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Nothin’ Could be Fine-ah June 7, 2009

Posted by dakotabiker in Rides.
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Than to be in Carolina in …     Ribeyes Steakhouse

LRO and LCROSS are all set to launch out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on June 17th, and I am heading to Florida for the Flight Readiness Review on the 10th.  Instead of flying down, I took the opportunity to ride the Harley.  I broke the trip into three legs – the first stop in Lillington, NC.

Am sitting in Ribeyes Steakhouse, the same wonderful establishment from my Columbus Day ride.  I love this place.  The salad bar is a carnivores dream (or at least my ideal)  — it’s small but with everything I could want.  My “salad”: lettuce, shredded cheese, ham, real bacon, hard-boiled eggs, onions, sunflower seeds, croutons, french fried onions, and the creamiest ranch dressing.  Oh yeah!

Having had a significant stomach issues following a 32-oz cowboy cut ribeye a few weeks ago, I chose to me a little more parsimonious in my selection this time.  I debated between the 14 and 16 ounce, and finally went for the 16.  ‘Cept after telling the story of my Columbus Day ride (340-odd miles for a Ribeye’s ribeye) to the barmaid, and the guy at the end of the bar saying “Yeah – I remember that!”,  the chef upgraded me to an 18 ouncer….  I regret to inform you that I am kind of wimping out with half the slab of Pittsburgh-charred cow flesh still sitting there as I very unrealistically hope to get a second wind….

The ride down was generally pretty good.  Excellent weather: warm with sun, very little wind.  Shade was a bit chilly with a jacket, but completely tolerable.  I got on the road much, much later than I had hoped and was a little concerned about making it to Lillington by nightfall.  I pretty much stuck to I-95 hoping for a fast ride but ended up hitting major backups just south of DC and some slow-downs near Richmond, VA.  Looking at my unfinished steak I realize my stop south of Richmond at Hardee’s was a huge mistake.

I hopped off I-95 about 8 miles ahead of the North Carolina boarder onto US-301 to pick up my ABCs-09 picture at the same conveniently-placed North Carolina sign I used in 2008.  As a bonus I picked up my “N” and “G” counties in the same stop.

A few miles down the road I saw a biker waving his arms as he sat in the shade of a roadside tree.  I did a quick U-turn to see if he needed help.  He had stopped for a quick “bio-break” and found his bike unable to start.  Unfortunately, I was at a loss as to how to help.  I offered my cell phone but he already had one.  I hung with him for a while until he got a line on a towing service.  Despite my inability to provide much more than moral support, he thanked me profusely for my willingness to stop to try to help.  With tow truck en route, I got back on the road.

I hopped back onto I-95, near Weston, NC pleased to find beautifully new smooth asphalt with little traffic.  I raced down the interstate making excellent time as my shadow grew longer and longer to my left. 

Reaching Benson, I turned off onto the road to Lillington.  I was thinking the place looked quite pleasant, but smelled of a familiar stink I couldn’t quite remember.  What was it?  Oh, yeah — a chicken coop.  Hmmm, must be a poultry farm nearby… Nope.  It was a semi stacked 8 layers high with live chickens.  The two cars in front of me turned off leaving me following directly behind the cluck-truck  Now, I have followed garbage trucks on my commute into DC many times before, and have to say that the foul stench if a DC sanitation vehicle is truly rivaled by the fowl stench of a poultry wagon.  A few times I saw “something” leaking from the side of the truck.  “Gross!” I thought.  But that was topped by the sight of chickens projectile crapping, literally shooting excrement from their cages.  I tried to back off but was caught in the wake of chicken shit and feathers for several miles until the truck turned off.

Shortly thereafter I was in Lillington.  I pulled into the Mictotel lot, unpacked the bike, and checked in.  I dug thorough my poorly packed luggage to find a clean shirt, cleaned the chicken shit off my jeans, and walked over to Ribeyes….

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