Friday, August 26, 2005

Location: Sunrize Acres, Jackson, Mich.

We circled the countryside of Jackson, lost. We were drawn there in some pilgrimage not understanding what we were looking for or where to find it. We'd apparently cruise the main strip once too often, or that's what the local cop said. Eyeball on the camo-camper he asked if we were looking for Ted. I looked to Lorileelee and she blurted out an enthusiastic " you bet ". I was oblivious. . . She shrugged her shoulders as the cop returned to his cruiser. A moment later , he returned with a sketch map and explained how to find Sunrize Acres . We loaded up and away wanting to avoid any misunderstanding.

Figuring why not, we followed the trail to an arbored gate. A guy in battle dress took one look and waved us past. Lorileelee and I, bewildered at this point, parked the rig in an open spot. As we surveyed haven, a large stage flanked by speaker towers and light canopy occupied one end of the clearing. Across the compound I spied racks of crossbows, several quad bikes, olive drab shelters, and an open fire above which a porcine carcass cooked slowly. At a distant shelter, a door opened slightly. It then flew open and a long haired man exited in a half run toward us.

He reached us with an open hand and said "Rippin Class C you got. Did you know there is a chimpanzee knocking the rooftop air conditioner? ". "You folks will be sticking around for the show tonight." We acknowledged his greeting, confirmed Tater's amorous behavior and obliged his invitation. He must have been Ted.

Hours later, fat on wild boar, we with a few hundred others were treated to one of Ted's concerts. In the middle of his last solo, a dark shadow could be seen over head. I looked around and realized Tater was missing. His affinity for electricity lured him into the lights 20 ft. above. At the height of Ted's effort the beast grabbed an electric umbilical and the sky exploded. From the primate Tesla coil, lightning radiated to the speakers setting off acoustic Roman candles and in an instant the whole place was black and quiet except for the thud of Tater's return. We managed to scoop him into the camper during the confusion and effect an inconspicuous departure amid a cavalry of emergency equipment. Tater is a little groggy but seems to be coming out of the ordeal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Location: Grand Rapids, Mich.

It has been fairly uneventful travel... Fine scenery though. Near Grand Rapids at lunch time we decided to stop for a bite to eat at B King. Spying a familiar sign , we pull into a fast-food restaurant. The land yacht won't fit through the drive up so we dine inside . Behind the counter, a man looked familiar. He wasn't dressed like the others in their paper hats and blue tunics. He stood 6 ft. or so with an imposing build. His eyes hiding behind dark aviation glasses and his cheeks carpeted by sideburns. His name tag said Boyd Sivle but there was more to him. His rhinestone cape gave it away . This man was a man of importance... He was the manager.

Boyd Sivle nodded and motioned me to the end of the counter. He said " I see by the KTM jackets y'all are bike riders. Me too, for a long time. If you're interested we can serve you a real good lunch, off menu." (Roscoe's Restaurant Review:) He favored us with the house special. Promptly returning, it arrived piping hot in its obligatory packet and (having been on a steady diet of hamburgers), I inquired about the contents within the polystyrene container. Expecting to hear "burger", I was surprised when he replied, "It’s the chicken fried steak...mighty tasty." I was skeptical.

This wasn't the deep fried swill you can remember from the high school lunch line...... Mashed potatoes, green beans, and a large homemade roll swamped with butter accompanied this chicken fried steak! All but the roll slumbered under a blanket of white gravy one fourth of an inch thick and forming a thin skin as it cooled. A coronary thrombosis awaited and I knew it. I was excited yet frightened.

I wasn't sure what to do. I knew that it was this or the peanut butter & jelly sandwich with the side of cheetos that I was saving from mornings breakfast so, with great hesitation, I took the first bite. This stuff was okay. A few mouthfuls I realized that this was GREAT. Four minutes later, foaming gravy at the mouth, I swear to God I saw Elvis or I swear to Elvis I saw God. I don't know.... I wasn't sure then, I'm not sure now. I do know that was the best chicken fried steak I've ever put down my gullet!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Location: Red Bud, Buchanan, Mich.

We haven't checked in recently because we've been having a hard time finding an Internet connection. It's real tough with this system. First you have to find a pay phone where you can pull the camper close. Then you get to splice a patch cord to the pay phone and string it through the window to the laptop. Most businesses are reluctant to let you do this so It's much easier to wait until after they are closed under the cover of darkness. We are working on a better system.

We stopped in Buchanan. I haven't been here since the late 70's. Wyatt and I loaded my Country Squire one fine September afternoon anticipating a warm and enjoyable weekend of professional motocross . We're gonna see our heros; Roger DeCoster, Bob " Hurricane " Hannah, and others. We arrived amid successive snow, sleet and rain squalls. We froze our backsides off in 3 in. of mud. Weekend highlights included seeing Chuck Sun break his Husky in two , snapping the frame just behind the triple clamp . Someone carried the forks as Chuck struggled to drag the back half of the bike to the truck. Bob Hanna nearly hit me in the pits screaming "YOU-DA-MUNNA-FA -!!!!" I'm not exactly sure what he was saying. I do know that if he had been 2 inches closer, he would have been trailing my innards from his handlebars , stringing them through the pits like crime scene tape. You missed me Bob, a true professional, and I'll say it right back at you " YOU-DA-MAN!!! "