So I decided that the DR is a keeper and need to register it in Texas. Insurance? Check. Texas state inspection? Hmmm... The closest Texas city to Bowling Green is Texarkana and the bike needs to be in Texarkana for this to work. No need to state the obvious, eh? Fuckin' eh. Anyway...
The DR is a different mode of transportation than what I'm accustomed. My other rides like hitting the highway and hauling ass or easing back for a few minutes and then hauling ass. I have to get over and get used to the fact that the DR just won't get on the interstate and do 80+ for hours on end. It's a more laid back adventure. And that's one of the reasons I bought the bike to begin with.
I mapped out a route that kept me off the interstate as much as possible. On the way to Texarkana I traveled about 40 miles of interstate through the Memphis area. US-79 goes all the way from Russellville (just west of Bowling Green) damn near all the way to Texarkana while only being about 20 miles longer than the interstate route. I figured that's the perfect back-road route.
The ride to Texarkana was excellent. Longer than a typical ride, but enjoyable. I enjoyed the slower pace, the smaller towns, the kind folks along the way and not feeling like I was in a big damn hurry to get somewhere. Between the slower pace, the abundant small towns and the incredible heat, I arrived in Texarkana in about twelve and a half hours. Not too bad.
I checked into the Courtyard because it's right by the local Cracker Barrel - one of my many addictions. After getting all my gear into the room and chilling for a spell I went back outside to look over the bike and secure it for the evening.
Now stupid is locking the bars and twisting the key aaaaaaaaaalllllllll the way to the left, past LOCK and into PARK mode which essentially locks the bars and turns on the rear tail light. And stupid does exactly that. Oblivious to the eventual outcome stupid goes back to his room, orders dinner from Cracker Barrel (perhaps the sanest decision of the day), gets a little work done and falls asleep.
The next morning stupid gets up, has breakfast, takes a shower, checks out of the room, packs the bike and turns the key over. Nada. Nothing. Where's that little green light that's supposed to come on? Son-of-a-bitch! Perhaps it's a fuse or a loose battery cable? So stupid whips out the tools and removes the seat. Cables are secure and the fuses are good. Then stupid looks at and comprehends the instrument markings around the key hole. Son-of-a-bitch! Stupid put it in PARK mode yesterday and the battery is deader than a doornail.
I asked a few patrons if they had a set of jumper cables and "no" was the standard reply. I've had a AAA membership for a few years and have never had reason to use it. The wrecker-dude arrived and we attempted to jump it, but no dice. Next option... tow it to the dealer and that's exactly what we did. The folks at McKinnon Honda were great. They put the battery on a charger, inspected the bike and got me outta there by 12:30.
The original plan was to head up the interstate into Arkansas and catch some sequence of roads that would eventually put me on SR-9 which I'd take all the way to Mammoth Spring on the Missouri border. The forecast predicted a good turd-floater in the region so I decided to just haul ass back to Bowling Green instead. I stayed on the interstate until after Memphis. The DR did well on the interstate, but again, it's no speed demon. Irony defined - everyone's passing Jason because he's the turtle.
The interstate droning was damn near unbearable. A little north of Memphis I got off the interstate and back on US-79. I've found I'm able to tolerate the slower going when I'm on roads that call for, well, slower going. I figured I'd get home around midnight and the few hours of nighttime travel would give me an opportunity to evaluate the DR's stock lighting. Now stupid is purposefully not packing your night time glasses because you thought you wouldn't be riding at night. And stupid did exactly that.
When it got too dark and became unsafe to carry on, I decided to get a hotel room and finish the ride in the morning. I hated getting a hotel room so close to home, but in addition to one's body and one's pride from time to time, stupid can also hurt the wallet. What the hell. I'm home now, the DR's inspected and I'm breathing in and out. Life is good.