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Date: 23 November 2013. Travelers Met.


A couple days ago (specifically on 21 November 2013) I had come to town to check for mail and do a bit of provisioning. Mail, real mail, is such a treat for me, especially since I'm out here without the privilege of regular deliveries from the postman. Bills come electronically, but mail is sometimes from friends. Or Amazon -- I am weak when it comes to books.

As I exited the post office I saw the neatest thing: a motorcycle, obviously set up for traveling with a dog on the driver's seat. How cool is that?!

Of course I had to look around for an owner and met outside the Carrabelle Junction (a diner that serves lunch and ice-cream cones, a personal favorite treat) a fellow with his foot up. Redd and I started chatting and soon enough his pretty girl Penny arrived with lunch.

K-T (the well-trained dog) joined and proved herself well-behaved, however Skipper needs to work on her interaction with bigger dogs (and they are all bigger than she is!) skills. Mine demonstrated her growling technique much to my chagrin. We continued to share our experiences as folks who live off the grid, though theirs is a temporary trip to acclimate Penny to the lifestyle.

Redd's a motorcycle mechanic and they are on a one week excursion, having left South Carolina and journeyed to the Florida Keys. Now they are on their way north and returning to home. Many years ago Redd had been a traveler and hopes to enamor Penny with it as well.

She's a quilter (me too!) and very crafty, crocheting, knitting, sewing and more. And of course to be on the road means giving up the huge quantities of project components we artsy folks can accumulate. Still, in talking she was telling me how the more simple her life becomes, the happier she is. She said specifically "Less is more" and went on to tell me how much happier she is now that she's pared down her collection of stuff.

It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are,
or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy.
It is what you think about. Dale Carnegie, 1888-1955.

Isn't that what we all strive for? Happiness without the complexities of too much Stuff. Ownership is often convoluted, in that the stuff drives our time and efforts versus paving the way for our enjoyment. Penny gets that -- so do I!

K-T before she joined us at the outdoor table:


I'm always interested in how folks meet, and Penny met Redd at a flea market. She said he was a real good deal. They've been together two or three years now and seem to have that companionable relationship that many yearn for.

Anyway, Redd tells me that he always runs his motorcycle to empty, then refills from a one gallon container he keeps with him at all times when on the road. Many years ago down further south in Florida he ran out of fuel and began the carry a spare gallon bit when traveling.

So, on the 20th of November he and Penny left the Florida Keys and headed north toward Carrabelle where he has a friend. Traffic around Tampa was dreadful (it's increased a bit in the last 30-plus years since he first ran the road) so shortly after getting on Route 19 (a north-south corridor) as night fell they began to look for a spot to camp for the night. 

Redd was impressed with his back-lit GPS which allows him to see not only the highway he's on but also the back roads. I know I rely on my Garmin76 and yes, in addition to the waterway charts it also has roads. I confess I use mine as an anchor confirmation -- so that when the wind blows I can confirm that Seaweed is in the same place without leaving my bunk. That's especially important when it's cold and I don't want to get up!

At about 10 p.m. they found a nice spot to pull well off the highway and set up their tent. They noticed a lame dog limping around -- a hunting dog pup with what appeared to be a hurt leg. Over night they gave the pup water and food, and kept it comfortable. Then, in the morning just after dawn they called the authorities and asked for an animal control officer to pick up the pup.  The officer arrived shortly thereafter and they chatted for a while before breaking camp and heading up the road. The officer took custody of the pup.

Not two miles away they ran out of gas and this is where the story astounds... Approximately 30-plus years ago Redd ran out in the same spot. And the same man offered him fuel! Of course they caught up on each others lives and enjoyed the amazing coincidence. How nice it must have been to revisit a part of his past, and to be able to share it with Penny as well.


Beaded seat cover, explained.

One more thing before I close. I asked Redd to tell me about the beaded seat cover that they use on their Harley. He said it had several benefits. When the leather is hot it adds a bit of cooling air circulation. If it's raining the water will flow under the beads and keep the butt dry and finally, if it's cold when covered with some wool the seat stays warm.

I'd always wondered about those beads and now I know. K-T rides on the tank and is quite the biker dog!


Redd and Penny shared with me a slew of pictures from
their trip to Key West. Click
HERE to see them.

On our big boat (the 40'er) we used to carry small motorcycles in the cockpit for when we'd get to shore. A davit with dual mounting points port and starboard allowed us to unload the bikes at docks from either side. I even had a mini-bike when I was knee high to a grasshopper, with a governor so it would only go 25mph.

That's it from my world today. Thanks for stopping by and happy journeys to you as well.

Have you ever owned a motorcycle?
Did you ever live on the road and off the grid?


2013, 2019

Categories: Characters, Sojourners Saloon

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