Posted by: twistsoffeet | May 30, 2011

Motorcycles and Shooting Ranges


I spent last night at Trinity Episcopal Church in Winchester, TN.  I was safe and comfortable and had access to water and a bathroom.  Those are always nice thing to have. I had ridden down the mountain and checked all the parks but it is a holiday weekend and all were full.  But it doesn’t matter because I couldn’t afford to pay for a campground, anyway.

As I was riding past this church, a man mowing the lawn asked where I was going so I told him, “I am going down to Yasgur’s Farm, gonna join in a rock and roll band, gonna camp out on the land, I’m gonna get my soul free.”

Wait… that is the lyrics from Joni Mitchell’s, ‘Woodstock.’  I must be confused.

I told him about my trip and he got permission for me to stay. Yes, I know this is redundant because I already told you in last night’s post. What I did not say before, probably because I was unaware, is that apparently there is a motorcycle rally somewhere near here this weekend.

That probably doesn’t matter because in the south, there is always NASCAR, and NASCAR wannabe drivers, as well as motorcycles, truck, and tractor pulls… and many other well thought out ways to keep a person from sleeping.

I guess it adds to the charm of the place.

Anyway, motorcycles revving their engines until past midnight kept me from the well deserved sleep I thought and hoped I would get.

I rose early about 6:00 AM, and packed quickly and started on my merry way.  My muscles ached, my arthritis was screaming at me, saying exercising and moving your joints is good to a point, but give us a break.  I tried not to listen.

I was westbound on Hwy 64 heading for Fayetteville.  It is a fairly level road with mostly gently rolling hills, but gently rolling hills is always a arguable point.  For some it may be “gently rolling,” and others, such as myself, this morning in particular, it was torture.

I have pushed it too hard. I know I only rode 20 miles yesterday to end up 8 miles from my starting point, but they were a hard 20 miles following several days of hard riding in bad weather.

Anyway, I rode along up and down, up and down, only resting about every three miles. Finally, I reached a long hill that was not to steep and I was able to coast.  Someone told me that the bottom of this hill was Fayetteville, TN.  Just goes to show you can not always trust what people tell you. I still had four miles of up and down.

Finally arriving at a Phillips 66 Station and convenience store, I spoke to Jimmy, who owns the place, and his father and brother.  He used to live in Colorado amongst other places, and misses Colorado.  He sells bottled water, but allowed me to fill my bottles from his tap.  He directed me to a park close to downtown Fayetteville, which is where I am now.

I could say it is slow and quiet, because only a couple of small groups of people have shared the place with me today. But it is not quiet.  There is the Hwy 64 on one side and Hwy 64 Buisness Loop on the other.  And then there is the shooting range somewhere very close, where they have been shooting it up all day.

Actually I really like shooting sports and at times have been called somewhat of a gun nut, although I prefer the term “gun enthusiast.”  I was jealous that they were shooting and I was unable to join in.  That just means I now have a right to complain about the noise.

There were big guns with big noises and little guns with mousey noises, and the occasional really big gun with really big noise.  My only hope is that it stops soon so I can sleep.  But then, I will still have the motorcycles and other traffic singing me a lullaby that is guaranteed not to put me to sleep.

Tomorrow, I am heading west.  I do not know where west, just that I am going west and will head north before I reach Memphis.  I have been checking on some alternatives to Wisconsin for crossing the big river and may cross in northern Missouri.  That will put me on a dead on path straight north to reach Waterloo, IA and then I’ll search out some memories from my childhood.  Or maybe a stop with some relatives, where I hope to be able to really rest for one or two days.

I am hoping that tomorrow will be fairly flat riding, but I really am not certain. What I am certain of is that I need to slam down a couple more protein and waxy maize shakes.  I need to seriously carbo-load and sleep and not forget my electrolytes tomorrow like I did today.

Today I also hit a wall of a different sort.  Today it was a wall of loneliness.  I think it is because it is a holiday weekend and I would really like to be throwing back a couple of IPAs or Stouts, or just about any cold frosty beverage made of malted grains and brought to me by a sweet young woman with a smile on her face every fifteen minutes rather than sitting by myself in this hot humid park all by myself.  Even frosty cold water would help, but I drink my water at whatever temperature it happens to be which is a gentle way of saying hot and not really refreshing.

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