Summer 08 and Spring 09 in Georgia

 

Summer 08 and Spring 09 in Georgia

 

I remember my dad telling me, as a kid… “Better enjoy your time now… when you get old it really flies by… fast.”  That made no sense to me when I was ten.  How could time go by faster or slower.  Time was time and just went.  Daddy was right… again.
 
My daughter, Hope, who is almost thirty three now (how did THAT happen) finished nursing school and the pinning ceremony was the end of May.  I couldn’t have been more proud of her for accomplishing another goal.  I am equally proud of my son-in-law, Justin, for being so supportive of her and working at a place he really isn’t crazy about, so Hope could go back to school and get another degree.  Justin has to travel ALL the time and is gone at least four days every week.  He’s missing so much of Finley’s little life and it’s hard for him.  Speaking of Finley… she is now twenty-seven months old and we are best buddies.  If you ask her, “Who’s buddy are you?”  her reply is, “Nanas buddy.”  I’m sure you can guess who taught her that.

from Elaine

On May 29, I hopped on my bike and rode to TN to visit friends on the way to Eminence, MO.  I spent the night with Jack and Munch on their beautiful farm in Monterey.  Talk about serene.  It’s always hard to leave there, but I was excited about the ride to MO and to see some friends I was meeting.  It was a perfect ride and just knowing I was going to see more of this country that I had yet to experience, as well as spending a week with friends… it was like Christmas was right around the corner.  I felt like a kid.  Long rides are something I absolutely love.  If I had the time and money, I’d be on the road a LOT!  Well, I’d like to think I would be, but it’s hard for me to be away from Finley more than a couple days.  I still take care of her when her mommy and daddy work, so I’m really attached to the lil booger.
 
I arrived in Eminence, MO on Friday evening after everyone had already gone to bed.  There were about thirty of us that basically took over some little cabins there.  Everyone had been on bikes all day and was beat… so bed time was fairly early.  I was happy for that since I was in need of a shower and a bed as well.  It was hard to get to sleep that night only because there were so many people sleeping so close by that I wanted to see and I had to wait a few more hours.  Plus more were on the way from other parts of the country and would be arriving on Saturday.  There was a couple from Sweden in the rooms right over my head that I wanted to see and it was all I could do not to wake them up.  Saturday morning finally arrived and I was certainly ready.  My friend, Joe Friday, from AL was the first one I saw.  I am honored to see him fairly often, since he’s only three hours from where I live, but I was just as excited as if he lived in another country.  Then others started to make their way outside.  Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Arkansas, Sweden, Wisconsin… Upstate New York, New Hampshire and Connecticut were on the way and would be arriving in a few hours.  It was amazing to finally see my buds again.
 
These people are an amazing group of folks.  Motorcycle people from all over the world (mostly in TX, it seems) who believe in the “old school” ways and live it.  They also try to teach people and remind people of old school traditions and beliefs that seem to have fallen by the wayside.  Things like respect, loyalty and brotherhood.  I’m honored to be part of this group.  It really is like a big family.  They take care of their own.  When there is a situation where a brother or sister is in need… it gets taken care of.  If someone is out of line and being disrespectful of another brother or sister, they get called out for it.  When a pat on the back is deserved, there are a LOT of hands doing the patting.  Just like in a family.

barn in the country

Finally, everyone made it to Emo, hugs all around, bikes unpacked and plans were being made.  We were all ready to hit the roads around south eastern MO and see what we could see.  It’s an absolutely beautiful part of the country and the people there couldn’t have been any nicer to us.  We took off every morning on the bikes and rode all day.  Long sweeping curves out in the country, not like the tight twisties we have in our mountains in GA.  Everything was so green and lush.  It was perfect riding.  One of the ‘brothers’ and his wife had to drive their car up from TX.  Doc had quad bypass in November and wasn’t up for the ride up on the bike.  So, my friend Ron loaded Doc and his wife his Harley, Ron rode my bike and I rode on the back of Joe Fridays Gold Wing.  Man… THAT is a nice ride!  I was all settled in and could have taken a nap if the scenery wasn’t so beautiful.  It also allowed me to snap pics as we were riding.  Campfires every night, stories told, bolds grew stronger.  Can’t ask anymore than that.
 
The week flew by, Friday came and I had to get back to GA.  I wanted to get back Friday night so I could see Finley, Hope and Justin before they took off for vacation.  Almost 750 miles later, I pulled into my garage.  Dog tired, hot, smelly, starving and anxious to go see my lil buddy before she went to bed for the night.
 
Remember how I was talking about time flying by?  Well, this is a very good example of it.  It’s now April 2009!  I honestly don’t know how that happened, but it did.  The remainder of 2008 was a lot of riding… day trips and shorter trips to FL, AL, TN.  Including, another Trail of Tears Ride, like I wrote about in 2007.  But nothing like the trip last year, to Emo.  Holidays came and went, another tattoo was put in place, Finley is now almost three years old and is going to be a big sister around mid September.  Winter was uneventful, which is a good thing due to the high cost of fuel these days.  Now it’s time to ride, ride, ride.  I think spring forgot to stop in GA this year and summer is already here.  Two weeks ago we were down below freezing a couple nights, today it’s 86*.  Garden is all planted and should start taking off now that it’s warm.  The hummingbirds made their first appearance on Wednesday, the Bluebirds are in the houses and actively building nests.  WOO HOO!!!  I love this time of year.
 
About a month ago, I had some time off “Nana Duty” (I’m still taking care of Finley while her Mommy and Daddy work) and decided to take a ride down to FL.  I went west of Atlanta this time, then south into the panhandle of FL, east across the panhandle, then south a little ways, before going east across central FL to a friends home between Gainesville and Jacksonville.  Spent a couple days there, spent a day with my oldest brother on his farm then back on the bike.  I met up with my friend, Big John and his son for breakfast and a nice little ride to Amelia Island before heading back north.  The ride to Amelia Island was beautiful!  We met Big Johns VERY pregnant daughter-in-law on the beach so I got to smell and taste that wonderful sea air.  I do miss that from when I lived in south FL YEARS ago.  Big John escorted me up to Brunswick, GA later that afternoon, before he turned around and headed home.  It’s funny how much beauty I had forgotten about on some of the coastal roads in FL.  I’ll be spending time riding them this summer.  The mountains and twisties of north GA are beautiful… but there’s a lot to be said of FL as well.  Then when you add in the company of good friends… SA-WEEEEEEET!!!!!

the wired biker

Today's online biker - connected to the internet and pizza

Today finds me in a KOA Campground in Forsyth, GA… cabin #11.  I have three days ‘off’, so I decided to just hop on the bike this afternoon and go.  These little cabins are relatively inexpensive and all you need to bring is a sleeping bag, pillow and a towel.  Just like tent camping without the pain of setting up the tent, sleeping on the ground and packing up a tent the next morning.  I use to thrive on all that, but age has changed me… now I’m a wimp, but a very happy wimp.  After taking a nice cool shower, slipping on shorts, flip flops and a tank top, admiring my new sunburn (sunscreen tomorrow for sure) and walking back to my cabin, I ordered a pizza, root beer and water which was delivered right to the picnic table I’m sitting at now.  Tomorrow I’m going to ride over to Montezuma, GA about an hour south of here.  There’s a Menonite  restaurant down there I’ve been anxious to try… Yoders Deitsch Haus.  They also have an amazing bakery I’ll pay a visit to.  On the way home I might ride through Juliette, GA.  The Whistle Stop Café is there along with some other pretty cool little shops.  I won’t eat, since I’ll be stuffed from Yoders but I’d like to step into some of the shops.  LOTS of people from all over GA ride to this tiny town to eat at The Whistle Stop so I know bikes will be lining the street.  Then, maybe on through Eatonton.  Lakes Oconee and Sinclair are there as well as The Uncle Remus Museum.  There are also two rock mounds created by indigenous peoples in the shape of birds.  They are the only two monuments of their kind on this side of the Mississippi.  Not sure if I’ll have time to stop by, but it’s a nice ride through the small towns between there and home.

from Elaine

That’s enough for tonight.  The famous south GA bugs are beginning to come out for their blood feast, so I’m going to head into my little cabin for the night.  I brought a new book I’m ready to start reading… tomorrow is another fun packed day and I’m so ready!!!
 
Well, I’m home and I have to say this ride was one of the best!  I seem to say that every time I get home from a ride, so I’m not sure I’ve had too many that weren’t top notch.  Any time the wind is in my face and I’m on my bike going somewhere, it’s good.  The roads in south GA are totally different than what I normally ride.  These are long sweeping curves that aren’t clogged with ‘zip n splats’, cars and people.  They run between huge pecan and peach orchards, dairy farms and sod fields.  The smells are amazing.  Sweet Olives, honeysuckle, jasmine, cows, fields being tilled, pastures being mowed.  I love farm life.  My dad use to tell me I was born 100 years too late.  I tend to agree with his wisdom.  On these roads you can just ride and ride and ride.  No navigating twisties, no praying that a car is cutting the curve too sharp from the other direction, no worries about a bicycle being just around the curve you’re taking… just long roads where you can see a mile ahead, through the next sweep.  I love it!  Yoders was fantastic!  I met a cousin and her 8 year old daughter there, for lunch.  MAN!  It was fantastic and the prices can’t be beat.  It’s owned and run by Menonites who grow the food the cook and they sure can cook and bake!  The serving sizes were enough for two people and I couldn’t finish my meal.  I DID manage to save room for the Shoofly Pie.  I had never had that before but it was to die for. 
 
An hour and a half later, my cousin and I hugged goodbye and I made my way home.  Took the long way, which I do 99.9% of the time, so I didn’t get back until 7:30 Saturday evening.  It was an awesome day and a half!  I can’t wait to take off and do it all over again.  So… I’ll try to pick another fun place I’ve never been to so you’ll have something new to hear about.  No promises though… the roads down south are too nice to put on hold for too long and the food at Yoders has to be partaken of again.  Until the next time…..

Elaine Morris, Dacula, GA - April 2009

riding gear