Monday, August 18, 2008

Road trip on the Road King

A friend whom I went to High School with, had been like a brother. We even worked weekends together at a bakery. After Graduation, we kept in touch. I got a job, bought a house and moved to Ohio, East of Columbus. He got a job, bought a house and moved to Ohio, East of Cleveland. We stayed close. Most weekends, when possible, he would drive to my house or I to his. Our houses are 3 1/2 hours drive time apart. At his house, we would spend the weekend fishing on the lake or working on something he had that needed fixed. At my house we would spend time at the race track or working on something I had that needed fixed.
Then we were seperately shot by cupids arrow, and both acquired wives. We found it better to spend more time with them than with each other. They had much more to offer. We kept in touch through the telephone and maybe two or three times a year one or the other with their female partner would make the trip to visit the other. On his end, his new wife came with two tweenage girls and a small boy. (She came with baggage.) He was alright with this and right away added another boy to the mix. One of his own. (Total of 4 noisemaking kids, now that's unbelieveable). My new wife and I had discussed children and chose not to go that route. Some say we are selfish, and maybe so, but that was our choice. (Quieter around the house that way).
The phone calls and visits came less often as time passed, and over the last couple years any call either way were messages to "call me", as the other was not at home. We hadn't even talked for over two years. I have been wanting to see how he is doing but we just couldn't connect.
Finally, last Saturday night after leaving a message for him to "call me". He called Sunday morning and I answered. It sure was good to get to talk to him again.
I have been looking for somewhere to go on my new bike, a road trip somewhere. I asked him if he would be doing anything the following weekend. He said that he works most weekends but was off next week. I told him I would like to come up and visit if he had a place to lay my head. He said that I could occupy a spot on his couch anytime.
Saturday morning I left my house at 9 am. It was 49 degrees so I was in long pants, gloves and a coat. The sun was shining brightly. I didn't get cold but I was not too warm either. I wanted to get to his place quickly so I decided to go the direct route even if it required some time on the interstate. State roads for 1 1/2 hours, then 4 and 6 lane interstate (I-71 and I 271) for 1 1/2 hours, and 1/2 hour through town and back roads to his place. I arrived at 12:30. We both grew up in WVa. and now live in Ohio, but we are still hillbillies. He even still dresses the part.
We spent the day and evening catching up on old times in his garage until after midnight. We did take a short trip (10 min.) to the lake to get some pictures. And just like old times, we spent some time working on an old car he has and we fixed a chainsaw as well. His wife suggested we cut down the old pine tree in his front yard that she has wanted gone for a long time. It is in the power lines and as she was suggesting we cut it down he was behind her shaking his head no, with a grin. It is still standing.
His wife's two girls are grown now. One has a two year old child and now lives with him. I don't know about the other. His two boys are still at home. One is 17 and drives so he was gone most of the day. The only boy that is truly his, was there (now 15) and is a mirror image of him and acts just like him as well.
Sunday morning, we got up and he fixed a couple eggs, toast, and bacon. He said he is the one who usually cooks up breakfast on the weekends.
After breakfast, we talked for a while and I decided it was time to head back Southwest.
I headed for a fuel station about 11:00 am. It was warmer on Sunday and I didn't need my coat or gloves. I filled up for $16.39 and bought an Ohio road map and a iced tea for the trip. I decided that without anywhere to be quickly, I would ride the back roads home. I consulted the map and headed directly South instead of West on I-90. It took me just over 4 hours (only 15 minutes longer) to get home but the ride was much more pleasant. Also I got to see more of the heartland of Ohio. Ohio is truly farm country, the corn and bean fields are standing tall this time of year. I headed South going east of Akron/Canton and then headed West in Dover traveling through Amish country. I pulled in my driveway at 15:45. Even riding the back roads and taking it easy all the way home, it was good to get out of the saddle after nearly 4 hours. And it was nice to be home, and see my wife. I miss her when I'm gone.
The whole trip, since I stayed on his couch, with buying fuel, a map (I should have brought one with me) and a drink, only cost me $35.00.
Now all I have to do is think about where to go on my next road trip. Maybe I will take my wife next time.

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