Monday, January 31, 2011

It Was an Ordinary January Morning

One wakes up either feeling refreshed or as if one has been kicked in the head all night.  Which category you fall into depends on if you are sleeping alone in your king sized feather bed with angels fanning perfumed breezes over you.  Or if you are sharing that double bed you have had for 15 years with your significant other spooning your back and snoring directly into your ear.  A snore so rancorous that you could feel your brain jiggling within your skull.  And the only thing you could think that would ever end this droning chainsaw was to clamp his nose shut and twist it off.

I think I woke up in that second category.  Since Mr. Oilburner was still breathing I will assume that I hadn't hurt him terribly.  But my 2.5 hours on the sofa left me a little groggy.

We were late getting up due to the night time shenanigans.  Which meant I was going to have to rush to finish the homemade cinnamon rolls.  We were able to share one before darting to the bath to shower and don our riding gear.  But one whiff of the 49F degree, clean air made up for it all.  Bring a full breath into the lungs and wish that it were Spring and perpetually smelling of that crispness with a hint of warmth.

I debated about zipping into the Gerbings.  I actually had it on and zipped...squiggling around in my armored jacket before shrugging it all off and daring to go without.  I stuffed the heated gear into a saddle bad in case 20 miles to the meeting point proved that I needed it.

We had a pretty good idea of the intersection we were meeting Fearless.  But not exactly where at that intersection.  So we crawled through, looking 720 degrees around us to no avail.  We couldn't see him.  We pulled into a parking lot and I pulled my phone out.  I remembered that I hadn't turned by Bluetooth on, about 3 miles down the road.  Oh well.  But I now see that I have three missed calls and a voicemail or two.  It isn't like Fearless to be late.  And listening to the voicemail made my heart sink...


Our only questions, did we want to wait for him to catch up with us, or should we go a couple miles back down the road and meet him.  We opted to go find him, and this is the sight that greeted our eyes.

Don't fret!  Despite his bad-ass biker looks and his dirty 'Wing, he wasn't being hauled off.  Someone apparently had decided not to pull their head out of their tush and watch where they are actually driving and rear-ended Fearless.  No major damage, bike never went down, all's well.  The cops were there to keep the peace.  But what an illustrious start to our journey!

And where was our journey taking us?


Anyone watch My Cousin Vinny recently?  :)

We had been to Monticello and seen the courthouse before.  And we had tried to reach the Sac-O-Suds on two or three occasions.  But today we finally made it!  So it was only fitting that our day started out with Police, going to a location noted for a [movie] murder, and ended with a cop-filled checkpoint.


The Sac-O-Suds isn't quite in Hollywood shape anymore.  It is vacant, run down, vandalized, sliding from its foundation and for sale.  Well, I guess some Hollywood movie or another wouldn't mind using it in some explosives scene...but not today!


The trailer next door, cannot quite been seen through those trees, with leaves, and bushes.  But we didn't have to worry about dirty windows and crusty screens.  We weren't going to attempt to look inside.  This was one desolate little intersection where nothing was going on.  It was now just some down and out buildings, forgotten on some highway.  Only kept alive by those wanting to relive movie locations.

Fearless tempting the Guillotine


My curiosity allowed me to stick my camera toting arm into that, but nothing more.


Beyond the interior coming down, this building won't be long for the world as it ss slipping off its foundation in multiple directions.

After a few minutes re-enacting some of the most memorable scenes from the movie, dead on balls accurate and biological clock ticking, we headed towards Monticello for some sustenance.


The food is very good.  Made to order.  But the service is exceptionally slow.  Go there only if you plan on spending a good hour or more.  Still highly recommended.

We stopped for our obligatory courthouse shots.  You might recognize this from the movie as well.


Oh yeah.  Did I mention that I never did need that heated gear??  Forecasts pulled a mid-60's number out of their magic hat today.  But we basked in the perfection of this 74F degree weather with very low humidity.  I wasn't able to catch the 70+, but this proves it was a perfect day:

Read that 69.8F and weep!
AAAAHHHH!!!  It was gorgeous!

We started meandering home and found some forgotten byways that even we hadn't been on before.  We were the only thing moving on these sun coated lanes, riding next to fields of hay, sparkling lakes, forest plots, split rail fences and the occasional horseback rider.

Until we take a curve and discover 5 patrol cars strewn along the edge of the road.  On this forgotten little road, that probably saw 5 cars in an hour, 5 state patrol cars lolled on the verve, officers standing around and soaking up the perfect weather.  Perfect location for a checkpoint that wouldn't have them working too hard.  :)  I can dig that.  Our licenses in order, no interest to keep us around interrupting their tranquility, they booted us down the road.  (Darn it!  Didn't think to take a picture until a mile down the road.)

Anyone interested in renting the Bank of Jersey?

I sincerely hope some of you were able to experience some wonderful weather on a late January day.  Our rain is moving in, and the temperatures are dropping again.  I'm just so thankful for this great day seeded in between!

Oh yeah, more pictures on Flickr.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It Went Like This

The conversation went a little something like this over the last couple of days.

Him:  Which truck do you want to drive to work on Friday.

Me: I don't care.  Which truck do you want to work on?

Him: I don't know.  Which one do you feel like driving?

Me: I don't really care.  Which one do you feel like working on?

Him: [questioning]  So you're going to make me decide.

Me: [exasperated]  It all depends on what on what you want to do...

And that was the gist of it for a couple days.  Friday dawns bright and late due to a middle night snore and kick fest.  So when the same line of questioning came up again this morning while I was getting ready for work, I had had enough. I quietly put on my riding gear, staging my own little revolt.  If he couldn't decide what work he wanted to do I wasn't gonna make him decide.

It was a GREAT ride.  I expected morning traffic and my usual stoplight mania.  No traffic and mostly green lights made it an absolute joy.  I guess I have been switching cars enough lately that I have fooled the stoplights.  They aren't recognizing me.  I know that will change soon, but I will enjoy it while it lasts.

My little bike is in the upper left corner...  The ride home was trouble free as well.  Tomorrow is predicted to be in the 60's.  YeeHaw!!!

Hope your weekend turns into something wonderful!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

[Not So] Warm Springs

...trite and cliche.  I know.  But still a little cute.

Guess what?? 


The snow is gone.  The roads are relatively clear.  Some cities were a little sand happy, but that probably wouldn't be the case with the direction we were traveling.  It was going to be smaller cities and farming communities where you still see 1970's Chevy pickups in driveways of mobile or cinder block homes.  Not exactly the Lexus and Mercedes communities with three quarter million dollar homes.  No.  The cities in our direction of travel don't warrant sand.

The day started like any other.  The temperature showed a balmy 29F (-1.7C).  But we should be hitting the tropical high of 46F (7.8C)!  Oh what a glorious day! 

The breakfast time of 9 AM and kickstands up time of 10 was ignored by all in the messages.  Everyone saw 10 and basically came at 10.  So we ate breakfast while the ride organizer/leader arrived promptly at 10:02.  :) 

One of the group realized he needed to put 10 lbs of air in each tire.  But he detests paying for air.  (I don't know about your area of the world, but air at gas stations is no longer free over here.)  He was going to bite the bullet until Mr. Oilburner pulled out his little air pump and all became right with the world.  Cold, but right.


In all, this started our day off about 45 minutes late.  Say it with usual.  LOL.  :)

No matter.  I don't think anyone cared.  Some of us were suffering from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) and just needed to ride and others were testing their cold weather survival gear as they hadn't ridden in the winter before.  (They were woefully lacking...)

Saddled up and ready to take off I had to verify the morning temp.  Yep.  It was still cold.

That sucker displays 32.9F (0.5C)

Now we are off for our adventure.  Which actually starts quite suddenly with some unexpected turns and immediately getting lost.  I am chuckling because the organizer was fairly stern in his warning that he was sticking to the route and everybody better have it programed in or printed out and learned.  Yet his little iPhone mapping/route wundermap (pronounce vundermap) was not following his admonishments.  Meanwhile, he is getting frustrated and trying to reroute while riding.  He's chucking it in and slows down to ask me if I would like to lead.  See, I had given him this route.  It was nearly identical to the route we three had taken last year to Warm Springs.  Only this time we would be riding it backwards.  The route, not the bikes!  Like a dutiful little anal retentive mapping person that I am, I had not plotted this route into the GPS.  He was going to have to do this on his own.  And he actually had us turned around and headed in the proper direction in short order.  But it is fun to tease him about it.

We're making good time down the road and our first break is about 60 miles out.  Someone in our group of 8 needed to use the restroom.

What is the old quote about women and always needing to pee?  She never passed a lilac bush without having to stop and pee?  I don't know, something I read in a Stephen King book one time or another.  Unfortunately, in some cases it is true.  Fortunately, not with me.  I have a bladder like a steel trap!  So I found it particularly funny that I am the only girl in this group of 8, and all 7 guys had to go to the bathroom.  Score one for the women of the world.  All the years we put up with humiliating exams.  Men over 50 it's your turn.

Those of us watching the bikes and personal property began to wonder where the others disappeared to after 5 minutes of minutes of waiting from them to return from the bathroom. I was told on questionable authority later that not all were using the facilities.  Some were purchasing hot coffee to warm their frozen fingers after their gloves proved deficient.  It might have been more productive if they had just dipped their frozen digits into the scalding coffee.  After all, holding the cups merely warms the palms; areas that aren't as cold as the outside of the hands!  Other gentlemen were making new best friends of the hot air dryer in the bathrooms.  Either way...they were still cold.


One pet peeve that I have been encountering more frequently lately is people leaving their bike at the pump and walking away!  Walk away to either go to the bathroom, get something to drink, chat, you name it.  And it is never for just a minute.  Stopping for gas in a group generally means 10 to 20 minutes of hanging out.  It just seems so inconsiderate to other people that need the pumps and to the gas station owner to deny access to other customers.  Does anyone else experience this?  So our little group was blocking access to 4 (out of 6) pumps while they were taking care of Wendy's next door since the gas station facilities were out of order.


OK.  Female superiority intact, we head out again.  Only another hour till our arrival at Warm Springs.  First order of business?  Food!  Believe it or not, it had been four hours since breakfast!

Our motley crew

We headed directly for the BBQ shack.  They have limited seating in their establishment and we would not have left room for upcoming customers.  Or so we told ourselves.  They couldn't possibly have been profiling us as some die hard biker gang come to destroy their place.  Could they??  So we were shepherded into the adjoining steak house that wasn't opening until 5.  They allowed us to spread out on the HEATED, enclosed patio. 


Alan snuggled up to the heater, making a second new best friend of the day.


Grilled chicken with good flavor.  The BBQ improved it.  Slow baked bean side...yum.  Hey
it wasn't like we were in an enclosed car if I had any problems...

Mr. Oilburner's rib plate.  The Brunswick Stew was really good!
Tummies full and fingers relatively thawed we hit the rest of town.  Still being winter there wasn't much open at all.

Narnia nearby?
Warm Springs is becoming a little hotbed of bikers in the summer months.  And they are learning to cater to their our singleminded obsession with all things of two wheels.  The motorcyce museum has overflowed its interior space and has displayed their wares along any space available in the walking avenues.  Here are a couple examples that I stumbled across.

Lil Sturgis my foot!

Yamaha Midnight Spirit 1100

Honda 175

Honda CL70.  This looked so cute!

Triumph Bonneville.  Beautiful!

Couldn't find the model on thsi one.  ;-)
We have realized that the warmest portion of the day is upon us.  And it will only become colder from here.  The road home isn't long, but will be at highway speeds and higher wind chill. The group stays together for a long ways, but slowly new friends begin to peeling off and wave their goodbyes.  Some make them quick waves to keep their frozen digits out of the arctic slipstream we are creating.  But we maintain our contact with the leader since we have organized a post ride meeting at Sheridans with another friend.  Sheridans...Frozen Custard.  Are we stupid or are we complete geniuses?


That little temp gauge is reading 39.2F (4C) when we stop for frozen custard.

Our fourth party is sitting in traffic, still another 30 minutes away.  The breeze is a little stiff and we don't want to wait.  We check our options and think of the Thai place a couple miles down the road.  Dinner thoughts are lingering and we all agree that is better suited to our needs; a nice warm place with hot food!  This place is our favorite Thai restaurant, all organic and the owners are the nicest people.

Crispy Duck for Mr. Oilburner.  I manage to steal a few pieces.

Penang Curry for me.  Before

Dinner is great.  Company is festive.  Those of us on bikes manage to regain a little of our warmth.  We are reluctant to gear back up, but the sooner done the sooner we are home.  Luckily we are only 6 miles away.  Poor Alex has about 30 miles to traverse.  But he has a better hot tub waiting at home that I do.

Last temperature shot revealed a whopping 31.1F (-0.5C) at home. 


237 miles, wonderful but cold
I managed to see 44F (6.7C) on the we headed for home.  It was short lived.
The new Gerbing's jacket worked like a charm
Men can get lost in the bathroom just like women
Can still get a good ride in cold weather with some friends
More images at Warm Springs on Flickr
Roger, get one of these so you don't have to take it down the block in ATGATT to air up.  Slime Top Off.  Has some high reviews on ADV and sells for about $13 USD.

Hope everyone else has some great stories to share!  Our weather is taking a bit of a downturn this week.  Hopefully the weekend will look up.  :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 3 - Atlanska

I thought it might be easier, and more entertaining, to give an update to everyone's comments.  :)  So you can see how unaccustomed Atlanta is to receiving snow.

RichardM said... Very pretty. I didn't think Atlanta ever got more than a dusting of snow. I think I would head for the mountains as it's supposed to snow up there. Maybe the drivers would be a bit more sane. Maybe dig a snow cave...

The cycle is generally about every seven years Atlanta will get hit with a good snow or ice storm.  We have been lucky to have two years in a row.  Though Feb 2010 came in with a freakish 4 inches and beautiful blue skies that next day had melted it all by 2 pm.

This time the temperatures dropped even more after the storm passed.  So nothing is melting!

Remember, this is Atlanta...  I wouldn't expect much more of the drivers in the mountains either.  :)  I do like the snow cave idea...

Circle Blue said... Love the title of the post :)

You may have more snow than we do, but we're working on catching up. It's been snowing since mid-afternoon. The forecast was for 4 to 6 inches, but I don't think we will get that much, more like 2 to 4in.

Have you caught up yet?  I know the storm headed NE...but I don't think it would have hit you.  I wish we could figure out a way to ship all this up to you.  ;)  Atlanta just is not equipped to deal with this.  It has handled this type of situation better, but it has also handled it worse.  So I'm not complaining too much this time around.

bobskoot said... I was going to gloat . . . but now we have a snow warning for a bit tonight and more for Tuesday night. Right now it is clear, cold and the roads are frosty.

It must be the global warming thing again

HA! Sharing in the joy of winter.  You need the bad so you can appreciate the GOOD!!  At least that is what I keep telling myself with these damn roads.  I do hope you are faring better.

SonjaM said...Is it normal for Atlanta to get that much snow? I thought the weather over there would be a bit milder. Well, it looks pretty, though. A good reason to watch 'Long way...' Hang in there!

Not normal on a yearly basis.  But definitely not unexpected every seventh year or so. Our winters usually are milder.  A couple weeks of freezing temps.  Maybe a dusting of snow every once in awhile, that doesn't stick.  It does look pretty, but the freezing rain that came in right after the snow has created this hard crust on everything and makes it impossible to walk on or play with.  Not a properly made snowball can be had.  :)

'Long Way...' was such a mistake.  Wanderlust...


Raftnn said...Bummer about the weather hopefully it will improve soon for you.....i do genuinely feel for you guys over there.

Thanks Roger.  Just keep your pictures and ride reports coming to give us Northern Hemisphere folks a taste of the summer that we long for.  I've read that Queensland is suffering from severe flooding and think of the rains you encountered during your holidays.  I hope your summer continues on easily.

Jonesy said... No fair! Hundreds of miles North of you and we get a lousy inch? Wife did get a snow day though. :)

Take it!  Please, please take it!  LOL.  I'm glad that your wife did get a snow day out of it.  Some companies here managed 2 and 3.  :)

Trobairitz said... Stuck inside and watching Long Way Round and Long Way Down with hubby.... I can't think of a better way to spend a snow day. Good choice.

Hope your snow melts soon so you can get out and ride. Do they use a lot of gravel out there? That is all they seem to use on the frosty roads here. 

The "Long Way" series were enjoyable...but just made the desire to travel that much worse...  Arrgh!!  Stuck indoors!!  Monday was bad.  Tuesday was worse with the freezing rain and night time temps making the snow stick to the asphalt.  Wednesday was worse because what little roadway melt did occur just froze into sold sheets of ice across the road.  Temps dipping down to 13F at night is not helping our roadways.

They are using gravel on the roads here.  However, the interstates are getting most, if not all, of the attention.  The rarity of this much snow, and the economic situation, has caused cutbacks.  The interstates are getting the most attention, and they only had one lane cleared for two days of work.  Primary roads in my area still only have tire ruts in one lane.  Forget about the secondary and tertiary roads.  Ice.  Ice.  Ice.  They deigned to spread some gravel on some of the worst hills and curves.  But not nearly enough of them.


bluekat said... Snow sure makes everything look so pretty, but I still say it belongs in the mountains. :)

You are correct.  It was pretty.  Now it is just hard, cold, icy and in the way!  :)

irondad said... What? No hot chocolate? We just got hooked on peppermint hot chocolate from Trader Joe's. What a mistake.

Interesting lighting on a couple of the photos. Very intriguing.

OOhhh!!  Peppermint Hot Chocolate!!  Keep it as a winter time vice and don't feel guilty!  Such a small little sin.  :)  Glad you like the photos.  So hard to catch the snow falling.  Either sudden flash or unintelligible streaks...


Rob R Robinson said... Atlanta in snow and ice - like one big bumper car rink! I'm glad you opted for staying off the roads, definitely safer. Are you still enjoying time off or getting cabin fever already? From what I have heard, the cold temps have stuck around.The snow must have been coming down fast and furious to get those first couple of photos and have 2 inches of snow in an hour.Stay warm and safe.

That is exactly right!!  We just didn't see much progress in clearing the roads in three days of work!  On the flip side, people mostly heeded the warnings and did stay off the road.  It helped when most companies declared snow day on Monday.  We dearly wanted to go into the mountains.  Unfortunately Oilburner continued to sleep in until 10.  I didn't think we had the time to get to the mountains and back in safety, going 25 mph.  It would have taken 3 hours one way!  Yes, the colder temps actually came the day after the snows.  So we are getting evening temps down to 13F.  Wreaking havoc on the roads.  Be glad your area handles snow better.  Doesn't it?  ;)

David T. Macknet said...Gah! We just got rid of (most of) ours. Hope you've got snow-cleats!

I'm glad your area is clearing up.  Three weeks is much too much.  Luckily ours won't stick around that long.  But the city isn't moving too fast until about 10 or later.  People are trying to let the roads warm up a bit.  But they are beginning to get reckless now as they are antsy.  No snow-cleats.  But they definitely would have been helpful.  Parking lots are sheets of ice...with water underneath.  But the ice doesn't break!!  Just slippery all the way around.

I managed to escape work yesterday because the roads were horrendous and people were spinning tires getting out of our neighborhood.  I tried going to work today, despite all of the ice across the roads.  But I did make Mr. Oilburner drive me in.  No way was I going to be responsible for this mess!  LOL.  He called me about 3 hours after dropping me off to tell me that he hadn't been able to get home yet.  People were spun out on the roads in all of the dips in the roadway that were still covered in ice.  He was wondering if I was willing to go home early since he wasn't going to want to venture out again.  No Problem!!

Thank you all for writing in and giving motorbike longing support.  I hope you are all enjoying better weather and doing well!  I've posted a few more photos of my morning commute on Flickr.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I don't think I will be getting on the motorbike for a couple of days.  Although, the thought stirs something deep inside of wonderful images I have seen of other peoples bikes in the snow.  However, I have neither chains for the bike, training wheels, a side car or a death wish.  :)

Snow 9:40PM
Snow beginning to fall at 9:40 pm

Snow 10:30PM
Cold day meant the ground was ready for it to stick

Snow 10:30PM
About an hour later we already have about 2 inches

Snow 9:30AM
Day dawned with about 5 inches
Alas, the snowing has stopped.  But the freezing rain is expected to continue.  Luckily we don't seem to be hit with the freezing rain.  And since the temps never rose above 30F today my back walkway still looks exactly like that!

Work is closed, so we have been sitting around watching Long Way Round and Long Way Down to fulfill our wanderlust.  We seriously debated taking the truck into the mountains...but opted to stay warm and dry in the living room.

Hope everyone else is having a great day!