04-02-13 I woke up early and was going to take 2-3 days to get back to my Dad’s in GA. I always try to plan a few extra days in any route when I ‘have’ to get to a place by a certain date. This gives me a cushion for site seeing, soreness in my old creaking shoulders, and in case of issues. Quite a few people had suggested that I see Cedar Key so I decided to take the long scenic route to Dad’s. My Rider’s Claw buddy checked on me and said he was headed back to IL. I updated him on my trip to Cedar Key and then to my Dad’s. He’s a cool enough dude and wasn’t in a huge hurry so he decided to check out Cedar Key also. Honestly, it’s very nice to have a dude friend around, because there’s safety in it.
We met there early in the day because it’s only about 2 hours for each of us. I absolutely love riding in nature preserves and love scenery, so we rode through 9 miles of gravel and many more miles in the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. It was a delightfully beautiful day to ride in the Panhandle. Several folks had suggested Tony’s in Cedar Key for Clam Chowder. When I looked it up earlier I saw they have won several awards for their Clam Chowder so I wanted to go there. Funny thing, since it was Tuesday, most of the town’s shops and restaurants were closed. I learned that’s usual for Tuesday/Wednesday. Being on a budget, a salad and clam chowder would have to do. And actually, it was delicious and filling.
We went across the street to a convenience store for a few beers. I stood outside as I had just lit a cigarette. When my friend came outside he said the clerk had asked about his necklace, so I went back in to share information with the girl. I had the Nailmaille jewelry with me and fetched it from my bike. She bought a heart necklace right there on the spot. She was so tickled and told me how she loves interesting handmade things. It was really cool to see the young woman’s smile with her new necklace and she wished me luck on my journey.
I have to say, seeing the stars out in Cedar Key was phenomenal. There were stars everywhere in FL, nothing like IL; however Cedar Key was pitch dark and not a thing in the world blocked the view. My friend told me about a phone app that would show the constellations, stars, and planets. But since he is Android and I am iPhone, I couldn’t find that exact app. Instead I downloaded StarMap 3D+. We scanned the skies, took pictures and compared the features in the app. Both were pretty cool apps but it seems the one I have contains far more features. The only problem is I don’t know much about space so I don’t understand all the features.
04-03-13 Making further progress to get to my Dad’s I chose to drive a little out of the way so I could go through Alabama. I knew there was rain coming but it didn’t look very heavy. Regardless which way I went I was going to get wet. That being the case, I stuck with my plan of going through Alabama. My friend was following along with his truck and bike in the trailer. I was maybe 10 or so miles ahead of him on the route and pulled into the exit we needed and stopped at the closest gas station. Unfortunately, I saw a text that my friend’s truck had died. I flipped back around to see if there was anything I could do. I’m no mechanic by a long shot, but sometimes help is just being a source of calmness and ideas. My friend was pretty ticked off and seemed stressed. Naturally, when you’re almost 1,000 miles from home and your truck strands you, it will be stressful. The truck was towed, my friend unloaded the bike so he had wheels, and he had to stay overnight to figure out what was next.
I certainly could have bid farewell and went along my way but I’m glad I didn’t. We were able to hash out a plan once we learned the truck would be there a week or even more. Between me and one of his retired buddies, we will collect the truck and trailer once it’s done, get it back to his Dad’s and have it picked up and driven back to IL. After all his family has done for me, that’s the least I could do. I’m sure he, his brother-in-law and maybe even his Dad, would do the same for me.
The good part was, while waiting on the dealerships to communicate with each other and find a plan; we got to go to the Florida Caverns. Score for Me!! I love that stuff.
We also spent some time changing the oil in our bikes as they were both in much need of attention. After the dealerships got their acts together, I helped move personal effects from the truck to the trailer. I learned the proper way to strap down my bike in the trailer for when I go back to get it. And then we were off again.
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