Return of the Awesome Weekend

Well, the weekend has come and gone, and boy did I have fun! Here’s a rundown of the events.

Friday when I got in to Martinsburg I pulled “Outrider” out of the garage and tried to start her.  Crank crank crank… but no rumble.  On the quick-charger she goes.  I kind of figured she wouldn’t start, so I wasn’t that upset.  I did just put a brand new maintenance-free battery in her on Wednesday of last week, but I only rode her home after having it installed, so I don’t think it was charged wholly.  It was a little chilly out, but I had made up my mind I was going to ride my motorcycle down to Fairmont as long as she would start.  Half an hour later, 1100 cubic centimeters of engine fired up!  I loaded my small duffel bag and backpack onto the back seat/sissy bar, shoved my cane under a saddlebag, bungied everything down, and hit the highway.

Holy crap was it cold.  Haha.  I have a set of thinsulate leather gloves (40-weight) that I can wear in cool weather, but this was too much!  I actually had to pull over for a minute and swap out those gloves for my Army fliers that I keep in my duffel.  They’re the kind of gloves that go halfway up your arm and have a wide elastic cuff to seal out any wind/cold.  They did well enough, but I still pulled over in LaVale, MD halfway through my trip for a hot chocolate so I could warm my fingers.  By this time, I had also concluded that I wasn’t wearing enough layers, and vowed to put on at least one more when I headed back on Sunday. Good news is, once I got in to Morgantown, WV, the weather had turned warmer, so the ride got a little more enjoyable as I finished my last leg of the trip.

I pulled in to Fairmont around 6:30pm and by 7:30 my buddy Mark and I were having dinner together at Bob Evan’s.  I had fried cornmeal mush slices with warm syrup and sausage links.  It was delicious.  Back at his place, we talked Star Wars for a while as he checked out a few of my new sourcebooks for the RPG.  He’d had a long day, and so had I, so we turned in earlier than normal… about 10pm, I think.

The next morning Mark and I got up and headed to the gun show that was being held at the Fairmont National Guard Armory.  We were there by 10am, and it was the busiest I’ve ever seen a gunshow there.  There was a line about 100 feet long outside the door for tickets.  Inside was like trying to walk through a sardine can.  We still managed to walk through the whole thing, though, before leaving around 11:15.  Burger King was on the menu for lunch, followed by a trip to the pharmacy so Mark could pick up some things, and then back to the house.

Josh came over soon thereafter and both he and Mark made some last minute adjustments to their characters.  Mark called Ryan 2.0 who informed us that he’d get here shortly after 2pm.  He was a little late, but we had the dinner table all set up and had begun playing by 3:00.  Other than a very short break to eat some pizza (a traditional food of roleplayers), we played straight for almost 11 hours!  The guys managed to finish all but the last encounter of the first adventure in this campaign, and finished up at just under 3rd level.  The game was full of fun and near-character-death experiences.  Funniest part of the game (in my opinion):

Me: “The Felucian scout runs through the water at you with his bone blade raised high, but stumbles and falls once he comes on to the shore.”

Josh (to the rest of the party): “Don’t worry, I speak their language.”

Ryan 2.0 (surprised): “You do?”

Josh: *pulls out his blaster and shoots the native*

We laughed about that for a good couple of minutes.  Anyway, the game was fun, and all of us are looking forward to continuing the campaign next month when I go back down again.

Sunday morning was a late start for me.  I had planned to try and be back in Martinsburg by 11am, but the late night kind of prevented me from getting up early.  I kinda figured it wouldn’t be wise to try and ride with only like… four hours of sleep.  I think I was actually layered up and on the road by 11, though.  It had rained that morning, so everything was wet.  I decided (wisely) to take my time.  The layers I had on kept me plenty warm, but the dampness unfortunately decided to be just enough to get my gloves wet.  I stopped in Grantsville, MD for a quick warm-up at a McDonald’s and some gas at the BP across the street.  This is where I discovered that those little hand blow-dryers in the bathrooms are man’s gift to motorcyclists.  Not only did they warm me up, but they also dried out my gloves!  I was very excited about this.

So, back on the road, I continued my trek home.  As I was going over Big Savage Mountain, I ran in to some AWESOME fog.  Now, you may think this is weird, but I love driving through fog.  I’ve never done it on a motorcycle, though, so this was a new and interesting experience for me.  It was so thick at one point, I couldn’t see past about 30-50 feet in front of me.  Of course the hazard lights got switched on.  I still thought it was cool, but I was pretty wet after coming out of the fog.  I did well enough, but after I passed through Cumberland, MD,  I decided that I was going to stop right before I got to Hancock at the Sideling Hill rest area and exhibit center.  Again, I took full advantage of the blow dryer.

The rest of the trip home was fairly quick, except for me getting behind a woman who wanted to do 30mph in a 40mph single-lane country road.  Thankfully I didn’t have to follow her for long as this road was full of turns and curves that Outrider was just eating up!  I pulled in to the driveway just a little before 3pm and promptly cleaned all the highway crud off of my bike.  I didn’t have a single hiccup with her the whole trip, and I was very happy.

That night for dinner my mom, her boyfriend, and I all went to the Crazy Horse Saloon.  I got my usual, the appetizer of fried alligator tail.  It was delicious, and a good end to a very enjoyable weekend.  Now I just have to wait for the weather to turn nicer so I can bring my bike up here to base with me.

To everyone who helped make this a great weekend for me, I say thank you.

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