Ode to Driving Buddies

One of my favorite things about making the drive from the panhandle of Florida all the way down to Miami is making driving buddies. You know what I’m talking about – a fellow driver with whom you keep pace and take turns being the leader while speeding. It’s an adult buddy system at its finest. Yesterday, I had my favorite driving buddy encounter thus far.

This man was everything that the greasy-haired boys in the Rock Gym aspire to be when they grow up. He rode an ancient motorcycle, which was loaded and strapped with tattered tent gear, a musty sleeping bag, and I couldn’t even fathom what else. His wiry silver hair billowed out behind him like a cropped mermaid’s mane, and the frills along the seams of his cowboy pants slapped around in the wind. I couldn’t see his face through his helmet, but I imagined leathery tan skin, wrinkled most around his mouth from all the smiling he must do.

As I passed him on Interstate-10, I rolled down my window and flashed him the peace sign. He nodded in approval and waved back. He pulled his motorcycle behind my Scion, and for about an hour we rode together, with me breaking the wind for him. He kept tugging at the bootstrap on his left side, and every time he leaned over it made me anxious. What if he lost balance? I found myself wishing I could signal him to pull off at an exit, so I could buy him a cup of coffee, or a pint of beer, and spend a few minutes finding out who he really was.

After my time spent fantasizing about this intriguing man, and where he was headed, the road forked and we were forced to choose between I-75 North or South. My journey urged me southbound, and his tugged northward. With an unceremonious switching of lanes, we parted ways.

Driving buddy, you were one-of-a-kind. I wish you well on your travels, and hope that the wrinkles around your smile only deepen with time.

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Categories: Stories & Odes, Travel & Adventure

Author:Katie Boué

Katie Boué is the voice of TheMorningFresh.com - a travel lifestyle blog focusing on climbing, Airbnb life, and the outdoors.

3 Comments on “Ode to Driving Buddies”

  1. June 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    You made me see him, like a photograph. :)

    • June 11, 2010 at 5:14 am #

      Thank you! I wish I had been able to photograph him.

  2. The Dad
    July 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    I could picture him as well. This is a fine piece of writing! (yeah, I’m biased, but if you read you’d agree.) Nice!

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