Short Days of November...The Gathering and Beyond
by Marina Ackerson

     It’s all good. 

     November brings the Gathering at Don Cameron’s place and reason enough to do some riding in Texas.  It was a cold, exceptionally clear day to launch from Albuquerque, warming up in T or C.  Deming brought sunshine and blue skies.  We shot black powder, pistols, played piston toss, rode wee bikes, watched Chuck do wheelies, told tall tales, and ate fantastic barbeque while remembering our nation’s veterans.

     Four of us left for Texas…dead pigs in the road, cotton fields, oil wells, wind turbines, gumbo, pecans, peanuts, sand dunes, oysters, fog, full moonlight riding, tumbleweed, shiner bock, a ferry boat ride and surfer boys.  We rode past ranches for miles with real tall fences to keep the exotic animals in.  Yes, the roads might have been long and straight, but dull it was not.  As Don says “I just like to ride.”  From the dry and wind in the desert to full on humidity and 80+ degree temps in Corpus Christi and South Padre Island, over the Rio Grande and Pecos rivers and then in to the Gerbing jacket on blast.  Love the courteous drivers moving to the right to let you by in Texas.  Dow Chemical at night in Lake Jackson --- looks like something out of star wars.  It may be larger in size and scope than the Ford Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

     And, oh yes, it was only the nut on the front sprocket off the 650 that fell off this time, leaving the sprocket in place.  We think blue locktight is the answer.  A little spit and bailing wire, a hose clamp, some trick riding and we made it to town to find a nut that fit.  I was traveling with the right people.  All was well in the world.  That night in Uvalde, Texas, we drank some cold Shiner Bock in frozen glasses and managed to eat some big juicy steaks.  The blonde barmaid with a cowgirl hat on was fascinated with us and our tale – all from different states on a week’s ride in Texas.

     Riding alone for the last two days to return to Albuquerque, I passed through the rolling hills surrounding Killeen and Fort Hood where I spent the first six months of my marriage a lifetime ago – 1967.  The buildings are all still beige and the track vehicles are still out there.

     It was a week of riding that was better than anything else I might have been doing…  It’s all good. 

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