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8/10/08
Couple Hundred Dollars in Gas - A Couple Hundred Dollars
Impromtu New Back Tire for a Goldwing - $300
1284 Miles in Three Days and Much Needed Piece of Mind - Priceless

So I finally got the Wing out to Arkansas. I was layed off from work on Thursday and instead of sitting around being pissy momma gave me a hall pass and I pointed the bike East. My only real plan was to at some point make it to Flippin, AR and jump in the 53 degree waters of the White River. I did make the White at 5 pm on Saturday but there was all kinds of fun pre and post shriveled weenie.

Friday morning I woke up at 4 am with the excitment of an adventure overpowering the need for sleep. A buddy of mine sent me a decent route to ride so grabbed the laptop and went to the bike to program it into my onboard GPS. An hour later I was done and I went to pre-bike inspection. Tires in decent shape, though I made a mental note I would have to change them when I got back to Dallas. All lights are working. Need to stop and get gas. OK Bike is ready. Went inside and packed a bag. Kissed Debi and off I went. I was on the road by 6 am. I planned on stopping by another friends house that was on the way but when I got there everyone was sleeping so I pushed on. The ride up was uneventful. Beautiful scenery and very nice roads. I listened to my sons iPod that I loaded with Mike Viola, James Blunt, Tom Waits, Jason Mraz and a bunch of other stuff. The weather was perfect and I had no agenda. Just ride. In Bonham, TX I stopped at Ben's Restaurant. I had some eggs, bacon and a glass of milk. Oh yeah I also had 2.4 years taken off my life as it is still a smoking establishment like so many places in rural Texas. The food was good and the people pleasant. I sat and eaves dropped on a table of men who looked to be in their 60's. They were talking about what I believe is the latest town scandal. Apparantly a single woman had gone to a single mans house and they did more than play bingo. The single man, it seems, thought it would be a good idea to video tape the affair and promtly posted it on the Internet. The men sat and argued who was right and who was wrong in the case. One balding gentlmen sporting overalls and a Marlboro cigarette was dogmatic that it was a disgrace for that woman to have gone to a single mans house without a shaperone. He didn't come right out and say she got what she had coming but it was close. Another younger man...say 55, stood up for the damsel and promptly pushed back that the young man had no right video tapeing and publishing the entertainment. I had to laugh. Being in this place, listening to these men took me to 1940. Must have been something.

At around noon I reached Talimena Lodge for lunch. The view was breathtaking and I could feel all my worries disappearing.

I reached Ozark, AR around 5 pm. Checked into my room, walked over to Subway for some food and hit the sack. My buddy was riding up later that night so I figured I would get little sleep. He showed up at 2 am. I woke up, let him in then stayed awake the rest of the night thinking. Mostly I though of work but also of other stuff. I've been on a bit of a sprititual journey the last couple months. But this post is not about that. I got out of bed at 5 am and went for a walk around Ozark. It is a quiet town with quiet people and holds the charm that only small towns can. I walked to the Arkansas river and wathced the sun rise then back to the Hotel to get ready to ride.

The guy I was riding with is a far better rider that I am. I let him lead the way and I stayed up as I could. All day I kept thinking of the cold, clear water of the White. It haunted me. My companion was diligent in his attempts to talk me into passing on the River and just riding but I would have none of it. If it meant I would have to walk to the water that is what I was going to do. As it turned out I almost had to.

After riding the morning we stopped to take a quick break. I was curious how my tires were holding up so I gave them a look. Not good. the back was down to the wear marks. We decided to ride into Jasper, AR where I would try and track down a Honda dealership close enough to get a tire. I found one in Russelville, AR about 75 miles South. I gave another look at my tire and noticed it was starting to seperate at the tread. My buddy wanted to go ride so he left and I limped the Wing down the mountain to the Honda dealership where we were to meat up later. The dealership did an excellent job and we were out of there by 2 PM. We headed for Mountain Home, AR and rode like the wind.

The new shoe on the bike felt wonderful and it was confidence inspiring. By 5 PM I was swimming in the White. The water cleansed me of all the negatively of the previous several days at the office and I felt renewed. Good thing to as I would need all my energy to get the 150 miles back to our hotel as it started to rain.

Now I am not a novice riding in the rain but riding in the rain on curvy mountain roads that you don't know with the sun going down is a bit nerve racking. We made it fine but the last 30 miles on the interstate in a deluge soaked up both to the bone. Lucky for us the hotel had a heater in the bathroom and it dried our clothes.





We woke up on Sunday and it was still raining. The ride back home was more of a chore that joy but still cathartic. My buddy and I got seperated in Antlers, AR so I ended up riding the rest of the way home on my own track. It was nice and I feel relaxed. Tomorow I get busy looking for a new job.


7/15/08
Been a busy month. I went to India for 2 weeks for work and had an amazing time. The people, the isollation the business but I want to focus on one thing and one think only...the TRAFFIC!!! OMG it is insane. There are people everywhere and cars, buses, cows, trucks three wheeled rictchaws ad wild dogs all merging into the same relative space at the same time. It is mind blowing. Do yourself a favor and goto youtube.com and do a search for Bangalore Traffic. you will be shocked!


Downtown off MG Road


MF-ing Bees. there was a sister nest just to the right. Amazing!


The highlight of my trip was watching these kids play cricket for about an hour. My driver wanted to take me to see the sights but I just wanted to watch cricket.


My driver Maruthi - I couldn't understand a word he said but he understood me.


Dinesh and I went sight seeing on Saturday. The trees in the background are completely filled with great big black bats!


I just found this funny. It was hanging on the wall in the office.


This is the team in India.


The guy in the back is pushing the guy in the front with his foot.


This temple is in the process of being carved. On the left you see what has been done and on the right what is being worked on. It is solid marble. Very cool.

I am off to California this weekend to visit Debi's family. I hope to also see soem of my own and catchup. We will be spending a wee on Lake Shasta on a house boat. I can't wait. It is a great place to vacation and her family is way laid back. Should be a good trip.

I have also started playing guitar again for the first time in a long while. The last time I played was at a house party with some guys. I had a good set and then put it in its case and left it there. No desire. Currently I only partially feel like playing. I am thinking about getting a band together but I'll probably just think about it and not really do anything.