The watermelon run

I was invited to ride in a watermelon run. What’s a watermelon run you ask? Well, it’s a two day motorcycle ride with friends to a small off the path town that holds an annual festival to celebrate the year’s successful harvest. What do you do there might be your next. Well, I could tell you adventure but that wouldn’t be enough. It isn’t always what you do on adventure but more what you see. So throw your leg over, climb on with me and we’ll ride the adventure where you will see.

Old friends and new meet and greet with friendly handshakes or pats on the shoulder. There is a common interest of two wheels and adventure we seek. The route is revealed and a ride order established. Now hold to me tightly because kick stands are up and off we do throttle to adventures new calling.

I feel a chill in the air as we climb ever so higher. A struggle is evident; Autumn is coming as Summer holds on. But at higher elevation like that of a mountain pass give clue to the wise that seasons are changing.

The road it does wind, it curves, and it bends. The motor shows power when the throttle is twisted. Momentum it’s said is a definite friend when the bike lays to inside, eyes look through the curve, and the bike follows the appropriate path. Now accelerate the exit and anticipate the next.

The pace is a good one that isn’t too fast. Allows time to look at the things that we pass. Utah is amazing the diversity seen. From mountain passes of 9000 feet or higher, to the low desert valley with red rock, dry washes, and more.

Dark clouds that are traveling by with gaps in between allows radiant sunshine remain. The light show it gives is an amazing sight. Like a giant flood or spot light, it’s highlighting of huge mountains in distance, a wanderlust dream. Light travels quickly the fastest we know, but the eye is amazing and can certainly see the life giving energy streaming down from above.

Rainbows are made from refracted sunlight. It’s colorful arch points toward a distant mountain range, the peaks creating in minds eye a picture frame sight. Gold there may be at the end of that bow but our path on this day is to a watermelon show.

The desert is vast in between these small towns and the road can be a long one, even today. But back in the day when car stops were needed, a station was built where the Price crosses under. Woodside it’s called and its heyday well past. The skeleton building all boarded up tight is all that remains of a once bustling highway oasis. Now day’s off-griders inhabit this place in trailer and camper selling jerky at roadside stands. Stop we should and sample their fare, but watermelon is calling from further ahead.

A parade route is ready when we arrive; the streets are all lined with spectators waiting to see. We ride straight through town along the parades eventual route, waiving and smiling at the anticipating crowd. Thinking to self; “good thing we practiced our parade winning waive.” This proved to be true later that day at a station some 100 miles away. A man walked to me and said sure as a fact; “You were in the parade; I remember your dog.” Ok, so maybe it wasn’t my waive but rather my furry side kick that memories made. Choose your friends wisely and remember they will.

I see kids are prepared to gather up candy as fire trucks, Politicians, Princesses, business floats pass. Kids all take a lesson from one little feller who mastered a duck waddle to move him along. Gathering piece after piece he was able to do tucking into his shirt like a kangaroo’s pouch. Then scurry to his parent where his main horde was growing with each dumping of his ad hoc kangaroo pouch. If you’re caught in a pinch for Halloween night this young man could hook you up right.

Now to the park we walked straight after, with thoughts of an old song that went something like this:

I wasn’t in a hurry, so I slowed down, took a two lane road to a one horse town. There was a party goin’ on when I got there, I heard a welcome speech from a home town mayor. He said we’ve got a hundred gallons of sweet red wine, made from the biggest watermelon on the vine. Help yourself to some but obey the law if you drink don’t drive, do the watermelon crawl…Tracy Bird

As I made my way, looking for the watermelon queen to show us how, I saw vendors a plenty and friends to be made including a mother and daughters in proper dress for this watermelon fest. The vendor neck massage received was amazing to be had. But of all that I saw, the best was of three booths by grower families that had truckloads of melon. Samples were cut fresh by Machetes and waiting for the taking. I soon discovered there is no polite way to eat a juicy watermelon. Although not by the queen, I soon learned how. You just let it run down your chin and lean forward a bit like your gonna spit and try not let it drip on your shoes.

After hours of eattin’ it was time to go so we fired up the bikes and rode outta town. With a full melon just for home in my pack, I took a moment a quick look back; it was apparent to me, the watermelon crowd partied on. The lyric’s return as I rolled throttle and rode away.

“We got a hundred gallons of…”

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