Goal : Skyline dr , the Blue Ridge Parkway , Foothills Parkway , Tail of the Dragon , Cherohala Skyway and general meandering .
Weapon : 2012 KLR , freshly maintained and shod with Kenda K761s , Twisted Throttle dryspec bag combo ( loved this system , simple to use , compact and waterproof)
Reason for ride : to prove to myself that PTSD , anxiety disorders and a little OCD stirred in can be overcome , to some extent
Pre-trip : planned for months , talked myself out of it a thousand times , posted in Inmates and recieved great advise and finally said " Fuck it ! Do or die right ?" The day before I left I suffered a major panic attack worrying about what the trip would hold ...not fun and ended up in bed for most of the day . Onward and upward
Day 1 :
After a morning at the VA hospital , I was faced with my biggest obstacle ..leaving . The bike was packed , first nights camping accommodations in Big Meadows campground had been made.... all I had to do was get there , easier said than done . After some hesitation and wrestling with the thoughts in my head ....I mounted up and took to the road .
The first problem arose rather quickly , my GPS I borrowed decided that it too wasn't too sure about going , and stopped working . Well...I knew how to get to Front Royal ( beginning of Skyline dr) , I headed down the road hoping the view through the face shield would help ease the worries .
The ride was going good , I settled in rather quickly and focused on the bike and what I was doing and not about how I was feeling about it . Stopped in Winchester , Va for gas when a guy walked up and started asking questions. Typical family guy chained down by the man ....
Resumed my way to Skyline dr , payed my 10 bucks to the Ranger at the gate and headed up the next 50 miles to the campground . Enjoying the ride , keeping an eye out for wildlife when in a blink of an eye....a large blackbear emerged from the tall weeds right on the edge of the road . A little evasive action and luck , I missed him by less than inches , so close I actually pushed off his ass with my boot . A few deep breaths ....
20 miles down the road I arrived at the campground ...so did the rain. A storm rolled in and it poured as I set up camp , poured all night and poured the next morning as I broke camp. A lonely night in the tent ....
Note : please forgive me for being rather involved in the ride , hence the lack of overabundance of pictures .
Day 2 :
Rain greets the morning ....
Packed up my tent and belongings in the pouring rain ( nothing like one day on the road and much of what you are carrying is soaking wet and muddy .
Went to the Big Meadows lodge to wait out the rain and fog , and check on what's happening back home on my phone and wish my mother a Happy Birthday .
During the wait I mulled over the thoughts of bailing , figuring I could just head home and be warm and comfy in a few hours . Beating down the voices in my head ...I got on the bike and headed into the fog .
It didn't take long before the skys cleared and it was just beautiful out and my head was clearing as well. It didn't take long before I was at the end of Skyline dr ( its only 105 miles long ) ...first leg of the ride done ...goal reached.
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