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Tag Archives: Rides Roads and Ronman

Years ago I started doing this online blogging thing on MySpace.  Honestly it’s been so long since I’ve been to that site that I couldn’t remember how to log in if I had to.  Soon I decided that venue wasn’t working for me.  That’s when I found Blogger.  For a few years that’s where I wrote and posted photos.  Once again I wasn’t happy with the venue so I found WordPress, the current home of Rides Roads and Ronman.  Here I’ve been posting for the past few years.

Over that time the content here has varied.  Granted when I started this I was all about motorcycles and the activities surrounding them. Now that part of my life is a chapter full of memories.  Throughout that time I’ve met both online and in person, many people.  The current BIG thing is FaceBook.  You meet someone and immediately you want to connect on FaceBook.  Doing so brought the number of friends to well over a thousand.  The problem with that was that I felt so disconnected.  In time I cut that number back.  Nothing personal if you aren’t still on the dwindling list.  Well for most of you anyway.  For others it was personal.

The point I’m trying to make is that I found myself to be far too cluttered.  That clutter spilled over into every aspect of my life. My house. My vehicles. My yard. My mind.  Soon I was posting to several social media sites.  Instagram, Twitter and several others.  Many of the people I knew from both real life and online posted to these sites as well.  What became obvious is that we were posting the same things to all of our sites.  Granted there were some slight variations.

In looking back over this blog I can clearly see that the more I posted to the other sites the less I posted here.  The answer was clear.  I decided to delete my accounts at the many other sites.  In doing so I hope to increase my postings once again here at Rides Roads and Ronman.  I also hope to get back my eye for photography.  I can’t remember the last time I used the old SLR to capture photographs.

Please know that I am grateful for all of you who take the time to read what I write.  I’m continually humbled by that.  Some of you have followed me from the get go. Others have joined in along the way.  The mode of transportation may have changed from what you were used to.  However the journey that I’m on is still the same.  That journey is simply one man’s life and the pathway before him.

Thank you for following along,

Ronman

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For those of you who have followed this blog for a time now, you know I haven’t been posting very much the past two or three years.  Many things have contributed to this. I won’t bother you with the details of such.  Suffice it to say that the least of which certainly wasn’t a loss of inspiration.  Alas, I haven’t given up on Rides Roads and Ronman.  Thank you for not giving up as well.

Throughout this period I have been searching for what was missing.  The main inspiration for many years was motorcycles and the trips and sights along the way. That period in my life is over. However, I have finally realized what the next period should be going forward.  Hold your horses. I’m not ready to reveal anything yet.  It’s all still in the works.  Suffice it to say that I do feel I’ve found the piece to the puzzle that I’ve been missing for this portion of my life.

Stay tuned and hopefully before too much longer I’ll be able to share more news with you.

 

Ronman

Working our way through this journey we call life is thrilling, mundane and tiresome. We find ourselves in a rut at times.  In order to escape those ruts one must take whatever measures he deems necessary. In doing so you will ruffle the feathers of others around you. In the end we are ultimately responsible for ourselves. We control the choices that we make. In doing so we control our happiness.

It has taken me many trying years to learn this valuable lesson.  Sure, we can share our happiness with other likeminded people. But those people are not required for happiness.  Once you wrap your head around this little morsel of information you can begin down such a better pathway through life.

Over the weekend I was finally able to contact an old hunting buddy. It has been between twelve and fifteen years since we’ve spoke. Honestly I cannot remember why we stopped talking other than the fact that I stopped Coon hunting. Through the years I’ve wondered if he was still following those bawling hounds around the hills and hollers of Tennessee.  Much like myself he had taken some time off.  We spent a time catching up over the phone and treeing a few. It was good.

The struggle for me has been to fill a void.  Yes, motorcycles served that purpose for many years.  Although there was always something missing that I couldn’t put a finger on. Camping and fishing have and will always be a part of who I am.  A couple years ago I started Deer hunting again.  Still something was missing. I’ve known all along what it was. I simply didn’t want to admit it. I even bought a couple of Mountain Feist and started working with them Squirrel hunting.  This only compounded the emptiness.

You see, what’s been missing for far too many years, well it is Coon hunting. Following the melody of a hound as it works the track of a Coon.  I wasn’t ready yet. I didn’t have a kennel. I didn’t have the time. I didn’t have anywhere to hunt. All of these were the excuses I told myself. All are both true and false statements.

But now, now I have a kennel. Now I realize I have as much time as my old man had to hunt. Now I understand that my old hunting partner basically only hunts the two nights a week that I could hunt. Granted I don’t have all the places to hunt that I once did.  But I do have places to hunt.  In time and with some effort I feel as though I can come up with additional places to hunt.  If not I’ll enjoy what I do have.

My journey is far from over. At least I hope it is.  We never truly know how much time we have.  Realistically I don’t have as much time as has already past. So it’s up to me to use the time that remains wisely.  My search for a hound is on.  Yes I have some Mountain Feist. Yes, I have a litter of puppies due in about a month. I’ll continue to enjoy these dogs.  But I’ll also enjoy seeking out another Coonhound to bring me back full circle to my roots.  In doing so I’ll honor the traditions passed down from my Daddy and Uncle. I’ll honor those old men who took the time to let me hunt with them. I’ll honor our Almighty Creator by soaking in the beauty of nature that He has laid before us.

This life is a continual learning process. My thirst and hunger for learning is peaked.  My classroom is the outdoors. I’m ready for school to continue.

 

Ronman

Decades ago I was introduced to fire. There has always been something soothing yet fierce about it.  The way the flames dance about mesmerize me. Always have. In fact few can escape the spell of fire.  The warm glow pulls you in like a moth to a porch light.

Building fires has always been rewarding for me. Learning many ways of igniting that flame was oh so fun growing up. Using magnifying glasses, batteries and steel wool and flint were but a few.  Making that spark grow into a flame. Then on to being a roaring fire.

The secret to a good fire is all in the material. Taking the time to pick the punk wood. Finding a good cedar tree to shred some bark off of. Placing the tiny twigs in such a fashion as to let them breath and burn. Having plenty of little stuff to keep the small fire going.  Placing them twig by twig. Then slowly putting on larger pieces. Twigs go to sticks. Sticks go to pieces. Pieces go to full on logs.

Taking the time to think out the process. Painstakingly gathering enough material. Slowly building up the flame. With the ultimate result of that wonderful glow coming from the fire. The blue and white coals pulsating to their own beat. The heat bending the air. Making the view into the depths of the flame unclear. Yet staring into a fire has been the means to clearing many a person’s mind.

Somewhere within the warmth, popping, hissing  and crackling we find comfort. It soothes our soul.  Providing a reason to join together. Invitations to one and all. Sitting around a fire has sparked conversations covering every topic known to man. Even sitting alone beside a fire allows us to converse with our inner voice. For some it can even be a spiritual connection. Offering a path of communication to our creator.

All of our focus isn’t on the fire. You see the heat that draws us near also pushes us away. Once the front of your body is warmed to the point of a minor scald, it’s time to turn. Warming our backside allows up an excellent time to look around. It’s the warmth that made us see our surroundings. Lest you forget, there is a grand star filled sky above.

Taking pause to gander to the heavens. Seeing those same constellations that have guided man for all time. Before the modern marvel of GPS technology the stars were the roadmap to the world. Soon our rears are all but on fire. Once again it’s time to look within.

We all have that fire inside. We can use it as our guide. For you see, looking within causes us to see what’s around us. Seeing what’s around us causes us to look within.

Feed your fire

What a weekend! Had a couple days off and boy howdy did I enjoy them.  Not everything worked out the way I had hoped it would. I suppose it worked out the way it needed to be. I really wouldn’t know what to do if there weren’t a few catches in everything that I plan to do.

Like always there were a couple of bumps in the road.  Thankfully I was able to accomplish a couple things as well as put out a couple of fires that popped up.  It seems there’s always something smoldering in the ashes.  A fire is never completely out until is is buried  under an ocean of water. Even then I’m not so sure.

Wounds sometimes fester and open back up long after  we think they are healed up and scarred over.  Who knew scars could bust open and pour forth the poison from those old wounds?  Lesson learned I suppose.

The most recent wound that busted open unexpectedly came from FaceBook. It seems people have started commenting and liking a photo of my daughter from back in 2010. I have no idea what brought this to light. Unfortunately I think that’s the last time that I was able to see and spend time with my daughter.  There have only been one or two brief conversations with her since then as well.

My door and heart are always open to her. She made the choice to shut me out of her life. She decided to not communicate with me. I’ve tried everything and every way to be in her life. Nothing has worked. Someday hopefully God will soften her heart and give her the desire to have me be a part of her life. I hope she can find peace from all the hatred she harbors toward me.

The pain and misery that is the massive void in my life cannot be described.  Not knowing the reason why is crippling. For if I knew why I could find a way to fix it. But I don’t so I can’t. Plus this cannot be fixed by me alone.

This isn’t what I had in mind for this post today. But our journey through life doesn’t always lead us down the pathways that we intend to travel either.  I am but one lone traveller passing through this journey of life.

Ronman

I couldn’t help but get some stuff done today when I got up. Having done that I rewarded myself with a ride. The temps were in the 80’s here today in Tennessee. Gorgeous would be an understatement. I left out with a general idea in mind of where I wanted to ride. Nothing in stone though. I love riding like that. Just take whatever road the spirit points ya down.  Today was such a day.

I started on some familiar paths. With the temps this high I wanted to see if some of the local scenery was out and about. I soon came to a road I normally take. Today I decided to keep going. Sort of shake things up a bit.  I needed to do things differently. I needed to refresh myself. To clear my mind. To see some new sights.  I needed to get lost in the wonderful rolling hills of Middle Tennessee. It’s when I’m lost that I find myself. Soon I found the sort of thing that stops me in my tracks. Here it was. Someone’s collection of old signs and memories.  A cold drink bottle rack hanging on the wall full of old glass bottles. Man oh man did those drinks ever taste good from those glass bottles. Remember when you found a place that kept their machine so cold they would have slush in them. Now that was good stuff!

Traveling these new paths I’d found my mind was in overdrive. My sensory intake was at high alert. The sights. The sounds. The scents. Everything was flooding in and being processed.  Somewhere between the smell of chicken shit and fresh-cut grass a light bulb went off. There it was plain as day.

We’ve all seen the beautiful white blooms on a Bradford Pear tree. We’ve also all seen a Cedar tree.  These two trees are like people. First you have the outward beauty of the Bradford Pear. Although decorative and pleasant to the eye, that’s about all it’s good for. The wood is soft and doesn’t withstand any pressure.  A moderate wind can topple or break it. Not to mention they stink.

Some people are like the Bradford Pear.  Outwardly they are beautiful. You enjoy looking at them. They seem to be wonderful. However when you get a little closer to them you come to realize they stink.  Let the storms of life blow in and see how soon they break. They can’t take it.  They leave you with nothing but broken pieces. In fact the fire from a Bradford Pear is fast and doesn’t put off much heat. Just like these people.

Now take the Cedar tree. It’s just an evergreen. It grows mainly in the worst ground. It will grow where no other tree will grow. It’s not a flashy tree. It doesn’t grown into the huge stature of say an Oak. But the Cedar thrives where no other tree will.  If you need shelter you can use the Cedar. It’s green branches when placed together will block the wind. It will conceal you from the view of others.

Let’s look at the wood of the Cedar. Outwardly it’s sort of fuzzy. Not very smooth. Peel some of it off and it makes an excellent fire starter. Fire that can save your life.  Cut into the cedar and you’ll find beauty. The red wood is some of the most beautiful on earth. The fragrance of the Cedar is wonderful too.  Go to any town square and I  bet you’ll find old men sitting around whittling on Cedar.  How many times have you seen a hope chest made of Cedar? How many times have you seen fence posts made of Cedar?

If you want something that can protect you from the storms of life. If you want something to build a lasting place to store your valuables. If you want something to be pleasant on the eyes and your sense of smell. If you want something to relax you and give you pleasure choose Cedar.

Now I ask you, Which person are you? Are you the Bradford Pear with its outer beauty and pungent odor that can’t stand up to life’s pressures? Or, are you the meager Cedar that can thrive in less than ideal ground. That although outwardly less appealing, inwardly you bring strength, beauty, hope, longevity and pleasantries to the senses?

Ride Safe

Ronman

The fourth time I spotted the Phantom Hitchhiker I was once again headed north at the 354 mile marker. Once again it was a Friday night / early Saturday morning. For whatever reason that seems to be the only night I spot him.  The last time was unnerving for me. The way he stood and watched me drive past really got to me.

Having spotted this Phantom Hitchhiker several times I’ve started looking around for him when I approach this exit. This particular time I spotted him on the overpass. He was standing directly over the lane I was driving in. He leaned over the guard rail and peered down at me from above. Talk about getting your attention.

There is one other thing that’s come to mind about this Phantom Hitchhiker. Just south of this exit is another exit. Sometimes I stop for a break at a little market there. I’ve been known to take a nap behind this store. Well back last fall one morning I stopped to take a nap and there was someone sitting at the picnic tables between the store and the motel behind it.

I remember thinking it was odd seeing this person sitting there at this time of morning. After taking my nap I noticed the person at the table was staring at me. I believe this was the Phantom Hitchhiker. They were wearing a black hoodie and jeans. I don’t remember them having a backpack. But they were facing me and I didn’t really pay that close attention to them. Strange how they starred at me though.

Until I see this Phantom Hitchhiker again there won’t be anymore posts about him. I may never see him again. We just never know what I’ll see on the road.

Ride Safe,

Ronman

Here we are starting the final month of 2011. Where did the time go? In some ways this has been a very long year. In other ways it has flown by. What a whirlwind it’s been for me.  I started the year without a scooter. Oh the horror. Luckily I was able to correct that situation.  Once you’ve been infected with the scooter bug it’s terminal. You just can’t get along without one. Wouldn’t you agree?

I’ve enjoyed  some wonderful rides this year.  I’ve come full circle and am riding more solo journeys these days. The good side of that is that I take time for more photographs. That means I should have more fodder to post here on the blog. I hope y’all find this to be a good thing as well.  Think about it like this, the more photographs I post the fewer words I post.  Okay so that’s not really true. The more photographs I post the more photographs I have to write words about.

I know there have been some not so fun  posts this year. There have been some not so fun times in my life this year.  Fortunately I’ve pretty well worked through all that. I’m focusing on the good side of things. Like how I have been fortunate enough to become really close friends with a very few amazing people.  Some of whom I’ve been friends with for years.  Others are a new blessing in my life. Those of you who take the time to read my blog are a blessing to me. What an honor it is that you do that.

Let me just say a resounding THANK YOU!!!!!! All of you have made 2011 a special year.  I can only imagine how much more wonderful 2012 is going to be. Well that is unless the Mayans are right and the world is coming to an end.  I think that they just filled up whatever it was that their calendar was on. Surely there is another calendar out there somewhere.

 

Ride Safe

 

Ronman

Simplicity doesn’t sound like a very difficult thing to find now does it? Unfortunately it seems to be very elusive for me.  How do I find that which I seek?  First things first. Think simply, simply think. In doing so one thing came to mind.  Camping.

Fortunately for me Tennessee is blessed with some of the most wonderful state parks of any across the land.  That being said, all that I needed was to decide which state park to visit.  I had been invited by a dear lifelong friend to join he and his family for a weekend of camping. As much as I love this family I knew I needed to spend time alone. Rock Island State Park provided just what I needed. Fortunately for me the tent camping area only had two other spots in use.  I settled in the back corner and set up camp.  Arriving in the late afternoon I had just enough time to get the tent up and the fire going before darkness fell upon me.

I spent the rest of the evening thinking about things. I used the peace and quiet to sort through things. Not that I made any progress on the things on my  mind. At least I didn’t have any outside distractions.  Well unless you consider the moon and stars shining down from above as distractions.  Such a wonderful crisp clear night.  I couldn’t help but think of all the campfires I’ve watched burn throughout my life.  There is just something mystical about the way the flames lap around the wood like a tongue working over an ice cream cone.

I’m not sure what time I finally crawled inside my sleeping bag. Time doesn’t really matter when you are on a journey like the one I was traveling on this night.  I do know that the roosters crowing must have had their internal clocks screwed up.  I suppose the moon could have had them stirred up.

Along with the roosters crowing I was also serenaded to sleep by the distant sound of someone’s hound working a track in the night.  Having grown up coonhunting I knew exactly what was going on.  I traveled back to those oh so many nights listening to my own hounds chasing Mr. Ringtail around the hills and hollows of Tennessee.

The next day I woke after some sleep. Granted I didn’t sleep soundly. Although these days I rarely if ever do.  I was very nice to wake to the fresh air and sunshine.  I spent a few minutes soaking in the beauty surrounding my humble little campsite.  I may not be able to get away from all that is bothering me. I may not be able to clear my mind. I was however able to stop for a few moments and enjoy the majestic beauty of the wonderful state that lies within these united states that I call home.I’m still searching for simplicity. I may have had a brief glimpse at simplicity. It’s still not within my grasp. I know it exist. Someday once again I’ll embrace it. Until that time I’ll continue my search for simplicity.

 

Ride Safe

 

Ronman

Water Falls

Winding Roads

 

Fall Colors