Serendipity: finding valuable or agreeable things not sought after.
This last saturday I experienced both of those feelings. Susan and I started riding two-up for several reasons, but one of the main ones is she wanted to explore the local area with me. As part of the Equinox to Equinox rally I was visiting old cemeteries and traveling all around the back roads coming back home with interesting stories and pictures of what exactly was out there.
We agreed to go exploring, planning to take a two hour and 60 mile ride to a few places I wanted to mark off my list. The courthouse in nearby Dade City, the Muffler Man, a couple of cemeteries. I had heard of an old ghost town nearby...well not really a ghost town but a town that used to have over 1000 people living there that now had less than 100, yet somehow managed to preserve it's early 1900's buildings. As fans of history we had to see this!
Then Susan started to tap me on the shoulder, she forgot something at the house. We turned around. About an hour later we left again. And turned around again as something else was needed or forgotten. Another hour passes. We are now into the heat of the day....to hot for Susan to ride. I'm on my own.
I've been looking for a way to map out my route and then have it transferred to my phone. I have some earphones that I can plug in and listen to the GPS directions as I ride. I head out, the voice in my ear tells me turn left, turn left, turn left...wait a second. It seems to be stuck on one turn, refusing to advance to the next. I try a different tack, inputting a new destination. It searches for GPS. It searches for GPS. It searches for GPS. I swear at it. It finds GPS.
It loses signal.
Fuck it, where does this road go anyway?
I turn and start to head down a road I've never been on before. It's a nice 2 lane road, heading into the wilderness that is central Florida. I ride through farmland and past citrus tree, there are more than enough twisties to make it interesting. I am the only bike on this road, and I realize it's a hidden gem as I putt along at about 40 to 50 miles per hour. It's a great road, no potholes, the curves well marked out.
I pull off here and there when something catches my eye, an old barn falling down or a baby calf grazing at the fence line. I try to entice it with some flowers picked by the side of the road but it wants nothing to do with some strange man riding a noisy machine.
I ride some more, the smell of lavender off in the distance. I turn a corner and see an old familiar sign. I'm in the Green Swamp now. The paved road gives out to hard scrabble but it's nothing that I've not ridden on before, Kimmie and I move forward, till the road were on dead ends at a small but well maintained little church and graveyard.
I ask permission of the dead to move my motorcycle close to the graves and take my photo. Taking a few minutes to watch the various butterfly's float through the air. It's peaceful here and I can understand why the Baptist Church seems to be in the middle of no where.
Off again now....through twists and turns heading home or at least in that general direction. I cross an old wooden one lane bridge. I worry about stopping in the middle of it, but I hear no cars...in fact I hear nothing but nature and the gurgle of the water below me.
On the way home I was able to get a few historical markers out of the way. So I was able to get some points towards the rally. But the rally was an afterthought. All I wanted to do now was ride.