Four months on the road. At the rate of travel and the jammed packed amount of daily sight seeing I’ve experienced, I honestly can’t imagine another eight months of it. A full year at this pace would feel like ten years worth of life. Perhaps, that’s the key to eternal youth. Stop what you’re doing, take off, experience something new and exciting everyday, and live for every last second of your waking day. I once heard a speech that briefly described why time seems to speed up as we get older. The speaker described a basic rundown of an adults day. Then he took out the meaningful things that an adult would do daily, like spend time with family in the evening after work. He then went on to talk about the other hours of the day, like the ones where you are at work or the ones where you are in traffic. These are the ones that the body and mind have experienced a million times. They are nothing new and you generally learn nothing new, at least daily anyway. These are the auto-pilot hours and unfortunately the ones we spend most of our days trapped in. As children our daily lives are filled with new things and our minds are constantly engaged in what we are doing. This makes our school years seem like they take forever to pass. I’ve been living a life-like I’m back in my school years with a brain that been engaged in navigating, learning, feeling, sensing, and creating new things daily. I especially like the part of my days where I have that chance to be creative. Auto-pilot mode was left behind at the office and each one of my days have felt like three. It has been fantastic.
Day 124 would be another day like that, but way more relaxing. I woke up at Motel 6 in Kerrville TX to a warm, bright blue skied day. Tee-shirt weather in February can’t be beat. The night before I spoke with my buddy Bob and he arranged to pick up John in the morning, at his place near Houston, and meet me at Luckenbach around lunch time. The distance from Kerrville to Luckenbach is roughly 30 miles and after the last few days, a short day on the Goose is wonderful. Roughly two thousand miles in four days is hard on the hind end. Even though the ride over, through Texas’s hill country was short, I somehow managed to make it last an hour. Down here on Texas’s country roads it’s polite to move to the shoulder to let someone pass if you aren’t going the speed limit. I moved over for at least a dozen folks who were making their way to Fredericksburg. By the way, the speed limit on some of Texas’s back roads is 70mph. We don’t have those sort of side road speed limits in ol’ WV. On the ride over I was stopped in my tracks by a huge whitetail deer sculpture mounted to a crushed car. This thing was about 15 feet tall, but looked even taller since the owner placed it on a concrete pedestal. I whipped the Goose over to get a closer look. Who ever built this deer monument must have owned a scrap yard. I noticed everything from chains, wire, engine parts, and sheet metal. Although rusted, this thing was a manly mans masterpiece. My next stop on the way through Fredericksburg to Luckenbach was a parking lot to tighten and lube my chain. It’s getting down to its last miles and that crunchy noise that they make when they’ve had enough prevails if it’s not lubed. While tightening the chain in Fredericksburg, this fella, whom I met earlier in Kerrville, noticed me working on the bike and came over to see if I was broke down . It turns out that I, by chance, parked at his place of business to tighten my chain. I was a bit surprised about the coincidence. Finally, I was off to Luckenbach to wait for the guys to get there.
I know that I’ve written of Luckenbach before, but I’m not sure if I’ve given a rundown of a day there. Well, live acoustic music is played daily, mostly by Jimmy Lee Jones, and it starts around 10 or 11 am and wraps up around 10 pm. Folks come and go all day long, taking pictures, having a beer, and relaxing in its unique atmosphere. I was the first one to park and stay that morning and still had a bit of time to waste, until Bob and John arrived. First on my list was to go swing on the rope swing. I messed around on it the last time there, but didn’t get any pics. Got em now. By then it was approaching lunch time and the little parking lot began to fill up with a few cars and some other lucky guys on motorcycles out enjoying a day of perfect weather. Getting out of my normal mode, I went over to “talk bikes” with these guys. The first two guys were both motorcycle safety instructors and wouldn’t you know it, they showed up wearing the most solid, neon green jackets, that I’ve ever seen. I’m not cracking on them, they were actually really great folks and told me about the first two women to ever break the 1,000,000 mile mark on streetbikes. These ladies were from Texas and one of them put an average of 287 miles on her bike daily for a solid year, at 73 years old. I thought I was hardcore when I rode, pretty much, everyday for 100 days. I guess not. One of the other guys I met while waiting, was this fella who rode through Luckenbach on his Victory motorcycle and came back five minutes later and asked “Is this it?”. The other guys and I laughed and said “Yep. This is it.” Like I’ve said before, Luckenbach is just a couple old shack-like buildings, nothing fancy at all. To me, they are perfect.
While talking to that fella, Bob and John pulled up. We’ve kept in touch so much since first meeting that I as they stepped out of the truck, I felt like I’ve known them my whole life and it was good to see them again. They brought with them a surprise. This surprise came by way of Brittany, my girlfriend in WV. She mailed the unknown contents to Bobs place in Houston and they apparently made it just in time. By then I’ve heard about this surprise for about a week, then tension was mounting as I opened the box. Boy was it a surprise when I pulled back the packing paper to see, two or three each, of my favorite treats. There was beef jerky, chocolate chip cookies, cliff bars, pop tarts, and best of all, Cadbury eggs. I immediate devoured one of those little round pieces of heaven. Thanks Brittany. You know that I won’t let a crumb of it go to waste. The guys wanted to grab some lunch after that. Mexican food was on the mind. We backtracked to Fredericksburg, since Luckenbach only has candy bars and potato chips. The guys liked this one place called Mamacitas Mexican restaurant, and now after having the best quesadilla of my life there, I like it too! With lunch in the past, we headed back to the place where the past never comes in last, Luckenbach. Seventy plus degree temps kept the live music outside all day. (the last time I was there it was freezing and we were all huddled around the wood stoves) Jimmy Lee Jones was playing, his buddy from New Jersey came to play, and about three or four other folks gave their pickin’ fingers a workout that day. The guy from New Jersey was named Norman and at one point he was strumming along when some tourist’s dog spooked a rooster that was right behind him and the rooster jumped up on Normans head while trying to escape the not so dangerous dog. What a time to have your camera off! The whole day was spent relaxing in those unique peaceful surroundings that can only be found at Luckenbach. At nightfall, we all moved inside, the music kept on going until ten and I met a fellow West Virginian native who was playing bass on one of the most rudimentary pieces of music making equipment known to man. It was an old galvanized wash tub, flipped upside down, with a string attached to the center of it. The other end of the string was tied to a stick. Kind of like a bow. He would put the opposite end of the stick on the washtub, pull the stick tight, and strum that one thick cord and he was good at it. He said he had $13 wrapped up in the whole thing. That piece of musical machinery fit Luckenbach to the T. You won’t find any electrical instruments here. I put up a pic of him playing it to help describe the thing. Some of you may have seen one before. Speaking of fitting Luckenbach to the T, I wanted to add a couple of sentences about what else fits it to the T. First off, country folks, so if you are a man and have ever watched an episode of Jersey Shore, don’t come to Luckenbach. Second, good people, so if you are an egotistical butt monkey then don’t come to Luckenbach, it’s not for you. If you’re an old soul trapped in a young body, Luckenbach is your place. If you’re a young soul trapped in an old body, Luckenbach is your place. Most of the folks that attend a day there are twice as old as me and the best people you would ever want to meet.
Our night wrapped up when they shut down, just before 10 pm. The guys and I went back to Fredericksburg to our rooms. Thank you guys for helping me out with a room, food, and showing up to hang out at one of my favorite places on this planet.