Prequel: had dinner with the kids and Erin at Chester’s last night. One more green chili cheeseburger. Cried like the Cowardly Lion if he
got hit with pepper spray after saying goodbye (for 2 weeks) to the kids. And Erin.

6:04 AM: Rolled out of the driveway of the house that had finally helped make Texas feel like home. May or may not have spent 10 minutes before I left just listening to the echoes.

6:35 AM (or so): Foot rest of brand new left highway peg fell off my bike. Shit. Mounting hardware gets progressively looser.

7:58 AM: Stop at 100 miles or so, broke out the tools, tightened up what’s left of my brand-fucking-new highway pegs. Wish I wasn’t such a noob when I put them on in the first place. Note to self: tighten the damn highway pegs. Regularly. Also, made the mistake of not drinking enough coffee and eating Burger King for breakfast. You are getting sleepy. Very, very sleepy. Your eyelids are getting heavy…

9:16 AM: Falling asleep while driving a car is one thing. Falling asleep while riding a motorcycle? OK. They’re both pretty bad. Anyway. Coffee + 5 Hour Energy. Good to go. Texas sure is pretty.

11:15 AM (??): realized I’m almost outta gas. Stop in Dallas, right across the street from the Cotton Bowl. It’s… um… pretty ghetto. I didn’t even get off the bike. Just filled up and took off. (That part of) Dallas is not pretty.

11:45 AM: Texas sure is hot. Maybe wearing all black leather, plus a black full-face helmet wasn’t the best choice for heat management. Keeps me safe, though. Worth it. Power Bar, beef jerky, and 64 ounces of Gatorade (Fierce Melon, and Fierce Strawberry, in case you wondered. Also, how the fuck can melon or strawberry be fierce?). Also, also… Dear Greenville, TX: you suck at civil engineering. Did you just randomly decide how long the traffic lights should stay green? I know! Let’s do that, AND let’s reduce the only N/S interstate highway down to one lane, k? I hate you, Greenville.

1:10 PM: Maybe 64 ounces of Gatorade at once was a bad idea. (That means I had to pee. Just incase you had trouble reading the subtext)

2:53 PM: Texadelphia, TX. It’s a city that stradles the Texas, Arkansas border. Now, the best I can figure, some moron (probably from Arkansas) had heard of this place called Philadelphia. He’d also heard it was the “City of Brotherly Love” or something. So, being from Arkansas and probably hating it because of all the rice and Clintons, this bumpkin decided to name his town the “City of Texas-ly Love”. Except that he picked the wrong part of the damn word. So, Texadelphia actually means “City of Texas Brothers”. Don’t even get me started on Arkadelphia. Oh. And I ate lunch at Subway.

5:10 PM: North East of Little Rock, Arkansas. Gas. Gatorade. Talked to a fellow biker. He was on a white Suzuki Boulevard M109 with a tan ostrich-leather saddle. We talked shop. Which means we tell each other all the things we’re gonna do to customize our bikes. But we’ll never actually do them. On to Memphis?

6:00 PM: OMFG. I just rode into a sauna. It’s about 9 million degrees, and like infinity percent humidity. Stop at a rest stop (too many “stops”?) and hang out in the air-conditioned bathroom. Realize that’s probably a good way to unintentionally get in trouble. Take off my leather overpants (jeans underneath. Relax, ladies) and strap them to the back of the bike. Spend the next 20 minutes puring water over my head, drinking Gatorade/water, and eating melted trail mix. Ok. I’m sorry, but what buffoon of a product manager at Planters decided it’d be a swell idea to put pieces of chocolate (sans candy-coating) in the fucking trail mix? When I opened it, it looked like a package full of baby shit. If the baby had eaten rasins and cashews. Fortunately, it tasted lovely. At this rest stop, there was another long-haul biker taking a nap in a hammock he’d strung between two trees. I was jealous.

8:10 PM: Sweaty. Tired. Sweaty. Hungry. Sweaty. Checked in to the hotel. Grabbed my bags, helmet, leather pants (still wearing the jacket). Ding! Elevator to the third floor. Why is this hallway so damn long? Oh. I see. I’m in room 3-infinty. Hey-presto, thanks to graphing calculators & calculus, here I am. Gonna shower then get some food. Why doesn’t my key work? AHHHH!! Walk back down the god-fucking-damn long hallway to the elevator. Ding! Ground floor. Then some nice people let me cut in front of them. Maybe it was cuz I still had my 80 pounds of gear. Maybe it was cuz I was sweaty. And stinky. Whatever. Back to the elevators. Ding! Third floor. This time it take about 5 years to walk down the hallway. And my mother fucking key doesn’t fucking work agai…. oh. It was upside down. There we go.

8:30 PM: Shower scene.

9:00 PM: walk to get some dinner and pass not one, but two, count ’em, two Circle Ks. Scallops were excellent. Blue Moon was lovely. Almost got run over by a car when I was walking back to the hotel.

Circle K in Memphis, TN

Now: realize I’m so damn tired that I can’t… finish… this…