Day 2 CCR: O’ Little Town of . . .
Why, yes. Yes I am. In Bethlehem.
Today brought some surprises, like most days on the road on a motorcycle. Some good. Some not so good. And away we go …
As you’ll see from the addition of pictures to this post, I made today’s first order of business getting a dongle to transfer photo files from my camera’s SD card to my laptop. That was good. But because I’m on the road and couldn’t choose from the dozens of inexpensive options on Jeff Bezo’s website, I had to take what I could find at the local Walmart in Staunton at 7:00 a.m. I found only one item that met my needs. And it was twice as expensive as online options. But I have it and it works, so there’s that.
I promised pictures from yesterday’s ride, but since they’re a day old, I’m only going to post two. These two:
Like yesterday, I decided to route this morning’s ride off the Interstate and follow state and U.S. highways north, even though that added a couple hours to today’s ride. From Staunton, we went east until we came to a road leading down (north) the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, a road I have ridden several times before because it’s bucolic and scenic and just fun to ride. Motoring up that wide, fecund valley, it’s easy to see why the United States Army fought so hard in the early 1860s to wrest it from Confederate rebels using its agrarian bounty to prolong the rebellion against the government. Named the Stonewall Jackson Highway, the valley road passes through miles of well-tended farmland, as well as past historic buildings and railroad bridges that attest to its age and the activities it has hosted for northern Virginia families for more than two centuries.
As we got to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, where the Shenandoah River and the Potomac River join together and where John Brown tried unsuccessfully in 1859 to seize the U.S. Armory and begin an armed uprising of enslaved persons against their enslavers, I tried to reset the GPS mapping program on my phone. My brand new iPhone 13. My brand new expensive iPhone 13. My brand new expensive iPhone 13 that is supposed to guide me across 7,000 miles of Canada. What I got instead of a GPS reset was the Black Screen of Death. Then my face shield fogged up as steam poured out of my ears. (Just kidding about the face shield. Not about the Black Screen of Death.) Being well beyond my teen years, I had no clue what to do about the BSD, and I was more than a little concerned I had somehow fried my phone, my pocket-sized link to the civilized world. But I also suspected that deep within the bowels of the Internet there might be a solution. So, we continued up the highway until we came to a fast food establishment (which shall remain nameless) where I could get something to eat while I mooched their McWifi. Sure enough, I wasn’t the only iPhone user to experience the BSD and the fix turned out to be fairly easy, lowering my no-doubt elevated blood pressure expeditiously. (Write this down: Quickly press the up volume button, followed by a quick press of the down volume button, followed by pressing and holding the power on/off button. The phone resets and comes back to life. Easy peasy.) It’s working fine now and the rejuvenated GPS guided us to our Bethlehem lodging like a modern star in the east.
I’ve said many times that good rides are best measured by unexpected meetings of unusual people. Today included an unexpected meeting of a very unusual person. It’s not often you run across a tattooed woman hiking across America with a goat. In fact, in 74 years I can’t recall that ever happening to me. When I saw a woman wearing bright pink knee-high socks hiking with a goat accompanied by a bearded man hiking with a basset hound, well, I just had to stop to investigate. Here’s the story I learned from her and from her YouTube channel: Three years ago she sold her house, built a tiny house on wheels and set out to hike the major trails in America. While building the tiny house, she lived on a goat ranch, where she rescued a sickly newborn goat she named Little Leaf, who survived against incredible odds with her support and is now a healthy hiking companion. She heartily congratulated us on our planned CCR, saying, “that’s what life is all about.” She’s right. If you want to learn more, check out her YouTube channel at Kate Cloud.
Between the BSD and a hiking goat, it’s been quite a day. Tomorrow probably won’t be as exciting.