"I climbed the highest of the heights.
Atop that mountain I watched the day turn into night.
Oh I tell you I was a wretched sight,
But I stood long and hard until the light.
Rubbing needles in my eyes, eating dirt.
I stood up, and everything was all-right." Quote from the song 7 Jam, by the band Clutch.
On balance, the total trip was 8 days and 1,413 miles. I rolled solo, but I met lots of interesting people along the way. No matter what I have read or seen, I think the only true way to understand a place is to go put my boots on the ground and take a look around. I think I accomplished that on this trip.
Nothing was totally ideal on this trip, there was terrible and beautiful weather. I was really discouraged on the first day of the trip, but looking back that was the worst rain we have had all summer and any sensible person would not have ridden a motorcycle in it. But whoever said I was sensible??
It is funny about the ups and the downs. I think ups and downs are what make the trip great. I like to say that no story worth telling ever goes exactly as you plan. A good story needs to have some tragedy and a little danger to make it interesting. The weather definitely was a factor on this trip, that’s for sure. I think I’m better for tackling the alps in bad wether. It only cost me a pair of riding boots and my rain suit.
Back on the home turf, the Mosel valley.
My advise for anyone wanting to ride in the alps is this, “Bring three pairs of gloves!” Bring your summer gloves and two pairs of wet/cold gloves. Every trip I have been on all three pairs have come into play. I even carry waterproof glove covers as a last resort and those were crucial riding through Stuttgart on that first day. (The reason was I forgot my backup winter gloves, I bought a spare pair in Innsbrück.) It is one thing to be wet, it is another to be cold, but when you are wet and cold things get crappy fast.
But after taking everything into account, this last week was the best motorcycle trip I have ever been on, hands down.