After playing the first 13 songs I had written on this trip in the Temple to Music in Providence, Rhode Island, I haven’t shared much of my journey over the internet. Other than some music videos I scheduled for daily release on my YouTube channel, I haven’t posted anything on social media for a few weeks. It’s been nice that a few people have reached out to make sure that I’m okay, but I figure those who are interested, would probably like an update.
Over the last 71 days, I’ve ridden my motorcycle well over 6,000 miles (and a few hundred kilometers) through 22 states and 2 provinces, and I’ve written 25 new songs, one for each city in which I stayed. Lexington, Kentucky was the first city I stayed in where I did not write a song. I did come up with an interesting chord progression, found a melody, and wrote a few lines, so I can’t say that my streak was broken, however, it was sprained, much like my ankle.
While searching for inspiration with a hike to overlook the Kentucky River in Raven’s Run, I rolled my foot on a loose rock and decided to cut my hike short. It swelled up immediately, but the fact that I was able to limp a mile back up the trail, albeit slowly and painfully, I deduced that it wasn’t broken, but merely sprained. Halfway through my hobble back to the parking lot, I found a stick with whom I created a very strong relationship and will probably never part with.
When I got to a point where I thought a vehicle could reach me, I was headed for a patch of shade to call the ranger station for a ride when a couple of young park employees came by in a cart and gave me a lift back to my motorcycle. Fortunately, my right ankle was sprained, and I was still able to shift gears with my left. My right foot only needs to apply the rear brake, which I seldom use, and apparently, I can get by without using it at all if I really need to.
I found a drive thru liquor store on the way home for some affordable pain medication, and while a bottle of Kentucky bourbon was helpful in making the situation more tolerable, neither alcohol nor pain have ever given me much creative inspiration. However, I had decided on my long hobble back that the song was going to be called “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me”. Nevertheless, I can certainly still be slowed down.
After Kentucky, my intention had been to visit a friend from Sarasota who had recently relocated to Hendersonville, North Carolina. Fortunately, she was an ER surgeon for 20 years and had ice packs, two supportive boots, and a cane waiting for me when I arrived. And although I also started writing another song while I was there, I wasn’t able to finish it.
The boot made riding a bit easier, but I still wouldn’t recommend it. Although staying put is not always a choice I have the luxury of, unless you have a strong tolerance for pain and more than one fully committed guardian angel, I wouldn’t recommend riding a motorcycle while you are injured. However, I was able to make it to Caney Fork, North Carolina to stay with some other Sarasota transplant friends, where I’ll be rehabilitating for a bit until I ride again.
With the 25 songs I’ve written on this trip, I now have a total of 66 songs. I’ve whittled them down to what I think are my top 15, and I’m still trying to choose the top three. That’s mostly what I’ll be doing as my ankle continues to heal and I prepare to go through Nashville next week before heading back to Sarasota by October 31st.
It has been nice to be off of social media for the last few weeks. While I sometimes miss the small shots of endorphins I got when I saw someone paying attention to me through a like or comment, it’s been truly joyful to just take my own journey. I’m sure that I will utilize the benefits of social media again someday, but for now, I am enjoying the solace and solitude of healing, playing music, writing, and watching the leaves change from my deck.