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July 2012

Moon Quotes

Who, what, when, where, why and how -

Before a journey begins, it is recommended that you have at least four out of six of the "who, what, when, where, why, how" questions answered before starting. "Who" is pretty obvious, at least one of the who's, that would be you. In the case of the motorcyclist, the "what" is equally obvious, a road-trip. "When" is open-ended. Many factors come to play, such as weather, anticipated time of arrival, etc. "Where" is also open-ended. Depending on the objective of the road trip, it may be the least important or the most important depending on the venue or your whim. The "why" ties directing into your motivation for said road-trip. The "how" is the focus of this months SSOM.

"Who", me, was taking a road-trip on May 4th, to Atlanta State Park, for a photo shoot of the highly anticipated and over publicized "Super Moon."

The immediate and obvious answer to "how" is, on a motorcycle, but since the DUH factor is so high with that answer, please allow me to elaborate.

I interpret the "how" as the route. The serious road rider will usually agonize over the best route. The more options a rider has, the more difficult settling on the appropriate route becomes. It took me about two days of pouring over my Streets and Trips and Google Maps, with several re-writes, to land on my preferred line of travel. I learned a long time ago to call it my suggested route. With everything I knew and all factors taken into account, I finally printed out my turn-by-turn plan.

Time to go - I call it dark-thirty, especially during the Texas summer. A cool start to your ride can really make a difference on how many miles you ride, and also how well you feel at the end of the day, and for the days that follow. My dark-thirty comes somewhere between 5 and 6 in the morning, your mileage may vary. At 5:30 a.m. I entered the street in front of my apartment building, turning right towards the George Bush Turnpike.

On the road

The George W. Bush Turnpike East now goes all the way to I-30, through Rowlett. Following a long sweep to the right, I glimpsed the moon over my shoulder. I had a very strong urge to pull over and snap a few shots. The moon was almost full. It was setting in the west. I consoled myself with the fact that it was the same moon I would be shooting, rising from the east, that very evening.

Getting to I-30 was a breeze. The traffic was light, the temperatures comfortable. Running through Greenville, I noticed lightening in the distant sky. The thing about seeing lightening bolts far in front of you is that if you ride long and fast enough, they are not so far ahead any more. A few miles before Sulphur Spring, I started thinking of either finding an alternate route or pulling over for a while. To give myself time to think and watch, without worrying about cars and trucks near my pegs, I took an off-ramp and followed the access road, at a reduced speed. The lightening still seemed fairly far away. I had checked the radar before starting out; I knew the thin band of bad weather strung from south to northeast. So what the heck, I took the next onramp to I-30 - BAM - right into a toad strangler. No doubt about it, I was going to get wet.

Muleshoe Roadriders Patch
I am sure we've all been in a rainstorm. It is not the most pleasant experience but we get through it, we don't shrink and if it is warm, we dry out soon enough.

Those curious unplanned events

Passing through the rain, the sun shone brightly. I was hungry and figured I'd stop in Yantis for some breakfast. I knew of a country breakfast kind of cafe and I couldn't wait get a plate of eggs, hash browns and biscuits.

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Just before I arrived in Yantis, I was treated to a vivid rainbow. I looked for a good place to stop and get a picture. I soon got my wish, It was not much farther down the road that I spied a small herd of donkeys, they may have been burros; I'm not an expert on the subject.

Old Classic

There is no way you'll be able to appreciate the scene in b&w. Please visit the TMRA site ( and look for the "Links" button at the top center of the page. Click the "Links" link and you'll see the Sunshine State of Mind link. Follow that to see the pictures in color. **

After breakfast, I continued on to one of my pre-planned stops, Rhonesboro, Possum Capital of Texas.

Little Honda

Car Line-Up
Why anyone would want to be the Possum Capital is beyond my comprehension but if I had not run by there, I would have never seen the herd of old cars lined up beside the road
Road trips are filled with surprises. These little road jewels never cease to amaze me. I keep coming back.

As I passed the small community of Harmony I thought, "I found Harmony and couldn't agree more." It was mid-morning and this was turning out to be a most excellent ride. This trip was exceeding my expectation.

I checked in at the parks ranger station. They assigned me site #1. After a short nap I returned to the ranger station and laid out my plans to do a photo shoot. They had closed off the area where I originally planned to camp and I asked why. They explained they had cut trees and underbrush for fire safety precaution. They felt the debris was a danger to campers and restricted the area. After a bit of finagling, they offered to let me into the area and called the rangers that patrolled the area to let them know I would be coming that night. This was a bit more of the good luck I had been having the entire trip.

They were right; it was a mess up there. I had to climb over a lot of trees and avoid many piles of brush as I made my way down the hillside. I carefully picked my way to the Lake Wright Patman beach. My path was often blocked as I followed the shoreline. Continually changing course, blazing my own trail, I finally came to a little peninsula that jutted out onto an inlet, the perfect spot. It was so very quiet, with the exception of the splash of feeding fish and the occasional call of a variety of birds.

Looking at the Lake
I was filled with anticipation and checked my watch often. Setting up my tripod, I checked the camera settings over and over again.

When the moon finally peeked over the treetops I began shooting like a madman.

I hope you enjoyed the telling of the tale, Cappy's Quest to photograph the "Super Moon." In reality the moon's perigee happens every year. Last year the moon was a bit closer. All of those nerdy facts aside, it was a nice moon, but the journey was the real treat, right down to the doe posing for me as I took my exit shot the following morning. Check out the article on the SSOM site, it is all there, the rainbow, the donkeys, the cars, the moon and the deer

Buckaroos, Amana needs TLC, I must go. I encourage you to stop by the SSOM page. You will find almost two year's worth of past articles. The pictures are in color.

Ride em if ya go em!

** (web note - obviously you are at the website, so yes, there is color)

Bonus PIX

Road after rain
I left the rain behind

Donkey Rainbow
Are these donkeys or burros?

Harmony Texas
Harmony Texas

Lone Star Texas
Lone Star Texas

Cappy's Campsite
Camping at Atlanta State Park

Lake Wright Patman
Lake Wright Patman

Lake Shot
Lake Shot

Lake Shot
Picture Point -
I set up my tripod on this point

Moon Shots
Moon Shots

Last Shot
Saying Goodbye