That little Clampett went to Nashville
The other little Clampett went dual sporting
This little Clampett rode home because...
My son, had taken up bad habits
like sanding and building his own pinewood derby car...
My dog, would just laze around waiting for my motorcycle to come home...
And my wife, well, she threatened me with physical harm if I put that picture up here. So, in the interest of marital uh, bliss, I'll continue.
I left Nashvegas bright and early on Monday, Day 9 of Clampettpalooza. Traffic sucked from about a block and a half from Shannie-Mae's crib.
I finally get moving enough to take a drink from my camelback safely only to discover that a) the bite valve is MIA and b) my camelback is now empty...
So, I motor on a bit knowing that it's only 8AM and any reasonable sporting goods store is not going to be open until about 10 so I begin to estimate where I'll be and look for shopping along the way where I can get a new bite valve.
I found one in Atlanta... But, how I found it is but another part of the story!
Sooooooooooo, I motor on, making some stops to check on hotels and things for future events...
Anywho, during day 8 I had torn one of the foam grip covers and was wanting to get a replacement. Being near BMW Atlanta, I punched in the waypoint and sallied forth. I knew I was cutting it close on gas but thought I remembered a gas station either near the dealer or near the Cobb Energy Center.
So, off the exit, up the hill toward the dealership and GASSSSSSSSSSSSSPPP...
Out of gas. Motherfather........! Now what? Pushing the bike into a shopping center I slide out my anonymous book, figuring I'll just call the dealer and nice and simple I'm hooked up. Oh shite! It's Monday, and they're closed. MOTHERFATHER!!!!!!!!!!!
Garmin tells me there is a gas station just about a half mile from where I am. Sooo, I lock up my gear, start to walking and hey! Lookie there, a Sports Authority. I know they'll have a bite valve, I may as well get it while I'm there.
In I go, bite valve in hand I ask the check out girl where the nearest gas is and she tells me about a mile! Out comes the AAA card whilst I peruse the aisles...
Finally gassed up again just 35 minutes later, I hit the highway flying and proceed right on through downtown ATL, down the slab and finally get into the autopilot mode the last 100 miles or so.
It's about 100 degrees and about that humid too. I'm probably pouring a pint of water on me for everyone 2 that I drink but I press on into Jacksonville.
Somewhere on this board I read of someone stopping a couple miles from home just to think about the trip before I went on to the house, so, I thought I'd try it.
I stopped about a mile from the house and took off my helmet for a couple moments.
I thought about the ride up to Shannon's 9 days ago and how jealous I was that they were drinking while I was sweating in the rain on the ride up
I thought about being all snuggiliciously warm in back seat of the truck while ShannieMae and Jed worked through KC, KS and then the evil fog.
I thought of that first moment it was bright enough at daybreak to see the snow capped peaks as we drove into CO
I thought of how painfully blue the sky was at Gunnison Gorge, and how much fun the million dollar highway was.
I thought of how wickedly fun it was using speed limit signs as a suggestion chasing Dennis and Laney.
I thought about the look on Shannon's face at the top of Moki Dugway
I thought about how close I became to two very special friends on this amazing trip and how thankful I was to be included in someone else's vacation.
And then, I thought of what was waiting for me at home. It was time for me to be back and reassume the duties of dad and husband and then the next day, employee.
For 9 days, each wake up was a brand new adventure. I was glad to be home, and welcomed the pangs of homesickness for the road.
So, to the Clampetts, I offer up this toast my contemporary peers (
To the rest of you, thanks for coming along. You've inspired me to keep telling this tale and as a result, I have been reliving it for almost 4 weeks now.
I can't wait to see what's next...