Parting is a Bitch

Thread bare, and faded, with the neck edges worn, yet he is still my favorite. Chief Grouch represents a time from another life. Created at the Cherokee Indian Trading Post in the Smokey Mountains, he has been my favorite for over thirty years. His time on this earth is short, and friends and relatives plead with me to end it, to part ways. How can I toss such a faithful sidekick into the trash heap? I know, I know, I look like a homeless person when I wear this beautiful Tee, but I don’t give a hoot, I love it. Chief Grouch and I have a history together.

The Chief represents a bike trip through Cades Cove and a vacation  during a time when Barb and I were still young. Barb named him Chief Grouch. She knew he was a chief, and  I was a grouch so it was a natural.

Over the years, people have stared into his eyes, and at his yellow Iris in wonder. No one has ever dared ask me why I wear the Chief, but I can tell by the expressions on their faces, that they want to know. I’m not sure I ever had a good reason, except to say we are brothers. We share the same deep, intense look of bewilderment, yet we have inner beauty like the Iris.

CHIEF GROUCH

Chief Grouch on his final walk to see the sunset into the lake.

Yes good friend, it is time for us to part. I will not subject you to another cleansing ritual to endure the swish-swashing in suds, with the last whirling dervish flinging the water from your weave, but rather to join the  braves of your tribe in the Happy Hunting Ground.

do na da’ go hv i o gi na li

Thirty Miles Per Burger

Grumpa Joe Pulling Into the Job

Grumpa Joe Pulling Into the Job

In the last two days, I have heard how the government handling of federal highway funds is being squandered on things such as bicycle paths. I agree that we need safe bridges and good roads, but I disagree that we don’t need bike paths.

A bike rider has every right to share the road with drivers. He does carry the same responsibility as a driver and must obey the same laws. A bicycle is considered a vehicle the same as a car. Most drivers do not share this attitude, even though the laws clearly state the right. I know many avid cyclists who use a bicycle as a form of transportation. They ride to work,  take trips across states, and tour foreign countries; all on a bike. They use public highways when they ride. I also happen to live near a popular bicycle path called the Old Plank Road Trail. It is twenty miles long and connects six towns.  I walk the path regularly. I see hundreds of cyclists using the path daily. They range in age from eight to eighty. They feel safe on a path whereas they would never ride a bike on a busy public road. They get their exercise through the enjoyment of a linear park. 

Here is my argument. A bike path will keep  bicyclists off  public roads where sociopathic drivers love to score points for taking out cyclists. I have several personal experiences that I can share about how much love there is for a bicyclist by a driver.  A bicycle path promotes exercise, a much needed activity in this OBESE country. The logic would go this way:

A bike path promotes exercise,

Excercise helps maintain health

Therfore, a bicycle path helps maintain health.

With all the argument about the high cost of  health care, why pick on one thing that will help us maintain our health with a nominal investment?

Bike paths are infrastructure that don’t require as much maintenance as a highway. Thus, the money spent goes further than money spent on a federal highway.

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