Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Worst Day on the Bike is Better than the Best Day at Work

We dropped the kids off at my parents' farm this afternoon. It was a little overcast here in TN but when we called my Mom she was planning a combined birthday picnic for PJ and I and said she'd double-checked but there was no rain in the forecast at all. Then we called my best friend Scott who lives up there near her and he said he might not be coming around after all because it was just too pretty a day to miss riding.

DAMNIT! I want to ride too! So after checking the forecast for up there, PJ says "Why don't we take my much smaller car, you can take the motorcycle and we'll each haul one kid so there will be enough room".

And that's what we did. We headed out of our house & went to IHOP for our last family breakfast together for the next month or so. We had a great time, the kids are HILARIOUS! Then we headed out to the farm.

It got darker and darker. More and more ominous. I can feel PJ behind me in the car shaking his head because he'd said that it looked a little overcast even though the forecast was good. It's a two-hour drive to their farm, first hour by interstate and the 2nd hour by extreme backroad. It started sprinkling a -little- bit when we got off the interstate. By the time we were 5 miles from their house it let loose on us. I was a drowned rat by the time we got there & Kieffer, behind me, wasn't much better. We whipped the bike into the barn which was the only covered spot we could get into at the time and breathed a sigh of relief.

It stopped raining after about an hour & we proceeded with our picnic as planned. It was fabulous! My Uncle Marc cooked the steaks, my Mom (coincidentally, her name's only one letter away from Mmm!) cooked everything else and we all ate until we thought we might need medical intervention. Then we wandered around in her garden & took tons of pictures of awesome critter-bugs and frogs that I'll share later-on this week.

Then we had to leave because the storms were sweeping back in toward us with a vengeance. My Mom, in a psychic act that I can't begin to thank her for now, stuffed a big bulky smelly rain coat into my saddlebag on the bike at the last minute - "just in case" the rain caught us.

Thank God she did it too, because just 5 short miles from her house the sky turned upside down on us. I don't think there's any way I could have made it without her barn coat. Below is me stopped at the end of their road putting on that jacket and the kids' helmet that's too small for me but has a visor.



These are two pictures PJ took along the way. He said there was a halo around me when it was raining really hard, from the raindrops hitting me & splattering @ 55+ mph & creating a splatter-aura. He said it looked really eerie and he wished he'd been able to catch a picture of it.



I was soaked to the bone within the first minute, but my choices were slim. I could try to wait out the rain somewhere & continue driving home in absolute darkness with road water spraying up on me from every vehicle in front or passing, or I could tough out the painful numbing rain and try to utilize the last of the evening light.



There's no windshield wipers on a motorcycle or a helmet, so I chose to persevere. Unfortunately, the kids' helmet with the visor cut off my circulation painfully after 30 or 40 miles and I couldn't take it any more. The little "brain bucket" I'm strapping on here was my Aunt Sundown's - I don't actually have a helmet of my own. Hers isn't quite legal in Tennessee either... and it's less than warm. I briefly tried to wear my jacket hood under it but that failed dismally. I had to make the last hour of the trip in the whipping rain with no visor... on the interstate.



Even with all the rain, and my entire body going numb from the cold and wind (except where the icy rain pelted me like buckshot at highway speeds on my hands face & neck - that didn't quite get numb...) it was still an adventure and it still beats the HELL outta even the best day at work. I found myself smiling repeatedly all the way home.

It's great to be alive and riding a motorcycle, even if it is in a torrential freezing downpour on the interstate.

Live free, drive fast, and make your own happiness.
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