ďIn the good old summertimeĒ...
Iíve been thinking about going on a trip this summer. Not sure where or when, but I realized Iím finally in a position to do anything I want to do thatís legal, go anywhere I want to go to do it, and I can come back (or not) anytime I want to come back. Iím completely single. Iím retired. Iím financially stable and able. And I am getting so sick of going places around here and coming home every night to an empty house that has no one in it but my cat Pussy who bitches at me every time I walk through the door. I need a break! Something different!
Now I just gotta figure out WHERE I want to go. Iíve never been out of the country except for Niagara Falls - Canadian side. Maybe Iíll go someplace Iíve never even thought of going to before, someplace foreign.
Hmmm, letís see... perhaps Germany!
I can fly there and rent a bike to cruise around on if I like. But then again, I dunno... I heard a few messed up things about Germany.
Like ya know those buxom Bavarian serving wenches ya see carrying trays of foaming beer steins in movies? Well, they might show great cleavage and be able to do the ďPolkaĒ (if thatís your ďthingĒ), but Iíve had a few Army buddies stationed in Germany back in the old days and they told me that most German women, including the REAL serving wenches, do not shave anywhere. I mean anywhere! Legs, pits, moustaches... anywhere! Well, that might be okay if your ďthingĒ is hairy women (as a matter of fact Iím old fashioned and I like... well, never mind), but nobody wants hairs in their drinks!
And whatís WITH all that warm beer, bloody half-raw sausages, gas-filled cabbage, and stinky Limburger cheese anyway? It seems that the best things about Germany are that you can drive as fast as you want on the Autobahn, and itís sorta close to Amsterdam where they say all the fun is.
Thatís it! Maybe Iíll go to Amsterdam!
Amsterdam is in the Netherlands, also commonly known as Holland which is really only two provinces of the Netherlands, and itís populated by people called the Dutch (sorta confusing huh?) But the more I read about Amsterdam, the more expensive I find it is for travelers... unless youíre a young-un whoís into hiking, bicycling, and sleeping bags. There, Iíve heard the only things that are easy to get and relatively inexpensive are pot and hookers. No matter how legal it is there to buy pot, Iíd STILL end up getting my ass busted! And though the hookers are regularly inspected by the government, Iíd probably STILL get some kind of incurable foreign disease I couldnít even pronounce! So I guess THATíS off.
I should probably just plan on going somewhere here in the states to where I can ride the scoot if thatís what I decide... an old fashioned road trip! Iíve been through most of the mainland states (some riding and some driving), but never to any part of New England, Oregon, and the state of Washington. But I didnít stay long enough in most of the places Iíve been to really get to know them. And how can you really know any place anyway? Like most of everything else in our lives (including people), ďknowingĒ depends on so many different factors and circumstances. And even then, things change rapidly.
I remember Tennessee was a great place to be when I visited there long ago. The people seemed so laid-back and the land was beautiful. Like everywhere else in the South, there are so many historical things to see and absorb (Iím into the Civil War a bit). But when I was there I didnít have the chance to go to the one place that Iíd kinda like to check out just for shits and giggles because Iím so into the blues...
Iíve done a little bit of research on this, and the correct location of the REAL ďCrossroadsĒ where Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil, is in Clarksville, Tenn. at the crossroads of Tallahassee + 4th St., NOT at the juncture of routes 61 + 49, which is where the locals tell strangers it is because THAT crossroads is trendier and the local businesses can promote tourist crap.
Well, I wanna dance around in the middle of the REAL intersection (hopefully late at night when thereís no traffic) and act like an asshole while I sing and play Eric Claptonís version of the song. That might be nuts, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense as a bucket-list item than climbing a damned mountain or jumping out of a perfectly functional airplane!
Or maybe Iíll return to Texas!
Iíve heard from everybody I know whoís been there that Texas really IS an incredible state. Back in the early 70ís I only rode through the panhandle of it (the northern rectangle that juts into New Mexico and Oklahoma) on my way back from the coast, but the little of it that I DID see was just a teaser for how truly awesome (God, I usually HATE that word) the state is in size and all the different aspects of it. Alaska might be bigger, but much of THAT state is usually nothing but ice! In fact, the only bad thing about Texas is Texans LOL! THEY can be a little full of themselves with their state pride. Many Texans think their state is still a republic!! But I DO remember the best cheeseburger Iíve ever eaten in my entire life was in a greasy spoon in a little Texas town that I canít even remember the name of while I waited for my bikeís front tire to be changed.
Speaking of Alaska, maybe Iíll go there!
My friend Lion Man has ridden his bike to and through every state of the Union (including Alaska just last year) except for Hawaii... and heís gonna try to do that soon. Anyway, he says Alaska is pretty neat to ride in during the summer as long as those big-ass mosquitoes donít pick you AND yer scoot up and carry you away.
By the way, he also says they have a weird law up there where the bike pilot doesnít have to wear a helmet, but the passenger always does (I bet his lady Michelle just loved that!) With my luck, Iíd probably pick up some cute little Eskimo honey in a bar or something and I wouldnít even be able to take her riding nekkid over the frozen tundra Ďcause I didnít pack a brain-bucket! Well I detest skeeters, I hate riding in really cold weather, and I despise weird motorcycle laws, so Iíll just forget all about Alaska.
I told Lion about my wanting to decide on a destination for a trip, and he reminded me how Utah is such a gas to ride in... the roads, the scenery, everything. That made me think back to when I rode through there long ago, and Utah certainly IS a mighty fine lookiní state!
The canyons in Utah are so colorful and everything seems so damned clean! The route I took cut through one particular state park, and when I came to the entrance of it, a young Indian girl who was working the gate just waved me on through for free. It was late in the evening during a full moon, and the road wound around and through various connected canyons. Much of that road was actually cut into the walls of the cliff-faces, and you could look out into those beautifully colorful canyons through ďwindowsĒ cut into the walls while you rode along! It was absolutely incredible in the moonlight!!
I rode on through to Salt Lake City the next day, and the next night (while still in Utah) I pitched my tent next to some kind of pioneer sod cabin within a hundred miles of the Great Salt Lake. I was exhausted! A cop (or ranger of some kind) stopped by and asked what I was doing there so late. After I explained myself, he just bid me, ďHave a good night!Ē and added, ďJust make sure ya clean everything up before ya leave!Ē, then he got into his Jeep and drove away!! Of course that was about fifty years ago when rules werenít so strictly enforced, but authorities usually werenít that nice to grubby and travel-worn, long-haired bikers!!
In fact, I had a similar incident happen to me with the law in Georgia at a roadside rest with way different results, and THAT made me never even want to ever GO back to that state again, unless I was carefully sneaking through it on the way to Florida.
FLORIDA!! Maybe Iíll go there to visit the tropical palms and beaches in the land of sand and sun! No, wait... what was I just thinkiní about? I used to have to go there each summer with my parents when I was a little kid visiting my Granny who lovingly (I think) gave me the name ďBumĒ, and I hated the oppressive heat, all that damned tree-moss, and the bugs! Floridaís mosquitoes might be smaller than Alaskaís are, but theyíre so numerous ya canít get away from them no matter what ya do. I remember once getting bit on my damned eyeball!
Or maybe Iíll go back to California!
Now thatís sorta tropical! At least they have some beaches and palm trees.
I lived there in Berkley for almost a year in the early 1970ís. Unless things have changed dramatically, I can testify to the fact that all Californianís are freakiní insane! All they live for is to make more OF themselves, and FOR themselves. And then there are those damned earthquakes! Itís not uncommon to be walking down a sidewalk anywhere in California and all of a sudden everything just shifts under your feet! Ya look around, and everybody else just keeps on walkiní and talkiní like nothing happened! Well screw that!! Besides, every day in California looks and feels exactly the same as the day before. Iím used to the variations of Ohio weather. And, I love it here! Really I do!
THATíS IT!! Why donít I stay right here in OHIO instead?!! Besides, after all this talk of traveling, Iím getting worn out! Maybe Iíll just remain in good old Ohio where the weather actually changes from day to day, the bugs are manageable, and buxom women toting trays of beer have less hair in their armpits than I do! LOL! I can always just write a column about faraway places instead of actually going there... Oops! I guess I just did!!!!