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Bikernet Road Stories: HOUSE, GIRL, AND THE HIGHWAY

We were young, dumb, and full of...

By Scotty Kerekes
9/14/2016


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Note: I wrote this piece a long time ago. It was never submitted for publication because I figured that, in the light of such unorthodox outrageousness, this story would be rejected. But I think its time has come. The images were shot with film, which most of mine was ruined in a flood. These few were salvaged from that disaster and I apologize for them.

We were young, dumb, and full of cum back then...

The straightest line from New Hampshire to South Dakota takes one into Canada, through Montreal, over the Great Lakes, then into Michigan. From there it would be a straight shot to South Dakota. Although Sturgis was still a month off, I’d decided to arrive early then settle into the nearby town of Rapid and work on my writing for a while. When the rally began I’d move to Sturgis, fill my pockets with vendor-work money, then decide from there. A simple plan really.

Although she ran fine, Betsy's second engine had run into high mileage and was now drinking a quart of oil every 200 miles. I’d address that issue when opportunity arose. Meantime I’d pack extra oil. But the day was good and the ride fine as the road returned my mind to only thoughts of the present. Behind lay no house, no job, and no bills, while ahead was only the next destination.

Traveling slowly, I’d stick mostly to back roads. At night I’d make camp upon the land, or in truck stops where showers, televisions, and laundry machines are abundant. As usual, time was of little concern and the 1,800 mile trip would take no less that a week and a half. For I did not travel to make time, but rather to have a good time.

The lush north/eastern countryside turned to wide open prairie as the South Dakota state line came and went. By morning I’d arrived in Rapid City with plenty of time to seek accommodations. To the small city of Rapid I had history and the search for adequate land upon which to live led me to a familiar pine forest. The tiny and forgotten road offered broken pavement as I soon passed the long driveway of one large house set into the distant trees. I knew from other visits that this beautiful area had once been occupied by the rich who built their estates amid this private landscape. But the surrounding territory had now been reduced to only a gaping hole as the nearby cement plant expanded its strip mine operation. When that land was exhausted they'd bought, bulldozed, and reduced these fine homes to more holes in the ground until, finally, only this last house remained.

I decided to check it out. If anyone was home I’d claim to be lost. But the people were gone. I gazed at the big house. It was a single-story with separate guest house, brick-barbecue, and private tennis courts. All in perfect condition. The driveway curled around back to disappear between the house and a tall row of pine trees that surrounded and concealed this property entirely. Very private. The doors were unlocked so I went inside. Deserted. House beautifully intact, but empty. All that remained was one nightstand and two wooden caskets. Yeah. One was a homemade mock-up filled with Halloween decorations and the other, although authentic, was cheep and had obviously been purchased as a second Halloween prop. Guessing rightly that the house had been slated for destruction and probably meant little to anyone anymore, I moved in. 

 

Pushing the authentic casket into a corner by two windows, I removed the lid then set it upside down to serve as a cot for my bedding. Next I brought the nightstand to bedside. I was happy with the new place.

Rapid City offers a huge YMCA and the following day I acquired membership. This brought access to showers, weights, TV room, pool, and even a hot tub. As with many times before, I settled into this new environment. The writing work began. By morning I’d pull the nightstand to face the bed and place my laptop there. Having parked my motorcycle under the veranda outside my window, I’d pull the line that connected to its battery through the bedroom window and plug its other end into my lap top. Next I’d sit on the bed, back against the wall, drink coffee from a thermos, and work. Some days I’d write at a coffee shop in town. After work the Y would provide hot water and exercise. By afternoon I’d simply hang out to meet folks; as had been my way in so many towns over the years. Some of these new friends rode motorcycles, others didn’t. Rapid is near an Indian Reservation and I made friends among the Sioux as well. By invitation I began to take part in the sweat lodges ceremonies every week. An experience one never forgets.

 

 

The money in my pocket slowly disappeared as the words on my computer screen multiplied. One morning, a survey of my funds revealed just $17. It was time to do something. After dusting off the window washing equipment carried aboard my bike, I set out to beat the streets. I soon landed a huge car lot lobby and, by day’s end, had earned $103. Two more days work insured enough funds to last and I settled back into the computer to await the Sturgis rally.
 

It was five days before Sturgis officially began when I settled into nearby free camping in the Black Hills National Forest. My camp lay only six miles from Main Street Sturgis. Once the rally'd gotten underway I took a job as wrench for a mobile mechanic at a pay scale of $22.50 an hour, but by midweek was offered work mounting tires at the Dunlop tent. The pay there was substantially higher so I took the offer. On the final day of this employment I mounted the finest of our used, take-off, tires to my own bike and also installed a good used set of brake pads.

By week’s end my wallet held almost two grand. I was rich. I returned to the house in Rapid. 

 

Three days passed before I met a local nurse. We took a walk that afternoon then ran into each other again the following day. It was early evening of our second encounter when she asked for a ride. I threw the excess camping gear into her old van, offered my back seat, and off we went. Melanie had lived all her life here, loved the Black Hills, and would never leave. For her, all the world was this place. She pointed the way and I drove. The sun had just set as the little highway led away from city lights and into the deep forest. From the back seat she told stories of local history as I listened.

 

Eventually I pulled to a turnout and killed the motor. Before long we were making out like high school sweethearts. As the heat escalated more privacy seemed desirable so I pointed to a dirt road that led into the trees. “Oh no,” she said, “You ain't gettin’ nothing tonight!” But it seemed her mind lacked the power to override libido and before I knew it we were naked and going at it on the tarp I’d laid beside the bike...in plain view of the highway! Fortunately traffic was light. Still, the cars did come. From our left the motorcycle blocked most of the action. But the right offered no cover and, since I’d parked on a slight curve, those cars illuminated us like a free show in the headlights. There was no way to hide so I only buried my face for those moments and prayed it wasn’t a cop.

So began the romance. 

Melanie took care of her 80-year old mother and therefore rendezvous at her place were no good. She began coming to my house and before long we’d implemented a routine. Melanie added a single mattress to her van’s otherwise empty interior. In the evenings she’d back into the hidden driveway behind my house, which left her rear doors to face toward the entrance of my bedroom. There, just inside the rear van doors that remained open to fresh air, we would talk, play, and eventually sleep. At the morning alarm clock’s early warning, I’d climb outta the van and into my own bed while Melanie shuffled off to work. At around 9:00 I’d get up, start the day, then do it all over again that night.

The summer days passed.

I began returning home to find parts of my house missing. The garage doors, the water heater, electric rang, etc. People were stripping the place. And why not? It was slated for destruction anyway.

 

Melanie had a four-day weekend ahead and, longing for a break from the routine, I invited her for a short jaunt into the Black Hills. She readily accepted. Off we roared into the twisty roads, the FL loaded for bear and Melanie planted firmly on the back seat. I drove, she navigated. These hills were Melanie's life and she knew every town, lake, canyon and forgotten back road. Though I’d spent plenty of time in this area over the years, Melanie took us to places I’d not known existed. We traveled slowly, talked to many, and sometimes ate in fine restaurants. We made camp beside creeks, spent one night in an abandoned campground, and stayed at secluded spots deeper into the woods. Not once did we pay for lodging. Sometimes I slid us unnoticed into the shower stalls of fully functional campgrounds. There were deer, wild turkey, buffalo, and others. The days were magic and the nights unforgettable. At the end of four days time we were back in Rapid.

Again time passed.

The cell phone rang. It was an old friend. Derek is an entrepreneur who, having built other successful businesses in past, now buys and sells Harley parts. Derek had endured an extremely nasty divorce recently and the battle had left him pretty beat up. He wanted me to visit. It seemed important.

 

“I’d love to Derek but you live in Lyons Kansas. Maybe some day when…”

“How’s your bike running?” he interrupted.

“Using lots of oil.”

“Need a top end? I’ve got a wall full of brand new cylinders, pistons, and rings to fit that thing. Even got a set of heads. You can have anything you need free of charge. You can wrench in the shop, use the tools, and stay at the house. What do you say?”

“Ah…take about a week to get there. Gonna be around?”

“See you then,” and he hung up.

Two days later I left the Black Hills. As the plains opened ahead I thought back over recent events. It had been one of the best rallies yet. For a moment I let imagination wonder to what lay ahead. But the day was good and the ride fine as the road soon returned my mind to only thoughts of the present.

 
 

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