A Pipe On The Road

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Whalehead King, May 6, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Whalehead King

    Whalehead King Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,335
    I left Boston on the morning of May 2 to travel to New Orleans by motorcycle, all back roads. This afternoon, day 5 of my trip, I enjoyed a sublime pipe experience, the kind of smoke that reinforces why I took up the pipe and threw away the cigarettes.

    Needless to say, I’m not in a rush if I’m taking all back roads, averaging about 350 twisty, out-of-the-way miles per day, enjoying the scenery and the byways and hamlets. I haven’t stopped for a pipe break before today though because a properly enjoyed pipe takes time. Even though I’m not in a hurry, I am on a kind of schedule: always moving forward. I’ve enjoyed a pipe in the evening at day’s end but never mid-journey.

    That changed today. Five days, ten hours a day, made me inattentive, logey, slogging through the miles instead of enjoying them. Something had to give and that something was my attitude. I’ve travelled through some beautiful country but I stopped paying attention around 2:00 this afternoon. That’s when I decided to change gears.

    In Conecuh County, Alabama I noticed a packed clay road leading off Route 31 just before a bridge. I crossed the bridge and doubled back, navigating my little motorcycle down the dirt road in second gear to the edge of the Sepulga River where it cuts through its clay bed. I unpacked my corn cob pipe from my starboard saddle bag and assembled the stem. I packed the bowl with some tobacco from Boston, Piretti’s Park Square, a favorite of mine.

    Sitting by the edge of the river I smoked my pipe, letting my thoughts flow like the water and the wafting smoke. I savored the moment in full contemplation of where I was in the world...in some place I’ve never been and probably never will be again, on the bank of the Sepulga River under a bridge with all my familiar world a world away... Nothing but my thoughts and my pipe to keep me company.

    Pipe smoking isn’t a hurried pleasure. It took me forty minutes to savor my pinches of smoldering tobacco. It was time well spent. I had nowhere to go but in my own skin, enjoying my reveries and steeling my resolve for the miles ahead. I appreciated the discipline of savoring a well packed pipe in an exotic location, taking care not to care about the clock or the map. It may very well be the best pipe I’ll ever smoke.

    I tapped the spent ashes into the river and watched the current carry them away. Grounded and centered again after this bit of meditation, I remounted my motorcycle, helmet in place, visor down and pipe stowed away where I can find it again latter in the afternoon. A pipe is a thinking person’s respite. Unlike a cigarette, it isn’t a nicotene delivery system hurried into the lungs and then tossed away. Smoking a pipe isn’t a means to an end, it is a thing of its own, one bowl at a time. I sipped at my corn cob the way my motorcycle sips at gasoline. Tobacco and petroleum are both fuel that propels. One drives me inward, one drives me onward. There is nowhere to go but here in this moment.

    Refreshed and rejuvenated, senses hair trigger sharp, I sped down Route 31 with new purpose and resolve. All for the taste of a pipe smoked slowly when I had somewhere to go. Sometimes it’s best to pause. It’s always best to pause with a pipe full of good tobacco, smelling the roses, taking stock of the surroundings.

    If you want to read a review of Piretti's Park Square Tobacco, I've linked to it. It's good but not particularly special, just my home blend.

    I don't really like to indulge in self promotion, but if you are interested in reading about my journey, none of it pipe-specific, I've been blogging it. If you find it interesting, please leave a comment there. It's not my usual style or subject matter.

    Thanks for reading. It really was a good pipe in the right place at the right time.
     


  2. PipesnBikes

    PipesnBikes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    157
    Great story, I enjoy taking my motorcycle to a quite place and having that contemplative bowl.

    Thanks for sharing
     
  3. nobler son

    nobler son Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    398
    Excellent. I'll definitely be following your blog posts--I love travel stories. If your journeys ever carry you through West Tennessee (which is more agricultural, flatter, and admittedly less interesting than East Tennessee) then perhaps we could share a smoke.
     
  4. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,658
    Haven't done a long motorcyle journey since the 1980s, but heavens your post brought back all the joys of the thing. I well remeber stopping at quiet spots listening with real pleasure to the sounds of the engine cooling down, waiting for my eagerly anticipated cup of tea to cool enough to drink and really relishing a quiet pipe while feeling at one with the world.

    Happy riding and many more good smokes on the road,

    Gerry
     
  5. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,484
    Thank you for the wonderful post, WHK. Made me feel like I was riding along with you. I also read your blog entries on your trip which were very enjoyable.

    Bri2k
     
  6. Boomer-Z

    Boomer-Z Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    495
    Hello,

    Thank you for the post. Nice to reading something like that first thing in the morning while enjoying my first bowl and a cup of coffee. Ride safe and enjoy your trip.

    Z
     
  7. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,589
    Matthew, thanks for sharing! I will follow the blog.

    Colt, just like you, I enjoy travel stories especially those which feature forum members. Have you read Gerry's Guejar Sierra chronicles?

    Gerry, I enjoyed reading the chronicles this past week (I was on vacation in Boracay). Learned something about tapas and choto! Too bad about your bike though :-(
     
  8. Unforgivin

    Unforgivin Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,082
    That was great! Good ride, good bowl, in the wind, nothing better my friends!
     
  9. nobler son

    nobler son Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    398
    Yes, I read them, and I really enjoyed them. They really stirred up the ol' wanderlust.
     
  10. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,019
    Heads up! The lost the Zener diodes and added electric starting (on all but the Ural :doh: ).

    Nice write, Wha'king. I too love a contemplative interlude, stretch or a rest on a bike trip plus a short stogie or a pipe... I have more/less settled on a meer with hard case for the bike-boot; it stays dry 9inside and out) suits the travel ruggedness requirement and one pipes fits all tobaccos. Stop by - Raleigh, NC or thereabouts - east to the coast or west to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
     
  11. Longrifle3006

    Longrifle3006 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    132
    I haven't been on my bike since I was run off the road twice in less than a week by unthinking boobs more concerned with cell phone conversations than actual driving. After reading this it reminds me how much I miss it. Perhaps it's time to trade in the FZ1 for something a bit easier to see, like maybe a Ural? :roflmao:

    A fine bit of writing there, Whaleheadking...
     
  12. Unforgivin

    Unforgivin Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,082
    Reading this thread makes me miss the road and my Bonny Triumph. Reliving many memories of a great time. :)
     
  13. user0003

    user0003 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Messages:
    8,133
    With the windshield on I smoke while I ride, still have to stop to fill a bowl. As they say " What a Ride!"
     
  14. The German Shepherd

    The German Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    138
    Outstanding post, dude. "A fuel that propels.." I am going to remember that.:thumbsu:

    Jay
     
  15. rusty

    rusty Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    318
    Great story, brings a feel of the atmosphere, and reminds me of my cycling in the country having a stop for a fag while watching the wildlife. That fag will be replaced with my pipe when I get back out there.
     
  16. FrankB

    FrankB Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    I also own a relatively small motorcycle,Honda Shadow VLX,which I just purchased after 20 years of hassling with my wife about why I should have another bike,(women are real funny about bikes),and am really looking forward to a road trip where I can stop and smoke a bowl overlooking some fine vista and comtemplate my place in the world at that moment in time.My bike has a windshield and I have considered its effectiveness in allowing you to have a bowl enroute.How well does that work? FrankB
     
  17. Smokingmiami

    Smokingmiami Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    522
    Great post / story thank you for sharing I really enjoyed it.
     
  18. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,086
    Stopping to smell the roses..........is a good thing.


    Stopping to smoke a bowl and take it ALL in........is way way bettah!


    Safe journey to you King and keep the rubber down and 'tween the green!

    You definitely made the right choice. You missed it the previous 5 days man! WHERE ARE YOUR PRIORITIES Whalehead??? Enjoy dude! :thumbsu:


    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  19. Stoked

    Stoked Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    471
    I really enjoyed reading your post! I felt like I was right there; very well written.

    You've made me curious about the Piretti's. The combination of Virginia's along with the Perique sounds very good, I may have to give it a try!
     
  20. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,019
    Can't believe I'm the only one who gave the W'king a rep bump on the top post. Great prose.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.