Sunday, September 14, 2008

Motorcycle ride to Red Bluffs, Columbia Ms

September 13, 2008
Motorcycle ride to Red Bluffs, Columbia Ms
I almost got rained out today; I woke up around 6:40 am. and got up around 7:30 am. only to see the sky full of rain clouds and hard blowing wind. At first, it kind of dashed my hopes of the Red Bluffs Motorcycle ride, so I decided to check with the wife and see if she was up to going to a new coffee shop “Café Boheme” Matt and I had helped move the phone lines from the side of their building while it was under construction, we met the owners that day and I have want to go there ever since, to my surprise the wife agreed to go and we were off in the Navigator not the bike.
What can I say the place was awesome; it’s just an old house that the owner has converted in to coffee and pastry shop. As soon as you walk in you are greeted by the staff and you feel right at home, even the customers came up to us and traded web sites and just general conversation, it’s a very homey place. They even made me a sugar free Carmel coffee (got to keep the diabetes under control) oh yea get this, the owner asked us to come back around 6 tonight because it was jazz night, all jazz music to be played on vinyl (old records) my wife and I laughed about it on the way home, thinking our son Myles age 11, I bet has never even seen a record much less have heard one, Wow!!! we are getting old. Ha-ha.
After the coffee shop, we stopped by SACK’S ARMY STORE, in downtown Hattiesburg and bought me a pair of boots for work and for the motorbike, and then we came on home.
I sat around until 11:30am, looking at the sky and then I decided it now are never, so I packed up my camera and my Frogg Togs (rain suit) and I was off, straight up twelve o clock I stopped at a local gas station fill up the bike and the adventure was on, sky still dark very dark but so for no rain. Before I left I checked the weather channel and it said scattered thunder storms, and wind gust from 10 to 20 miles and hour, what a great day for a ride…ha-ha.
I headed west on interstate 59 then headed north on hwy 49 then turned west on hwy 42 until I got to downtown Sumrall (home town of Matt “the hammer” Roland) I took a side track through downtown and snapped a few photos,
then I was off again until I reached hwy 44 south

(very nice hwy for a ride, plenty of curves and very little traffic) I hit a few light sprinkles along this hwy not enough to put on the rain suit, it only lasted for a few seconds several times along the hwy. Now once I reached Columbia it was a different story, the sky turned black and I knew the big rain was coming any second. My first thought was to turn around and make a run for it, then the scary side of my brain said “go for it!!!” and I did, so I stopped at a strip mall
and put on my rain suit just in the nick of time, it started to pour just as I turned onto hwy 587 the last hwy of my journey, to my surprise it was only 9 miles from hwy 98 to red bluffs, even in the pouring rain it was nice hwy to ride too. You can’t miss the sign, the bluffs are on a closed road but you can drive right up to them, the road ends right at the bluffs with plenty of room to park.
I parked my bike next to three trucks that were already there, the rain stopped almost as soon as I stepped off the bike, I must be living right are something…god loves me. Ha-ha. There were two guys standing at the edge of the bluffs we had a brief conversation and then I started taking photos. I did not have time to hike the canyon so you will have to settle for the photos from the rim.

Once I was done shooting photos I headed back to the bike and to my horror I had misplaced the keys to the bike, what had happen was I was still wearing my rain suit and had put the keys in my hip pocket, here is the funny part (not funny at the time) the rain suit only has slits were the pockets should be so you can reach your hand through the rain suit to your blue jean pocket, so after a frantic search every where I had walked it dawned on me that the suit fits tight around the bottom of the legs to keep the rain out, so after I stripped down (the rain suit only girls…don’t get yourself all worked up into a frenzy) and found the key in the suit. As I was pulling away i saw another sign

on the hwy and drove around to the other side of the bluff, took some more photos and headed back home. The original plan was to head back towards Lumberton but the sky was just to black that way, so I decided to ride through downtown Columbia and snap a few photos.
Main Street turned into hwy 13 so I decided to take it to the small town of Prentiss and there to get on hwy 84, some where I made a wrong turn and ended up on hwy 42 the hwy that would take me back to Sumrall, only one problem I was running out of gas, luckily I found a gas station in Bassfield

and stopped filled up the bike and me, I realized I had not eating anything since the coffee shop this morning it was now around 3:30pm. I had a bag of peanuts and a diet coke, not much but better than nothing. Oh yea while I was filling up the bike a lady pulled up beside me waiting on the pump, (are maybe she had heard about my strip tease at the bluffs and was waiting on a repeat performance) I guess I should mention this is one of those old gas station (no debit cards taken) so you have to pay cash before you pump, so I gave the attendant a 5 dollar bill (more than enough gas to get home) once I finished my 5 dollar fill up, the lady looked at me in amazement and asked “is that all it cost to fill that bike up” my replay “yes it is!!!!!) Got to love the motorbikes.
Well the rest of the trip home went pretty much uneventful, until I reached hwy 49 only 20 miles from home, the sky started to blacken again. I passed a fellow biker pulled over on the side of the road; you guessed it putting on his rain suit. I decided to ride on, and was punished for it, god’s little joke, to my surprise I upped the speed to around 70 mph and the windshield kept me dry all except the lower part of my blue jeans. The rain only lasted for a few minutes, so no harm done. Just a couple of more turns and I was safe and sound at the house, somewhere around 4:30pm.
What did I learn: well first of all I had a little fear about riding a bike in the rain; I have to admit it was kind of nice, as long as you have proper rain gear, I have decided to now invest in some proper rain gear, the Frogg Togs worked great but I think a more form fitting rain suit would have less flapping in the wind.

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