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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Have you ever headed out on your way somewhere and sorta let the “spirit” guide you? Well, a couple weeks ago I did just that. I had enjoyed another fabulous weekend with my gal but we all know that good things must come to an end. Yes she had to head back to work on Monday morning and it was time for me to head back home.

I rolled off the ridge on C.C. with only the thought of getting home in time to take a little nap before work. You see working nights can be both a blessing and a curse. Sure you have the day to take care of things if need be. The part that stinks is that you know you should be getting some sleep in order to be well rested for the night’s work, but the beautiful day keeps calling you away.

On this beautiful Monday morning I decided that I needed to ride across highway 76 and see where I wound up. I have ridden short pieces of this inviting little road but never all the way across it. I always have a map or three with me as I ride around. One never knows when he may need to actually figure out where he is. Granted my theory is that if you aren’t out of fuel then you aren’t lost.

I tool highway 76 out of Springfield, Tennessee and followed it all the way across to where it intersects with highway 52 on the east side of Portland. This was the point at which I became aware of exact location. I love the feeling I get after traveling unfamiliar roads and coming out to one I recognize.

I took highway 52 over to Westmoreland and the intersection of highway 231. It was at this intersection I realized the need for nourishment. Yes indeed I was hungry. Not just a little hungry but some more powerful kind of hungry. What was I to do? Well I could see a Hardee’s but that wasn’t gonna satisfy me. I needed a little local mom and pop type place. I needed some grub. Ding! Ding! Ding! I had it. I remember my good friend Paul telling me of a little place down at the old Payne’s Store. Payne’s Store is located on the northeast corner of the four way stop where highway 231 crosses highway 25.

I was only ten or so miles north of here so it wouldn’t take long to fulfill my needs. I did have one horrible thought cross my mind. What if this place was closed on Monday? Now that wouldn’t be a pretty picture. Luckily I had a back up. You see Paul just lives a couple miles south of here so I could “drop” in on him for a friendly visit and some breakfast of course.

Luckily the little restaurant was open and quite busy I might add. Lots of cars and trucks outside is always a good sign at any place to eat. That means the locals know the food is good.

I parked C.C. and made my way inside. For some reason I had the song Turn the Page going through my mind. “Walk into the restaurant strung out from the road”. I definitely stuck out as everyone in the place looked up from their food and friends to watch as I sat down. Guess they don’t normally get some dude coming in for breakfast on a scooter.

I quickly looked over the menu on the board and also the one on the table. I could barely remember Paul suggesting something if I ever stopped here but what was it. Ahh! There it was! The “Trash Plate”. Now I remember. I opted for the half trash plate though. Paul told me that he couldn’t eat the whole trash plate. I know how much he likes to eat and if he says get the half plate then the half plate it was. Man oh man was it good! Let me see if I can name all the stuff on here. Hash browns, sausage, onions, peppers, bacon, eggs, ham, and probably some more stuff too. I added some ketchup and black pepper and the feed bag was put on. Man was it good. Should you get a chance to try the trash plate by all means do.

In my humble opinion these little places are the backbone of America. You can get a great meal and a feel of what our country is all about. You can see friends and family visiting amongst each other. You can see old men reading the paper and solving the worlds problems.

I may have ridden 151 miles on my 47 mile ride home but I have to ask “was it really out of my way?”. How about you? Have you ever added a few miles to your journey in order to clear you head or fill your belly. For me I think this fills my heart and frees my soul. The observations made while riding seem to always soak in deeper than those made sitting around the house.

Ride Safe

Ronman006

037 If you have read my blog for any length of time you know that I am on a quest to visit all of the State Parks in Tennessee.  Well Tennessee is not the only state with wonderful parks to visit.  Spring Mill State Park in Indiana is one such place.    I first learned of Spring Mill about three years ago from my good friend Spydie.

Like most parks, Spring Mill has a campground, hotel with a great restaurant, and picnic/playground areas.  Spring Mill has something else though that I feel makes it special.  There is a living history village located around the mill.  I think this gives you an extra added feel to how life must have been back in the past as people struggled to live.027I enjoy seeing these old structures and thinking about how it must have been to live and work back when these were built.  My favorite thing at Spring Mill State Park though is the garden.  There are many different types of beautiful flowers and bushes to admire.  I really get a kick out of the way the garden is laid out and especially the rock wall and entry way.118Here you can see a family dressed in time period clothing working around there house.  Back then the entire family helped do the things that needed to be done.146Imagine sitting on your front porch doing your everyday chores and looking out over the beauty of your garden.

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141I must take a moment to warn you about something should you decide to take a trip to Spring Mill State Park.  You see there is a creature that has been spotted in these parts.  No one really knows how long this creature has been around.  I was able to capture a picture of this being and as you can see it’s been around for a while.  I’ve learned from the local lore of the area that this creature is known as the “Love Buzzard of Tick Ridge”.  So take a good look at the photograph below and keep your eyes peeled for this creature.  I took the time to capture this creature in action swarming around my Dana and quickly chased him away.  152

Ride Safe

Ronman

It’s no secret that I love this wonderful land we live in.  I’m extremely grateful for the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy the life each of us lives.  I wanted to post some photographs of my idea of what America is.  Not the Hollywood idea of the big city version but the back roads heart and soul America.148Hard working men such as  the one pictured here are the backbone of this great land of ours.  They are not afraid to break a sweat or get dirty to do the job at hand.127I enjoy seeing the manner in which folks spruce up their places by the decorations they have around their yards.  Here an old hay rake, plow, and wheel barrow are used to beautifully showcase not only the equipment, but also the flowers.153 Take a look at this unique mailbox.  I bet that if you take a short ride off the beaten path that you too can find such scenes as the ones I’ve just shown you.  To me this is “My Idea of America”.

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Ride Safe,

Ronman

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