Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Candy Ass Adventure - Aug. 17, 2019 - The Grand Finale

Boy Howdy!  Today we're going to make it to Tupelo and our own sweet King Sleep Number bed with our own shower and all the things that make a home a home.  So looking forward to that, but... the journey isn't over quite yet.

Last night we had dinner at the Comfort Inn & Suites.  Although we were rather surprised at the dining room and lack of ambiance the meal was delightful. (Mr. Rogers Voice*  Can you say Hotel Bar?  I thought you could! 😀)   We shared the Friday Night Special of 14 oz. Rib Eye steak, baked potato and dinner salads.  It was very tasty.  They very nicely brought us 2 salads and 2 potatoes.  Oh, we also ordered cocktails, hehehehe!

 Yes, more food porn!

 I have to say our hotel location was spectacular along the bank of the Mighty Mississippi River.  So peaceful and beautiful.  I love being on the water.  Here are a few views of the full moon across the river looking at Natchez, MS.

The next morning we were up by 8 am, lol, because we both had a really good night sleep here!  Then off to hotel brekkie which was surprisingly well done with lots of hot food.  The only down side was all the people!!!!  The LOUD people and children...... (Bowling tournament this weekend.  Fun peeps having fun together, but oh so loud!)  Oh well, we found a table in the corner and enjoyed our meal.  Then it was time to pack up and load the bikes.  By now it was already quite hot but we knew we didn't have a long ride today.  Only maybe 260 or so miles and it would be all along the Natchez Trace.

Yes, that is a slow road but oh so beautiful, peaceful, serene and quiet with far more shade than any interstate.  I totally love riding the Trace.  We finally got out of the parking lot around 10 am and made a beeline to the Trace.  Oh joy!  Hardly any traffic and lots, did I say, LOTS of shade. 😁

We made our first rest stop about and hour and a half down the road at Rock Springs.  We've stopped here before but today we decided to take a ride around the loop there.  It's actually quite large and has campgrounds, picnic areas and some trail heads along the way.  We ended up riding down a teeny, tiny barely paved road around the area.  Very nice!  Stop here and explore, so worth it!

 So, when we first rode into the campground we spied this rather unique vehicle and person.  We just rode on past after giving a big wave.  After we toured the campground and picnic area I insisted we go back to that strange vehicle.  I needed pictures and there must be a story here!

That's just what we did.  We rode around again and stopped to see what this was all about.  Sorry, bad photos but the truck says "Mississippi Redneck".  I jumped off the bike, removed my helmet, gloves, coat, earplugs, etc. and hollered "HELLO, Where are you????"  I heard a faint voice say "Back Here!".  I went around the back of the truck and found Robert sitting in a lawn chair in front of a fan that was plugged into some power source.
Robert jumped up (not really - he slowly ejected himself from the chair) turned off the fan and gave me a big handshake!  I told him that I just had to come see his stuff and wanted to give him a DFF sticker for his rig.  Okay, he liked that well enough and was happy to show me his set up.

He has everything you can imagine and then some.  Stuff tied on the truck and trailer and just stuff stuffed here and there.  All kinds of fun stuff.  I could have spent at least an hour looking at his stuff!
Here is Robert showing me his pantry (behind all the ties).  He lives in this truck and trailer pretty much full time and has a bed in the trailer and another in the passenger side of the pickup.

 Ummm....this is the inside of his trailer where he sleeps most the time.  It has a heater and fan so he can be comfortable in any weather.

 Nice propane tank ;-)  Notice the still over the spare tire?  He really enjoyed showing me his "stuff".
 I laughed at the toilet seat.
 And then he pulled out corn cobs and set them on the toilet seat, hahahahahahaha!
 Aw, sweet Robert, gold teeth and all.  A genuine Mississippi Redneck.  So glad I stopped to visit.
 Front of the truck with sleeping area....

 The light switches cracked me up.  Especially knowing so many Long Distance Riders put all kinds of switches on their bikes.  He was explaining to me what each switch does.  This man is prepared!  No apocalypse worries for this dude ;-)
 I gave him a DFF sticker but I forgot to take a photo :-(  He was tickled with it!

Finally, much to Eric's delight, I put on my gear, mounted up and we departed with a hearty wave to Robert!  Gosh, I love meeting all the characters on our travels.  Spice of life and all, don't you know!

Another hundred miles or so down the road was time for another break.  This was a new to us pull out, the Tupelo-Bald Cypress Swamp.  Quite interesting and a pleasant place to take a break to cool down.

 It was on this break that Eric noticed ants.  Yes ants.  Little, teeny, tiny piss ants all over his seat!  GACK!  ICK!  WTF????  He removed the seat and beat it on the ground and dozens of the little bastards fell to the grounds.  Still more of the little buggers as he move the seat fabric around from the underside.  Crappola, he had them on his pants and well, everywhere.  Little fuckers!

He spent a bit of time trying to knock them all off.  Who knows where they came from?  We can only surmise they took up residence while we were parked at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Vidalia, LA.  Hmmmmm.........
 While he was occupied with ant removal, I toured more of the rest area.  I found it fascinating and delightful as well as a great opportunity to cool down a bit!

 Last of the ants?  I dunno, hope so!

 Back on the bikes we continued north on the Natchez Trace just enjoying the ride.  It was HOT out and HUMID but riding the Trace was magical, especially when we rode under the canopy of trees lining the Trace making a sun dappled road and the temperature dropped several degrees making everything so much more pleasant.  Such incredible beauty, nature washing over you as you rode along.  Superb!!!!

Around 2:30 or so we decided to stop for lunch and a much needed fuel replenishment.  Just so happens we stopped at Koscuisko, MS at the Old Trace Grill, a place we've stopped at before and enjoyed. 

Just as good the second time.  Brenda, the lady at the counter remembered us from our prior visit about a month ago.  She was excited to see us again and we had a delightful chat. 
 A few pics of the Old Trace Grill.  If you're near here you should definitely stop and try it!

 NOT a fast food place - good food - nice peeps.  A little pricey but worth every penny!
After lunch it was the last leg home.  Both of us were a bit tired and very hot, sweaty and yes, stanky!  Can't wait to get home and a nice shower and wash all this stinky, gross gear, lol.

An hour or so after leaving the Old Trace Grill we made our final rest stop.  We've been here before and it is a pleasant pull out.  We took about 15 minutes to cool down and walk about.

 Isn't this beautiful?  Sun shining through the giant trees that kept us in the cool shade.  Oh my, if you haven't noticed, I love riding the Natchez Trace.  I don't have to go fast to enjoy my ride.  This is super special to me.  I hope if you ride it, you will respect it and love it as much as I do.  Plus, bonus, it's a direct path home for us!

And then after another hour or so we began to see signs for Tupelo and our Main Street exit.  Home was just around the corner!  We'd been gone 14 days and we're anxious to get to our cozy, sweet home.  We had a marvelous ride-a-bout 200 to 400 miles a day.  Just taking it slow, enjoying the scenery, finding little, out of the way diners and food stops. Riding the little roads, finding America, meeting down home folks.  This has been a most excellent adventure.  I'll always remember the Candy Ass Adventure with great fondness.

We rode rural America.  We got to participate as staff at Justin Philipson's marvelous How the West Was Won Rally.  Hung out with super, duper fun peeps there and had a grand time.  Our ride to and from the Rally was simply awesome.  Our bikes purred along like the sweet kitties they are.  Yes, they both need oil changes and guess what?  A wash.  Yes, I'm going to wash the Beastie Bike because she deserves it after all those miles.

We rode about 3,500 miles round trip which is not huge for a Long Distance Rider but heck, this trip we were Candy Ass Riders, lol.  It was marvelous.  There are places we are going to go visit again, especially Elk River and the Ozarks.  Planning starts tomorrow :-)

I truly hope that any of you who read this Adventure will go to some of the out of the way diners we visited.  That was a highlight of the trip.  We found amazing places and met wonderful, salt of the earth people.  Go explore, get out of your comfort zone, talk to people.  You just might meet a Bob or Robert or Brenda and your life will be richer.

Here is a shot of our 14 day Candy Ass Adventure trip.  Unfortunately I had two (yes 2) sets of bad batteries and my Spot Tracker failed to capture the first two days of our adventure :-(.  Really too bad because I want to go on those roads again, lol.  Anyway, here is our trip.

We have a marvelous ride-a-bout and were also happy to return home to our comfy cottage safe and sound.  Thank you so very much for following along and making comments.  I love comments because I know someone is reading our blog, hahhahahaha, and that makes me very happy.

Stay tuned, we have more adventures ahead!

Cheers and love you all,

Cletha & Eric (because Eric edits and contributes and takes such good care of me and Beastie Bike!)

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Candy Ass Adventure - August 16, 2019

Much to our surprise the Red Roof Inn did NOT serve brekkie of any kind.  Nada, nothing, no food.  Surprised because when we checked in last night we spied a very nice breakfast room with several tables and chairs and a nice space.   Hahahaha, we went there this morning and all they had was coffee.  All that space and no food, hahahahah, fuckers!  Oh well, we'll find something down the road.

Although we actually got up kind of early for us, it was still 82 degrees when we left at 7:45 am.  Yes, you heard that correct, we left before 8 am, lol.  And yes, it was warm......  We had no issues leaving Waco and quickly headed east.  Again, we tried to stay on smaller, two lanes roads and avoid the Interstate.  We started with the single digit roads, 6 & 7 over close to Lufkin, then graduated to three digits and followed 103 East across the last of East TX until it became LA 6 which took us to US 84 again for a fast run most of the way across LA before a short run on 425 into Vidalia.

All was good, we were on some lovely roads and the scenery was rolling hills and green, lush forests.  Who knew?  This part of Texas, while humid, was green with lots and lots of vegetation.  No more barren desert landscape.  Of course, the reason it's so green is the humidity and man, could we feel it!

About 10:30 or so we rolled into Crockett, TX.  Yes, it's named after that famous Davy Crockett!  (Apparently they haven't heard of Wendy Crockett yet...  😁) What's in Crockett, TX?  Well the Moosehead Cafe is in Crockett, TX.  Parking out front was all sloped so we rode around the block and found some flat parking at the side entrance.

 We went in the door, up the stairs and found this!!!!  Wowza!!!!

 Such a cool place.  This dude in blue tee shirt and hat chatted with us at the side entrance door.  He is a regular and just came in for a cup of Joe.
 More locals...
 The Brekkie Menu!!!  Hooray, my favorite meal, breakfast.  Hope it's as good as it sounds!!!!
 While waiting for our food, I went out front to get a photo from the main entrance.  So quaint and charming.  Crockett is a cute town!
 And then.....brekkie arrived.  Oh my goodness, bliss, joy, goodness, yummy, delish.......I ate every single bite (except I shared the hashbrowns with Eric, who ordered the same thing.  :-) ).  What a SCORE!  Another local eatery that was absolutely fantastic and reasonable (cheap).  So good and such a very fun atmosphere.  Great service and wholesome, great tasting food.  The bacon alone was at least a 8.8 on the Bac-O-Meter.  You must go here!  Moosehead Cafe

Leaving Crockett, we continued east toward Louisiana.  Sorry no pics but we didn't stop anywhere interesting.  Gas stations were about the extent of our stops.  The scenery continued to get greener as the temperatures continued to rise.  The humidity level was HIGH and we were both soaked in sweat.  Nice mental picture, huh?  I mean, so freaking hot that when we stopped the sweat would roll off my head and into my eyes, down my cheeks (face cheeks) and onto my shirt.  Gack!  It was freaking hot and humid.  I must have drank a gallon of water and still was sweating like crazy.  Hahahaha.  Oh well......part of the game, isn't it?  Makes for good memories!  Honey, you remember that ride when I couldn't see because of all the sweat running into my eyes?  Yeah, that kind of memory ;-)

NOTE:  Gear must be washed before wearing again.  Although I washed them in Grand Junction it is so bad now that it can stand all by itself in the corner and it smells kind of bad too!

We were on awesome two lane roads with not much traffic.  The ride was lovely even if we basically stayed within the speed limits.  We were disappointed to find the same highway in Texas was 75 mph only to find in Louisiana it was 55 mph.  Nothing changed except the state.  The road was the same.  Oh well, we slowed down..........

Our original goal was Winnfield, LA for the evening but we got there too early to stop.  So we topped off the fuel and motored on to Vidalia, LA which is just across the Mississippi River from Natchez!  Hahahaha, we were in Natchez a few weeks ago and from our current room in Vidalia, we can see the Natchez Grand Hotel and the other landmarks we visited.  Very fun stuff :-)

Comfort Inn & Suites in Vidalia, LA is quite nice with it's own restaurant.  Guess we'll be having dinner here tonight :-)  Tonight's Special is a 14 oz ribeye with all the fixin's, so splitting that won't be too painful!  Our room is awesome with a fantastic river view!  I'm loving this.  I would definitely stay here again!  Vidalia Comfort Suites

A tug with barges moving up river from our room view!

So that's a wrap.  Today we rode close to 400 miles.  A bit more than we have been riding but circumstances worked out such that we continued on.  We arrived at tonight's abode about 5 pm so that is good.  Settled into the room, had a cocktail or two and now we'll be heading off for dinner.

Excited that tomorrow will be the last leg home and we'll be riding the Natchez Trace the entire way home.  Yes, it's slow but it is so beautiful and the temperatures are a bit lower because of all the tree cover.  Looking forward to home but also looking forward to the bike ride there! 

Stay tuned - who knows what may happen tomorrow!