Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ride to McGehee Catfish Restaurant Part 1

It was Saturday 8-29-2009 as I backed out my garage in Bedford Texas and was on my way with a sense of adventure gleaming n my eye. I had my IPod Nano playing 615 songs randomly through my Ink’d earphones. I glanced at the Yamaha V-Stars’ trip odometer and I only had 34 miles on this tank. No need to stop for gas before leaving, I thought to myself. The ambient temperature thermometer mounted on my handlebars read 80 degrees Fahrenheit and felt nice and cool as I rode away. I was leaving on my motorcycle ride to Marietta Oklahoma and specifically to McGehee Catfish Restaurant for lunch.

On my head I was wearing a cotton dew rag under my HJC Helmet, and my Oakley sunglasses. I had on a pair of blue jeans, a full sleeve cotton shirt, (with the sleeves pushed up over my elbows), my black leather FMC vest, and my Bates boots. I decided to use the crumby FieldSheer gloves; I might as well get as much use out of them as I can, before they completely fall apart. This trip I also remembered to coat all exposed surface areas with 45 SPF sun-screen, so as not to become a sacrifice to the sun gods this trip. For the record I should have re-applied before riding home, my face and nose did get some red.

For personal protection I had my Springfield XD .40 Subcompact in a C-TAC holster inside my right waistband, my Kel-Tec P3AT .380 in my left vest inside upper pocket, and my Kershaw Leek pocket knife in my left front pocket. Too bad I didn’t have room for my Smith and Wesson Boot Knife in these Bates boots, oh well. I had my phone, a Palm Treo, in my right vest pocket and along with a pair of compact reading glasses stashed away with my P3AT it allowed me to post updates of my ride on Twitter. In a pinch I could also throw it at an attacker, or just throw it like I’ve wanted to do on occasion. I wondered; does this vest make me look fat? I probably looked like a cross between one of the characters in the movie Wild Hogs and one of the personalities from the TV show Sons of Anarchy.

I hopped on 121 Southbound, hung a right onto 183 West continued onto 820 West before turning north on I35 W. Before long I was passing Texas Motor Speedway on the left and then the University of North Texas on the right. I was in Denton. I decided to stop and get a drink and refuel Mistress. I topped off the tank with unleaded, downed a Red Bull, texted my wife and was off heading north on I35 again.

I was making good time traveling at ~~ mph. I did manage to keep it under triple digits, barely. There were a lot of other motorcyclists out going the opposite direction and I tried to wave or acknowledge them all. I was passed by someone with Oklahoma plates in a hurry to get home, so I tucked right in behind them. You will be pleased to know that I did see one Texas State Trooper en-rout to Oklahoma. Fortunately, everyone had slowed down with the tell tale brake lights warning everyone. He was parked off the right shoulder down in a ditch or culvert and there was an 18 wheeler between us anyway. Before I knew it I was on the bridge going over the Red River and passing a large Welcome to Oklahoma sign on my right. Casino anyone?

It wasn’t much longer and I had arrived at exit 32 and was in Marietta. It is about 100 miles from my house to Marietta and the ride took around an hour and a half. I pulled into the McDonalds, parked and went in to get something to drink. I sat down and enjoyed an iced coffee with caramel while I texted my wife, got to check in with the boss, and checked my phones Google Maps GPS and indeed I was exactly where I thought I was. After that it was time to take a short tour through town.

I drove through downtown Marietta and tried not to blink so as not to miss it. Then I came back around coming down a side street and saw a museum. I had time to kill so I stopped in. It turned out it was the Love County Historical Society Pioneer Museum. They had an interesting mix of antiques, historical records and photos all dealing with Marietta and Love County. The volunteer on duty went out of his way to tell me some of the history of Marietta, including some interesting stories and strange characters as well as pointed out items of historical interest. After some time of browsing, visiting, and emailing my wife photos of some of the antique quilts it was time to leave.

I had asked directions to McGehee Catfish Restaurant to make sure I was headed in the right direction and decided to take a ride out there to scout it out even though they were not open for lunch yet. So I continued heading west and turned south on US77 which parallels I35 and then east on E2150 / McGehee RD which dead ends at the restaurant. Most of the Google Maps are incorrect, unless you look for the one that says Airport: McGehee Catfish Restaurant; the restaurant is at the dead end, not in the city of Marietta itself.

The restaurant scouted out I rode back to the town and walked around several stores to kill time until they opened for lunch at 1:00pm. After drinking a Monster energy drink at the Carl Jr.’s, texting my wife again, and browsing some of the local stores, I filled Mistress up at the Valero and headed back to McGehee’s noting that it had gotten a lot warmer, hot in fact, outside. A glance at the temperature reading showed it was now in the mid 90’s.

Ride on,

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