About 15 minutes into my ride, I find myself on a very narrow, but paved, road. It wasnít very well maintained, but there werenít any indications of it being private either, so I keep pressing on. There was a gate, but could tell it hadnít been used in many, many years. It also looked like there were more than just one house/farm ahead, so I didnít feel like I was in someoneís driveway. The asphalt soon ended, and before I knew it I was on this really nice road/trail.
While stopped to take the above picture... as Iím putting my phone back in itís place, I see a single headlight approaching quickly in my mirrors. I had noticed a GoldWing at a farm a little ways back, so that was my first thought, but didnít think this sandy road was much of a place for a 700+lb bike. I kill the engine and wait for his arrival. He pulls up next to me and turns off his bike. Heís interested in what I was up to and where I was headed. I told him that I was just out exploring, and asked if this was private property. Sure enough, it was the property owner. I quickly apologized, telling him that if there had been any signs indicating that it was, or closed gates, that I wouldnít have even considering passing. I showed him my GPS, telling him that at least Google thinks thereís a road through his property, and then discussed my planned route. We actually talked for quite awhile - real nice guy. He asked me where I was from, about my ďrigĒ and then told me I was welcome to proceed and explore his property. He said there was a gate at the other end (where I was headed), and it might be locked and have to backtrack, and if so, just to stop by his place on my way out so he knows I made it out safely. He said his main concern is lawsuits - if someone comes onto his property and gets injured... and that itís sad our legal system has made this such a common practice.
He pulled up ahead of me and amazingly proceeded to turn his bike around in this stuff. He managed just fine, thanks to his handy dandy reverse gear.
I take off then, thanking him again and headed out, following my tracks. I never made it to any gate - one dead end after another. Where my Garmin was telling me to turn, there wasnít even a trail, just a foot or two of grass (I think power lines ran through there), and I wasnít sure the landowner actually intended for me to go offroading to that extent, even though he seemed familiar with where my tracks led to, taking me past a couple large ponds in that direction, etc. So I turned around for the last time and headed out, feeling somewhat guilty about being there in the first place. I stopped at the place with the GoldWing out front, and saw him and a couple others doing some fence work. I talked to him for several minutes again. He told me he liked my rig, talked about living in the country, farming, and grass root values (he said most people donít even know what that really is...). I told him I grew up on a farm with all the typical animals, 20K broilers every 10-12 weeks or so, milking cows (by hand), haying, you name it. It obviously scored brownie points with him, as I could tell he knew then that I understood what he had been talking about and wasnít just some city boy. He told me that Iím welcome to come back and ride and get as muddy as Iíd like on his property any time I want to. Donít know that I will, but it was nice that he offered.
Another shot of the trail on his property.