Today I rise early with a somewhat wine flavoured headache, and set off in the rush hour traffic to Reagan Airport. This morning I’m leaving DC flying Delta via Atlanta, to Savannah.It’s a pretty laid back affair, as internal flighting is as a daily occurrence here-akin to tube and train travel back home. I arrive in Georgia by 2pm and hop in a cab to midtown where I’m staying. As we drive, row after row of beautiful wooden antebellum houses and live oaks draped in Spanish moss mark my welcome. Each home has a veranda out front perfectly positioned for hosting rocking chairs and drinking sweet tea.
I arrive at my guest house and I’m the only one there so far. A faded yellow façade deceptively hiding the more modern and quaint airy interiors once I enter.
Other guests start to show up and pretty soon the two the lovely guys who run the place rock up on motorcycles. They’re bickering playfully like a real life Waldorf and Statler; with just a lick of Calvin Candie Southern eccentricity to boot. They ask if I want to take a tour on the bikes. Sure,I say, grabbing a helmet and jumping on the back of the gleaming red BMW. Waldorf comments that I’m dressed perfectly for riding (I sincerely doubt this seen as I’m wearing cotton harem pants and espadrilles) and tells me to hold on tight; but that he’s only ever crashed this one time in Maine (wait, what?!).
We head off, and I assume that we are going for a casual drive across town to sightsee. Ten minutes in however, and we hook onto Route 17 driving over the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge which is suspended nearly 200 feet in the air above the Savannah River.
I yelp and cling on for dear life as I realise we’re going 100 and that that’s in Miles not Kilometres. we drive for nearly an hour on the highway as grassland passes us by, and eventually cross the state line from Georgia into South Carolina.
I spend the entire ride flipping between equal parts deathly afraid of the bike; wildly exhilarated by the bike; and a tad nervous I’m being driven on said bike to a murder shed to be chopped into pieces.
When we do finally stop its at a small airfield in Ridgeland where Statler houses a propellor plane. He wheels it out of the hangar and contemplates taking it up, until lightening and dusky clouds signal the start of bad weather. Thinking better of flying in such conditions (thank god!) we peel off back to Georgia, racing the storm.
This time around I’m relaxed and in my element enjoying the ride-even when the rain catches us and cuts like tiny pin pricks on my exposed skin.
I feel like I’m in a scene from Easy Rider as we pass signs for moonshine and bail bonds; the early evening sunset dipping low as we arrive back in Savannah on soaking asphalt. We grab pizza downtown as the storm hits fully and the heavens open.
Later, back at the house, I’m an exhausted sodden mess, but I’m on fire after that ride. Sleep overcomes me and I drift off thinking how that was the last thing I ever expected to be doing today; and that for sure I’m going to have some fun here down South.