Ridin' Around with John Boettcher

Another Easter weekend with an extra day off. I pulled out of the parking lot at my place of employment Wednesday afternoon as it started to rain and decided to run home and throw on the raingear  before heading south. I was in a bit of a hurry as I pulled into the driveway and the T-3 fell over because I forgot to put the kickstand down. Oh well, nothing happened other than being a tad embarrassed as the neighbors snickered.

I was finally was ready to hit the road about 2:00 P.M. I knew Chicago traffic would be bad so I headed due south on Illinois RT 47. I ran I-74 into Indiana and then a few state routes to U.S. 150, which brought me into Louisville. I was on I-64 which ran along the Ohio River; the Louisville skyline looked incredible with the full moon behind it and the casino boats coloring the river with their lights.

I grabbed I-65 for a little bit to Elizabethtown then picked up Kentucky RT 210 to Campbellsville where I had booked a room. It was midnight  and the only place still open was a quick mart, so it was a refrigerated sandwich for dinner.

Thursday I was on the road by 6:00 A.M. I took Kentucky RT 55 to U.S. 127 past Lake Cumberland and into Tennessee. Once I passed Crossville, I grabbed Tennessee RT 68 to the Cherohala Scenic Skyway. The skyway was fantastic; you could see for miles in either direction. Traffic was very light so I could still make some decent time. The skyway ended at U.S. 129 so I took it to U.S. 19 south on North Carolina RT 28. RT 28 continues into Georgia and South Carolina. I ended up on U.S. 76 to Greenwood. This is where I met up with an Internet friend, Jimmy Ray Crenshaw, who had a wheel for my CX500. Granted I could of got a wheel closer to home but what fun would that have been? We talked for an hour or so and I headed out on U.S. 221 into Georgia. I picked up U.S. 321 to Dublin and spent the night there.

Friday morning I was back on U.S. 319 to U.S. 129 down to Adel, where I grabbed Georgia Rt 76. Rt 76 connected with U.S. 221. I crossed the Florida border and headed toward Tallahassee on U.S. 90. My good friend, Harold McLean, lives in Tallahassee. He had a little work to do so he let me ride a Sportster he had just put back together. When he finished we rode to the Gulf Coast, and I went sailing for the first time. There were 25-30 knot winds and whitecaps on the water, which made me a bit nervous but Harold just laughed as he whipped the Hobie Cat around. We were out there at least a couple of hours and I had a blast.

We were on our way to Posey's in St. Mark’s for something to drink and some smoked mullet when the T-3 rolled over 100,000 miles. It's not that it meant a whole lot, but still I thought it was kind of cool.

I left Harold's at 5:00 A.M. on Saturday morning and figured I'd burn it home, but still I wanted to keep freeway riding to a minimum. It was U.S. 27 all the way through Georgia, and I even got pulled over by the highway patrol for speeding through traffic. He let me go after I accidentally busted the taillight lens off while taking that extra wheel off my bike to look for my insurance card. I think he felt bad about the mishap as he watched me tape it back on.

It was smooth sailing to Chattanooga and I got on U.S. 127 to Tennessee RT 8, and then Tennessee RT 56 in McMinnville. I ran that north to U.S. 231 into Kentucky to the Parkway in Bowling Green. I ran the Parkway into Evansville and proceeded north on U.S. 41. It was getting late and I was looking for a place to eat but everything was shutting down early because of Easter. It was around midnight and I had already ridden 1000 miles with about 100 miles to go. I was really starting to fight to stay awake but I was way too close to call it a night. I stopped at the oasis on I-294, which was still open, and I had a hamburger. That helped a little bit but I knew I was having trouble staying focused. It made me a little nervous going through  the Chicago suburbs between midnight and 2:00 A.M. on a Saturday night. The police were everywhere watching for drunks, and even though I was sober, I'm sure if I had been followed long enough I would appear suspicious as I fought to pay attention. I did make it home okay and had no problem falling asleep. It must have been those happy thoughts of where I'd be riding on Sunday.


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Contact John at:  ratguzzi@hotmail.com