Day Fourteen by Dave Schultheis
Saturday, June 2, 2001 - Mt. Olive - Dorchester, Illinois
I was awake at 6:09 a.m., happy to see another day dawning, and got up and dressed about 7:30 a.m., greeted a Mt. Olive police officer as I walked across the parking lot to the restaurant for breakfast. I had steak and eggs, juice and milk. The restaurant is very popular and very busy, but the service was a little slow, allowing me to focus on the fact that smoking is permitted in restaurants.
While walking back to the room, the lady running the motel asked me to relay a message to another tenant who picked up a room key but didn't pay for the room. I was reasonably certain that these folks would be paying in due time, but the lady was quite concerned, so I said I would do what I could.
The lady also told me that there was a laundromat down the road a few blocks in Mt. Olive.
On the way back to my room I met Bob ("EVLTWN") from Nashville, TN, who was only there to use the facilities; he and his wife were staying out at the farm.
I rode into Mt. Olive and refueled at the Mobil station, then found the laundromat and enjoyed some 1988 and 1989 issues of National Geographic while washing and drying my clothes. I got back to the farm about 10:15 a.m.
There were a bunch more people to meet: Ivan # 6, The Heekster, Ironhorse with his family and their sidecar, Red # 76, Pat St. Jean, hawgeye (who sent his regards to Hawkeye in Exile - Jeff in San Jose), Penny # 29 & Skiv # 41, and Ghost & Mary (slowly recovering from their laydown).
I was tempted to go on one or more side trips from the farm but by the time I got there, some folks had already left, and since I couldn't really decide where to go, I just enjoyed the company of the people who stayed.
There were some lies told, some motorcycles repaired, some stories related, and I believe some beer may have been consumed.
At one point I saw Patrick Zambori open his saddlebags and pull out the liners, then carry them away. I knew that the way I'd been doing things would change forever when I got a set of those liners.
MaGGie spent some time fixing her scooter, with a bunch o' guys standin' around keeping their cotton-pickin' mouths shut unless they had somethin' helpful to say.
"allen-1" spent time working on his motorcycle. Seemed like he really knew what he was doing and had probably done it before. Too bad he had to work on his bike instead of enjoying the day, but it had to be done. And in a weird sort of way, I think he enjoyed it.
There were complaints about the relative flatness and dryness of the meadow where the tents had been pitched. There were complaints about various creatures that went bump in the night. There were complaints about someone calling his friend Ralph. It appeared that many of the complaints could be related to the fact that some beer had been consumed.
There was, of course, an appearance by Eddie Kieger and his mom, who had driven the special van down from the rehab center in Ohio. I spent some time talking to Ann Kieger while giving her some photographs of some old friends of Eddie who still live in the San Jose area.
I had asked around locally and found some guys who remembered Eddie from when he lived here. I had taken their pictures and then put their names and e-mail addresses on the back of each one, then gave them to Ann to see if there might be a place for the photos in Eddie's rehabilitation program.
Many of the afternoon and evening activities were well-documented by others months ago, so I will leave it to the reader to go and look for those stories if they desire.
Dinner was catered by a local place called "Redz," and consisted of barbequed chicken and ribs and beans and potato salad and chocolate and vanilla custard. All of it was excellent.
Later in the evening there were awards presentations around the fire. Again, most of this has already been reported, so I won't go into too much detail.
Lee Peterson announced that Darcy Hager and myself were the recipients of the award for the longest ride to get to M.I.T.M., both at approximately 4700 miles (he's from Edmonton, Alberta). Since there was only one award available, it was given to Darcy. I was later told that I should have stepped forward to accept the admiration of my peers, but I had found a very comfortable spot to sit near the fire, about 12 feet behind Lee, and didn't want to lose it. Besides, I had told my story (and showed my damages) to a number of attendees, so they knew who I was. I was happy to have been recognized by the awards committee and the fact that I had nothing in my hands didn't bother me.
As the evening wound down, many folks made their way to their tents, some stayed around the fire, and I rode back to the motel, got there about 9:30 p.m., took a shower and went to bed.
Miles for the day = 23.
Miles for the trip = 4812.
Number of one-way trips down the gravel driveway = two.
Nice people met = dozens, and only a couple of grouches.
Tomorrow: M.I.T.M. ends and I head west.
Note: if your name is included and you don't want it to be here, please let me know and I will remove it, or just use your last initial. On the other hand, if you would like an alibi, I will be glad to sign your affidavit.