Food, Heat and GPS blues

July 9, 2010


Davis Lake Mississippi

6:30 Davis lake. It’s already hot. I tear up camp. Pack the bike, ride to the showers, for once I am hoping for a cold shower, but no the water’s hot… but it’s wet and I was filthy so it’s good.

I check the oil, check the tires, lube the chain. My baby is ready to go. I hit the Trace. The Natchez trace. I haven’t had dinner last night so I am hungry. Got the GPS set on some cafe in Tupelo Mississippi. Birth place of Elvis.

Follow the GPS. I get there. It’s not there.
I punch the second cafe on the GPS. Drive about 14 miles, get there, it’s not there.
Punch the third cafe on the GPS, drive back another 14 miles, get there, it’s there!
Oh My God. Do you have any idea how hungry I am by now?

I walk in, they got coffee. They ain’t got no food!!!!!! not before noon!!!!!!

OK, stay cool (ha! Ha! Ha! It’s f#$% 100 degrees outside, yeah baby stay cool!) Ahem, is there any place around here that serves food. “Oh yeah, go down Broadway, it’s just a block away. They got great breakfast”

I walk down drooling, I get there, It’s not there. Only banks… Man, it’s hot. I’m starting to feel somewhat demented, faint and really hungry. I ask a guy on the street, he says : “see the bank? Yes? Just in front there is a food place.” Thanks I say. I walk up, get there, there is nothing but banks and a guy with a power washer. I ask him : Is there a place where they make food around here? I was told there is something right here…

“You want breakfast!? Well my favorite place is up the road, it’s really, really good, my favorite! You pass the railroad tracks and you go a few blocks and you turn in this gas station and it’s right in there…

|Do I have to drive there? I ask “Yes but….” he replies..
“Noooo! I need some food now!” (as you can see I am losing it) The poor kid was really disappointed…

I walk up across the street to the Elvis Festival Office Headquarters. I walk in. Woooosh A/C wow… I ask : “Excuse me, (trying to stay cool) ahem.. this has nothing to do with Elvis but, is there some food around here, I mean restaurants… I’m starving…

“Well, up the street, you go past the railroad track and there’s a gas station…” I see she’s going to the same place the kid goes…

“I was told there was something right around here…” I say trying to steer the minds away from food in gas stations.

the other employee chimed in : “oh but they’re not open until ten, if you want to wait…”

Nooooo! I’m a, I’m a going to faint… I need food now.. I haven’t had dinner last night.. . (I’ve just about lost it)

“We can get you something, do we have something here? She asked the other employee…

“No, no, I’ll, I’ll be OK, so Just up the street? 4 blocks, gas station? All right I’ll go there, thanks a lot”

“It’s really, really good” she said “ I had my breakfast there this morning” she says.

Well that should be proof enough…

Now, how is it that you are in a country where obesity is the largest (hm, no pun intended) problem affecting the population and I keep finding myself unable to buy a meal?

I walk to the bike, I stow away the jacket, the gloves, keep the helmet ’cause it’s the law and ride on down to Chucky V at the gas station. I walk in, look around… it takes a minute, it’s a convenience store… then I see it. Big whooping buffet bucket of scrambled eggs, extra large biscuits, greasy choice of battered chicken wings, very large slice of overcooked bacon and more local specialties I cannot identify in a glass and stainless steel apparatus to serve large amount of people. (note that I did NOT write “amount of large people”)

There is a menu hanging above and I still have some hopes that my eggs will be cooked by someone just for me.. (what an elitist I am…)

I’ll have the Two Eggs Breakfast Deal please. She gets a large scooper thingy and plunges it in the yellow mass of puffed material. Swirp, swirp. (the ) with toast… and ham (I WAS hungry)

Anything else with that? No thanks. That will be $2.95 ‘maam. Well at least it won’t make a dent in my budget.

Wow… I go sit down. The A/C is blasting, my pale toasts will be getting cold and the butter won’t melt…

“Hey, is that a 1980… 84?” 1100 or 750 ?

“It’s an 83, the GS 750 ES” I answer.

Oh I used to own the Suzuki dealership. My favorite by I ever had was the CB 750… (wasn’t that a Honda?) We talk bikes for a while, then he said : enjoy this ride, there may be a time when you can’t do it anymore…. yes, sir. I am, I do. And he leaves. He’s right. Got to cherish every moment, because it could all be gone in a flash.

I head back out on the Natchez Trace.

Welcome to Alabama!
Sweet home Alabama… (Lynyrd Skynyrd song plays in my head) Well strangely enough the scenery changed immediately. There is this thing about state lines… Things change. Literally. Right in front of you the trees change. The sky, the land, the rocks… A total mystery to me.

Now, I have told you about RPMs and going really fast and I never got seen, caught or got a ticket.

So I’m going down the road, remember my speedo is broken so I “don’t know” how fast I’m going… I’m passing every car in sight enjoying massive acceleration every time I do so but I do slow back down around 5000 RPMs in fifth gear, that should be slow enough…

The terrain is rolling… up and down. The next crest I get up that is where I see the cop car. They got someone. Another hill, a dip, a hill a curve, Ahhh finally some sort of curve, oh that feels good. My tires are square by now with all the straight roads. Another hill….

A cop.

I let go the throttle.

I coast feebly by.

I look in the mirror, blue lights, he U-turns.


I stop.

I turn off the engine, take off my helmet, my ear plugs, my gloves, pull my jacket off. It is gloriously hot (around 12 PM)

How’s it going? He says.

Hot! I say.

Yeah, not that hot where you are from hmm?

You got that right! I answer.

So, you in a hurry? Going somewhere?

No, not really.

You were going 74 MPH in a 50 zone.

Oh I was eh…

Well normally I should give you a citation…

Yeah, how does this work? I ask

Well, I should write you a ticket. My heart sank.

Well, you being from Canada and all… we’d have to mail this to you, but one error, you know, and this gets lost.. gets nowhere…

Oh. I say.

So… well, you were going too fast. There is deer ’round here, at that speed, deer and motor bike… Slow it down a little.

Yes sir, thanks. I say. “I appreciate it”

And he walked away. I put on the ear plugs back the helmet, the jacket, the gloves, started the bike and got in gear. Slowly.

Sweet home Alabama. So I tried to stay on the Trace at 50 MPH and that was just too slow. I turned into Florence Alabama. I was getting hungry…

Food… I decide to just continue on this road, something will show up right?

I finally see this huge grocery store Food World! Deli, Groceries, Pharmacy! Grand Opening!

Cool! I park. I walk in. Swoosh! A/C. Ahhhhh

I walk all over the place, in my mind I have this image of big deli sandwiches but.. Nothing! Just meat and cakes…

I walk up to the customer service desk : I need gas and a meal… Ahem, where is town?

“Oh, up the street there is Burger King and …”
“No, I mean, like a, a meal…”
“Oh up this way, there is … she names a bunch of chains of restaurants.
“Thank you so much”
“No problem Maam”.

I get back to the bike. It’s so hot. I mean, SO hot. I get these twinges of faintness and feel slightly off kilter. The freaking GPS is dead. I get an idea. Lets try hooking up the solar power charger and see if it will run… it does..

I punch in the GPS. I get there. There is nothing there. NOTHING. AGAIN. I say out loud : “ Are you f#@$ kidding me???” Take a deep hot breath.

Once more : Punch in the GPS: So and so’s cafe. I get there. It’s there!!! I walk in, look at the menu and the guy says : “Oh sorry, we stopped serving food at 2 PM. It’s 2:15. I walk out.

Slightly off kilter.. Food, heat, thirst… There is one of those fancy chains of restaurants. I don’t like these places always too much money too much dressing and cheese and it’s never that great. But I got the job done and was back on the road.

Welcome to Tennessee.

Wow, again, the scenery changes, maybe I am in a video game…

The first thing I notice was horse manure on the side of the highway. “maybe they have cowboys around here” But down the road it’s not cowboys I saw. It was a black buggy with the man and a hat and the lady in the blue dress. … how are they called already… Amish.

There they are, selling sweet corn on the side of the highway. Horses, carriages, and women in hats and blue dresses… horses parked by the convenience store.. a little further they have tourist attractions… Amish stuff… I almost stop. But no. I got to get to Nashville…

Amish horse

In Nashville I am supposed to meet people I know. In Paytonville I stop and call her asking for the address. I punch it in the GPS, I’ll get there no problem I tell her. It’s 6:30 PM. Been out since 6:30 AM but I am in Nashville! I see a truck with “Red Neck” on the windshield and the southern Flag on the dashboard. We have arrived.

I head out to Annie’s house. This should be easy. Follow the GPS.

To be Continued….


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