Shootin' Da Bull in Murrell's Inlet
CLICK HERE for the trip map.
This fits in with my dislike for rallies in general... this year's Myrtle Beach ride is just a one day and overnight affair to go visit friends who are coming in for the rally. It looks like I'll be running down to Murrell's Inlet and finding a comfortable barstool at Bullfeathers Bar & Grill (map link is up at the top of the page.)
I had thought I had found a new route to Myrtle Beach. I've been so many times now that it is tough to pick a new route. This one involved a haul-ass down I-95 to Lumberton and side-tripping down Hwy 41 through some backwater county whose Sheriff is named Emmitt - figured I better slow down. Just after the state line I took off the pot helmet (See Pic #01) at a nice little city park overlooking the swamps... got the Jose' Cuervo rag on and tied (pic #02) and resumed east on Hwy 9 over to Cherry Grove Beach, north of Myrtle. Within 10 minutes, the sky was threatening, and then made good on it's promise of rain... rain hell - it was a huge storm that, even when I switched over to rain gear - make the last 10 miles not very enjoyable. Right at the Hwy 9 / Beach Road intersection, things cleared up a bit and I stopped in at Charlies Bar for a cold one. Riding through North Myrtle Beach the rains opened up again and made the 17 Bypass around Myrtle Beach a slick trek, especially with near-bald tires - (wasn't planning on changing them out til after this ride, dammit.) Fortunately by the time I got south of Hwy 501, heading south to Murrells Inlet, it stopped raining and I was able to snag a pic of this 75', eleven axle, 22-wheeled limo with a hot tub on the very back. It wasn't rockin' back and forth so I didn't get off to check out who was in it.
Once I got to Bullfeathers I snagged a lounge chair on the upper deck, which we claimed for the Graybeards only, as all of us up there we so groomed. Pic #4 is Tom, from Missouri who was riding with an old Friend Neal (Pic #6) who was from Minnesoooota. Neal, dubbed Castro by the esteemed group of misfits on the upper deck, counted himself fortunate to have just gotten a 120 day layoff from his Welding gig back home, and was now free to roam the country on his scooter. He told us the story how his boss came in one day and announced one guy had to be laid off for the summer, and his eyes gleamed with anticipation that it would be him... lucky guy, huh? So, he rode down to MO to pick up his buddy Tom, and has been meandering over to Myrtle ever since. That's half the fun of going to rally, in my opinion: To sit at a bar and meet interesting people and listen to their stories. You can leave the bike polishing and showing off to the newbies. Pic #5 is Kevin, an Internet buddy who rode down to Myrtle from "Taxachusetts" and told me he'd bump into me at Bullfeathers for a couple beers. Sporting the appropriate facial hair, he grabbed a chair and joined in on the conversation. Pic #7 is Karen and Jeff who trailered all the way from Anderson, SC... yeah well, he had no gray beard either, but Karen had nice tats so we let 'em on up.
Eventually I hooked up with the Owner, Tom, and his girlfriend Sherry. (Pic #8). Tom was understandably busy with the afternoon crowd, of which I got no pictures, but you've seen 'em on other rides to Bullfeathers - they're all the same after a while. Sherry and I kept each other company for the rest of the afternoon, with periodic appearances from Tom to make sure we were still fully clothed I suppose. I'd like to think it was because I was the only guy in the whole bar he trusted with his old lady. She was a doll and real good company while I wasted away the afternoon and well into the evening. We were graced by the company of the Weasels Motorcycle Club, most from Pennsylvania but from all over really. Their club motto is "A Drinking Club with a Motorcycle Problem". By this time I had put the camera away due to motor skills difficulties and darkness.
I know most of you attend rally for the riding around and Ocean Blvd cruising and bar-hopping... I've found what works best for me - hook up with a small bar, comfortable atmosphere, introduce yourself to the owner and bartenders (Carm has beaten me about the face and head for calling her a BarMaid...I found she didn't like Wench either as evidenced by the further beatings) and just sit and enjoy the company - there's a constant parade of players who will entertain ya. I got back to the motel around 10pm to change into some cleaner stuff and realized I forgot to cancel an alternate motel room that was being held on my card... damned room cost me double this trip - but well worth the pleasurable evening.
I took some snaps of the Motel, Brookwood Motel, (Pics #9 & 10) just south of Bullfeathers in Murrells Inlet - a very enthusiastic recommendation for ya if you intend to stay south of Myrtle Beach. Pics #11 & 12 is of the Inlet and sound just across the road from the Motel. Pics #13 through 15 are of the bar the next day with no-one there yet - still early - while I was heading out for breakfast...and the last pic is of some back-road street corner building I passed on the way home... I didn't pay much attention to the ride home as I have done it a hundred times by now.
This may well be the first return from rally in ages where I didn't totally bash the hell out of them... but then again, except for a ride up Hwy 17 to the dealership vendor area, I never really got into the thick of it, and it was the first weekend - a combination I have gotten to like. I did miss several of my other Internet buds who were coming down later in the week... but there's always next time.
Til then - Ride Free...