I finish loading the bike (my 2007 Ducati Mutistrada 1100S, Red, of course) with the essentials for a minimally planned quest. A few tools, a still and video camera, computer, comfortable and functional clothes, a GPS…but no map. No need for a map, I have known this destination since I was imprinted while watching the movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. It is common knowledge in my family that in 1947, my arrival on this particular planet was thru the portal at Roswell – however, the sheer tractive power of attraction emanating from that big rock in Wyoming suggests that perhaps there is a connection there as well. It is as clear as mashed potatoes in Richard Dreyfuss’s hands – Devils Tower – that’s the destination… could it be any other ? The time is right, the planets are aligned…well, actually, I have managed to clear two weeks on my calendar that could possibly remain uninterrupted or project the illusion of non-interuptis. Of course, HoneyBunny is not completely on board with this whole quest business, but then she is a native terrestrial being – all these intergalactic family tree pronouncements are just so much mumbo jumbo to her earthling bred brain. But having finally accepted the concept of “Resistance is Futile”, she blesses the trip with a small bag of emergency graham crackers (Golden Bunny brand with honey, of course).
Alex seems concerned about the packing in general but is soon distracted by 7of9 the cat – after a rousing round of “get the kitty” – he could care less. Whitley is in her aloof mode – she knows I will return…hopefully with a brush.
The weather is perfect as I head out for the first destination of the day, a quick visit with Ed Krass at his shop, Mid-South Motoplex, in Clarksville. The shop is pretty quiet and I know Ed would rather it be much more busy. As it is, he has time for a chat and pronounces the RideAbout to be a Good Thing. He sees me off as I embark in the general direction of that mysterious force looming from within the giant scalloped rock formation on the eastern edge of Wyoming.
My first general destination is Antique Archaeology in LeClaire, IA – home of the American Pickers TV show. But it is more than a one day ride to LeClaire so along the way I drop in to visit up and coming young racer Zac Nash and his family in Vincennes, IN. We have a fun visit, talk and look at his bikes, inspect the bent rims from the Snowshoe GNCC and have lunch. Zac is in his senior year of high school, making good grades (will likely be valedictorian of his class), and planning to be a mechanical engineer. Since I know a little about that we talk about the various schools he has been visiting and his plans. A quick family photo in front of my bike and I am off once again toward LeCaire.
I had planned to spend the night at Springfield, IL but I stayed a little too long at Zac’s – so I stop short of Springfield at Effingham, IL for the night.
RideAbout Day 1 complete – Mileage for the day – 330 – Total mileage – 330.