You bastard! It's 1:30am and I've got to be up early tomorrow morning. I had planned to get to bed two hours ago... But your story really sucked me in!
If you come through northeast Pennsylvania, I'll buy you a beer and show you some local roads to ride... and if you turn out not to be a complete weirdo, I've got a spare bedroom as well. Seriously though, if you're gonna be coming through, post up on here or pm me.
Having done a couple trips on sportbikes (though my SV650S is no Ducati, as far as ergos are concerned), I love that you're touring on a sport bike... and not just any sportbike, but a finicky Italian bitch! Kudos.
Your writing style is fantastic. I know it has already been said before, but it really does remind me of 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.' However, I found that he went a bit too far with his philosophical ramblings and didn't concentrate enough on the ride. I think you have done a far superior job to Mr. Pirsig (and no offense to him) in this regard. I love the philosophical input... But I'd much rather read a ride report with some philosophy thrown in than a philosophy lecture with some ride report thrown in. Excellent work. Seriously.