GAS STATION VACATION
By Davey Cooperwasser
There's nothing new about a road trip across America. It's been done to death. I'll spare you the epic-ness. I'll just pepper the highlights and lowlights throughout the lights...some good, some bad, some boring, but in the end mine. My own trip, on my own bike, on my own time.
Since moving to California from Michigan it was a goal of mine to ride a bike back there. In the Spring of 2013 I finished rebuilding my first Harley, and that Summer I left. While I waited for the ghostly moonlight nights curled up in my sleeping bag, or old timer's stopping to help my broken down luck, it never really came. Most of the time was veering on and off the wrong road - the 80-90 East. Probably the biggest change I'd make is that road, especially across the plains of Kansas. That sucked. I even got a piece off a semi truck hit me in the head because the wind was so bad. I didn't lose consciousness. Which was good, because sitting in the tall grass next to the interstate in bum fuck no-where Kansas waiting for the ambulance to arrive was about the most calming experience of the trip. Moments after that I realized I hated Kansas and had to get the fuck out of there. So the next day I road my longest milage of the trip - 650 miles to St. Louis, Missouri.
I met up with an old friend that let me chill out for a few days. I'd have to say that was the first time the trip felt more like a vacation than a journey. I would have liked to stay there longer but my Dad was going into the hospital in a few days back home and I wanted to be there. A day later I was in Michigan, but on the wrong side of the state as I needed to stop at another old friends place. Again it was a mini vacation full of relaxation. I gave myself a day to enjoy it.
A half hour to my parents house with no brake fluid and having to down shift to slow down, I was cutting it close. I flinstoned it into the driveway getting home, but my parents weren't there. I took my Dad's car, still road grimed and went to the hospital. When I got there my Mom and Dad were in good spirits and it honestly was a relief, one that I didn't realize at the time.
I spent the next week based at home and riding around the state. I put about 500 miles down in the mitten alone. The day I left to continue on my Dad followed me to the border in his car. Only after buying me some rain gear and topping off my tank did he tell me that his google alert of our last name went off while he was getting ready to go into surgery. My accident in Kansas made a three sentence blurb in some paper that had an online section. Thanks Kansas. Needless to say my heart sank. I never told him about it. I just didn't see the point. I apologized and we awkwardly hugged it out like two grown ass men in a Chevron parking lot would.
That day was a weird one full of near misses. I was trying to make Erwin, Tennessee by night fall to yet another old friends house. Louisville was an hour and a half off with a massive rain storm I'd clearly run into. To the East was a road I was told with plenty of gas and beautiful scenery. I decided for the latter. Besides riding with a grey cloud in my mirror I never got a drop on me. I also made it to my friend Eddie's house around Midnight, just in time to stay up for hours drinking beers and bullshitting.
The next few days were full of prepping bikes and getting things in order. Eddie and his friend Yac were coming along back to California. At that point it really was a vacation. I got to put just enough stuff in Yac's '74 Nova to make my bike perfectly comfortable. We road through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and its windy ass pan handle, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, to finally end up in California. There were many days with those guys, and I'd share them, but I don't really want to. It was the most relaxing part of my vacation and some things are better left between friends. So that's it. Thanks to those I mentioned, plus Rylan Perry for the camera and film, and Ward Robinson.
Davey Cooperwasser - January 2016