Desoto State Park: Chapter One January 12, 2019 8:45am Eight: 45! That’s when I found out. I had had that great ride last weekend to Cheaha State Park. Worked on writing up my ride report of it over the next several days after words, and then got it posted a couple of days after that. After that, spent the next couple of nights returning “thank you!s”, to all my fellow riders, that so graciously posted a like or note… …now I customarily take one of my two bikes out of their stalls every weekend, at least for a jog, to keep the batteries from completely dying on me and it was my Big Boys turn to run. Y’all Remember Him, right? But the weather this week has been on a steady decline: resembling more of a true Alabama winter rather than the almost springiness experience we enjoyed last weekend, so I feared I’d have to do an interior painting project I’ve been neglecting and had already begun mentally preparing myself for the most thrilling worst of dreary days. But, don’t think I didn’t try to make another ride happen this week, right up until the last possible moment. All week, at every chance, I pulled up The Weather Channel on my phone to stay abreast to the current forecast; but things were not looking good. Then a break, caught me by complete surprise, early Friday morning… …although busy, if things worked out to my favor, I had a shot at getting off early, on Friday, and riding up to Desoto State Park, in the Fort Payne, AL, area, that after- noon, (that’s in Northeast Alabama), grabbing a room for the night, because it would be dark by the time of my arrival (my camping gear hasn’t come in yet), then exploring a bit of the Park before I’d have to head back the following noon day, because inclement weather had been predicted to arrive in the afternoon/Saturday/beginning at 1:00pm’ish. That Green stuff is the water that is currently falling on my house as I type. 47 ℉ Brief run-down on how my Friday morning played out: I got assigned a project that was to start at 10:00am. Things should have worked out like this: 1) the balance of my departments projects should have been completed by other staff members by the time I was completed with mine, and 2) my project, if it turned out being, of relatively routine complexity… meant, I could have easily clocked out by 12:30 or so… Why is it, when you get your hopes up… Well, things didn’t go as I had planned. First, instead of starting at 10:00am, we didn’t get started until 11:00, then it was 12:00 before we finally got started onto the issue at hand, then 12:30 passed, my plan sensitive factor… …as well as 12:45… 1:00 got to be 1:15, in just a flash, then finally with great shrieks of joy, the project’s success was achieved as the clock-ticked 1:35pm; and we involved all drew a sweet breath of relief, and with the next breath--immediately commenced to cleaning up the mess we had created… I didn’t dilly-dally getting out of there, but I knew my window (12:30pm) of opportunity had passed. After completing everything I need to, to close-up-shop, I then checked with my superior to make sure my co-workers were completed as well, then exited the building at 2:35, much past the time I needed to leave to be able to make a weekend rendezvous with Desoto State Park… Dejected, I made no effort to race home. But my head was still thinking of tree lined mountain passes. Sneak peak at Chapter Two. I then surmised as I drove home, that if I got up early on Saturday, as early as I normally do during the week, I could still ride up to the park the next morning, surely early enough, to get a look-around to plan for a future expedition. So when I got home, before even changing out of my work attire, I attempted to fire up the Big Boy and move him around to an ejection position, in preparation for an early morning blast off. Nothing! Well, the lights came on… but, as I repeatedly attempted to press the starter button, Nothing! I assumed the worst, I assumed I had finally let the battery run down for the last time, and he wasn’t going to start. Dejected and in great despair, I climbed up my stairs, I still planned on going ahead and hooking up the Battery Tender, and changed into some comfortable clothes. But, also planning to make an early night of it, I decided to eat an early dinner first so I could finalize my travel route plans as I ate. And as I ate… having pulled up the weather via my lap-top, I discovered a revision… Rain now to set in, 0900, Saturday.