Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Day Seven

Luray VA

No riding today. After six straight days on the bike, I am FINE with the break. As I was falling asleep last night, I figured out where my phone was ... the memory just popped to the surface of my mind clear as day, as sometimes happens. T and BamBam, with whom I was sharing a room, were lucky that I didn't leap up shouting "Eureka!" Yesterday, riding in the cab of the tow truck, I was juggling my gloves and my cel phone and my helmet. I remembered trying to call the dealership on my phone, got no answer because they were closed, and stuck the phone along with my gloves inside my helmet, using it like a bucket to carry all my junk. Fast forward to arriving at the dealership. Talking to the guy there, I set my helmet down on an ATV parked in the work bay. Of course, I forget and set it down facing right-side-up. The gloves stay in, the phone falls out. I can even hear the little 'clunk' of it falling, which did not register as meaningful at the time. With any luck, it'll still be right there.

Once we're all up and around, there's a little milling about before we get our gear stowed, a little coffee in the coffeedrinkers, and then we head out in the general direction of the Shenandoah NP. The cabin where we will be staying is privately owned but within the national park borders. I'm still hitching a ride in the car with Wild1 and Thumper, of course. It's not far before we make a little right on a well-packed dirt and gravel road, travel a little ways down through the forest, and come upon a driveway which leads to a clearing which features three cabins neat as a pin. This is SO COOL. The cabin in the northeast corner of the clearing is ours. T has the keys, so she opens it up and we all troop in to check it out. It's wood and high ceilings and unfinished beams and rustic-cutsie and we all think it's wonderful. Exploration commences. I get completely confused by the layout ... three separate staircases lead to entirely disconnected portions of the cabin. (It will take me a day before I stop taking the wrong stairs, ending up in the solarium instead of my bedroom. Also, I am not the only one who is confused and repeatedly does this. Heh.) We select our sleeping arrangements, giving Wild1 the one downstairs bedroom so she won't have to climb stairs on her bum ankle, and schlep our bags inside. A little more milling about and settling in, we figure out all the things we have to do today. The major shopping trip will be this afternoon. First, though, we need to head back to the Honda dealership and get whatever's wrong with my bike fixed.

Enough farting around! Eventually I pile in the car with Thumper and Wild1 and we're on our way back to Harrisonburg. It takes a little time to get there, but it gives me a chance to admire the rolling Virginia countryside. This part of the Shenandoah is mostly farmland, dotted with small towns. It all looks incredibly charming to me. We arrive at Blue Ridge Power Sports, find the service manager, and I explain the trouble I was having. Also, I want them to do the regular 20,000 mile service. The price he quotes me for that is incredibly cheap - about half what they'd charge in Los Angeles. Good deal. I ask if anyone's found a lost cel phone. Nope, no luck. So I ask about the ATV that had been sitting in the service bay. I am told it's gone back to Fairfield VA this morning. Oh, crap! Borrowing Wild1's phone, I call my own number; it rings four times and then goes to voicemail. Wild seems to think this means it's still alive, and that it wouldn't do that if it had fallen on the road and been smashed to bits by a truck. I am not convinced, but hey, hope is always a good thing. The service manager gives us the phone number of the owner of the ATV. A bit embarrassed, I call him, and say I know this sounds really strange but I think I dropped my phone on your ATV and have you seen it? Amazingly, he says yes I have it right here. A miracle! We arrange to drive down to meet & pick up the phone at the McDonalds in Fairfield. It takes us about an hour to get down there. I really appreciate Wild and Thump running around with me to get the darn thing back. Now, I'm back in touch with the world again. We joke that my phone went on an adventure without me, that it wasn't yet tired of traveling even though I was. :)

Our big event of the afternoon is grocery shopping for our stay in Virginia. It sounds like the start of a bad joke: Five biker chicks walk into Walmart ... We hit the local WallyWorldSuperStore and all grab carts, piling up the food and beverage essentials. We are now very well-covered on the beer front. We go amazingly light on the junk food. Damn, these girls eat healthy ;)

In the evening, T makes an incredibly delicious macaroni & cheese dinner. I'm not talking mac and cheese out of a box ... this is the homemade good stuff, baked until it gets that lovely brown top over yummy chewy middle. Damn, I need that recipe! We stay up late, talking the night away, until everyone eventually wanders off to bed. I've found a good book to read - "A Walk In The Woods" by Bill Bryson (appropriate for the location!) It's the kind of quick read that sucks me in, and I finish a third of it before I snap off the light and go to sleep.

Next: Day Eight

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