31 August 2007


Richard Bach wrote about the light in the toolbox in his book "One" that I read way back in high school.

He spoke of how machines have a soul, how they have a life and personality all their own. Not life as defined by scientists, but any mechanic will tell you that each machine has it's own quirks.

Richard Bach is a pilot and writer; his passion is flying. I do my flying a little closer to the ground. My passion is motorcycles.

We departed on a Sunday, the sun felt good after days of badly needed rain. The road hummed beneath her tires as she took her bearings from the rising sun and headed north.

My son and I have been riding her now for a couple of weeks, letting her stretch her legs and letting her and I get used to each other. Now it's time for us to go see the Man.

US1 north from Franklinton is a four lane highway, but where it joins with Interstate 85 in Henderson it turns back into a two-lane road that winds through the small towns. We are not in a big hurry so we take the back roads, ignoring the ease of the interstate in favor of the more challenging twists and turns of the two-lane.

Halfway between South Hill and Kenbridge VA we turn off onto Bacon Fork Road. Our journey is almost through.

We roll into the yard, the sun sparkling off her fresh coat of blue paint. He looks out the window. She shows off her new gold pinstriping for him.

"Damn", he says. "She looks great!"

She hears him.

We spend the day there, he takes his powered wheelchair for a lap around her to see her up close. We talk of days past, of rides taken and sights seen. We enjoy the day, my friend and I.

All too soon the sun starts to sink in the western sky. I turn the key and push the starter button.

We once again take the back roads home. It's a day for riding, and remembrance, something that is difficult to do on the mindless expanse of asphalt that is the interstate highway system.

The sky is purple as we arrive back at the Refuge. I leave her in her shed, along with the Harley that eyes me balefully. Lucille is jealous, but like most redheads making up with her will be the most fun.

This ride is done, but there are many more ahead.

For both of us.

Note from the Scoundrel: "This post was originally written as the third part of a triligy. Parts one and two are here. This part has been a long time coming. I thank you for your patience."

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