I get up and dress for the day: black tank with red RIDE and sequins, jeans, eagle earrings and boots. One boot is good. One boot is bad: cracked and crunchy. The Biker is revamping the saddle bags so I wash dishes while the water is hot. The Biker Mama is still the mama that washes the dishes.
We gear up and scoot out the back way to Route 12. Head north. Glory day. Blue sky. White cotton clouds. Sun. Trees in full summer dress. Here a bike. There a bike. A sidecar. A trike. Welcome Home Staff Srgt Aiken. A red sidecar. Hot sun. Zip the zipper down. A red full dresser. Hit the highway hammer down. Zip the zipper up.
Quick helmet stop. Cross the United States Navy Seabees Bridge. Old Glory waving here, there and everywhere. Curtis's World Famous BBQ Ribs - the 9th Wonder of the World. Forty two years and counting. Wood fire ribs, corn, loaded potato, yams, root beer and cream soda. The good life.
Up the road. Landmark College: "a welcoming and supportive college community where faculty and students alike understand the challenges of learning differently." Small, rural campus. Shade trees and picnic tables. The Biker has a day job: covering the world with concrete. We walk the Colonnade. He shows me his work. Ramps and rails. Steps replaced. Sidewalk patched. Strips and squares. Broom finish. Exposed aggregate. Our bread and butter.
We meander down Route 5. Tired old sugar shack leans into the ground for support. Corn, knee high to a grasshopper. Sweet Tree Farm. Yup, that's a llama. Walker Farm. Apple Hill Road. It's all the words... Quaint. Picturesque. Rural. Rustic. Vintage Vermont. Down into Rundown Town. Here a roundabout. There a roundabout. Everywhere a roundabout. Back across the Seabees Bridge. Live free or die New Hampshire. Off with his helmet. He passes it back. Nope, can't tuck it in the pack.. It rides my elbow. Welcome Home Srgt Miller. The sun hides. A chill on coming into Better Town. Black Helmet. White Cross. "When the floods come and the towers fall, Just remember there is a kingdom already made for you. Seek it out."
Follow the river. Signs of the flood high up the banks. The ferns flattened. Mud.
4 Miles Free Food.
YO! 2 Miles Free Food.
Just 1 Mile The Tent.
Stop. Eat. Rest.
We stop. We eat. We rest. Sit on a rock in the river. The rock has a fissure three fingers wide. "Wonder how long this rock has been in the river?" The river rushes, high, wide and dirty. The roar covers every sound except the roar of the bikes.
The boot starts to flap and lose pieces.
We rumble out, low and throaty over the roar of the river. We ride our favorite curves winding toward home. Red, white and blue. Old Glory hit the broadside of that barn. In and out of the shadows. In and out of the warm. The trees are dark with patches of green bright light. Lilacs as tall as the telephone wires. A nice old Chevrolet. Hello! The Nelson's. Warm past the swamp. Old green truck (Chevrolet). Old Glory waves up and down the street. "Nice truck huh?" (blue and white Chevrolet). Sharing Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. "That's a nice car." (red Chevelle). "Nice Vette."
Three states. Seven hour journey. We come home. Water the tomatoes. Order new boots.
I love you bunches and boots - Pat