A small bounce back

I got to my camping area last night, about 30 minutes after they closed.

They had a small gate guard building manned by a college age kid. He allowed me in and recommended that I leave before 8am. No problem. Thanks!

That helps balance out the nightly expenditures, until tonight. I’ll get to that in a second.

I was up with the sun at 5:30 am, that and my back was really hurting. It didn’t help that my camp site was sloped slightly down, to the side.

I left by 6:15, while enveloped in a thick fog that was hanging on tightly to the Delaware River. It was so bad that at times I was getting hit with actual raindrops and my headlights were only there to serve as a warning to other drivers. None of us could see much. I needed a place to try to wait until it burned off.

I got lucky in a little town about 13 miles from camp. A cool little coffee shop run by a couple originally from Long Island. I also got lucky because this was their first day ever opening at 6 am. They usually open at 7 and I would have missed it.

I hate oatmeal. For some odd reason, this morning it sounded appealing and so I got that along with a bagel and coffee. It was actually amazing and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I just chilled for an hour hoping the fog would go away. It didn’t.

I followed the Delaware and a tributary for over an hour before the fog burned off and I was treated to these views of a lake in New York.

I was loving the ride today. Meandering roads, beautiful views and low traffic. That, combined with a whole new area to me and neat little towns. I was feeling a bit of peace again. I was just letting it all go. It seemed befitting then that today should be the day I got to ride through Woodstock. I didn’t want to stop but it was fun regardless. And then I rode through a half mile construction zone. On the other side I could immediately tell something was wrong. I pulled into a gas station and hopped of the bike to look. Damn. Both tires were flat. The rear to the rim and the front almost was as well. I didn’t want to use fix a flat because after the last experience, the Harley tech tried to convince me that it was bad for the rim and future techs would like me more if they didn’t have to clean the wheel as well. Plus, the Harley dealer was just 5 miles down the road. I made it. I explained it all to the service guy and sat down to wait. 30 minutes later they bring the bike back out and tell me nothings wrong that they can find. Uh huh. Great.

I made my way over to the Taconic Scenic Byway. It is the same idea as the Blue Ridge Parkway. No stops, no towns, just one speed, point it and go. I discovered that the Taconic SB was Franklin Roosevelt’s pet project in the 1920’s.

And then I had a squishy tire again. This time just the back. Air up and on my way but now I’m a nervous wreck. The roads are still beautiful but every curve, every bump, every wiggle, I’m panicking. What if?!

I get into Vermont and damn. This State is amazing. Oddly enough my GPS has me routed on some crazy back roads. I even ride by Calvin Coolidge’s boyhood home. I don’t like being so isolated though because I feel like I’m far from help if I need it.

The back tire goes flat again. $#@& Woodstock HD for telling me I was fine. This time I check the front as well and it’s sitting at only 10 psi. Not good. I should have put fix a flat in anyway. I’m about an hour out from the nearest Harley dealer, on my way, in New Hampshire. My GPS says I’ll get there at 5:35 pm. Some dealers close at 5. Wouldn’t that just be my luck. I call and the service guy says they are open until 6. I hope I make it as I don’t have a lot of leeway.

Just in time. When I pull in my tires look good. Wouldn’t that be so awesome if they hold air just long enough for the techs to stay there’s nothing wrong?

It’s late though and so they’ll have to do it tomorrow. I’m going to have them do the 15,000 mile service at the same time even though I’m only at 14,000 (only 14. Ha! Ox is 3 months old). She’s been running hot and could probably use the love. The service guy, Sully, is a Marine combat vet with bad PTSD. He gets me. I don’t think it could be in better hands. After talking with him for about 5 minutes, we’re already family. I gave him one of my cards. I hope he can follow along.

So here I am. I checked into the Hotel Coolidge and had to take an Uber to get here. There goes my budget. Again. The hotel was originally built in 1849 but burned down 10 years later. I’m staying in the portion that was built in 1929. The desk clerk felt bad for me (is it my face?) and very kindly upgraded me to a suite, which is still epically smaller than a normal hotel room. It’s probably haunted as well. I love it.

As soon as my laundry is done I plan to go walk around a bit and explore some of the town of White River Junction Vermont, overlooking the Connecticut River.

Even though today could have been very bad, I’m surprised at how well I’m doing.

It was a typical “survive with PTSD” day. I had ups and downs. Normal people think those are normal things. I don’t know how to describe how they aren’t. It is all survival.

I’ll live another day.

P.S. to add: now I have separation anxiety. Ox and I haven’t been apart in so long.

Also the amazing lady at the desk in the hotel is my new best friend. She is the best person.

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