Good Eats

Last Sunday, August 23, Hubby planned a ride for us. We’d discussed it briefly the night before, so I knew it would involve a jaunt across the mountains to Luray (pronounced LOO-ray, by the way) for a Hardee’s breakfast. I had no idea where we’d be going after that. But, as many of you know, when you’re on a motorcycle, it’s not usually about the destination, it’s about the ride.

Before we left, he did tell me the route plan included breakfast AND lunch, but that was it. He also mentioned that our route would cover about 200 miles (~322 km), and he may have mentioned it would take about five hours. But I didn’t really care. I was willing to just follow along.

Breakfast to Lunch Rider

Sometimes, it’s good to just follow with no conscious thought required. Of course, there’s always thought required when riding, but there’s a huge difference between thinking about where you’re going/when your next turn is coming up and letting your mind just sorta wander.

Those of you who don’t ride and wonder whether thought’s required to operate the motorcycle, not really. I’ve been riding for quite a few years, which means it’s all become sort of intuitive. Kind of like driving a car with a manual transmission. You just sorta know when to switch gears, which gear is required, what gear you’re in when you’re moving, etc. My eyes are always scanning the road, shoulders, and vehicles up ahead AND checking the mirrors to see what’s to my rear, but that doesn’t require thought either. It’s all rather automatic.

Sometimes, letting your mind wander is good. That day, I was having a very hard time getting into the zone. In fact, what I’d really wanted to do was hole-up in a dark room and just sleep the day away.  The days leading up to Hubby’s Food Ride had been challenging, to say the least. But that’s not me. I know I’m much better off wrenching myself out of the depressive depths — it’s what’s best for me — so I rode along.

On Wednesday, I’d gotten word from Carol, one of my besties since childhood, that her sister had died. Only a year or two shy of her 60th birthday, this sister had struggled with horrible substance abuse issues, compounded by anxiety and depression, for just about all of the 35+ years that I’d known her and her family. I didn’t know the sister well personally, since she was about 10 years older than Carol and I, but I’ve been around her many times over the years and I knew of the havoc and turmoil her family experienced as a result of the sister’s struggle with her many demons.

It’s a tight-knit family, though, and despite the struggles and pain she’d caused, that sister was much loved by Carol, her Mom, her brothers, son, husband, nieces and nephews, friends, extended family, etc. That list goes on and on.  It was heartbreaking, to say the least, seeing the family trying to cope in the wake of the sister’s tragic, accidental death. Friday night, I went to the viewing. The funeral was on Saturday. One day I might write about the complex swirl of emotions tied to those events. But there’s a whole lot that goes with it, well beyond the death of someone I didn’t really know personally, but whose family are all as close to me as my own family. For now, just trust me when I say that mentally, on Sunday, I wasn’t in a very good place.

We were HOURS into the ride before I even took my first picture, a scene which Hubby actually said he’d like to have captured. Imagine that!

Hubby had to see The Dyke Store for himself.

Yep, that’s the place I’d visited the prior weekend. I didn’t mind doing a repeat road so soon, though, since Dyke Road is awesome.

IMG_2948From there, we continued meandering through the lovely Virginia Piedmont. And, much to might delight, we stopped in Culpeper for linner (late lunch-early dinner) at Uncle Elder’s BBQ.

I may have mentioned this place before. I even took all of these other pics months ago, but never got around to sharing them with you.

Uncle Elder’s is a small place. There’s an outdoor seating area, but we’ve always dined indoors. The pulled pork BBQ is quite good, but my favorite menu offering is the fried pickle appetizer.

Fried Pickles!
Fried Pickles!

I know I’ve mentioned that here before. I think Dar was even brave enough to try it for herself. My friend Annelies says Americans will fry anything, and she’s right.

If you like pickles, try them fried. They’re best when the pickles are cut into chips, as opposed to spears, and the pickles have to be the really tart kosher dills.

Inside Uncle Elder's
Inside Uncle Elder’s

Hubby likes them just as much as me, but he’d never say, “OMG, we HAVE to go to Uncle Elder’s for some fried pickles.” He’d be more like, “I’m hungry for BBQ.”

The Sign


The Hours

I keep forgetting to check and see if they serve beer, which wouldn’t matter if traveling to and fro by bike, but I’ve been telling my local friends that we need to go there for dinner.

Sign at The Dyke Store
Sign at The Dyke Store

It turned out to be a decent day. Riding is great therapy. Truly.

These two are good for helping lift spirits, too.

Furry Therapists
Furry Therapists

They don’t look particularly sympathetic, do they? This is their “is it time for our walk” look. But that always makes me smile. I enjoy our walks almost as much as they do.

We went for another ride yesterday, which was awesome, but I’ll save that for another post.

14 Replies to “Good Eats”

  1. Deep fried pickles are wonderful. I like the dill chips as the spears tend to get soggy really quickly. I think I try them at many places that offer them. Fortunately for my diet, that’s not very often. 😉

    1. Richard, I get very excited whenever I see fried pickles on a menu. 🙂 I definitely prefer the chips.

      I, too, am fortunate that we don’t get to eat them too often.

  2. I’ve been meaning to try deep fried pickles at one of our local breweries. Now I must!

    I’m glad that the ride proved to be a bit of therapy (one of motorcycling’s most important effects), oh, and your pooches too, of course. They always seem to pose so well for your photos.

    1. Ry, they don’t pose. In fact, they hate having their picture taken. I need to catch them in the moment, and even then it’s tricky. Unless treats are involved, then that’s a whole ‘nother story.

  3. Deep fried pickles you say? I saw a sign on a food cart yesterday they had deep fried mars bars and deep fried oreos … how do you think they compare?

    1. “deep fried mars bars and deep fried oreos” are okay but don’t have the salty flavor (is salty a flavor) that seems to go good with deep fried anything…

      1. Good explanation, Richard. Those fried treats would be very, very sweet. The pickles are different, especially if dipped in a bit of ranch sauce. Fried green beans are really good, too.

    2. Karen, they’re not in the same ballpark. The fried Mars bars and Oreo cookies would be a one-off dessert. Extremely rich. The pickles make a great appetizer. And, even though they’re fried, they can’t be that bad for you, right? 🙂

  4. I didn’t even realize when I called you from the airport and you were on that ride that you were in a tough spot mentally and had had a rough few days. I’m sorry. 🙁 I hope you’re in a better place now. Love you!

  5. I’m sorry to hear about Carol’s sister and that you’ve been struggling. I hope each day brings you closer back to sunshine. <3

    **hugs from the sandbar**

  6. Sorry to hear about your friend’s sister, such a sad situation. I do know that there is nothing like a ride for returning peace of mind, and great food always helps too! I love fried pickles too. The weirdest thing I have seen (and tasted, ugh) was fried twinkies. Not again. 🙂

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