by | May 1, 2024 | Dad's Travels | 0 comments

Cabbage Patch Saloon, Samsula Fl

   The time has arrived! Departure time for Daytona Bike Week 2024.

   This year two participants, “Jetson” from Denver and “Speechless” from Medina. We have all done rode trips in the past. Nothing new!

   “Jetson arrives a few days before departure date. We make some local rides to get warmed up!

   We decide on March 3 to depart from Kerrville. We meet at a local gas station and leave around 8 am. Target city for the day ride is Hammond, La. Just about 700 miles. No problem if the weather is good. Being a Sunday we are hoping for less traffic. We travel east on I-10 to Boerne and take Hwy 46 to Seguin and connect with I-10 again. Looking good till outskirts of Houston. Just amazing how many people are moving on Sunday. Heavy traffic all the way to the Louisiana border and Make it to Jennings, Louisiana, time for a lunch break. Darrell’s, has been a good stop in the past. Good PoBoy Sandwiches. Roll into the parking lot, guess what! Closed! God, my mouth had been watering for hours for that roastbeef sandwich. Well, I guess next time! Onward we go!

   To the next traffic jam, Baton Rouge. The traffic bottlenecks when crossing over the Mississippi River Bridge. Stop and go traffic for miles. Solid traffic all the way to the Hammond exit. We stay at the same motel as last year. Next to the truck stop, but convenient to the coffee shop in the morning.

   After a good nights rest, Time for breakfast next door. After breakfast, it’s eastward bound. At least traffic is not as bad this morning. Light rain this morning but not bad. Continue on I-10 thru Missisippi into Mobile Alabama. Thru that massive tunnel in mobile. Always a good place to rack your pipes! Nice echo!

Iron Horse Saloon, Ormond Beach Fl

   We make good time crossing into Florida. At Pensacola, we take the scenic route along the coastline. Cut over and follow Pensacola Beach and Gulf Breeze. Great scenery, only slow moving!

   Hard to stay together with so many traffic lights. Got separated from the guys a few times. Like abad Nickel they keep showing up!

   We travel thru Panama City and Mexico Beach. Continue to Apalachicola, our destination for the evening. Check in to the local motel. Make our way up the street to the local watering hole and eatery. Great burgers and craft beer all good. Tourists from all over in this town. Mainly from the North, enjoying the warmer winter months in the South.

   Next morning, Rain! Hate riding in the rain! But, what you going to do! Put on the rainsuit. About 3 hours of rain. Not bad for a Florida trip!

   Travel on Hwy 98 to Perry and to Mayo. We made this lunch stop last year. Mayo Cafe, highly recommended. Good southern cooking, lima beans, collard greens, cornbread, fried chicken, you know the drill. It’s a buffet, you can’t leave hungry.

   After a full belly time to shake some of it off. Continue on Hwy 27 to interstate 75 just outside Gainsville. Travel south to Ocala and turn east on Hwy 40. Ormond Beach is in our sights! 

   We meet at a local bar in Ormond Beach to wait the arrival of the South Carolina Boys, Namely, Jimmy, and Bruce. Tom, Blake, and Denise could not make it. Their bad! Bret and Jeff were waiting, the others arrived shortly. A good time was had by all!

Speechless & Dad

   Next day Destination Daytona Cycles north of town. Large venue of bike products and general people watching! Met up with Jody at the Saints and Sinners Bar, whom I had met in Bandera a few weeks prior. Good music to be had at this site. Watched 4 bikes spinning in a wire metal cage, pretty impressive. One mistake everybody is down!

   Next day, off to the Daytona Speedway, Large venue of bike products and Harley and Indian are set up for demo rides. Was able to order lowers for my bike to install later back at home. An afternoon of shopping and looking!

   Next day off to the Cabbage Patch. Home of the annual cole slaw wrestling. Quite the sight, get slaw in places you don’t want! Also, great venue for more biker products. After a couple hours it’s off to the Volusia County swap meet. “Speechless” has a “Toget” list. We wander around a couple of hours, picking and looking. Getting hot, time for an ice cream shake, it hits the spot. By this time “Speechless” has an arm load of bike parts. What a deal, may have to rent a U haul to get it all home!

   Next day, roll out around 8 am, target night stop Biloxi, Mississippi. Only 700 miles away. No hill for a stepper! Weather is clear, all good, just roll on! Just gas stops, arrive Biloxi at 7 pm. Check into motel across from the Hard Rock Cafe. Walk across the street for a cold brew. “Jetson” what you going to do? Lay right here in this bed! OK, see you in a bit. After 700 miles on the road, I didn’t even feel like gambling! Watched the crap tables for awhile, just didn’t feel it! Got a sandwich, and headed back tocheck on “Jetson”, just as I figured, snoring!

   Next morning, breakfast on site. biscuits and gravy, good to go!

Broken Spoke Saloon, Ormond Beach Fl

    On the road by 8 am, westward ho, back thru Baton Rouge, same thing, stop and go traffic, be nice to have a loop around this city? It would be very costly to build another bridge over the Mississippi River. Back thru Jennings, wrong time of day can’t make Darrell’s again, bummer!

   Next day, a change of plans! “Speechless” has to head home! Unseen problems. We had planned on running to Key West, maybe not!

   We finish up the last day with the “South Carolina Boys” down at the First Turn Bar. Listen to music and tell stories.

   Next day everybody departs. “South Carolina Boys” head north, we head south to Melbourne. Have a cousin there. Make arrangements to meet and spend the night at his place. Great meeting up and catching up on the past.

   Next day, off to Cape Coral, Capt. Gary Starr and Janis’ place.

   We arrive early afternoon to the aroma of BBQ ribs, yum, yum. We settle in to an afternoon of swapping stories and guitar picking and singing by “Cap”. He sounded even better as the Royal Crown went down.

   As an ongoing effort to celebrate 50 years on the road I try to make every moment count. Always good to hook-up with old friends and acquire new ones!

   We continue I-10 westward, trying to make it home before dark! In Houston “Jetson” is splitting off for Corpus Christi. To check on an old friend. Make Houston, “Jetson” cuts off on Hwy 69 south.

   I keep “Whiskey A GO GO” heading west, thats my ride of almost 5 years. The color is Whiskey Amber. Kinda after the bar in L. A. of the same name. Anyway, about 85 is the speed I drive, got to maintain the speed of the rest of the traffic. Smooth sailing to the Seguin exit. Up Hwy 46 at 5 pm not good. Stop and go all the way thru town and beyond. Couldn’t wait to hit I-10 at Boerne.

Daytona International Speedway

   Always a welcoming sight to see my front gate, home again with no breaks this time!.

   On a sad note, We lost a dear friend last week to a motorcycle injury in Florida. Lisa, AKA, Spike. Long time friend of 36 years from Daytona Beach. Years back she would ride to Texas just to ride back with us to Florida. Another time she rode from Daytona with us to Texas. Rode back to Florida by herself. What a rider and trooper! She will be truly missed! LOVE YOU SPIKE! RIP.

   Like I always say live life to the hilt you never know when it’s your last trip.




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