I rent a cabin about 15 miles south of Grayson, Kentucky on Grayson Lake. You can't much see the lake from our cabin because when the USA built the lake in the 1960's they also secured the land directly bordering it. This is nice when boating around the lake and being able to see natural surroundings versus homes and docks.
There isn't much....shall we say, commercialized world in eastern Kentucky so to 'go out' one must travel a bit. My good friend, John "Givi" Gevedon, needed to pick up his 07' Ultra Classic from the shop in Lexington (hmmm....a Harley Davidson in the shop....I jest: he was simply having his 20,000 mile service done) so that was all the prompting I needed to jump on the highway.
John lives a few counties south of me in Beattyville, Ky. and our pal, Ray, drove John's truck so John could drive his 2-wheeled Cadillac Classic back. My BMW R1150RT has been called a Cadillac by many a fellow rider compared to their Harley's but by sheer comfort qualifying alone I think his Ultra Classic is more deserving of the Caddy call.
John and I have made the Lexington run several times and really enjoy each other's riding style (he also has a BMW RT) and conversations. These things culminate nicely for us at Malone's and more specifically Harry's outdoor bar of Malone's Restaurant on the east side of Lexington. Malone's offers three different menus to choose from, a good beer selection (Bud Lite is fer Suckas'!), attentive staff, smoking (if one must...and I tend to, heehee), and a good looking bunch of folks to look at or make fun of. Really, being outside, yet roofed, seems to be one of our favorite components.
I am usually a 1-up rider (solo) but this evening my other half, Danette, thought she would explore our happy big city stomping grounds. She has ridden with me several times but this 110, one-way, mile trip would be her longest. My only reservation about going 2-up this night was how chilly it may get. I really only have one (Nolan, modular) helmet (which I usually only wear for warmth or in rain (I know: bad boy) )which when she rides she wears. But I packed my trusty Hein Gericke riding jacket in one of my side cases and my good ole Wilson Leather jacket in the other for the ride home. 'Course I had gloves, balaclava and heated hand grips, too.
The weather riding there was atypical for October 15th. We had a few clouds and a lot of sun. It was close to being too warm but, actually, it was just right. We left our cabin about 3 p.m. and spent the next hour and half listening to AC/DC, Beck, Cake, the wind and big trucks. The sky was beautiful and the traffic on I 64 west was sparse (for an interstate). I was concerned about Danette's comfort about half way there and asked her if she was ready for a break. She assured me she was just fine so in 6th gear we stayed.
We pulled into the Harley dealership parking lot and not 5 minutes later John pulled up with cool Ray layed back in the passenger seat poised for...well, anything I guess. He needed to get some specs for his 54 year old eyes and so he and Danette went to the eye shop to procure them. John and I went down to the service department, got his bill doubled for being smart-asses (didn't really double his bill - but we were smart-asses), and then took the 40 second ride to Malone's.
We were the 2nd and 3rd patrons at the bar. John and I have not known each other more than maybe 7 er 8 months but we are the kind of friends that don't require decades of experience to know, like, trust, or 'get' each other. We just do. I have 3 real brothers and I am very lucky to have a few friends that feel like brothers, too. John is one of them. We talk on the phone several times a week but we only get in person maybe once a month. So it was nice to have some time to talk before the bar filled or the other two got back. Not that we fixed the national debt or cured cancer or anything, but we did get to blast our ideas around without anyone else commenting on how full of crap we were lol.
By the time we were 4 again it was time for some grub and the bar was just about packed. We ate, laughed, talked, laughed, drank, laughed and just had a great time. Ray took out a small round can at one point and put some brown substance between his thumb and index finger and snorted it up; then, encouraged me to do the same. STOP, it was some God-awful, berry flavored snuff! We are all too 'seasoned' shall I say for anything else more nefarious. I made a bet with him that he couldn't get anyone else in the bar to try it.....hmmm, not sure who won that bet. But that stuff was HIDEOUS! But funny.
John has a small tendency to follow my lead. Bear in mind he is 8 years my senior. For instance: I bought a boat at summer's start, he had to buy a boat; I have 2 BMW shirts, he has 6,000 Harley shirts; I wear/ride with a Kangol cap, so he had to get a Harley cap. Damn kids. So as he was flaunting his new cap at the bar it landed on Danette's head. It looked much better on her except for that gaudy Harley Davidson logo emblazoned on it! What is the deal with Harley folks' insecurities that EVERY piece of attire they own MUST have Harley Davidson sewn in somewhere??!! Note: the reason he had to get a new hat was because when he was scooting me around Grayson Lake in his new boat he proceeded to stand up at about 30 m.p.h. and the wind and lake promptly gobbled up his precious H/D baseball hat. Bwaaahaaaaahaaaa....oh, lol; almost as funny as Morgan floppin' off his motorcycle last month.
So it's time to ride home and just to show what a mean guy John is, he picked up our extensive tab at the bar. Four people, food, and drinks and his credit card absorbed it all - wouldn't even let me tip. Bastard! (Of course, I again jest. It was more icing on an already sweet night.) Ray was busy talking to strangers - one of his more famous pastimes - so I gave him a firm hand and a pat on the shoulder and we three headed for the bikes.
We geared up, put Danette on the Ultra with John until we split paths 15 er 20 miles down the road (wanted her to get a bit spoiled w/ his backrest, Caddyness bike), and were off. John and I usually take off with good speed when we leave Malone's but he was on good behavior cause he had a passenger (and cause he was on his slower bike! not really.).
The night ride home was not near as cold as I had feared. More than that, the big mooned sky was exquisite! It seemed a challenge to watch the road with a sky that beautiful. Deep blue/black night with lightly scattered hints of clouds accentuated by the glow of the moon...jeesh, was Van Gogh or Dali painting that night? Reality dictated that, indeed, I needed to pay real attention to the road because of what I call "the critter factor". Mostly deer but about any four legger can do you wrong when you're doing 80 down the highway at night on a bike. We saw a dozen deer er so off of I 64 and Danette said she saw countless other red eyes in her periphery.
It was on our last 10 miles from Grayson to the cabin that we saw a two good-sized does on the road. I started just a week er so ago honking randomly at night on some of the smaller 2-lanes in hopes of scaring off critters. I don't know if it really helps but the does definitely seemed to scamper off quicker as we came upon them.
Funny...when I ride I find myself looking up a lot and thanking God. I smile. I thank God for allowing me to experience the magic of riding, great skies, family, friends, and separation of me from the animal kingdom. In fact, I thank God for everything.
Thanks for reading.