First I heard the sirens, wayyyy behind me, approaching. Since I was slowing from about 80, they were not coming up on me--public servants don't "do" 80...at least on the job.
A few cars and a moving van were stopped...then I saw it with my eyes, a motorcycle sort of crumpled up. All by itself, the bent front wheel still circling itself. Maybe caused by the breeze out here on the Interstate. It is Tuesday. I've been out a week from Naples. Nearby the bike is a body, . Apparently a young man lost control of his two wheeler machine, got into sand on the side of the road, and wound up--as it turned out--quite dead.
I sat in the roadway and recalled feeling as if in a trance--near the lifeless, as crumpled up as his bike. As I looked around, I noticed the little unevennesses in the rocky asphalt, those slight street-indentations. In these places were little spoonsfull of blood, like miniature puddles of unevaporated red rain. The sirens were getting closer now, and I sat contemplating a tire valve stem cap, some old cig butts, gravel-sand and a string of marching ants carrying whatever. I moved as the officials took over. They discovered I had nothing useful to offer them.
Peeps were trying to revive the obviously dead corpse, and while walking at the pace of a land turtle back to my own scooter, I realized something. This is the second time today, that I have received a message from outside myself. I stopped in a Starbucks at Exit #123 (Is it the real number?) to write this while it is fresh.
Two hours I spent at the home of my granddaughter, her mother, her husband and my one-year-old great grandson. L had prepared a lovely dinner. I had let them know only 24 hours earlier that I'd be coming through their city. It had been one year since we'd seen one another.
In near darkness I continued my ride (won't do that again--ride at night). Before long the big trucks had regaled themselves in thousands of beautiful Christmas-tree-like running lights. Every speeding 18-wheeler appeared as a rolling circus to these tired old eyes. Real darkness set in...and the cold, the biting cold had my hands shaking as I held the handle bars. The Christmas trees began to slow a little at a time. In truth I thought maybe a police roadblock ahead might be the reason. After many miles it seeped through my thick skull that we had been climbing a mountain. All the while, the scene from earlier that very morning kept flashing through my head
Just before midnight I succumbed to nature. Tired, sleepy, and fffreezing cccold, I checked into the settlement's inexpensive (only) motel, built on a hill high above the village's only gasoline station. Morning arrived and it was clear (and cold--grin!) that I had spent the night at the top of a mountain, in "Fancy Gap", Virginia.
While packing the scooter to move on, I met an old Alkie-type guy. he was sweeping, emptying trash, and installing new TVs in room units. We talked. He looked just like the old Alkie guy who had checked me in at midnight. He was. And he IS! (Ya never know!)
He suggested I take the Interstates wherever I was headed. But I chose a US highway #58 East. So happy. The sounds, the smells, the views, the "visions" all made this my BEST travel day. Earlier that morning I had been phone-counseled by a Peep friend who several years ago rode a scooter 22,000 miles--by herself--for world PEACE. Thank you Alix!
I was a bit scared for a while, riding so close to the edge of (the world?) with very little--if any--railing-guard protection. The answer is "Focus, focus, focus"...but NOT on the scenery.
Again, the awesome sights, precious sounds and fresh smells which adorn the many crowns of nature as I ride my Suzuki 650 Burgman through the mountains are indescribable. Delicious! Tantalizing! Tempting!
Maybe I'll just write a 55-word-Friday for tomorrow night/Friday. A "short one". Does anyone believe THAT?--grin!
Writing this--with its inherent memories, made me reflective and tired, so good night...