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.