Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Pirate Rally Aftermath:

     see:     Pirate's Website

During the year I was told to keep more to the facts, rather than become a professor and ‘teach’ stuff. So I will just record where we were in 2016 and not elaborate too much on the details. Naturally, if I find some ‘good’ stuff, I will add it for my own curiosity. I thought about some of life’s challenges and have to report that we all make plans but then stuff happens and the outcome is a bit different than what we thought would happen.

Here it goes: 

Tampa, FL
On the way back from the Pirates’ Rally, we noticed I could use a new rear tire and we stopped at the BMW dealer in Tampa, FL to have one installed, we even told them to change the Rear Drive oil on the bike since it is easy once the tire is off.
While waiting for the bike to be serviced we visited, the Dali Museum. While this museum is not as large as the one we saw in Figueres, Spain, it still is a wonderful place to visit. I just love Dali and his quirky art and outlook. See previous report.

Mobile, AL
I felt better having a good, new tire mounted and our next stop on the way north was Mobile Alabama. I listened to people and some told me this would be a good ‘retirement’ place, living is cheaper in Alabama. I decided to take a look at Mobile. We visited the WW2 Battleship ‘Alabama’ now a permanent exhibition at the harbor. 2500 people manned this behemoth during the War and I find it amazing this much steel can float in the water. If you are a WW2 buff, it’s a must see.
The A1
Beside the Alabama, you can enter the Submarine Drum and see how crammed the interior is. At the aviation part of the exhibition you can see the A1, the first plane to hit Mach3 (3 times the speed of sound). 

Another exhibition in Mobile was a presentation of the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Models of his ideas and inventions were on display and I was amazed at how his thinking
Military Tank Designed by da Vinci

was all over the lot.
His Military Tank with its protective cover and canons facing in all directions, could not be used as he purposely incorporated a design flaw in the gearing mechanism. We know him as the painter of the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper but as I found out, Leo was a lot more versatile than that.

Shack Up Inn
After Mobile, AL we continued north. Ken O’Malley had previously told me about a unique place to experience and to stay overnight. We visited the Shack-Up Inn and
The Chikin (sic) Coop
spent a night in their Chikin (sic) Coop Cabin (Shack). This place is a must visit should you be near Clarksdale, MS. The Inn is a former cotton
Rusted Farm Machinery
plantation converted into a hotel, but all the old style farm implements and way of life are still around. The silos were even turned into hotel rooms. Everything was very old but…….everything was in working order and clean. Our bed had a head board made from the grill of a GMC truck, including decorations with Christmas lights. Very chic. Southern Style. Parking areas were designated by digging Tires half way into the ground and then painting them in baby colors. Empty beer or Whisky bottles served as
Chair Seat Made of Womens Belts
decorations stuck up on a clothing tree. Real Nice! Purdy! (This place is a farce on Redneck Country). You kind of have to search for the Shack-Up Inn; we tooka wrong turn and got lost for a while. We ended up riding along a dirt path through still existing cotton fields to get to the ‘hotel’. It was worth it.

Memorial to Coon Dogs
 Coon Dog Cemetery
Ah, before I forget, Carol had to show me another oddity of the South. We visited a Coon Hound Cemetery. Yup!  Had to ride through lots of woods to get there but found it OK. Now for all you folks out there who don’t know what a coon hound is, click on the link to read about it.
Men and their dogs are inseparable sometimes. There are quite a few of those men. And when their dogs die? Well at least in Alabama they have a place to put their buddies to rest.  it’s a crying shame those dogs don’t live as long as humans.
Flowers on All the Coon Dog Graves
Ask anybody that had one of them Coon Dogs. Click on the picture to the right and notice the door-less outhouse in background.      >>>>>

Memphis, TN.  (Click the link to hear the music.)
I always wanted to stop there; glad I did, but once is enough. Still I like the Delta Blues. Naturally, we visited the famous Ground Zero Blues Club as well as the Delta Blues Museum.   We spent a day and night downtown hopping from one Blues Bar to another and listened to the young folks trying to break into the business. There is a lot of talent here but unfortunately, only a few will become known worldwide. Every street corner on the main strip had groups or individuals making music to get your attention and had their hands out or their hat laying on the ground in front of them, asking for ‘donations’.

Nashville, TN    (Click to hear the music) 
This is another, different blues. This time it’s the Blue Grass or better known as
Country Music at the Ryman Auditorium
Country Music
  Music, similar to what is played in KY. This town is another layover for us, we visited the Ryman Auditorium (Grand Olé’ Opry cousin) and saw, listened and now understand a bit better how the Hillbilly Music is played, promoted and shown. It’s a business, a huge business and since I am not a fan of this kind of music I cannot comment. It’s a matter of taste.
Downtown Nashville

Mechanicsburg, PA
About 200 Miles south of Harrisburg, PA I noticed oil on my new rear tire. When the mechanic in Tampa changed the rear drive oil he must have pressed the seal too much while working on it, end result……a few days in Mechanicsburg, PA for repairs at the BMW dealer. Luckily, the final drive was OK, and luckily we were semi close to a dealership. We needed a tow. I wrote to the Tampa dealer and explained our situation, he was nice enough to cover our hotel expenses and the new repair costs of the dealership in PA. Hey, we all make mistakes, right?

We made it back to Canada by April 8th but the temps north of KY had not warmed up much from when we left; it was till brutally cold. When we rode in to the monthly breakfast meeting at the Niagara BMW Motorcycle Club in Welland, ON, we found we were the only riders who rode in. People were so shocked seeing motorcycle riders in full gear that we even received a standing ovation for braving the cold. It shows you; even hard core riders thought it was way too cold to ride.

It was a month long trip filled with new impressions. Glad we made it home OK, though. Winter riding on 2 wheels is not fun. I am looking out of the window and it is snowing hard while I write this line; Whiteout conditions. Brrrr!

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