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ZAMM Fanatic
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Day 5 Part I

Day 5 was endless hours of riding in the rain. Some thoughts and some pictures.

Gloves. Unless it's a blue sky summer day, you need to always haul along the warmest, driest gloves you own...just in case. Cause if your hands are either cold, or wet, your mind will drift back to your hands' misery every 50 seconds or less. All day long. The pair I bought for $19 from Cycle Gear, despite gauntlets, are clearly summer gloves, despite their APPEARANCE otherwise. Guess what. They're going back.

Eventually I got some plastic FOOD SERVICE gloves and put them on my hands before putting my hands inside these near-useless gloves. And I used hand driers at truck stops to warm and dry them out when I got the chance. Microwave oven didn't work, even changing paper towels inside the gloves every 45 seconds and alternating gloves.

Problem is you can't just pick up a good pair of MC gloves anywhere. Get on the road without your good ones, it can be a long ride.

"Bridge Ices before Roadway."

Really. REALLY. do we REALLY need this sign before every single freakin' bridge in America?

Wouldn't it be FAR cheaper to include on driver's tests in ALL 50 states


A) Roadways because they're on the ground, and cold air sinks.

B) Bridges, because cold air can circulate beneath them.

C) On-ramps, because we have to offer at least one RIDICULOUS answer

D) Curves. After all, that's where MOST drivers slide off the road when it's wet, snowing, or icy.

Stopping to take pictures. Seems like it adds forever to a trip, but you get to the hotel room and it's like, Seven? Seven pictures is all I took?

Of course with the microscopic controls on most cameras today, it's gloves off, helmet off (or visor up), remove camera from saddlebag, remove lens cap, shoot, then all these steps in reverse.

Layers. Once again, I tell you, it's about alternating insulating and windproof layers, so you TRAP heat in little air pockets. So today, upper body, I had a mesh (like football practice) shirt, windproof vest, long sleeve thermal shirt, mesh armor (gladiator shirt), leather jacket, then rain jacket over that.

The trick is you ALWAYS have to carry ONE EXTRA layer with you. Today, it was a pair of tights. I'd started out the day just with underwear, and nylon running pants under my jeans. End of the day, cooling down, out of calories, I went into a stall at the truck stop and put on the running tights, THEN the running pants THEN the jeans. Bingo. Added 10 degrees to my core temp, at least.

Tip: Put your rain gear on at the FIRST drizzle of rain, not once you're wet. Ditto for extra layers. A little chilly? Pull over now. Allow yourself to get cold-soaked and you'll never warm back up again; those calories are GONE. Ditto for putting pastic trash bags over your shoes or non-waterproof gloves. Once they're wet it's all over.

Tired and cold, getting dark. It's time to get off the bike, regardless of where you need to "get" by tonight. Until then, SLOW DOWN! Your reaction times are sheet. "Get"ing there dead is not getting there at all. And accidents are expensive, even if all you get is bruised and battered. They're also VERY time consuming. You make poor decisions when yoer' tired, cold, OR distracted by life events. Not a good time to ride.

Caffeine. I have some joe in the morning, but then intentionally avoid caffeine throughout the day until 3, 4 pm when I'm running out of gas and NEED the 2 hour jolt caffeine can provide to finish the ride.

Stupidity is not filling up ANYTIME you're below half tank and there's an easy-in, easy-out gas station. Cause riding with the E light illuminated is nerve wracking... gosh darn it, WILL there be another station before I end up
walking? Why do that to yourself. Top up when it's easy.

Don't waste your limited brain bandwidth on cold hands, hunger, or a low gas tank. There's ENOUGH to focus on besides those.


Bald eagle I saw in a tree: (scroll down once you get there)

Alabama one-stop shopping:

The worse the exterior, the better the BBQ (usually...)

I think this church needs a signpainter and NOT a carpenter..

I looked for him in the oncoming lane but....nothing!

ZAMM Fanatic
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Day 5, Part II

So what am I carrying with me. Iphone. Macbook Air, 11". Cords and charging accessories. Auxiliary battery for USB devices (5000 mAh) Ipod and earphones.

Shave kit
4 changes of underwear/socks
Tool roll, air compressor, plug kit
Cargo net & bungees
microfiber rag (for windscreen)
insulated rain jacket
"Varsity" jacket, leather sleeves, wool torso
Jeans, running tights, running pants
Gladiator shirt (armored elbows, shoulders, chest & back set in mesh)
2 Long sleeve thermal shirts
2 t's, one polo shirt
Wallet, checkbook, registration & proof of insurance
Bag of my favorite cereal
Camera and case
Earplugs, ibuprophen, one Vicodin (in case of serious injury)
Credit card, cash, driver's license, usual wallet stuff
Business Cards (to hand out, NEED some motorcycle forum cards!)
Paper maps

Antebellum home in Senatobia, MS

Practicing "Kissing the Mirror." Wait am inute, this thing HAS no mirror...

(pretty bad form, IMHO....damn spring was too stiff)

Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
14,420 Posts
Which direction are you headed now? I thought I read in another thread you were headed back to your brother.

ZAMM Fanatic
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Which direction are you headed now? I thought I read in another thread you were headed back to your brother.
Yep. Spent two days trying to outrun the storm and now I'm chasing it. Headed back to Huntsville. Made a giant loop. Got the call at Waffle House at 9 am this morning in Brinkley, Arkansas. Mark's back in the hospital.

I think my NEXT acquisition is going to be a used ambulance (Wahhhmbulance?) cause Mark really seems to enjoy riding in 'em. Seriously. Loves the attention. The idea a neighbor could drive him to the ER has never crossed his mind.y,

He's a bit of a hypochondriac but as an intellectually disabled adult, he's not able to process illnesses and their severity, needed response, the way you and I do. So for's off to the ER again. Thank God he's got Blue Cross, the federal version or he'd already be broke..

Really MUST get him into assisted living (with an on-site RN) or else I'm NEVER going to get out of Alabama. But it's hard to lay down the law with a mentally disabled adult over whom you do NOT have guardianship...thanks a lot, dad...

I told my father on his deathbed I'd take care of Mark. Always. So he could pass in "peace." He did plenty for me in HIS lifetime. So it's back to Huntsville. At least, thanks to Dad, I get to own fun vehicles to make the trans-Am crossings in -- or ON.

But a scooter in the rain. Never again, lol...


ZAMM Fanatic
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Day 5 Part 3, or "What I learned about farming today."

Leaving West Helena (the Delta Dawn Motel) this morning in the rain, Ray's Dairy Bar (a frequent stop for me) was closed, Sunday!!! so it was on to Brinkley for gas and chow.

I pull into the corner staiton in Brinkley and a fellow by the name of "Doc" Skinner wanders over and wants to talk to me about my scooter.

Sez he rides a Goldwing and also owns a 1200cc Sportster which he calls "a goat!" and wants a Vespa for his wife.

After 3 days of riding in endless drizzle, I almost handed him the keys.

Turns out "Doc" is a farmer. I ask him about the rain and endless flooded fields I've seen. You literally could not tell lake from field along many of the Mississippi roads I've traveled. (Not many, MOST!)

Joke: How do you build a lakefront home in Mississippi/Alabama? Scrape six inches of dirt off a couple of acres, pile it up to make a pad for a house, and wait for it to rain. Seriously. The water table is THAT close to the surface. Line it with plastic and it would never go dry.

I ask him if the current (and coming) flooding is going to put the farmers out of business.

Nope, he sez. They can plant beans (soybeans) as late as June 15 and still get a crop. Not as big, but...

Plenty of time to dry out, in his opinion.

Nope, what's killing the farmers is prices of fertilizer and seed. When crop rpices went up, so did seed and fertilizer prices. When crop prices came back down, those didn't. And it's kiling farmers, according to Doc.

Sez he uses 500# per acre of fertilizer. Some pre-plant, another load mid-season dumped out of an airplane.

Oh, and they can plant rice from airplane seed drops, he sez. The flooding won't affect rice or soy farmers nearly as much as corn/cotton.

Are there enough airplanes," I asked, thinkking about the # of flooded sections I must have ridden past..

"Yeah, there's plenty of planes..."

(Dayum, I think, ...I'm already under a death sentence, pesticide's not gonna kill me now, I oughtta go fly crop dusters for the rest of my days, doing those wing-overs at the end of each field, buzzing the beans, making every kid and driver on the road green with envy)

Sez he plants a little milo, too.

I asked what rhw measure of rice is, bushels? Bushels per acre, he sez.

Sez, since his equipment is all paid for, doesn't ahve any debt, he can survive on 150 bushels/acre. Bigger operations require 200 b/acre or more, break even at 180.

I ask if he owns his own equipment or pays folks to do his planting, harvesting. Sez he owns "green" -- John Deere. His neighbor owns "red" --- Massey Ferguson "

"He bought a green combine and I told him he wouldn't own it two years sure enough after 1 1/2 years he traded it in on red Didn't lose any money on it though, they gave him a good deal."

I asked what kept him up at night, worries about weather, crop prices bugs...

"All of the above." "Mainly input" (seed/fert) prices,) when I pressed him.

He said the prices of the above are gonna drive out a lot of farmers this coming season.

"they're BETTING on crop prices increasing. If they don't, they're DONE"

I asked about Round-Up. (IMHO a nasty, nasty chemical...gave me arthritis in my thumb / forefinger when a pump sprayer leaked it on my hand...took 2 years to heal...felt like I had the hand of an 80 year old)

Glyphosphate (Round-Up!) is also PROVEN to kill amphibians --- frogs, toads, salamanders, all of the bug eaters. Could lead to some serious problems, but since they're not as majestic as bald eagles...nobody seems to care.)

"Round-up's done." He sez. The weed's have developed as much resistance to it as the crops nowadays. You know how they made crops round-up ready, don't you. Dose it with Round-Up and breed the ones that sruvive. Rinse, repeat. "Same thing happens to the weeds, over time."

What's next?" I asked.

"Liberty Lace" or something like that.

I thanked him for his time, for "schooling" me on farming.

I'm sure several of you reading this are farmers, and can correct MY mis-understandings of what he said, what he said that was his opinion versus fact, etc. Maybe a LOT of Americans need a little more insight into farming and what farmers face.

"So what does the government need to do to help you, to boost prices," I asked? Boost exports? How do we get you guys a survivable price.

"I don't know" he said.

Helluva nice guy. Smart as a whip. Never underestimate someone becasue they're "just a farmer." Not THESE days...

Gotta go make my pilot's license current and get a gas mask... watch "Maverick" here fly UNDER the power lines...easier to see if you go to Youtube and go full-screen...


ZAMM Fanatic
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The # of churches along Hwy 4 near Senatobia is absolutely mind-boggling.

Every red dot represents a church:

Not that there aren't some very smart people who believe in God, but in general, the greater the ignorance, the greater the "religiosity."

There were free gospel tracks everywhere I went in Mississippi. I suspect THESE are the folks responsible...

What? tracts??? like land??? *NEVERMIND*

384 Posts
Day 5 Part I

Stupidity is not filling up ANYTIME you're below half tank and there's an easy-in, easy-out gas station. Cause riding with the E light illuminated is nerve wracking... gosh darn it, WILL there be another station before I end up
walking? Why do that to yourself. Top up when it's easy.

I always carry one of these gas bottle in my saddle bag, especially when I'm on a road trip.

It takes up very little space and could give you 20-30 extra miles, and takes away the worry of running out of gas.


ZAMM Fanatic
2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A slightly more stately Southern mansion..... the Fleming place in Huntsvielle AL

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