This morning I just knew it was going to dump on me as all the weather forecasts said so. When I looked out the window at El Nino it had been raining during the night and the sky was still overcast. Luckily it had stopped for a bit so I hurried to get things packed and ready. I wore Big Red with just jeans and a T-shirt underneath as it was humid and getting hotter by the minute. I figured today might be the day I’d see some lightening storms along my route or at least some intense rain showers.
My general destination was the same as yesterday’s, head south to Kentucky to see my old Navy buddy Woody and his wife Linda. I’d known them for 50 years now and although we’d kept in touch we hadn’t seen one another since the late 60’s. I wonder if Woody still has hair?
The GPS put me back on the Interstate 70 slab heading southwest and after an hour or so of that I did my usual and bailed. I landed on 33 which I would follow all the way to Ashland, KY. I stopped for lunch at a Burger King and while there I got to talk to one of the local Harley riders about the weather. He confirmed they were expecting severe thunder and lightning storms over the next couple of days which I wasn’t looking forward to and hoped maybe I could out run them. Meanwhile it had grown too hot to continue wearing Big Red so I changed into the lighter leather jacket. That helped but it was still plenty warm and getting more so by the minute.
As I continued my ride through southern Ohio I couldn’t help notice how the appearances of the homes and properties along the way began to diminish. After spending time in rural Maine and Pennsylvania the differences were pretty dramatic; no more big well manicured lawns, the houses tended to look run down and there was a lot more junk lying around them. Once I got into Kentucky things changed and it was obvious folks were doing better.
I was taking my time as I wasn’t expected at Dick and Linda’s place until tomorrow so it was a leisurely ride for me. The weather had done the unexpected and no rain had occurred since morning despite the ominous looking black thunderheads hanging over me all day. Arriving in Ashland, KY the temperature had risen to the point I no longer wanted to wear even the lighter leather jacket so I stopped and changed into one of Fast Company’s Draggin Shirts that’s made out of Kevlar. It’s a very loose weave material that lets plenty of air flow through and still provides lots of protection against road rash in case you take an unscheduled dismount.
The afternoon was wearing along so when I arrived in Paintsville, KY and I decided I’d had enough for one day and checked into the Days Inn motel. Right across the street the Mandarin House restaurant was offering its buffet special dinner so after settling in I headed over and ate up my weight in some of the best Chinese grub I’ve had for a long time. By the looks of their other guests I’d say the word was out about their food, everyone there was going at it full steam ahead.
All told it’s been a nice day but it would be a lot better if the damn ice machine was working! Such is life.