THE KWIK-MART KHRONICLES

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by jdrocks, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i fueled out at the highway, and i knew by the time i got to the Subway that the bike wasn't running right. it spit and sputtered all the way over to Monticello, the next fuel stop on the way to 3-Step. 10 miles out of Monticello, and it was back to normal. bike ran great all the way...except for that 5 gallons.
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  2. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 85

    I don’t think there’s budget anything in Breckenridge, a prosperous look to it, no recession here, and no reason to stay. I needed fuel, scalding hot coffee, and a power wash place. I find fuel towards the north side of town, I don’t think they want a gas station in downtown Boutiqueville.

    [​IMG]

    Fuel up, get directions to a car wash from a friendly local guy, and was going to ride the bike off to the side so I could get my coffee, except the bike is stone cold dead when I turn the key, nada. WTF? Now I have to walk the bike way off to the side and out of the way, this place was busy. Looked at all the topside stuff, nothing unusual, then unloaded the bike so I could get under the seat. Took about 5 seconds to find the loose connection at the negative battery terminal, somehow I hadn’t tightened it all the way during my bike prep, inexcusable.

    The bike had run flawlessly all the way to the gas pumps in Breckenridge, then quit. Lucky, I could be standing around in the rain at the top of Boreas Pass with a dead battery, waiting for someone to come along. Got the coffee, best cuppa I’ve had lately. Some kind of sustainable, peasant farmer friendly, Honduran eco-greeny, extra dark blend exclusive to Breckenridge…didn’t float a horse shoe, but close.

    Biggest cup they had, I had that jittery caffeine fix, took three tries to stab the key in the ignition.

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  3. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    Thanks for the entertainment! you are a great storyteller.
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  4. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    thanks, a few more Khronicles on the way...
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  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 86

    Decision time again as I sat there for a minute along I15, I’m determined to cross the border tomorrow, and it’s almost the full state of Montana away in the south to north direction, lots of country to ride.

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm, the chances of getting there before dark are zip, I’ve got some stops in between.

    Up the road is Lima, as in lima bean, except it might have more to do with the lime in the water clogging the boilers on the steam engines of yesterday, don’t care about that stuff, my focus is food. There’s a café at the exit, local vehicles in front, still a good indicator, and I park the rat at the door. Pleasant waitress, and in what I think is an upscale touch, adds slices of lemon to the ice water served in a carafe. Set it right there darling', I can drink the whole thing.

    Two carafes of water, six cups of coffee, and huge plates of breakfast food, I was kinda hungry. The waitress takes the plates away with a smile "I don’t mind seeing a hungry man eat, what ah can’t stand is some skinny SOB that picks and pecks at his food". The cook must have been impressed that I could eat half the menu in one sitting, and came by to talk. We chatted about the little special things in his cooking style, I think he was happy someone noticed.

    Outside, I asked the first person I met if they could fix my camera "You a camera expert?", "No, that would be my husband", and she points to a fella following along. I couldn’t get the camera card out.

    “Haven’t seen one a these before, but I think ya do it like this"…and the freakin’ card came flying out like it had wings, luckily, I caught it like an infield pop-up. Thanks.
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  6. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 87

    I’d heard early activity again this morning, southbound travelers heading down to the barricade to wait their turn going through the road repair zone. No problem, I was headed north on the Cassiar, then west as far as I can ride in daylight. Cloudy and cold, leaves fluttering in a light breeze, it didn’t feel like it would warm up, not where I was headed. The bike was loaded, then over to the general store for fuel and breakfast, I was hungry as heck.

    No wolverines this morning, but there was another drunk native, older guy, wearing one of those floppy leather hippie hats. I haven’t seen one of those for about 30 years, but it went well with a nose that had been in a serious disagreement with someone in the past. He shuffled over to talk to me but couldn’t manage it, he was mostly in the tank for so early in the morning. When I went in to pay for the fuel he was already at the cashier, 6 pack of Molson and a box of cornflakes, breakfast of champions.

    He was out the door and nearly fell down the steps, when I turned back to the cashier and said “Kinda early in the day to be drunk“, all I got was a shrug and a hard look, meaning unmistakable “I don’t care, and it’s none of your damn business, Mr. Paleface“. Got it, time for breakfast, and I wheeled the bike off to the side.

    My oversize breakfast order was cooking, and I was drinking my third cup of coffee while reading the local news when the manager came by, surprised to see me. Yeah, I’m surprised to be here myself. Apparently, the husband of the gal running the B&B at Telegraph Creek had been killed in an “easily preventable” accident in the past year, maybe she didn’t have the help or time to keep it open. Ok with me, just change the phone message to say “Closed“. Easy to change, and it would keep people like me from making a dumb mistake.

    The combo cook/waitress brings me my breakfast for six, I dive right in. My back was to the windows and I was facing the store part of this establishment. A guy at the magazine rack caught my attention, he was one of those people who read all the magazines on the rack without buying a single issue. Hey, I’m not the magazine rack cop, but this yokel put three fingers in his mouth up to the knuckle before using those slimy things to turn every page. When he wasn’t turning the page, that hand was rearranging his junk. Yuck, how’d ya like to put your money down for a magazine he’d read front to back.

    Enough entertainment, I need to get up the road, and I was out the door, fired up my wanged together bike, and I’m riding north up the Cassiar, ornery exhaust note bouncing off the chip.

    [​IMG]

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  7. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 88

    When I rode into Chinle, the Navajo Nation headquarters for the Canyon de Chelly operation, as well as a local center for health and education, the feelings I’d had all the way from Cameron were pretty much confirmed, this whole area was about the haves and have nots. Some riding around in new $60K King Ranch pickups, others walking. I have no explanation, and really know nothing about the dynamics or economics, but it’s pretty obvious, glaringly so. There was plenty of money floating around the Navajo Nation, but it stuck only to a few. I’d like to see the Canyon, but it will have to be another time, maybe I’ll drive over with my XO.

    Fuel again for insurance, sprayed the chain too, now I had my sights set on I40, there had to be lodging and restaurants at the exit, never been there, just a wild guess. 191 south, southeast on 264, then south again on 191. The county had changed, and was now lightly wooded, no more of the red desert dust storm, although the wind was still blowing a gale.

    [​IMG]

    I was south of Ganado, and had passed dozens of people walking along the roads all day, bundled against the wind, and leaning into it as they trudged along. Looking ahead, I saw someone walking in the northbound travel lane, that’s ok if the infrequent northbound vehicle doesn’t run slam into him. When closer, I saw it was a guy walking along with just socks on his feet, carrying a pair of large boots, hmmmm, what next, this dude was a long distance from any houses I’d seen.

    The “what next” happened fast when he wound up and chucked one of those boots at me as I went past, would have been the same as being hit with a big freakin’ rock, undoubtedly putting the bike down at 70MPH. I was off the gas and on the brakes, furious about what had just happened, more a freakin’ rage, and coasting along, I almost turned around and went back, almost, but I knew I’d never win that war. Someone who would throw a boot at a speeding moto wouldn’t care what was on my mind.

    I’ll just let someone else shoot him, bound to happen, sooner, not later, as he performed a similar stunt on someone with nuthin’ to lose.
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  8. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 89

    This past Friday evening I was standing in line behind Ian Anderson at the Kwik Mart, ol' Jethro Tull hadn't changed even a little bit since about 1972, hair and beard styled by a seriously hallucinogenic artist-type, wearing mis-matched plaids and a tie dyed T-shirt. My man had a toe sticking out of a hole in his right shoe, and incongruently, in sort of an off key note, had a newish Pokemon tat on his neck at the jaw line.

    Decades of debauchery had followed him here, his life as faded to gray as the plaids, and now his urgent mission was a jumbo can of beer coupled with a Reese's peanut butter. The place was busy, the cashier girls harried, and Jethro was F-bombing away sotto voce, although i did hear the word "wallet" more than once. He was swatting at all his pockets, pants and jacket, back and forth, no end in sight.

    The cashier happened to be a country girl, i'd seen her before at this joint, wide through the shoulders, and out-weighed Jethro by a factor of twice over. No nonsense, she'd seen her share of drunks in front of the register, and had prevailed even if she had never considered patience particularly virtuous. She had him in the cross hairs long before he got to the register, couldn't miss him actually, heck, i've seen less jittery activity from someone standing on a fire ant mound.

    She asked "Can I help you, Sir?", to which Jethro said "Can't find my fucking wallet, must have lost it somewhere."

    I saw the blood rise right from her toes, the man had cussed right in her face, way out of bounds in eastern Virginia, and her right hand came across the counter in a blur of motion. Instead of busting Jethro's nose with a beauty of a right cross, she checked up, snatching something out of his left hand quick as a pick pocket..."This it?"

    That's right folks, Jethro's wallet had been in his left hand the whole time, hidden behind the beer can he was holding. He was still looking a little stunned when she snaked a bill out of his wallet, rang things up, then handed him his wallet and change. Her eyes said it all, a serious get-gone message, risky to ignore.

    I got a crooked smile when I said "Interesting evening", and she replied "Ain't they all".
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  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    THE KWIK MART KHRONICLES 90

    I’d paid for my fuel, but what the heck, I had that lucky-day feelin’, and decided to go into the Kwik Mart for a lottery ticket, can’t be ignoring those premonitions even if ya ignore the 273 million to one odds, must be my mind doin’ those springy cartwheels.

    I was almost to the front door when Mudslide came around the corner of a van and stepped into my path, whoa there son. Mudslide, or more affectionately known as just plain Slide, was a black man sized approximately six and a half by four by three…that’s in feet, folks, in case ya missed the damn picture. Simply no telling his weight, I’d hate to even guess, and I doubt he even knew himself. Try explaining to those girls at the Walmart customer service counter why you were returning a box of scrap metal that used to be a spring scale…just tell ‘em a guy named Mudslide put a foot on it, sorta by accident.

    Having Slide in front of you is about the same as having a tractor trailer jack knife across your road, so even on foot, y’all better hit the brakes. Bald head under a worn out ball hat, smile a yard wide, he said “Hello there Mr. Dave, been awhile, yessiree, been some time now.”

    I’d met Slide years earlier, face it, there just aren’t that many people found in the casual acquaintance category that you could point a finger to a date on a calendar, and say “Right here, this is when we met.” Not so with Slide, he showed up as a mason tender on one of my big jobs the morning of September 11, 2001.

    He was hard to miss on the jobsite that morning, and I asked my masonry contractor about him “Oh, that’s ol’ Mudslide, big job like this I always roust him out, sometimes he be hard to find.” I was watching him work, arms big around as coffee cans, hands big as catcher’s mitts, he was feeding concrete block to the masons and 80 pound bags of mortar to the mixer like a massive black machine, yeah, I get it…big job, go find the big man. A once-white towel draped around his neck, I was struck by how light he was on his feet for a man his size, not unheard of, but not that common either.

    This jobsite was out of cell range in 2001, so it wasn’t until late morning and a 20 mile trip to the lumber yard, that I got some news. When I got back to the job, I gathered up both my crew as well as the mason’s, and explained what had happened. I mentioned that one theory was that the hijackers were armed only with box cutters, and although there was some muttering and cussing, nobody had much to say…except for Mudslide.

    He was standing almost directly in front of me in this shallow half-circle of men, and said “Ain’t no A-Rab going to cut me with no fucking box cutter, never, that be the truth.” I was looking into those eyes when he spoke, no brag, no grand-standing, he was speaking what was, in his mind, a simple fact. I believed him, he had the look. Lordy, any A-rab found cross-wise with Slide that day would have become a footnote in history, luckily, I’d never seen the first anywhere near where we were working.

    So here was Mudslide once again, older, but not much different from that long ago jobsite, how could I not return that big smile? There had been promise in the day, I’d felt it, and it was here that I’d won one of life’s little lotteries, no ticket purchase required, two lives forever intertwined by a single event.

    “Slide, my friend, how ya been doin’, beautiful day ain’t it?”
  10. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

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    A day few of us will forget where we were, what we were doing, and who we talked with.
    A true day of infamy.
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  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    yes, it was that.

    i saw Slide at the Kwik Mart several years ago now, and it was the first and only time i had seen him since that masonry job. a mountain of a human being, i can understand how he would think that someone with a box cutter was just a trifling little nuisance. my advice, don't be messin' with Mudslide.
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  12. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    90 Khronicle episodes posted, yes, there are more, but my full attention is required in other areas...so that's all for now. hope y'all enjoyed the Kwik Mart crazy.
  13. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer Supporter

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    Many thanks, Mr. jdrocks.....hope all is well.
  14. rubline

    rubline Coddiwomple

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    Loved it, thanks for the laughs!
  15. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the laughs. It's been fun waiting on new episodes. They are pretty much always a hoot.
    Hope the things demanding your attention work out well.
    I am sure we'll all still be waiting for more episodes.
    You have a great way of telling a story and the stories you are telling are relatable to just about everybody.
    We've all been there...just haven't documented it.

    Be safe, ride on, brother
  16. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks jdrocks....it's been a blast.
  17. arizona rick

    arizona rick Chases squirrels

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    Damn, this has been one of my post surgery look forward to reads
  18. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    ^^^^^thanks guys, all ok here, just real busy with other things.
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  19. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

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    I thought you must need to visit a few more Kwik-Marts... :ricky

    I have an advantage over most who follow your thread, I can start over with number one and read them all again and see if I remember any of them. :scratch

    I had a bit of a scare in the early hours this morning when I woke up at 3am shaking and confused. :becca
    It wasn't until I went to take my morning meds and discovered that I had taken today's pills yesterday... after I had taken yesterday's. :baldy
    I even keep my meds in a pill box with the day marked clearly on top of each section.
    Doesn't help when you can't remember what day of the week it is. :fpalm

    We look forward to more Kronicles when you have the time. :thumb
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  20. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    holy smokes, keep track of the meds, otherwise when ya go to the Kwik Mart you're going to end up in somebody's Khronicles for sure.

    but as you say, the bright side is you get to recycle these Khronicles every 3 months, like forever. i guess that means you won't need to buy the e-book, and i'm out another buck99.
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