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MUTHUH's JOURNAL - Myrtle Beach Fall Rally '00

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Mid-week before the Mrytle Beach Fall Rally, I decide to pack up a day early and head down for the Friday Festivities. Being the first advertised as a Mrytle Beach "Fall" Rally, instead of the traditional SC HOG rally, (I suppose the town fathers are trying to glom on to the success of the Daytona Biketoberfest Rally), I figure it won't be too crowded, and more to my liking. (Have I mentioned I hate big rally's yet?) I wait til my kids leave for school... well, OK, so I leave one of 'em waiting at the bus stop... and with chaps and heavy gloves on, point the Ultra south on I-40 until I get past the I-95 split, and head south on Hwy 701. This little country road goes through some nice rural scenery that is almost as fast as the Interstate but much more cycle-friendly. Thats a trip I've been on a couple times and journaled in past trips in here so I didn't even stop for pictures - and just enjoyed the countryside.

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As Hwy 701 hits Conway SC, (helmetless by now but still chilly, so I am wearing my leather bomber cap) I join Hwy 501, which heads right to the heart of Mrytle Beach. But I don't follow it for long, knowing I will likely never even go in to Myrtle Beach this trip. Just past the large lake outside of town - I think it is used as a cooling lake for the power station - I head south on 544 to Socastee, then just past the tall Intracoastal Waterway Bridge, turn south again on 707 which leads right into the heart of Murrells Inlet. Another 3-4 miles south on Hwy 17 and I run into the Huntington Beach State Park and grab one of the few remaining sites left. I know that the Myrtle Beach State Park, right next to the MB Harley Dealership is closer and actually a nice park, but I heard the recent rains have flodded half the spots and the the other half are wet as hell. The freshwater marshes surrounding the camping area are a favorite spot for the local wildlife and turtles and cranes and pelicans and even 'gators abound here. This 5' gator frequently sunned itself on the banks of the access road to the Campground.

I went on up to Bullfeathers Bar and Grill on Hwy 17 Business in Murrells Inlet and grabbed a big hug from the barmaid, Carm, and was welcomed back by Tom the bar owner. Things were still kinda quiet being early afternoon on Friday - we figure that being a new weekend rally, it won't get busy til tomorrow. We talked about his planned website, and I gave him some tips and pointers (Thereby making this an officially designated business trip and I can save the reciepts for tax time!) and began making sure the 2-beer buzz remained for the next coupla days. (something I was quite successfull at, too, based on the pics I've seen of myself!)

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Speaking of which, a funny thing happened on the way to the Suck, Bang, Blow...(a bar in Murrells Inlet for those of you who just perked up)... I was still at Bullfeathers and was watching the local radio personalities do their 'live remote' at the bar and the pretty brunette with unmistakable hair caught my eye. OK, ok....so she caught the eye of all the guys and half the women, too. She looked so much like a woman I had met once about 4 yrs ago...turned out she was a Novel Writer and my wife and I bought one of her books, and had dinner and some drinks with her.

Well, I asked this woman if her name was Cynthia - and she kinda looked funny for a split second but said no - it was Cindy. Hmmmm.... close! I mentioned that her hair was exactly like this person I met once, but she was a writer...her nose screwed up a little and said she writes now and then - I went on thinking this is strange and said she was a Novelist....and she gave a really funny look... so I went for the gold and said - her name was Cynthia S------------. At this she stopped dead in her tracks, looked closely at me - and I said something profound like "Its you isn't it?" (Hey I was a tad over my 2-beer buzz at the moment and couldn't think of anything more intelligent!) She then recognized me and for the next 20 minutes, her radio-show sidekick commenced to give out bandanas and t-shirts and dew rags - ALONE, while she sat and chatted with me about the events that occurred since we met. (While I got some really sideways scowls from the other dudes at the bar, hehehe).

Turns out Cynthia was her Author's Alias, but thats how I remembered her. She now works at a Myrtle Beache Classic Rock station and helps out at these live remotes. Small world, huh? Anyway - thats her and me, 4 buds to the wind, and hmmmm, also a couple of pics of the Suck, Bang, Blow, yeah, yeah who cares? If you're into watching yuppies take their $30,000 motorcycles into a bar and burn-out their tires til the cords show while you're breathing concentrated tire smoke trying to swill yer beer, this is the place to be. A little too much misdirected testosterone for me. That and throwing ice cubes and beer cans from the balcony bar at the women below tring to get them to show their titties (His quote, not mine) is a sad way to spend the night. Whaddafuck? I suppose I'll always be more comfortable out on the road, or in a small quiet bar where you can order yer beer without standing in line, without stepping in puke, and without having to shout to have a conversation. Lord knows there a lot of ya who seem to enjoy that though.

The good part was I met some people who I've been talking to online in AOL for a while and spent a couple hours watching the crowds and inhaling burnt tire smoke. Its always nice to put a face with a name. And hey! I ran into a guy I've talked to online named Bob, who introduced himself, and I got caught up talking to Cynthia and I turned around and he was gone, so "sorry, dude", she was cuter than you I suppose, but I didn't mean to ignore ya!

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Went back to the State Park - had to unlock the padlocked gates to get in - and idled in slowly to keep from waking up too many people... found the men's room hidden at the base of a huge oak tree (you'd think they'd have a sign or something) crawled in the tent and froze my ass off. Next morning saw grey skys and blowing winds off the ocean, not 100 yds away, and foretold some nasty weather coming in. I half made up my mind to pitch the tent before check-out to avoid another $25 fee and went back to camp to make some coffee and chat with the neighbors about the Bike. When I got back I found the husband in my site's driveway admiring the bike, while his wife brought over a fresh cup of camp-brewed coffee(my instant coffee stayed in the tent unused this morning!).

This guy rode Harleys for years before he got married, and probably looks enviously at them in front of her ever since... because she right away said to him, "Aw come on honey, I told ya you could get one anytime!" He looked at me and smiled, winked (That gave away his evil plan) and said, "someday dear!" Hehehehe, sneaky bastard. This wasn't anything like the last campsite I had in Maggie Valley, next to the last holdouts of the Confederacy and Homer Simpson hisself. There were only a half dozen bikes out of 100 sites and mostly retired folks in their travel trailers. All of which smiled and waved as I rumbled out after loading everything up on the bike.

10 - Copyright 2000 - Muthuh's RidesSometimes I see what looks like a nice picture, but there's some elements that just screw it up - the nice thing about these digital cameras is, (if you're good!), you can airbrush the pic to make it look better. Here I have the original picture next to the re-touched one I did in Photoshop 5.5. Click on it to see the full sized color version. All goes to point out that you never know if a pic you see nowadays online is really the original pic. I've been known to add a little hair on top of my head in pics where I'm seen from above!

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Back on the road, fully loaded with duffle bag, tent and bedroll (ok, so it felt good next to all the polished street bikes freshly off their trailers) I went to the Dealership up near Mrytle Beach, watched all the silly games they play, (slow ride, Weenie Bite, stuffed toy toss, etc.) rode through the Myrtle Beach State Park, confirming the tent sites WERE flooded, but would be a nice place to camp in dry weather, and headed back to Bullfeathers for lunch...beers, snack, beers, and an early dinner.....and beers. (Hey, they also had the new Mandarin Absolut Vodka...but I wasn't gonna go there on this trip!)

Live music by Lisa Hudson (or Hopkins, or Henson, or something like that). Met John Weakly, the Webmaster for Carolina Motorcycle Events (CarolinaMCEvents.com) and a buddy of his. Its a site I use a lot to see whats happening in the area. Had a few more beers, and with the misting rain off and on, the wind, and frankly the fact that I would rather be on the road, I said my farewells to Tom and Carm, straddled Huckleberry (a name given to my bike by someone recently who read my journals and figured these adventures needed a Huckleberry to keep me company...I like the name so don't gimme any shit) and took the back roads outta Murrells Inlet inland towards home. Stayed off the Interstate until I had no other options, then cranked it up to about 85, turned off the stereo and blew on home, arriving in time to tuck the kids in for the night..... well, ya don't really tuck a 16 yr old girl in anymore, just standing at their doorway and saying goodnight is all they'll allow nowadays.

A pretty mellow adventure this time... nothing but a nice two-day ride and some beach camping, and a great sunset on the way home.....but thats how I like it.


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