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Old 06-06-2009, 08:00 PM   #14
Grad OP
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Athens, GA and Blairsville, GA
Oddometer: 2,255
Day 1 - 475 miles to Memphis

We started out our trip with a pretty long and boring day, a 475 mile slab to Memphis from middle Georgia. Since we have seen this route a thousand times, we had no desire to take backroads and instead just wanted to knock it out quickly and efficiently...so interstate was the solution. We headed out around 8 AM and were greeted by very overcast skies, but fortunately no rain.

The bike was loaded and ready to go:


and we were off (thanks for the photo Chad!)


it was country backroads for the first hour or so


but soon we were on interstate and rolling into Atlanta.


A short while later we passed into Alabama, marking the first of many state line crossings on our journey.


Talladega Motor Speedway was pretty desolate, but the size and scale of the facilities is remarkable. Never been to a race, but I will make it one of these days.


Outside Birmingham, we decided to stop for an early lunch. Our goal during this trip is to eat at only Mom and Pop places, or at chains that we have never visited before. This appeared to be a pretty local place, so we decided to give it a go.


The BBQ wasn't bad at all, but certainly not the "Best in the South" like the sign proclaimed. After going almost a month without sweet tea, I definitely enjoyed a glass here.


With us and the bike full of fuel, we motored on


Great slogan!


We passed through downtown Birmingham a short while later


Soon we were in Mississippi, and we could see that our first big day on the road was nearing the end. Stopping for gas, Val remarked that she had something on her boot. It looked oily...and then I saw the ground! Yeah, that isn't good. Upon closer inspection, it appears that the valve cover gasket was leaking a little, and considering I just did a valve check on the bike, I most certainly forgot to clean up the gasket before reinstalling. The oil level on the bike was fine, so I decided not to worry about it and finish the 80 miles to Memphis. It was in the back of my mind though


Soon we were in Memphis, rolling past one of the best BBQ places in the known universe. I was going to be having some of this for dinner tonight!


Got to my parents' house and unloaded the stuff we needed for the night. I pulled into the garage to do a little surgery to the ole' GS. I was hoping to make it more than one day without having to pull out my tool kit, but I think I got the gasket cleaned up and reinstalled correctly. Hopefully the oil will remain in the engine tomorrow on our way into Arkansas.


After buttoning the GS back up, I took a shower and grabbed a Yuengling (or 2) out of the fridge. Val and I relaxed and chatted with my parents and a few other relatives over a nice dinner. It was a great end to our first day...and we are quite excited about tomorrow!



Day 2 destination: Hot Springs, Arkansas. Not sure if there will be WiFi at the campground, but I will get the next update up whenever I am online again.
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