Monday, January 16th – Saturday, January 21st
Monday found me happily using my brand new SCOOTER MITTENS to ward off the cold and heading south into Kentucky. I took back roads this time, making a full day of travel before arriving in my destination for the week: Nashville!
The drive south was fun; lots of winding roads. The further south I got, the nicer and more exuberant the service folks were, and the more churches and golf courses I came across. Near the Kentucky/Tennessee border I also saw a number of hand-painted “repent” and similarly themed signs in people’s yards, most of them old and quite faded (the signs and the yards).
I was headed down to stay with Anne Elisabeth and Gray again. They had just hosted me a few weeks back and volunteered to do it again. I know, people are crazy, right? I was delighted to be seeing them and their amazing house again, and spent another wonderful week hanging out, working amidst a swirl of cats, checking out some Nashville doin’s and enjoying being back on the road again.
The scooter was still leaking oil but made it down just fine and on Tuesday I headed out to the wonderfully named Bloodworth Motorcycles for some repairs. These folks treated me well, had all the parts I ordered, and seemed to have a good handle on what needed to be done and why. They sell Piaggio and Vespa scooters but also BMW and other big kid bikes. It’s always interesting seeing those machines up close; most of those motorcycles are huge compared to my scooter. As someone who knows darn well they’re going to drop their motorcycle down in some random places, I have a hard time justifying an even larger machine. Especially since the modern speed limits mean most of the engine’s potential never gets used. Still, I wouldn’t mind replacing engine components less frequently than I seem to be doing, and things like center stands might be engineered to take a bit more weight. I learned that BMW is actually planning on putting out a 350cc bike later this year, and I’ll totally be keeping an eye on that.
Mr. Rogers mug full of coffee? Piles of interesting books? Warm muffin and strawberries? Just breakfast with Anne Elisabeth and Gray. I was still feeling a bit wonky from the combination of tons of zyrtec and not sleeping much, so I shamelessly hung out, wandered the grounds of the farm, and kept my hosts from doing anything useful. Actually Gray was working a ton and Anne Elisabeth managed some quality time trying out a new saw and chopping down approximately two metric tons of invasive bush. But I did nothing but relax and enjoy fabulous hospitality!
The itching all over my skin was fading and I started sleeping all the way through the night, which was a huge relief. My dreams started wandering back to their usual strangeness, I can recall waking up one morning with the remnants of one fading; I’d been explaining something and only remembered my last line, “yes but you can’t deny, death is coming.” Both my hosts are fans of horror movies, so I was starting to fit right in.
Nashville was undergoing an unusual warm streak, I think the highs were in the 70’s for a few days while I was there. One afternoon I hiked out and into the wood as the sun slowly set, following some of the paths my host had shown me in my previous visit.
One of the big debates I’d been having was whether to resume my usual slow pace across the country or find a destination and camp out there for a while. Due to how long and weird my current medical issues were, I decided to blast over to Tucson and spend some time there consulting with various medical types. I am hoping to visit Christy in China in a month and a half and was starting to worry that I wouldn’t have a good handle on things unless I planned a few weeks in one spot. Tucson had been on my short list of places to check out, so I figured that seemed a good target. I couldn’t make it there in one weekend, so I planned to drive the Natchez Trace down to Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday and then head West into Texas and see how far I could get on Sunday. Then either try to drive nights, or wait until the next weekend and head to Tucson.
Once again I’d had a marvelous time at The House of Furry Love. I was eager to be back on the road yet it also seemed foolish to leave behind such wonderful folks. Find beautiful people and locations and then leave them. The nomadic life is a silly sort of thing.