On most Sunday’s when I plan to go riding on the motorcycle, I point the bike in a direction and go. The destination is unknown at the beginning of the journey but always materializes at some point along the way. This particular Sunday would see my routine altered for a day of riding unlike any I’ve had in a while. It wasn’t an Easyrider adventure, but the elements would play a role in the journey. A ride down I-26 in dense fog, the spectacular view from Arthur Ravenel Bridge on to Sullivan’s Island, a photo shoot with an incredible photographer, lunch at Tiki Taco, a ride down Rutledge and Calhoun street over Ashley River on to James Island and Folly Beach, St John Island and home.
I have read that fog can affect many human activities, like shipping, travel, and warfare. (well war would be an activity to avoid entirely) It can also dampen (pun intended) a Sunday morning motorcycle ride to the coast.
Where does fog come from? So, I looked it up. Quote, ‘When there is warm, moist ground and cold air runs over it then the evaporating water condenses into fog.’ It’s that low lying cloud-like mass that hovers above the ground reminiscent of a graveyard scene in an old Dracula horror movie. Most spooky at night on an abandoned country road or I-26 in early morning hours.
On a sunny morning, the ride down to Charleston from Columbia on I-26 can be enjoyable. Yes, I said enjoyable. Smooth surfaced road, the hum of BJ beneath me and fresh air. Add fog to the equation, and what should have been a leisurely ride turns into mental distress akin to taking a final exam I didn’t study for. The fog this Sunday morning was like fog created from dry ice during an Alice Cooper concert.
After nearly 2 hours of riding basically blind, (not kidding. My glasses were covered with water from the fog) I reached Summerville. The fog literally went away like someone pulling back the curtains of a darkened room. As usual, a song popped into my head. This time it was Cat Steven’s ‘ Morning has Broken.’ I went on to meet Vici and follow her to the location of the shoot.
Mind you, I don’t consider myself photogenic, but I really wanted some pictures of my bike and me in front of a mural of John Lennon, Al Capone, and Marilyn Monroe I had seen on the side of a Moe’s restaurant on Sullivan’s Island.
The ride across Arthur Ravenel bridge is better than ‘getting my thrill on Blueberry Hill’! I could see for miles, and a cargo ship was passing underneath me. Vici and I arrive at the photo site, and after receiving instructions, BJ and I pose, snap, move, repeat. All I can say is I was having more fun that a person should be allowed to have. Afterward, we all head to Tiki Taco for you guessed it, TACOS!
but not the exact route. G*d places someone exactly where they need to be to guide me to my destination. It happened on my way to Folly Beach. What a spectacular ride across the Ashley River (I think that’s the name of the river) bridge on to James Island. The trip to Folly Beach is beautiful. I love looking over the marsh wetlands. The point where sky and water meet are just stunning. Stopping at ‘The Sand Dollar Social Club” in Folly Beach to pick up my membership card, I had an adult beverage and on to St John’s Island to the Angel Oak to meet up with some friends.
Looking at Google maps, I chose to ride Riverland Road on James Island to Maybank highway to Angel Oak. I highly recommend a ride on Riverland Road, you will LOVE IT. After some photo ops, my friends and I left Angel Oak and stopped for gas. You won’t believe this, but while pumping my gas, we all were entertained by a buck crashing into the store’s front door. Dazed and confused like me watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy with Susan, it ran around the building and into the woods.
After laughing and making deer jokes like, “What do you call a deer with no eyes?” – “No-eye-deer,” my friends chose to go home via interstate, and I chose back roads. A storm was brewing, and I didn’t want to be the recipient of road spray from big rigs on I-26.
Turning left on to highway 17, I was expecting to be turning right on to highway 61 in about a mile. Fifteen miles later, I realized I should have turned RIGHT on to 17 and LEFT on to 61. Sitting at an intersection deciding which way to go to reach ALT-17, a female cyclist rides past me and turns right on to the road in front of me.
Looks good to me, so I go that route too. A storm was brewing, and I was kind of trying to ride around it until I reached Round road and decided I didn’t have time to ride to Florida and back. Following this road to Hwy 15 and right towards St George led me into the ‘eye of the storm.’ Fortunately, I had already stopped to put on my rain gear and helmet. However, it rained so hard that water came through the zipper of my raincoat and I got a little wet.
Long store shortened, I continued on through Orangeburg, Swansea, Red Bank and Lexington and got home around 630 pm. What a great day of riding. I think traveling is more about the journey than the mileage, but for those who like that kind of thing, I rode 330 miles Sunday in fog, sunshine, and rain! I LOVE IT!