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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Southern Comfort 2011

It's time. One thing after another has come up, and with each new thing my summer vacation got reshaped into whatever might work with the latest known set of elements, or should I say "obstacles". I guess it all ended up (as some like to say) exactly like it was supposed to, but damn if it even mildly resembles the plan I had sketched out. Nevertheless, I'm outa here Wednesday, 8/10, around noon, and I ain't waiting one day longer. As I said, it's time.

The original plan, in place since last August, was to take another extended ride in July of 2011 via a different route, something like the 2010 SC ride. Last year I had the turn-around point of New Orleans planned, with dates penciled in, but there were no firm plans whatever for the solo ride down or the way back, and it was a blast. Total freedom. The Harley Softail Custom rode like a dream the entire 3,139 mile trip.

But just as departure time was getting close this year, around the end of May, some idiot rammed me in the rear, fucking up my bike, which has now been in the shop since early June. As of today, August 6, the dealer is still waiting on the factory to paint up and deliver some new 105th Anniversary fenders which will get the FXSTC back on the road. My second Harley, the Joker, can't even be considered for a long trip like that, so a long riding trip ain't happening this year. Shit.

Plan B, then, was a long, lazy vacation in Daytona. I figured I'd haul the Joker down on a trailer so I'd have a bar-hopper to ride when I wasn't soaking up the rays. But just hours before I was to give the rental agency my card number for the cottage, the phone rang, and by the time I'd hung up, the Daytona plans had gone up in flames. Kaput. The call was about my elderly Aunt Annie, down in Azle, Texas, who is in need of some help, and as her only living relative, I'm the guy. And oh yeah, it had to be in August, not July.

Ya see, Aunt Annie, now a spry 99 years of age (and still living at home...alone), needs a little help with home repair work, so Texas became my new destination for Southern Comfort 2011. Can't say no to Aunt Annie.

But all isn't lost. I'm driving down, and I'll pull that Joker bike on a trailer. Never know when I might find time for a little riding. I'm planning a not-so-direct route down and back that takes me by Tail of the Dragon, through Memphis or Birmingham, and maybe even another night or two in New Orleans. And while in Azle, I might sneak a ride down into Hill Country, spending the night in Austin. I can load up on personalized t-shirts at Cowboy Harley Davidson, and get more at Horny Toad Harley in Temple, Texas.

Or maybe I'll visit other places. Where I go depends entirely on the weather, and how I'm feeling each morning when I get up.

The one disappointing development was canceling my plans for East Coast Sturgis, which I was really looking forward to, but I'll make up for the fun somewhere along the line, and I'm in hopes my friends will fill me in on what I missed. My wingman, Charlie, had damn well better get some decent pix of the babes!!! (Charlie, are you reading this???!!!! High resolution, Dude, & none of that iPhone crap!)

So the deal is this: I'm turning the lemons into lemonade, and though Southern Comfort 2011 didn't quite work out as planned, there's a lot of fun to be had coming and going, y'all, and I plan to have a little. It will still be a shot of Southern Comfort if I can talk Janis out of that bottle. Stay tuned.


PS To be perfectly honest, with the July temperatures, I might have literally baked on the road had those original plans worked out. So maybe there's something to all that stuff about things working out the way they're supposed to.......