Wow, just reached the (current) end of this thread. I've been reading through it in my spare time for the past week. What a great read. It was a real rush to read as you created this memory of a lifetime. Thanks so much for your time writing. I think the thing I appreciate the most is the photographic journal. I've always been very poor at taking pictures on my trips, and your journey has redoubled my resolve to take more in the future. I have a lot of amazing memories, but only few are documented outside my brain (which will likely be riddled with Alzheimers).
I don't want to take up much space in your thread, as you deserve the spotlight here; however I agree with many of your motorcycling sentiments (from motorcycle purchases to the feelings of a lone rider, the road, and adventure). After my first motorcycle, I've been buying the motorcycles that I want - not the ones that are 'the best for the job.' My second purchase was a Ducati ST3, which I rode the hell out of (including a trip around the great lakes, unplanned - meaning I rode in 48 hours of downpour...without rain gear
). After buying a few Aprilias, a Triumph, another Duc and an MV Agusta F4; I can tell all those not subscribed to the 'fuck it' philosophy that they are truly missing something in life. Everyone's 'fuck it' bike will be different (in fact, my next one will likely be a low-power dirt bike), but ultimately our goal of riding what makes us smile is the same.
Very jealous of your experience at CoTA. I'm excited to read more. Also, if you're ever back in Wisconsin, there are a handful of folks that could take you to some of the nicest, unpatrolled twisy roads
Oh, we have amazing food and beer, too. First round is on me.