The old man continued to roll north, watching the sky closely. Late night black until the lightning lit up the towering storm clouds in green and orange hues. The pavement was damp and he could smell the rain. It was still far enough off that the thunder was still a deep distant rumble, nearly drowned out by the exhaust note of the bike. He had waited too long, knew the weather was gonna turn but getting lost outside of Wichita and stopped by the cops just outside of some no name Kansas town slowed him up a bit. Among other things….
The Flint Hills were a beautiful sight in the late summer morning, rolling green with different shades of brown and grays of the rock outcroppings. A hawk soaring high in some invisable current. Even with the light haze, one could see for miles. The old man wished that he had more time to get lost on some back roads. Hell, he wasn’t for sure where he was going anyway. Just a rally outside some little hamlet that he had read about on the internet. It had been a rough week at work, this was a good excuse “to get the fuck out of Dodge” and unwind a bit on the open road.
Goddamn, it was getting hot….After picking up a couple bottles of water at a truckstop, the old man rode around the parked rigs and headed west on the parched two lane blacktop. He turned north on the dusty country road hating the way the front wheel danced on the loose gravel. He saw the large circus tent with the sides rolled up; turned up the dirt road and into the old cornfield, bike handling like a pig in the mounds of loose dirt, weeds and stubble of what had been planted there. He parked the big Harley among the other bikes, flattening an old beer can and placing it under the kickstand hoping the heavy scooter wouldn’t turn over in the loosely packed dirt.
What he had thought to be a bike rally turned out to be a tent revival. He looked around scoping out the scene. The bikes, four wheel drives, old cars. A couple of RV’s set up on the west side of the tent. A grill was set up and the burgers and brats smelled good, he hadn’t eaten in a while, suspected many of these here hadn’t eaten in a while. A real mix of people….Rednecks, bikers, freakers, anything and everything in between.
The food had been good, the music and preaching not half bad. The preacher an old country boy that was pretty damn good at what he did. One of the bikers played a wicked guitar. All in all a good time, the people mostly friendly, and the old man relaxed sitting in the old steel folding chair.
She introduced herself and asked for a ride to the truck stop to refill her coffee cup. He suspected she wanted a little more, and planned on giving it to her. He mounted the heavy iron horse, lit off the engine and wrestled the heavy beast up on the road as she tied her long curly hair back in a tight bun.
They blew by the truckstop, heading east on ’50. Running the bike through the gears, both digging the low deep exhaust rumble and the Easyriders soundtrack on CD player. He was soaked in sweat, had to smell but she didn’t seem mind as she rubbed his shoulders. Hell, he would dry soon enough….
The old man set the cruise, letting the bike find it’s way through the gentle rolling hills. Enjoying the scenery, the old school rock ‘n roll, and the company of an attractive younger woman. Braking for the spot in the road towns, resuming the cruise on the outskirts. forgeting time, feeling the hot sun and the gentle hands. Inner peace and contentment were hard for him to find, but now and again came along in short glimpses. Enough of a good thing, he turned the big bike around at an old shabby deserted gas station, stole a kiss, and headed back west, into the setting sun and Salvation….
Fuckin’ storm was building and the old man was riding right for it. Could now feel the steady roll of the thunder, lightning putting on quite a show and no riding around it. Shit, he should have left earlier. No such thing as perfect motorcycle weather in the Midwest, but then that was part of the adventure….