Day 14 Continued: The People You Meet-Brief Views of Today’s Encounters

After a long ride I was exhausted and stopped at the Chevron in Fairview, Utah.
1. A man who was dressed in full leathers. He had been on a ride to visit his grandchildren. We talked about different rides we had been on. His closing line was: “A bad day on the road is better than a good day in the office.” I don’t know if I agree. I work at a great place with good people.
2. Danny was delivering fuel to the Chevron and we chatted. His wife died two years ago from liver cancer. She had gone into the hospital to have her gallbladder removed and they found the cancer. She lived for another 11 weeks. It still hurts him. I told him I understand. He has two daughters that live near him and a son in New York. He has a lady friend he’s been going out with. She divorced 12 years ago when he husband announced he was gay. I told Danny a bit about my life and my recent divorce. This guy was so incredibly nice I hated to say goodbye to him.
3. Jesse came up to me to ask about road conditions heading into the Rocky Mountain National Park. “Is highway 31 clear?” I didn’t know. We chatted about the roads we had taken and the places we had stayed. “There’s a great campground on the Nevada border. 5 bucks to camp out.” He admired Big Red and I walked over to see his bike. It was a BMW 800 GS, a great dual bike (road and trail). He showed me the slight damage where he had fallen on the bike once. He had it duct taped up. He said he had been going down a road and suddenly it changed to dirt and stones and he dropped the bike. He broke a few ribs but his bike was in good shape. This reminded me of a road I’d taken in Missouri. I had lost Highway 61 and I was trying to get back to it. I was going about 65 when suddenly the paved road ended and I hit a dirt and rocky road. I was lucky. I stopped accelerating and otherwise didn’t react at all (wu wei –non action). The bike eventually slowed.
4. I spoke to the woman working at the motel. Fascinating place as it also has an assisted living and independent living section for older people. She had just moved down about 8 months ago. She used to live about two hours north. She came down to visit her daughter and her grandchildren on a Friday and the next day she was offered a job as a nurse/motel worker. She loves being here with her grandchildren and yes she spoils them. “That’s your job!” I said and she laughed. She misses her mother who lives back in her last town but she has a younger sister to take care of her.
5. I walked up to talk with Glenn at the hotel because, unbelievably, he had a Georgia tag on his motorcycle. He lives near Atlanta and told me about all his travels and the different places he had lived. He lived in Japan for years teaching English. He and his wife had ridden across to San Francisco and were heading home.

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