Category: Motorcycle

Blog posts about motorcycles.

The Rapture of a North Carolina Muffler Man

The Rapture of a North Carolina Muffler Man

Much like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects a religious experience.  It’s just one of those things that sneak up you when you aren’t lookin’. If not the sight of Saint Pete at the gates or Archangel Michael eating tacos, what could you attribute the expression on this guy’s face to?

Point of note: One of Saint Peter’s patronages is Horology. Horology and Whoreology? These homonyms are two entirely different things and will guide you down two very different internet rabbit holes.

Maybe this muff looks so in awe to me because I keep thinking that his lips are an open mouth – My God, It’s full of stars.

But upon closer inspection, he does seems to have bags under his eyes. Perhaps his look is less rapture, more why did I wake up behind a dumpster in a winter coat, with no pants and one shoe on. I mean, who doesn’t know THAT feeling?

Wait, what? No… one… else..?

Well, would you look at the time. Lunch hour is over, best be running along.


If you’d like to visit this muffler man, you’ll find him in Raleigh, North Carolina.

See Rock City Barns

See Rock City Barns

While riding in North Carolina and Tennessee last fall, I saw three See Rock City barns – one of which was entirely serendipitous.

Isn’t it funny how that happens? Something becomes of interest to you and it begins to show itself in unexpected places – sometimes on a path which you’ve already trod. Maybe my dad was right, water rises to its own level. Do we become magnets for things? Do we disperse our energy into the world and watch it fall like glitter on the air, dusting those things that are supposed to sparkle for our attention?

This Rock City barn in Grainger County, Tennessee was gorgeous. I was graced with a big blue sky, vibrant red barn, and green grass just waving in the wind. Seeing this baby was like being inside of a postcard.

On my way north along Calderwood Highway heading to Marysville, Tennessee, I passed this Rock City Barn. I’d had a vague recollection of seeing it several years before on a trip with friends to the Dragon.

Marysville, Tennessee
Google Maps

This super-fade was a stone throw from where I saw one of those menacing Giant Chicken Army soldiers in Robbinsville, North Carolina. One minute you’re contemplating your next move in a global war game against fowl beasts and the next thing you know, BAM! Rock City Barn. Life is nothing if not mysteriuos.

See 7 States from Rock City
Robbinsville, North Carolina
Google Maps

Interested in seeing some barns yourself? Well, you’re in luck. The Rock City website happens to have a location map for ya.

Not Much Doin’ in Esmont, Virginia

Not Much Doin’ in Esmont, Virginia

Have you ever heard of Esmont, Virginia? I hadn’t until I found myself passing through on the way towards the tiny Rockfish post office.

How had I even heard of that? Really, what’s a suburbanite from Long Island with no connection to Virginia and whose only recollection of The Waltons was, “Goodnight, Johnboy” doin’ knowin’ about such things? …the Rockfish post office. I mean, c’mon. Surely this space in my brain was meant for something greater like quantum physics, time travel or how to will my legs to stop growing hair. That’d be useful! But, no. I’m cerebrally filing away rickety old post offices.

Oh well.

Were it not for the backroad whims I follow, I’d miss out on a lot of quiet moments in out of the way places. I s’pose that’s part of the beauty of not planning the fun out of everything. You find yourself meandering through places you wouldn’t generally have cause to be in otherwise.

I know I’d miss out on the wonderin’ about the life lived in those tucked away corners of the world if I didn’t slow my roll through places like Esmont.

Who was Miller? Where’d they go? I’ll just have to keep wondering.

Stumblin’ Upon Some Backroad Petroliana

Stumblin’ Upon Some Backroad Petroliana

In October of 2018, I spent some time bumming around on the Bonneville. My meandering route took me down through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky before I started making my way back east to New York through West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Not having a set route or a plan is my usual road trip vibe. I leave home with a general sense of where I want to go or things I might want to visit. But, other than that I try to leave myself wiggle room to add and subtract along the way. After all, it is a big gorgeous world out there. You never know what wonderful thing is waiting for you around the next corner.

Not long after visiting the husk of the Underwood & Petty Service Station in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, I had to slam on the brakes and pull a quick U-y to get a good look at this building:

I can’t say for sure whether this was an actual business or just the trappings of a collector-type. Looking at the details on the building and the “fire door” sign through the window, maybe it did operate as a store of some type. Whatever the case may be, it was nice to stumble across it.

Sadly, I have no stinkin’ idea where it is. I’d be only too glad to share the location. For now, it’ll have to remain a mystery.

Last Night I Dreamt of Ravens

Last Night I Dreamt of Ravens

Last night I dreamt of ravens; ravens hiding amongst a murder of crows. Try as they might to unassumingly blend with the other corvids, I saw them as clear as day. True greatness cannot remain hidden. Like water against rock, it fights it’s way free.

Raven, did you come to warn me of misfortune or perhaps betrayal? Was your prophecy that of wisdom? I want to take heed but as in so many matters, I simply do not understand. In the off chance you are taking requests, a message from the god of truth and healing would be nice. Living with the knowledge that I know so little is a new paper cut each day.

You’ve come to me many times in the last year, Raven. More times than in the sum of my whole life. You have been calling out on well-worn paths. But, until recently, I never saw you, never heard your voice. Were you always there while I was busy sleepwalking?

One autumn afternoon, I heard you before I could see you. You were invisible, or my eyes were blind. I know not which. There was only your call carried on the wind. Though we’d not met, I knew your voice, I knew it was you on the far side of my sight. The omniscient voice told me that there was something more beyond my reach. But, the first step was to believe.

Do you remember when you called to me from the leafless tree over the river? It was just you and me. I stood listening as the sun reflected on your blue-black wings; you told me a secret. The knowledge was only for me. When the strangers came to see you, you said nothing more and I knew it was time for me to go. Were you there to guide my soul towards a new life?

That morning in the rain, you perched exposed, silently watching the fog. There were many places nearby in which to seek shelter, to shield yourself from the harshness of the elements. But you sought them not. Head down, you did not turn away from discomfort. You met it head on, diminishing its power over you. My wish for you was a laurel wreath.

Was that you, Apollo? 

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