miles of Georgia where I-59 barely crosses the northwest corner of the state. That put me on I-24 heading toward Nashville. I was quite happy because the weather was absolutely gorgeous. There was a narrow band of storms and rain that was just west of Nashville and ran all the way up into Michigan and I figured that before the day was out I would be experiencing some of Mother Nature’s wrath. For now, however, I was in motorcycle riding bliss.

As I approached Nashville I started thinking about the route that I was supposed to take to get to Evansville. I seem to remember I-69 being somewhere in the mix but now my head was saying that I didn’t think that I-69 went to Nashville. I came up to I-65 and thought..”oh, that must be it!!” and off I went. As I was swinging around the ramp the thought came to me that I-65 went to Louisville and I was NOT going to Louisville. Hmmmm, I needed to check things out. At the very same time Ma Nature let go with her first shot. It only lasted for about 2 minutes but it was enough to convince me to stop for gas, put on the rain gear (the sky looked mighty rough right then), and check my phone map.

I pulled off at White House, TN and did all the above. I determined that there was NO expressway involved with Nashville and that I was to get off on U.S. 41. Ah well, that ship had sailed so pretending to be an obnoxious GPS I recalculated. I could take I-65 north to U.S. 231 at Bolling Green, KY and run that northwest through Kentucky to Indiana. Sounded like a good plan to me.

A gal working at the convenient store was out cleaning up and told me to be safe out there in this weather. I said thanks and she asked where I was going. I told her and then told her where I was from. I just love people…..she went on to tell me about her brother in Florida and all he did and that he had been there for 20 years and was doing well and kept telling her to come down there but she never has yet. I told her that if she did she might never come back. She agreed and said that her husband had some joint replacements and the cold messed with the titanium. We said goodbye and she wished me a safe journey again and I was off.

Getting off on U.S. 231 was FANTASTIC. It was a low traffic two lane ride over and around gentle hills and curves. It took me through farms and fields. I have read a lot of touring diaries and one thing that I hear (read) is that riding through the breadbasket of America is BORING. I wonder sometimes if maybe they are writing that because that is what they are “supposed” to say. You know that “I’m cool because I say the same thing that everyone else says” type of writing. Well, first of all I am not very often accused of saying things to be cool. I have never been cool and there is little reason to start now. So let me tell you my take on riding through the farms. I love it. The rows of corn, the farm houses…old & new, the barns….old & new, the people….old & new, and the “farming activity” are just about the most peaceful kind of ride that you can do. Each small town has such great personality. So my ride across northwest Kentucky was fantastic. The thing was that I really wasn’t all that sure I was going where I was supposed to be going. I was pretty sure I was right but I know that some of my past “pretty sure” situations have left me MILES off course.

In my head (not a safe place to be) I was picturing 231 hitting south of Evansville and I would be right on track. You can imagine my surprise (or fear) when I crossed a HUGE bridge across the Ohio River into Indiana and no Evansville in sight. Eeek!!! Well, God bless the 21st century because us MEN don’t have to pull over and ask for directions…………we just check our phones. I popped up Google Maps and….by the way I love it when this happens………..I was just a hop, skip, and a jump from Evansville. After a 400+ mile ride 20 miles is a hop, skip, etc.

During the ride I had off and on drizzle or light sprinkle that really didn’t get me wet at all. I pulled into Evansville and decided to go straight to Hooters to eat before going to the hotel. I knew that if I went to the hotel first I would never leave again and my supper

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Courtney in Evansville

would consist of some Fritos, Snickers, and a Coke out of the hotel vending machines. I got to Hooters and as I stepped off the bike…..KAPLOOSH…the rain came. It rained the whole time that my waitress, Courtney, had my shirt decorated by all the on staff waitresses. It was still raining when I left and I got pretty “damp” riding that final few blocks to the Quality Inn.

 

Now I want you to recall the third paragraph telling you about the gal being an hour or so late in getting breakfast ready.   I went to my room and got showered and cleaned up. I settled in for my Skyping session with Lisa. We started talking and she said something about the time. I flicked on my phone to look at the time and at the same time glanced at the hotel bedside clock…….they were an hour different. The light bulb over my head lit up……a bit dim mind you but it did light up!!! I was in the Central Time Zone!!!!! Thinking about it I realized that this morning I was in Alabama which is also in the Central Time Zone.   Me, my brain, my watch, my phone, and my regularity remained on Eastern Time. So that gal in Oxford, AL was right on time…………I WAS AN HOUR EARLY!!!! So over the cyber-waves I send her my apologies for anything that I might have said under my breath.

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 donandlisabova@msn.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.

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