Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Quest for the Dragon: 2002
Another Motorcycle Story
HOME
the tale continues...
and continues further...
to the dragon...
the dragon map...
related links...
final notes...
other roads...
other pictures...
GPS stuff...
contact me...

Here is another motorcycle story that was sent to me by Kent Elkins:

To Dallas

Sat. Apr. 6, 2002 6:00 A.M.

            The sun rose on a clear but cool day for a long ride. After much planning, deliberation, discussion, and weather watching, the decision had been made and the day had arrived. We were riding to Dallas to attend the Easyrider Bike show and nothing was going to stop us, not prior commitments, nor missed meetings, nor important political activities and certainly not the weather. We; Scott H., Fast Eddie, Ron M. and yours truly, Kent, the recorder of this odyssey, embarked on an adventure that none of us will soon forget. We left Oak Grove, LA at 6:10, (somebody was late!) for a rendezvous with Scott in Bastrop and then we would hit the road for Big D. The sky was gorgeous but just a touch on the cool side, the thermometer at the bank in  Mer Rouge read 44 deg. F. Thank God for leather and thinsulate! We hooked up with Scott, got a little fuel and beat a hasty exit out of Bastrop, stopped in West Monroe for breakfast and let our fingers thaw a little.

With Fast Eddie leading the charge we made an uneventful trip across the state and didnt stop again until we made the Texas state line, by then it was time for a little break and some more push water. We ran in to four other brave souls that were riding to the show, funny how few people actually rode to the bike show. As we made our way across Texas, the sky turned from beautiful blue with scattered fluffy clouds to an ominous gray. The farther we rode the darker the sky became, eventually small drops of liquid began to appear on my windshield and visor. At Terrell, where we were to exit I-20 for Hwy 80 we decided that it was time to don the rain gear. It turned out to be a very good decision. As we preceded to Dallas, the sprinkle turned to drizzle and then to rain, not a hard rain but hard enough (who voted me to be leader all of a sudden?). I have never liked driving in Dallas traffic anytime, no matter the situation; good weather, low traffic time period, known destination, familiar route, whatever. Dallas was never a fun place that I enjoyed traveling. Today would probably go down as possibly the worst riding conditions I have ever personally ridden in. By the time we got to Mesquite it was raining in earnest and although we didnt know it at the time, there had been a wreck on the freeway in front of us. The traffic was bumper to bumper and moving at a snails pace, the rain coupled with the slow speeds made visibility through my helmets visor all but impossible, to make things better, we werent sure of how to get to where we wanted to go. We knew the address but none of us had ever been there before. We decided to exit 80 for the also snarled traffic of the service road.

 After inching our way to a fuel stop we got some directions and made it to our motel. We rested briefly, dined at Wendys, thanked God for safe passage and then made our way back onto the rain soaked and busy I-30 to see the bike show. And what a show it was. Country boys should not be allowed out at such events without proper supervision. Being an auto mechanic by trade, I was only interested in the machines; designs, engineering, craftsmanship, etc. My fellow riders, it seems, were distracted. I wont go into detail, but there were periods of time that some of them could not account for, they said they had been looking at the bikes. But then Nixon said he wasnt a crook too, didnt  he? Hey, Im not their keeper, they are big boys now and what they do is their business. I am just trying to tell it as it happened. Fatigue and fear of threatening weather helped us decide it was time to leave. So it was back out into the freeway traffic, still sprinkling, unsure of our route and by this time it was getting dark. Fast Eddie made a few wrong turns and then it was my turn to lead again (funny how this works isnt it?). We did eventually arrive back at our motel without injury but not without some fear and trepidation.

            This tale would not be complete without mention of our evening meal. Some wanted to eat Tex-Mex, some wanted Chinese. We settled on a little diner close by, another excellent choice. There, we met a delightful waitress, whose name escapes me,  originally from Germany she spoke with just a hint of an accent. Her hair was white as snow and her teeth had seen better days, but she had a smile and personality that made you feel like your were home. She told us stories and made us laugh and brought us the biggest chicken fried steaks I had ever seen. Yes, they were Texas size. After a quick trip to Wally World for a little shopping it was back to Motel 8 and time for a much needed nap. We went outside and checked the weather a few times and it continued to sprinkle on and off.

 

Sunday Apr. 7, 2002 7:30 A.M.

            After watching the weather channel, we decided we had better hit the road as early as possible to beat the approaching rain and possibly a repeat of yesterdays conditions.  We put on our rain gear as a precaution and rode out of Dallas thankfully on dry pavement but into a very strong headwind. The air rolling over my windshield battered my helmet and caused it to vibrate like someone was playing a snare drum on my head. I made a mental note to get a taller windshield or just ditch the windshield altogether. We made good time with very light Sunday morning traffic out of Dallas, through Mesquite, Forney and Terrell. Just before Tyler we had to make and emergency pitstop, it seems Scotts very expensive rain pants could no longer take the high winds at interstate speeds and literally shredded with him still wearing them. It was quite a sight, Scott riding down I-20 with long yellow streamers attached to his waist and flapping in the breeze behind him. We laughed so hard Ron almost dropped his bike. Somewhere Between Kilgore and the Louisiana border the sky began to lighten and the sun would appear for awhile but the wind seemed to gain strength and shifted slightly to the south forcing us to lean into the wind at times like we were rounding a corner at speed. We made one more rest stop before stopping in Monroe for fuel, food and to get film developed at Wallys place. I hope those of you that read this ask Eddie, Scott and Ron who used the least amount of fuel. Hmmm, maybe American made is better.

           

Sunday Apr. 7, 2002 4:30 P.M.

Thirty four hours and 20 minutes, 696.2 miles later I arrived back at our starting point, tired and sore but so much richer for the experience. Many people that dont ride cant understand why anyone does under any conditions, let alone some of the circumstances we found ourselves in. I am quite sure that it would be futile to attempt an explanation that could possibly enlighten them . Its like the bumper sticker says If I have to explain you wouldnt understand. But I would offer this, for most of us, our lives are full of  routine. We get up and go to work each day and for the most part, we do the same things we did yesterday. We come home and deal with our personal lives much like we did last week. There is nothing wrong with that, I love my life, my home, my family. This routine, this life is what makes adventures such as this  meaningful. Were it not for our ordinary everyday existence we would not seek alternatives to the mundane. Is it dangerous? Well, yes it can be at times. Is it uncomfortable? Yeah, sit in the saddle for 2 hours straight and tell me it doesnt hurt. Is it scary? Sometimes it is. Is it exhilarating? For those of you that dont ride, you will never be able to understand what it feels like to be part of the road, you just cant experience it any other way. The wind is in your face the sun on your back, the smell of burning leaves or wisteria blooms, fresh cut grass, wet sawdust or fried chicken as you ride past a restaurant, you just want to see whats over  the next hill or around the next curve, you just want to keep riding because you know its as close to being free as youre likely to get this side of heaven.

Thanks Guys, lets do it again. Now if we can just find somebody that likes to ride point with good navigational skills

Enter supporting content here