RLT: Kansas! (Biscuit Deliciousness Day 3)

RLT: Kansas! (Biscuit Deliciousness Day 3)

3 Sep 2021

Well off we go, day 3. Early start and a shorter day, only two hundred fifty miles. The first hour and a bit are spent on larger (straight and boring) state highway. Given the pedestrian nature of this stretch of road, through the wasteland of featureless strip malls, we didn’t even care to stop and look for a place to eat. On we go to try and find something more interesting.

As we turn south in Columbia, things began to improve, the further south, the better it gets. As Powell’s Creek on the left, and Burn’s Creek on the right began to squeeze in, the road’s character gently asserts. Trying to think of a way to describe it. Old, perhaps? Yes, I believe that’s it. Of course the asphalt is aged, but the ambiance building over the miles emanates from from more than tarmac’s surface. The essence seeping through seems rooted in a time when building a road doesn’t demand overpowering nature, but rather blends the finished work into topography, complimenting the landscape, not lording over it. This stretch of road holds an aura, linked to forgotten times. I can sense the ghosts of bygone travelers, making their way along this path. A unique place for certain, and not like any other we’ve experienced.

The two creeks converge with a third and before long two more join. Short broken cliffs rise on the right as we drop down next to the river bed, flat and curvy, following bend after bend. Ah, so, so much better. Before long the valley begins to open up a bit, and at about the same time our stomachs begin fussing about our fast and begin to overpower the magic of the ride… Ah, oh oh, we are ‘deep in the country’, nothing anywhere to be seen for miles.

At last we came to a small town, and, the county seat no less. Classically arranged around a court house square. One lap looking for a diner, no luck. Odd, have all the businesses gone away? Perhaps it’s on the outskirts of town? We ride through and very quickly find ourselves back in the country. U-turn brings us towards the center of town again. Rather than wonder about, try an Internet search for a restaurants. Who says men never ask for directions ;-). Looks like one and only one choice, and yes right on the square. Annie Ruby’s Cafe.

Food at Last!
Pharmacy / Cafe Rich in History

Perhaps we missed it because the facade didn’t ‘look’ like a cafe? It was in the old Smith Pharmacy – not quite like the antique photo, but more along these lines than a standard restaurant facade. I suppose the lesson here, as always, keep an open mind rather than remain blinded by expectations. The interior was gorgeous. Clearly the owners spent a great deal of time effort to provide a lovely dining experience…

Lovely Down Home Decor
I Kid You Not: The Best Biscuits I’ve Ever Eaten

… and the biscuits. My. Good. Ness. Have to admit, biscuits are not normally my go to breakfast food. However, I walked past the kitchen doorway on the way to the restroom and saw a cookie sheet coming out of the oven with these beauties on them and thought – I absolutely have to try some of that! Great choice.

Well… If the Shoe Fits, As They Say 😉

Isn’t that fun? Two out of three’s not bad. Well, near the end of the meal a couple of old timers siting next to us struck up a conversation. Normal stuff; where are you from, where are you headed, enjoying the ride? We visited a bit and one guy says “you really should stop by Newby’s, he’s a motorcycle celebrity in these parts”. That’s interesting right? What exactly does that mean? Does he take visitors at 9 in the morning? Directions seemed easy enough, go round the corner and down a block, place is on the left.

Newby: Motorcycle Legend!
Well, Sure?

What a hoot! We parked, I picked my way through the car port jam packed with motorcycles. Legend indeed. The door was open and I could hear a TV playing. Now what? Knock knock. No answer – doubt if he could hear. Seems a little rude to just walk in? So, hollered out “anybody home?”. “Come on in”. Well, here we go!

Down the hall, around a corner sits Newby in a recliner watching the tube with his girlfriend next to him in a matching chair. I introduced myself, explained that he came recommended. What a fabulous human being. He had done multiple rides to California, Alaska, and places between. Now a bit up in age he didn’t ride as much as he used to but still organized a local bike fund raising ride every year. The interactions with Newby and his girlfriend were charming. She fussed about his eye sight, he said he was fine. They had spent a lot of miles together and it was clear they were in a comfortable place.

We walked out side after a bit and he talked through his collection. In hind sight I regret not asking him if he was ok being in pictures. I’m a bit sensitive to that, I wouldn’t want to publish something if the person didn’t feel comfortable about it. We said good bye, he said “any time you’re coming through please stop – you can camp out on the lawn if you like”. Joyful serendipity to be sure.

There’s a LOT Going on at Newby’s!

On we go, nothing particularly noteworthy, miles of lovely back roads. Nice little BBQ shack for lunch, the kind of place that you just know that it’s either really good, or really bad! With the pile of firewood off to the side and the steady flow of cars in and out we imagined it was in the good camp – sure enough. Take out only so we went around the corner and down a few blocks to a neighborhood park to enjoy this delicious pulled port sandwich with coleslaw and chips. What a treat.

Outstanding BBQ! …
… Wonderful Dinning Room in Scottsville.

After lunch more time in the saddle continuing west… route details are in this interactive map. Enjoy!