My weird night of sectional sleep was no match for my biological clock. You would think that a guy with just a few hours of sleep could at least make it to the crack of 9:30 once in a while. For whatever reason I woke at 7:30am, when my body really could have used a few more hours. As I was leaving the lobby the night before after being defeated by the internet, I asked the front desk attendant if she could give me a wake up call at 8 am. She agreed and wrote it down. My cell phone is as dead as a door nail right now, so using it for an alarm is out of the question. It turned out to be a good thing that I woke when I did. The front desk clerk forgot to call my room. I found this out after I got out of the shower and packed a few things up. It was 8:05 when I headed to the lobby for breakfast and another shot at posting the last three days. This time I was bringing my groggy game face. WordPress had better watch out. I rushed through breakfast so that I could secure the only seat at the hotels community computer. No food or drinks were allowed in the computer room. Two hours later, in finger cramp city, I completed that damn post. Relief washed over me as I hit the publish button. With that nightmare out of the way, it was time to get rolling. I had states to cross and time zones to change.
Interstate 85 north was on the menu for the whole day and I had a craving for tarmac stew. I’d start in Alabama and plan to make it to North Carolina before day’s end. I decorated the Goose with a few Mardi Gras beads and left at 11 am on the dot. Driving along 85 north in Alabama is pretty uninteresting, although the scenery at times reminded me of home. One thing that stuck out, literally, were these foot-high dirt mounds everywhere. I rode and rode and these things dotting the landscape like freckles. Finally I had to pull off of the road and see what sort of creature was building them. I had three guesses after seeing enough of them to know they weren’t cow patties. My first guess was ants, second guess was termites and my, distant, third guess was some sort of rodent. When I kicked the top off of one of them, an explosion of ants was revealed. I watched to see how they would react. Amazingly, they instantly went for the eggs and took them deeper inside the mound. Within seconds the eggs were out of sight. I was shocked by how quick they reacted to saving the baby ants. It’s like they had a plan B for when the day came that a giant would come and kick the top off of their mound. They moved with such precision that I could imagine a leader ant on a micro bull horn shouting out orders. Ok, so I have been on the road a long time 🙂 My six-legged exploration soon ended and north I went, still on 85. Everything was dandy as I passed right through Atlanta. I expected it to be a headache, but the traffic was at a minimum. The headache came about fifteen minutes later when I noticed that my right footpeg was getting awfully slippery. I thought that I got something on the bottom of my boot, so I dragged it along the pavement as I rode. When I put it back on the peg, I still felt the slickness. At that moment I looked down to discover oil everywhere. SHITE! “Oh boy. What the hell is wrong with the Goose?” I thought. I immediately pulled that sucker over to the shoulder and cut it off. A quick inspection revealed a missing oil fill cap. That was the first relief. I knew exactly why it was missing. Sometimes when it gets really cold I put my foot on that part of the engine until my toes warm up. The last time my foot was up there was the night when I was crossing the mountain pass in west Texas near Van Horn. I must have knocked it loose and it finally vibrated out. Instead of panic, I decided to see what the roadside could provide me to plug it. Everyone knows that there is enough metal and plastic tidbits of trash laying along our interstates. I thought that if I walk a while one way and then the other there would be a good chance of finding something useful. Folks who know me real well back home know that I’m better than McGyver at “fixing” things. This was another chance to prove it. I collected a plastic bottle and a rubber plug. Back at the Goose, I tried the rubber plug first. The thing fit perfectly and that was the second relief. After verifying through my sight glass that enough oil was still in my bike, I headed for the nearest fuel station to replace what amount was lost. About 3/4 of a quart leaked out. I refilled it and continued on. At that point North Carolina was still feasible.
From there I just kept going until the South Carolina sign welcomed me. At the welcoming station, I stretched out the stompers and took some time to appreciate some things I haven’t seen in a while, like a sycamore tree and a dandelion. The terrain is starting to resemble home and I’m feeling good inside. Before I left in October, South Carolina used to feel so far away, now it feels like practically the same area as home. The vastness of the western states is now gone and has been replaced by the rolling green hills and tree-lined interstates of the east coast. Speaking of the east coast, I’m back to my original time zone now. Crossing into Georgia from Alabama is the eastern time zone line. In South Carolina I called it a day about twenty miles south of the North Carolina, in Spartansburg, when I noticed a Motel 6 advertising rooms for $29.99. That was enough to pull me off of the interstate. That’s cheaper than popping a tent up almost anywhere in California. Somethings wrong with that picture. Anyway, I’m settled in for the night and looking forward to what tomorrow has in store.