Meeting Stormy, between Roswell and Abilene

June 29, 2010

Leaving Roswell,


I had company in my room last night. I came out of the bath and saw this roach madly running for it’s life as I was screaming….

Yes you can be going 120 MPH down an unknown road with the aplomb of a Special Ops Marine but the sight of a roach sends you yelping like a helpless damsel.

Today (Monday) was housekeeping : Laundry, some food, oil for the bike, going to the bank where I was very happy to see that my debit card still worked.

I took some time to gather images for you Alien fans…

Aliens, aliens

Be there...

can you spot the alien taking the picture?

From Roswell gradually changes from the typical New Mexican scenery to a flatter and duller series of fields. Oil derricks start to appear in those fields and with them a sulfurous stench. In between there is also the amazing smell of fields, a blend of sage-like and grass infused air envelops me. Ying and Yang.

I ride on. Not much to see. My bike is getting loud. Damn pipes… I bought these pipes last year and they were not great to start with and it sounds like the baffle is going again.

I go on like this, in and out of these desolate small towns. I suddenly saw the DQ sign and the picture of a vanilla dipped cone materialized in my mind. I pulled over. There was one other bike there. I walked in and the seats had carved steer heads in them and the booths had the lone star flag embedded in them. I am in Texas.

“Hey are you traveling alone?” That was the other biker. We started to chat. His name was Stormy, native indian from Michigan on a solo trip like me. We laugh the energy is great. “Which way ‘you going?”
“East” I say.
“Want to ride along”
“Sure” I say

Stormy and his ride

We get going. The target was Abilene. We ride, it’s always a bit strange for me to ride along another. I have a method to my rides, which is something like start slow, find the groove, Let the leather marry to the bike, accelerate, get comfy then zone. With someone else you got to find their tempo, rhythm, 3\4 or 4\4? You have to learn their driving quirks like how they ride curves : attack or blend in? So in other words, the zoning is less deep as you have to pay attention and work in harmony, a music of sorts.

the roads are again longs stretches of deserted land. At one point I am feeling so good, I laugh a laugh no one can hear and I accelerate, passing Stormy and enticing him into a faster pace. I zoom by. Soon after that a cop car appears on the horizon towards us. I must be close to 90 at that point, Stormy is a ways behind me… OH SHIT. I look in the mirror and I see the brake lights on the cop car and it disappears behind the next roll of the road… Shit, shit, shit…

I can just see him turning around in a hurry and speeding to catch us up. We both slow down. I am thinking that if the cop shows up I’ll take the blame… I instigated that speed…

We see headlights approaching and there is no way to know if it is just a car or the cop… shit, shit, shit. We keep it cool both with a stiffer than necessary spine. The car was staying at a distance shadowing us, too far for me to see if it is civilian or not. I am certain at this point that he’s just waiting for us to do something, anything. Finally the headlights get really close and … pass us… it’s a minivan doing 90…!

In the next town we pull in the equivalent of a 7\11 with pumps and discuss : I thought it was the cop! Me too! Ha! Ha! Ha! We’re both covered in splattered bugs, my faceshield is a gross war zone of dead bloody bugs. The bikes are filthy. : what do we do? Hotel? Abilene? Bar &hotel? I said :”well, I can’t see much out of my shield as it is tinted so I am a bit leery to keep goin on in the dark.” That is where I acquired (only for a few hours) this new look:

My new look, goggles and scull cap, Ahem...

Stormy ask a local about a bar and the guy said : “we’re a dry town. There is not bars in this town. You’re in the Bible belt”.


We laugh more. Yeah, a lynching could be on the program! Stormy is an Indian on a Harley and me, the French harlot on the crotch rocket coming to disturb the order in town. Could be trouble.

Teenagers are being rebellious plowing full speed, windows down into a large puddle of red water splashing it violently all over, near the pumps over and over again hollering and being crazy. They yell out : “We’re professionals” They did not say what kind of pros..

We’re talking when this fellow in a BIG pick up truck (trucks are big with the crowds here and they are as BIG as trucks can be) With a drawl : “You folks are lookin’ for a bar? There is one down the road, the Veterans Hall, you go down to the next town, Hamlin, when you see the wooden cabins you turn left and you go down the dirt road, its’ at the end there, Looks lika house but you just go on in.“

“dirt road?” says Stormy. I can just imagine… the two road bikes..

We decide to go check it out. The idea of a small town drinking hole in a dry town has some appeal.
We laugh and go.

We turn down the dirt road in the dark, I am just laughing, it’s pitch dark. We roll by a house and a dog just goes nuts barking at us, running along the fence. Red dust lifts in our trail, I am halfway thinking the cops will show up to see who is making this ruckus. When we finally find the place it’s closed.

“At least we can say we tried!” I say laughing.

We go back to the lone motel in town and get a room. The Motel keeper, an East Indian, has two cold beers, we gladly take them and go wind down for the day. The Hamlin motel. The walls are green, a happy sort of incongruent green, the bath tub looks like a pinto horse with a white and a green patching of a finish. There is AC, water, a bed. What more can one need?

downtown Hamlin

Stormy became a marine at 18 did 5 years of service, was shipped out to see the end of Desert Storm. He is an artist, lives in Michigan, teaches art on the reserve and his now on what he calls a “Walkabout” like me.

I like the word Walkabout.

We pull into Abilene Stormy heads East. I will head South towards Austin. Before he leaves he helps me with fixing the baffle on my exhaust. “Gotta help a fellow biker” he says. Hugs and he’s gone.

For a moment there I feel incredibly lonely. I am the worst at goodbyes. In this strange place. It’s hot, humid, I ‘m not sure where to start. I set the GPS on Starbucks and here I am. In the A\C fied air of the cafe, writing.

I thank the great spirit for the meeting, the laughs, the fun and the beauty of another soul.


2 Responses to “Meeting Stormy, between Roswell and Abilene”

  1. Josee Says:

    Cool! Just love how you go with the flow, totally putting yourself out there and being in the moment, every moment 🙂
    Really miss you!! Going to NY today, will be gone until July 14th, I’ll be checking my e-mail and your posts though 🙂 Dave, my parents & Charlie all say hi and think you are the coolest, I am telling them your story as I read along, it’s so neat!
    Be safe, have fun!

  2. Josee Says:

    Have you ever thought of writing a book?????

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