Notes From the Road… Day 3

Posted by TommyBoy on September 7, 2012 in Comments |

Yeah, yeah… I KNOW… I left out Day 2. What can I tell you, “Just Ridin’”

Day 3 was a little more interesting. On Day 3, (Thursday), I rode from Carlin, NV to Burns, Oregon; 300 and something miles. Carlin is 100 miles west of Winnemucca, NV. (Just so you know, you can do a lot of jokes with that name.) Winnemucca is pretty non-descript, think of the last town you just bypassed, and you’ve got Winnie-the-Pooh-Mucca. I WILL say this, I DO like the name. I lived in Chicago once upon a time, and when people asked me where I was from, I used to tell them I was from “Cut and Shoot, Texas.” – I could have easily said I was from Winne*ucka… Just saying…

So, from ‘WhineyMucha’ (you think the locals modify it that way?), I went to Burns, Oregon by way of the Australian outback. Seriously, the hinterlands of Oregon should be used as the setting for Stephen King’s series, “The Dark Tower”. The book (I think he’s up to 5 in the series now), starts out in a ‘post-apocalypse world, where most everything is a ‘wasteland’. If Steven Spielberg shoots it, I’m going to suggest he use the outback of Oregon as the setting. Here are several pics, to prove my point…

When one is riding a motorsickle, one has to think of gas, more specifically, gasoLINE, not the other. My bike only carries 4 gallons, I get about 55 miles per gallon… SO… I’m limited in range to about 220 miles. Just so you know (and therefore don’t have to worry about me too much…) I ALSO carry a spare gallon in my top-case, behind where I ride. So all told, I have 5 gallons, or 275 miles; a little better, of course; but certainly nothing spectacular. If one is a SMART rider, one can slow down a bit, and conserve fuel, and maybe get 60mpg, or so… I’m no genius at it, but I practiced a bit and got into Burns, with a vapor of fuel left. I put 4.1 gallons in my tank at the first gas-station I found, and whispered a little prayer of thanks to the German engineers who cleverly gave an unpublished margin of error. “Thanks, Beemer-Geeks”, it was greatly appreciated.”

So…, refreshed and refueled in Burns, what does one do?? – Nuttin-honey. I rode all over town, and while it’s quite the oasis, after coming through ‘Steven-King-wilderness’, there was nothing to do. SOOOO… I decided to engage in one of MY favorite pastimes of ‘interviewing’ people. At least that’s what I call it. I don’t do it formally at all; there’s no hand-held recorder or anything… It’s more just me being ‘nosey’, and seeing what I can get people to reveal about themselves.

First stop was “The Apple Peddler”, a ‘family-style’ restaurant that was no better or worse than any other family-restaurant you’ve ever been to. I sat down at a table (don’t really care for booths), and waited for the wait-person to come over. Thankfully, it was a female; the reason I say that is that GUYS… typically want to talk about football or some past / imaginary / or future sexual adventure. Girls, on the other hand, want to talk about, ‘life’ / ‘love’ / ‘past-boyfriends’ / ‘future career aspirations’ / (and past career-boyfriend disappointments)…

To be honest, guys are a bit boring. Admittedly, the occasional guy CAN hold a reasonably good conversation about baseball (at least baseball is an intellectual sport… ask me sometime, and I’ll tell you why); but really, most guys want to talk about sex. Most Girls, on the other hand, are practically poets… waxing on eloquently about how they wanted to be a ballerina when they were growing up; or… how perfect their lives would have been “if only…” I LOVE those ballerina-stories. The look in the eye of a hefty, 240 pound waitress… knowing that “If only…” she could have caught a break somewhere, she “woulda been a ‘contenda”… then reality slips back and all she wants to contend with is counting her tips, and getting off her feet.

I have a lot of compassion for the ‘wait-help’ of the world, and always over tip… It’s kinda ‘my-thing’. My wife frequently raises an eyebrow at my small extravagance, but… she never chastises me too much about it. (She was a waitress when she was in college, and has frequently told me her tips were the difference between paying the rent, and NOT paying the rent.) — So… I tip ‘em… I like to see that smile on their face.

MY waitress was named Darla… one of my absolute, all-time, favorite girl-names; my first true love was Darla in the old “Mickey Mouse Club” show. She even inspired self-examinatory sexual experimentation; (I love you, Darla…) – So I gave my menu-order to Darla, and she scurried off. I was the only one in the restaurant, and when she came back with my food, I invited her to ‘take a load off’, and sit down with me a ‘spell’, (that’s ‘southern-talk’, remember, I just got back from my high school reunion in Alabama.) – So, she looked furtively around, and did… “So, Darla… what brings you to the ‘Apple Peddler’? I bet you wanted to be a movie star, or something,” I said. – Darla’s face lit up, turned bright red, and she said, “How did you know that??” – “Just a good guesser,” I replied. “So what part did you want to play?” I asked. – Her blush deepened a bit, and she said she always wanted to play the Debra Winger part in “An Officer and a Gentleman.” I assured her she would have been perfect for it, if she had only gotten a chance. She wiped her nose with her finger, and nodded her head slightly in agreement.

My favorite question to ask any woman is, “Did you go to your high school prom?” – You would be SURPRISED at how that single question opens a floodgate of memories for most women. Guys just wanted a date, and to maybe “cop a feel.” — But to girls, it’s “young maidenhood!” Moms smile and take pictures; dad’s nod and look sternly at the “gentleman-caller”; little sisters are green with envy; even the family dog looks up in wonderment at the hidden ‘Cinderella’, it never knew was there before. So to women, that Senior Prom… is the first step into “WOMAN-HOOD”, and they can recall every second of it. “So Darla,” I asked… “Did you go to your high school prom?” She actually gave an unconscious blush, and I KNEW I was going to be in for a good story.

Darla told me that she had just broken up with her boyfriend of the past two years, and let it be known that she would like to go to the prom. I mean REALLY LIKE to go to the prom. Most guys have radar up for that kind of message, and Darla said she got several offers. Her first choice was the president of the Astronomy Club. She said that he was good-looking enough, and she knew he could at least dance. She waxed on about the evening, IN DETAIL, almost to the point I was sorry I asked her the question in the first place. She had left out an important part, so I asked her if she was “nice” to her date. I’ve found out over the years, that’s a universally recognized verb among women, and can be found in the “Book ‘o Women”, that all girls get when they reach puberty.

Darla blushed again, (as if wondering how I got hold of that book,) and said, “Yes, I was VERY nice to him.” – My follow up question was, “Did you ever go out with him again?” She looked a little stern and said, “He wasn’t that good of a dancer.” We both smiled at our inner knowledge of each other and I left her a $20 tip.

I’m on to John Day, Oregon today… It’s only 78 miles. We’re (my wife’s meeting me there in our car,) going to stay there a week. Mind you, it’s out in the middle of a minor national forest, at a ‘refurbished’ forest-ranger shack, with NO running water. I’m practically drooling with anticipation. I did bring along a trusty .44 magnum. You never know whether Big-Foot is going to show up… or, you just get plain sick and tired of all the wilderness, and decide to see if you can shoot the can out of your wife’s hand (Just jokin’) — more, tomorrow…


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