06-04-13 After I left Meg from Asheville North Carolina, I made my way to Independence, VA to visit the fine folks at Fox Creek Leather. I’ve had my Fox Creek leathers for about three years now and I would not consider riding without them. I love to take cool pictures wearing my leathers and tagging them on Facebook. They appreciate it and hey, it’s giving back to the folks that support me. They have been great followers of The BROAD journey and I just had to meet them.
It was a cool sunny day as I made my way through the mountains of North Carolina into the southwestern most corner of Virginia. The ride was rather short and very scenic. Just before arriving I phoned Rachel to let her know that I would be there soon after I had made camp. At that time she asked me if I had already reserved and paid, and I said no. She indicated that Paul (the owner of FCL) had empty apartments that I could certainly use at no cost to me. I thought that was a most excellent and generous offer. So I made my way straight to the shop and checked in. It was rather late in their workday so we chatted for a bit and I got to meet all the folks that were there. At that point I went and made myself comfortable in the apartment that had been offered to me.
After I had settled in, I cruised into town to have a look around and get some groceries. I always like checking out my new surroundings so I know the lay of the land for whatever need may arise. Independence is a small little town with a bit of history, but this day I was in little mood for exploring. It was late and I was hungry; I returned to my room to make dinner and get some work done. I took out my laptop and began to do a little work on the hospital style bed that was in the room. It was really a cool luxury to raise my head and feet and work as I looked out the window at the setting sun. However, the property there has a lovely pond with a spring that feeds into it and a beautiful wooded area behind. The sound of the crickets and frogs seemed to be calling me out. I donned my sandals and carted my laptop to a swinging bench that sits along the pond’s edge. The air was crisp, the place was serene and peaceful, and my work was far more enjoyable sitting there in ‘my own little world’.
06-05-13 I woke the next morning and walked over to Fox Creek Leather to get a tour and see how they bring us such fine leather goods. We all decided to videotape the tour. I thought it would be fun for me and Paul thought it would be cool for business. We took nearly 2 hours doing a tour with plenty of bloopers and outtakes. I am certain that I grew a few more wrinkles in my face that day, as you could not erase the smile from it. I got the opportunity to watch the folks upstairs create chaps, vests, belt purses and so forth. Charles took me out back where the genuine Buffalo Nickel snaps are made. He handed me the torch and circle by circle, moment by moment, I welded the nickel to my snap.
The day before I had spoken with Melinda whom rides a Honda Rebel 450. We had decided that we would take a ride around noon time. However, the tour took a little bit longer than expected, everybody was hungry, and so we opted to barbecue hamburgers and hotdogs at the shop. Everybody did their part in the barbecue process, and I got to flip the burgers and dogs. Rachel’s little boy made sure that I knew not to bubble and burn his dog. I do believe that I am now the official hotdog queen, with much success for making one little boy very happy.
Following lunch Melinda and I geared up and she toured me around the area. Our first stop was her property so that I could check out her baby colt that was only two weeks old. Back on the bikes, through the twists and turns, we made our way to the Highlands. The mountains and the low hanging cloud cover were beautiful. Melinda tossed that Rebel into the curves with ease and agility as if it were cruising on autopilot. You don’t always need sunshine to appreciate the splendor of the world. We got about halfway up the mountain and the clouds were so thick that we were getting quite wet; even though it was not yet raining. We could see no more than 20 feet ahead and the gloom hung like a vision from a Stephen King movie. We pulled off the road and chatted a bit before deciding it was time to go back to town.
06-06-13 I was able to sleep late and it was a much needed rest. I have never slept very soundly and the excitement of my best friend’s visit, added to the travel and fun of my tour at FCL had really taken a toll on me. I had previously made contact with another gypsy biker that has lived on his bike for 19 years. We had messaged regarding my interest to pick his brain about living on the road. On this day, he was free and able to speak. We talked for two hours and I found that the time flew so quickly and I wasn’t ready to hang up. We shared road stories, though mine are far less exciting thus far and he gave me a great deal of intel for truly living life on the road (not in people’s homes or camp grounds, but truly on the road – or dare I say, ‘off the road’). I wanted to know more tips, I wanted to learn how to find a great hiding spot, I wanted more; I simply wanted more…
I had to end the call as a very special treat was in store for me. Paul’s girlfriend Eddy came to my apartment to give me an acupuncture treatment. Paul had seen me rubbing my own shoulder the day prior and our conversations led to the aches I get when I ride hard. Eddy’s therapy was intriguing and I did feel some relief, but in my life I would not be there any longer for her to continue maintenance. I have to say that the therapy itself was not what I enjoyed most. Eddy has a spirit that is calm, loving, accepting, and open. Our conversations about spirituality (not religion) brought me to a place of relaxation that does not often happen for me on the road. Given that my personality is rather eclectic, I don’t always find nurturing for each aspect of my soul. Sitting with Eddy and speaking openly about goals, life challenges, and the search for inner peace was therapy I had craved. Her spirit drew out of me a calm that sometimes gets lost in the hustle and excitement. Her face was soft and lovely, her voice was soothing and without judgment, and her ideals were in-tune with what I needed in my life at that moment. Sometimes in life, things just make their way to you for some unknown reason when you need it the most. After our session, I laid my head upon my pillow, I smiled at the blessings I cannot take for granted, and I napped; something I never do. I slept well, woke refreshed, and decided to remain in my zone with no work, no Facebook, and no contact with the outside world. I pulled up a movie and let me relaxation continue to flow. I chose a movie based solely on its wee description and title (and the fact it was nearly 3 hours long, as I wanted to remain in my zone until I lay my head to rest again). As if some divine spirit was wafting about my room all day, this movie Machine Gun Preacher rekindled a self-realization that no matter the life one may have lived, one always can chose to live a different life; Sam Childers and I are definitely proof of that.
My movie was done, yet I was not tired at the moment. Naps will do that to you. I wrote a blog post and surfed my Facebook for a while. Messages back and forth with my new gypsy friend Scotty continued. I knew that he too was sitting still at his home (his tent in the woods). We were both hanging tight in our locations due to the rains and floods in the area; he in NE Virginia and I in SW Virginia. I am rarely shy and this man and his life on his bike intrigued me. I inquired if he’d be interested in meeting on his way to his friend in Asheville. He was non-committal at the time and the night was turning to morning.
I rarely leave a chapter in the journey this abruptly, but I think you may find that life-altering stories need their own page…
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