Dave's Ride to Remember 2001

Day Six

by Dave Schultheis

Friday, May 25, 2001 - Fort Smith, Arkansas

I slept pretty well until ... the clock radio alarm sounded at 6:30 a.m., courtesy of the last person who had rented the room. Of course, I should have checked, but I was a little busy with other things.

It was about time to get up anyway, and while it was still painful, it wasn't much worse than the day before.

I got up and applied more hydrogen peroxide to the wounds. It hurt but it kept them clean.

I dressed and walked (limped) to the motel laundry, which was temporarily closed on account of vandalism.

So I walked (limped) to the motel office (remember, I was given a room just about as far as possible away from the office) for their Continental Breakfast. This one was pretty good. And I had a nice conversation with a couple from Alabama. He had been with the Los Angeles Police Department and had retired 12 years before.

I walked (limped) back across the several-acres parking lot and then upstairs to my room where I got some of my stuff organized and found the local number for Enterprise Car Rental. They had a special weekend deal, a midsize for $19.95 a day until Tuesday.

Being from California, I had to have a car! So, just like their advertising, they picked me up and took me back to their office, just a short distance from Denney's Harley-Davidson.

I took four or five little plastic cameras to a one hour photo lab, then drove to a laundromat. After starting the washer, I went across the street to visit my friend Wendy, then talked to Diane F. on the phone, then tossed the clothes into the dryer, and when they were done, drove back to the photo place, picked up my pictures and took my clothes back to the motel.

I made another telephone call to the insurance company. I couldn't reach the assigned claims adjuster but talked to another employee who answered a few questions. I told her I had taken some photographs at the scene and she gave me the address to send the pictures.

When she could no longer help me, she got a manager on the phone. He said he would be in telephone contact with the Service Department at Denney's and see if they could work out a plan to get me back on the road safely and get a repair estimate faxed to the claims department.

I drove over to Denney's H-D to see how things were going. The Road King was in a work space but didn't look like much had been done. Mike, the Service Manager said he would know more about 6 p.m. that evening.

Before leaving the shop, I went up to the Motorclothes Department and looked for a t-shirt with the Fat Boy logo and their name on the back. I couldn't find exactly what I wanted but got something close.

I was helped by Amy (who had her pet dog [wearing an H-D dog collar] and her pet 'possum at work with her), and who was evidently the Motorclothes manager.

She also had short-sleeve white dress shirts with the H-D logo and snaps, just like one I had at home but had not seen in other stores. So I bought another and had Amy ship it home for me.

I returned to the motel to find that my key no longer worked in the door, so I walked (limped) across the parking lot to the office to tell them that I would be staying another night, would they please reset the door lock and the phone.

I went back to the room to catch up on my notes and rest my weary bones.

Around 5:45 p.m. I returned to Denney's H-D to find that the bike was running, and that mechanic Chad was out on a test drive. When he came back, I saw that it looked much better because they'd replaced a whole mess o' parts. They had glued and taped the left saddlebag lid together because they didn't have any others in stock.

Hmmmm ... I wondered what it would have looked like if they'd given me one brown saddlebag lid and one red saddlebag lid ... ?

When Chad got back to the shop, he indicated it was running fine. I pointed out that the brake lights were "on" all the time, so he said they would check it out. When I left the shop, they were still determining which parts needed replacement to get me "back on the road safely." Mike could not give me any idea of how much it would cost but that it would be ready the next day. I said I'd be back in the morning to pick it up.

I returned to the motel by way of the Calico County restaurant. We don't have them where I live and it was a big, noisy place with lots of good things on the menu. It was "okay," but not special.

Back at the motel, I looked over the photographs that I'd picked up at the lab, and culled one set of bike damage pictures so that I could send them to the insurance company as they had requested. I reapplied hydrogen peroxide to all my wounds, rested, watched television, got a phone call from my neighbor, caught up with my notes and checked voice mail. I had gotten a telephone call from my brother in Tennessee but it was too late to call.

I took a shower, (optimistically) checked my maps for the next day, watched some television and went to bed.

Miles for the day = zero [1].

Miles for the trip = still 2376.

[1] Well, technically 8 miles, but it was the test drive by the mechanic and I didn't know it until the next day.

Tomorrow = Can I still make it to Washington, D.C.?

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Last updated on March 7, 2002.
David W. Schultheis, San Josť, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, California, USA