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Old 04-30-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
daq7 OP
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Lower 48

I am finally on the road. *I started the trip early, because there is a storm rolling into Colorado, and since I have to be in Fort Lauderdale in a few days I did not want to gett delayed. * There will be over five inches of snow fall, and while it may not accumulate, I did not want to chance it, so I left to get ahead of the storm. * I saw that everything south of Lamar would be rain only (mostly).

The ride started overcast and 50 degrees. *As I headed west the sky started clearing a bit. *The clouds became those big misty balls that incicate they cannot decide whether to belong in a spring or a winter sky. * I detest coyness in clouds, especially after the series of spring teases the weather has been using to wear down our spiirits.

I stopped to fill up just east of Denver and lost my water bottle just after this. * It was stuffed in my top bag and I felt it hit my leg as it fell out. * I have no idea why it fell out, but I resisted the urge of all packrats to consider material items they own as critical parts of themselves and decided not to go back and look for it.

The day warmed as I rode through the typical landscape of wester, semi-arid grasslands that only see trees and larger vegetation at the verge of rivers or other mysteriously marshy areas.

I spent some time pondering all the blighted prairie villages that dot this landscape. * These places always fascinate and repel me. * They ooze despair with their boarded up windows and solitary brick buildings that no longer serve as a purpos other the markers for past folly. *Why are these places even here? * *I am not sure why they effect me so. *Perhaps it is just childhood association with the nearly blasted villages I sometimes lived in as a kid. *Who knows?

I headed south to Lamar and then headed east to stay in Garden City Kansas. * When I crossed the border into Kansas, I noticed how much it looked like Colorado. * It isn't really as if I expected it to suddenly get super Kansasy or something. *By this time it was nearly 80 degrees and I was feeling good and not inclined to brood on the lack of representation.

I passed a car moving quite quickly and noticed a car passing him behind me. *I thought, "Damn I hope that is not a cop" *as he approached me rapidly. * It was a cop, but he did not have blood in his eye for me. * He was off about something else and ignored me as he passed me.

I felt a bit bad short shrifting Kansas, but it is just super flat grass lands and agriculture. * It is pretty enough. *I do like this kind of landscape, but I don't think I will miss a ton if I do not see more. *Tomorrow I head south into Oklahoma.

Pictures later maybe
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
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the prep thread

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=866702
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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Bon voyage, sweetie!

BTW, we have four inches of snow on the ground here this morning, and it's still coming down. It's good that you started early.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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I'm in...

Count me in.

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:04 PM   #5
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Brutal

Kind of a brutal day. *I woke up in Kansas. * I could not make myself sleep past 6:30. * I knew I needed to go even though I had read until about 11:30. *Things got off to a bad start. *It was 43 degrees and spitting rain. *Those things are not the end of the world, but the wind was blowing as if Odin were doing a Ragnarok fart, or something. * I was not amused, but I did expect it, since I was escaping a snow storm. *Motions needed going through so I set about it. *I packed the bike and endured/enjoyed the inevitable chit chat you get when you are a bike rider and even more when you are about to head out into weather most people consider insane.

I grabbed one sausage patty and two links for breakfast. * This would be tthe last food I had until about 2 PM when I had two handfuls of almonds. * It is practically impossible to eat well with fast food, so I prefer to consume as little as I can until dinner.

After fueling up I *headed toward Dodge City. * I was warm given the electric jacket, but the cross winds were pretty bad. * I have spent a lot of time riding in heavy wind, so I know what it is like. *Lori and I rode *from Denvere to Taos with massive cross winds all the way. *As I said, I can do it, but I do not like it. *You just cannot relax. *The wind today was not the worst I have felt but it was bad, and I was worried about the road getting wet and my losing the traction event wars. * But the road was relatively dry most of the way to Dodge.

I wasted a bit of time in a store looking for post cards. * I wanted to mail one home from every state. *No luck but time gone. * I went to Dodge and visited the visitor center on Boot Hill where I chatted with some future docents and purchased a Wyatt Erpe post card and mailed it. *One of the docents said, "The wind is out of the eastt." * I wanted to say, "I assure you my good woman, it is not, since I just fucking battled it for fifty miles and it was totally on my left shoulder and my left shoulder *was north of north east." * Instead I smiled/grimaced and something totally urbane.

I headed south wanting to cut straight to the Oklahoma border. * Incidentally, I kept thinking of Prince Ruprecht in _Dirty Rotten Scoundrels_. * "Oklahoma! *Oklahoma! *Oklahoma!" * I saw tons of abandoned and rotting homesteads. * No children, No wives. *No christmas, or hannukah or fourth or any of that shit. *Just done. *Over. *Undead buildings eating your nostlggia.

I started heading dead south and the ride became pleasant with the wind at my back. * At some point the road started beariing east and the wind got scary bad. * Three or four times I would get blasted really hard on my left almost driving me into the other lane, and then it would suddenly go solid silent and I would have to correct and almost drive off the right side. * As I said, I am familiar with hard wind (if you know what I mean), and this was scary. * Again, I was worried about the road being wet when this happened, but the rain was still restraining itself. **

I hit a cool microclimate. *Boom, I cross a ridge and *go from desert to green grass and medium sized trees, and then Boom, I cross a ridge and back to semi-arid grass land.

I kind of lost my bearings as my general sense of directions is roughly that of a used condom. * So at some point I go through a village whose name I never bothered to internalize. * I thought about fueling up, but figured I would wait untiil the next village. *I knew I should just do it, but what the hell? * I saw that the road to Medicine Lodge was going south the way I wanted (it was actually east). * The village was in range, about two miiles or so before I would run out of gas. * So I had the opportunity to worry the WHOLE FUCKING WAY. * ...and then I hit road work. * So I got to sit. * ....and to waste time. *...and to turn off the bike and unplug the electric jacket to preserve fuel. * .and worry.

Eventually I got through that, but it started to rain. *Hard. *Meh, medium hard. * I have never had the opportunity to experience five semis in the oppostite lane blasting past me and hurling pressure and water waves at me one after the other. * I cannot really recommed it unless you are trying to discover adrenaline in your life. *With the riding stress and worrying about running out of fuel, I think I was considreing hyperventilation, especially since I realized I should have seen the Okie border a LONG time ago and began to wrorry that I had also been riding west. * *But I found fuel in the right place, and found out that I had been going east. * Ok, then. *Not so bad. * I corrected and headed south.

And the dawining of srping was announced by oil wells, abandoned homesteads, and rape seed. * I love the intense yellow of rape seed. * It heralded the sun, scattered clouds, and lovely summer green of Northern Oklahoma. *I realize Kansas was disadvantaged by a storm tantrum, but I found Oklahoma to be gorgeous. * Farmland, wetlands, and 85 degrees F. * If Oklahoma had a sister I would have married her. * Sorry Lori. * Any place known for the wind whistling down the plains cannot be all good, but today the whistling wind was mild compared to the storm cell north of us, so I was entraced.

I stopped to buy fuel in some nameless village, but the station was full of bloatted orbs stocking up on carbs, and the bloodypump would not take credit cards. *So I had a bit of a snit and did not purchase fuel there. * On the way out of town, I took a picture of the town's self-propelled gun. * Not every town has one of those, so as long as they do *not piss of the burgh with the tank, they are all set up to fucking rule despite having thirteenth century fuel delivery technology.

On I went to Ponca City. * I liked Ponca City, but I wasted more time there finding the visitor ceter (alternattively known as the chamber of communists), to get a post card. * I think I may need to give up on the post card thing. *I takes too much time and five hundred mile days are hard enough.

I hit the first twisties of the trip in the Osage Hills after Ponca City. * I had been hitting 90 at every opportunity since the southernly section in Kansas, so I was moving very fast when I could.

It gets a bit fuzzy now as I begin to run out of energy. * I stopped and got almonds to eat somewhere on the old route 66. *I was trying to just head east and east and east to get to Eureka Springs Arkansas (by the way, is Arkansas Kansas on talk like a Pirate Day) * Eureka Springs is supposed to be all charming and shit, so I really wanted to stay there. * But I kept making mistakes in the navigation throuth the increasingly complex road maze to get there.

It keptt getting later and later and I kept getting more and more tired. * On a freeway I could have kept going for hours, but negotiating cities and looking for a route and worrying that I had no hotel reservation was wearing on me. * I decided I needed to stop and make a reservation, but the damned cell reception was not good enough to allow my ipad Voip to do the trick. *After several attempts to make a reservation with a hotel in ES, and having the call or the sound dropped I decided to just race to Eureka springs and take my chances, since in a breif interval of connection the Hotel had said they did havve a reservation.

But topolotgy conspired against me. * The road got super twisty and I kept getting trapped behind slow people. * I got to Bentonville and continued to struggle finding the way to Eureka springs.. *It was clear my energy level was making my riding dangerous. * I was determined to make it to ES. * But about a mile past a hotel in Bentoville that would be sufficient, I decided it was stupid to continue the risk. * I turned around and went to look to see if they had vacancy. * The super cute attendant assured me she, I mean they, were vacant, so I got a room and walked a half a mile to get sushi, sake, and multiple beers.

Then I cam to the hotel and typed.

It is time to check the weather.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lori_Q View Post
Bon voyage, sweetie!

BTW, we have four inches of snow on the ground here this morning, and it's still coming down. It's good that you started early.
Yeah, bad enough fighting the cell from 500 miles away. ...see you in florida.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:00 PM   #7
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Rough day! I hope you take some time to enjoy Eureka Springs. I will probably insist on dragging you back there some day. The dragging will be easier if you already know how appealing it is.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:57 AM   #8
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I'm in for the duration.
Ride Safe when you can.
Maybe I'll see you along the way. I'll be on the road starting May 18th for about 5 weeks.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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Not so bad.

Day 2. *Not so bad:

Ok, it is day three. *But the first day was an emergency escape, and I only went 300 miles, so I don't really want to count it. * It's like a leap day. *Ok?

Oh, sorry for all the stars in the text * I am not trying to *be all precious. * Evernote must be putting in some obnoxious control character so they can stamp their authoritah on my ride reports.

I slept a bit later this morning. * Maybe it was exhaustion from being rushed through a rather good sushi dinner the night before by a pushy waitress. * Dunno....

The overcast caught me and cast me over over night. * I knew it would, so I was ready. * But it was 50 degrees (F that is), and there was very little wind, so things were looking up. * Then I locked my room key in the room. * Hey, no harm and no foul. * Everybody does it. *I asked the fat attendant to give me another one, and noted that super hot attendant chick was not working. * Then while packing the bike I locked my key in the room again. * I got to feel like a right bloody fool asking for yet another. *Nietzsche says that whatever does not kill you only makes you stronger. * Fuck him, eh?

I got on the road with 500 miles in front of me, a superposition of quantum states begging for me to collapse them. * On their knees they were.

I have to pause briefly and say that I LOVE Arkansas. * I love it so much that were I a woman and if I knew how to mate with a state, I would gladly bear its children. * I would name them Ardick, *Arjane, Arsally, and Arsinio. * We would treat them well and teach them to dominate the electoral college. *Ah, road fantasy.

The ride to Eureka Springs was bliss. * I rode on a lovely, twisty road in a green forest. * I think this is the Ozarks, but I sacked my research guy for indolence, so screw me if I am wrong. * The sun started to peak out and illuminate the mist seeping from rank after rank of forest on hills that became apparent when gaps appeared in the near landscape. *It was perfect. *I live in Colorado, so there is a wealth of great roads, but this was as good as any of those and if it were all *you had it would be enough. * Lovely.

I arrived in Eureka Springs and rode down into the historic section. * I would love to stay here with Lori so we could book a room there and eat and drink in the local establishments. * Some day. * The historic district is built on the sides of a ravine. *Most of the businesses are on the road going down and at the bottom, but there are houses and hotels and stuff on the hillsides. * It is quite charming. *But I realized that it was really irrelevant for me to stay there alone since the hotels I would have booked are in the new part of the town and are on top on the road that rides past. *I would not have been able to walk to the old part, so why bother. * The experience I had was great, and Eureka Springs can be visited later. **

I am really thankful that I got that brief window of good weather to ride to ES. *Shortly after that it began to rain, and it rained hard for a couple of hours. * The weather descended to rob me of all horizons and the ability to enjoy corners. * I decided to do an experiment and see if I needed rain gear by leaving it off. The answer is maybe. * After a couple of hours and after a particularly hard downburst, I realized my crotch was getting wet. * Sexy I know. *I am considreriing sending the rain gear home with the wife after Texas as wet balls are not a high price to pay for freeing up space that might hold a bottle of wine. * I don't know.

Arkansas was forest and hills for much of the way, but eventually it flattened out into mostly forest. *I rode through something called Throgmorten Slough, unless I hallucinated the sign, which I may have. * It was a vast expanse of shallow water on both sids of the road. *Used for sloughing I guess, whatever that is.

At some point during the ride my ears began to ring. * *I stopped to put in earlugs. *I have never worn them but have always intended try it. * But my ears are kind of fragile, and if I cannot keep them happy I will not be able to finish this. *I have a Schuberth C3 pro helmet which is advertised as being quiet on a deutchland uber alles level. * Let me assure you that evaluating a helmet on the merits of its quietness is like evaluating a woman based on the girth of her penis. * *The point being do not bother. * At 80 mph all motorcycle helmets are painfully noisy if you ride long enough.

Somewhere I ride near a town called Friends. * I think to myself, "If things go well we can call the town Copulation, population 2."

I cross into Missouri, into that little pudenda it thrusts down into the void between Arkansas and Tennesee as if it is having a geographic threesome. * I see a sign on a building that says, "Faughn oll company", and for some reason I wonder if it is owned by Cthullu and if they are also into R'lyehstate. *Ok then, no more Cthullu jokes. **

It was impressive to cross the Missuspeepee River. Yeah, I know it is childish, but I had that one chambered and ready to go. *I do not know if it was before or after, but I passed a sign for a town called Braggadocio. * ...best town ever dontchaknow?

...it is getting late. * I am still not sure where to stop. *Jackson is not far enough. * I have the 500 *mile monkey on my back. * Nashville is too far. *It is raining off and on but is 70 degrees plus. * I don't believe it. It does not feel that warm.

I am on interstate now so I am going fast, between 70 an 90 depending on my perception of the legal, moral, and spreading my blood on Tennessee pavement threat. * ...almost run out of gass...tired....one apple and four handfuls of cashew for food....should I try for Nashville and a taxi ride to a good restaurant? *No. * I saw a mass of Hotels and got off the freeway to check it out. *My criteria is bed and ready access to alcohol. * Check and check. *The woman at the best western insisted on signing me up for their rewards program. * She had no idea that my wife will likely leave me if I ever *ask her to stay at one. * *But fine for me if I can stop before seven. *These rides are taking forever.

I came over to some Roadhouse to drink eat, watch really large people waddle by, wish them good fortune, and type this shit....

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Old 05-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lori_Q View Post
Rough day! I hope you take some time to enjoy Eureka Springs. I will probably insist on dragging you back there some day. The dragging will be easier if you already know how appealing it is.
Yeah Lori, I am into that. Some day we will do that hopefully. By the way, Aransas might be a good place to spend a few months someday.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #11
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Fun?

Fun:

People keep telling me they hope I have fun. *I kind of doubt this wll be fun, ever. *What is more I am not sure I care. * If I wanted fun I would have someone oil me up and toss me in a tub full of dolphins. What I really want is for this to become strange. * I want it to decohere and lose me in the wake. *Some day I want to be really confused about whether I really did this or just dreamed it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:58 PM   #12
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The woman at the best western insisted on signing me up for their rewards program. * She had no idea that my wife will likely leave me if I ever *ask her to stay at one.
Actually, I like Best Westerns. They have really upped their game in recent years. We stayed at one on our way to South Dakota a couple of years ago, and two on the Grand Canyon motorcycle trip last year (Cortez and Moab). They have a lot of properties in Europe and the rest of the world. I even stayed at one in Bordeaux when I was there to walk the Marathon du Medoc in 2009.

Please save the receipt so I can make sure the points are credited correctly to your Best Western account. If we find any BWs on our stint, I will try to use the IBM rate (which can be quite cheap). I will probably have a hard time convincing a front-desk clerk we are on a business trip, but it might be interesting to try...

Yes, I am all about the travel loyalty programs. Some year, I will use my miles to get us to India so we can take an organized motorcycle tour on Royal Enfields...

Glad to hear today's ride was a bit better. And yes, you were in the Ozarks. :-) It is a lovely part of the United States, especially in May.

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Old 05-03-2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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In Which Nothing Yet Happens to the Chain.

In Which Nothing Yet Happens to the Chain.

Wow was that just one day? * Time seems to be dilating the way it did when I was taking off on a convertible ride on a sunny September 11* *in 2001. *I saw the buildings had been hit, but I had been planning the drive and decided to go anyway. *TIme dilated that day. * I saw video of the towers coming down in a gas statioin in some mountain town. *This feels like that. * The regular life fades. * Time expands even though you are always behind schedule.

I got up. *6:30. *There *is not wind. * It is warmish with high clouds. * No it is not overcast, but the rain is stalking me. * I want to get through the smoky mountains before the rain. * My odds are good. *The rain is coming around 4 pm. *

I speak briefly with the chrome bike guy, and then go to get a small danish and an egg, oh, and coffee.

I initially intended to avoid Nashville, but I figured I would go look at the skyline. * Then I realized that staying on the interstate through Tennessee would really speed things up. * I am glad I did it as I was able to haul and it helped later in the day.

Tennessee seems to be all forest *In fact what I have seen of the Carolinas does as well. * I know people bemoan the loss of forests in the US, but seems out here the place is filthy with them. *Those of you looking to rape the planet have your chopping cut out for you. *So get busy.

Tennessee looks a lot as I imagined, and that is fine. * It is lovely. *As I blast by at 80 mph, I note that much of its core is build on a very large hill rising from the plane. *Pretty cool looking actually.

I see a sign that says, "speed limit strictly enforced." *Every time I see that claim I think of a cop in fishnet stockings and stillettos holding a riding crop in one hand and smacking it into the other while observing that one citizen needs a bit of a spanking." * Strictly indeed. *The only one worse is the one that says the speed limit is enforced by aircraft. * I always imagine drones with hellfires taking out scofflaws in mini vans.

I ride by a pretty cool looking damn and notice I am approaching Carthage. * I muse that I am not sure you should be allowed to name your piss-ant town after a famous nations state without pasing some sort of test. * You know, like marching elephants across a mountaiin range and having some of them live, much less taking on the freaking Romans. * Yes, I realize that is a run-on sentence fragment. * Kill me.

Then I ride past a sign that says, "If you died today, do you know where you would spend eternity?" *So I have to answer at 90 mph. *Ok. *I choose Jessica Chastain's vanity drawer. * Oh, I don't get to choose? *Ok then. * I expect eternity will begin with me passing through the digestive tracks of worms and insects for quite some time. * If I am fortunate perhaps bits of me will be incorporated into the bark of a tall tree, the poison of a honet's sting, the pigment in the cornea of a field mouse, or the flight fether of the hawk that kills it. * Or both. * Eventually I imagine I will join the great chain of subduction and spend some time in the mantle only to be shot up again and frozen in igneous if the earth has not grown weary in her senescence. * All the hubub and hurly burly will end as the other galaxies finally accelerate to where their light cannot reach us any longer, and blind to the rest of the universe everything slowly freezes to absolute zero. *And there we are. * Unremembered. *Unrememberable.

Then I realize I should be focusing on the road. *The cosmological rant reminded me of this joke, "Does this Higgs Boson make my ass look fat."

Anyway, I eventually got to Maryville. * Seemed like a lovely little town. * Fueled up with some of the local 93 octane. * 91 is as good a it gets where I come from. *Apparently people in these parts love their octane. *I headed into the smoky mountains, which are neither smoky nor technically mountainous.

I don't wand to diss people mountains, but these are more like foothills that were installed before the planetary technicians had some cash flow problems and canceled the installation of the mountains. * But they are lovely, covered with a very thick forest. *Deciduous even, though I amn't *a botanist.

I got delayed quite a long time being a touist and enjoying the vistas and the forest. * There were ferns and grasss groing on everything. * Purple flowers and yellow flowers were rare, but present. * I saw one red flower thatt looked like fox glove looks when you are so far away you say, "That sure looks like fox glove."

There were occasional blasts of pure white from the rare flowering tree.

Some local rider clued me in on the way across the mountain. *I really have not researched this a lot. * I am just making it up as I go along. *Speaking of local riders, I have never been in a place so stingy with the wave. * Whatever. * I really don't care much. * The vast majority of riders are on Harleys of course. *i could bench press some of them if you cut them into thirds.

The weather is still lovely. *Even so, there is an almost 15 degree drop in temp as I go over the hills, er mountains. *Ok, they are mountainss and the hills go on forever through Tennessee and the close parts of the Caroliinas.

I get over and have no solid plan of where to go next. * I intend to head eastish to hit North and South Carolina, but I head more south. *When I stop to check where I am I see that I will only nick South Carolina before hitting Georgia. *I do not want that so I look for a way to head east. * While at the gas station an African American woman asks me if I know what road this is as I am coming out of the station. * I tell her I do not know as I don't live here. * But I went and got my ipad to show her the street.

Then I spend a frustratingly long time finding the goddamned road to get me to Highlands, NC. * My energy is a bit low and I become a bit demoralized as the weather looks like rain will begin very soon. *Riding around in circles trying to figure out where to go does not help. *And I realize I am heading into mountain twisties when it is getting colder and I am tired. *Oh, and here I realize I have scratched the interior of my pinlock shield. * Great. * I cannot say I am a fan of the whole pinlock thing if they are as fragile as a sheltered girl's ears.

I start on the road to Highlands with a very bad attitude about the whole venture, but I do warm to it.
The road surface is brand new and black black black. * And despte the fact that there are a lot of cars coming from the other direction, there are none going in mine. *This really is a brilliant road. * I pass a huge waterfall on the left with a place to stop. * It was quite big for a road side waterfall but I keep going.*
The road seems to be wet, but I am not sure, because it is not raining. * I start to see pink and white crab apples in the yards of houses that begin to pop up. * Then there is a big dam with a waterfall and Hiighland begins right there. * I see very bright flowers. * I think they are Bouganviillas. *Yes they are, and yes it did rain.

I stop to look at the ipad map and the next destination, Cashiers, NC. * I get fooled by the scaling and it looks like about 100 miles of twisties. * Bummed I press on realizing I just have to get through it. * Then I see a sign. * It is only 23 miles. *Highlands really is a charming place. * I really need to get back there.

Riding out I get more vistas of those endless, rolling hills and the forest so depserately in need of despoiling.

I fully intend to go over 100 miles more to get to 500, but it is already 5:30, and I do not want to ride much longer. **

But with 100 miles to go, I see a Best Western in Seneca. * It is beginning to rain. * I decide to stop. * I am ahead of schedule anyway given the early departure, and I know the ride report will take awhile, *So I walk into the hotel and ask the first question I ask now of Hotel attendants. * I there a restaurant withing walking distance that has a full-service bar? *Yes? *Then do *you have any vacancy? * I am going to pretend this ordering of my interrogation *says absolutelty nothing about me.

So I wandered over to the grill that has all the usual crap created by setting some third-rate food replicator on "crap". * But I ate a lot of it. * Food today. * Egg, pastry, three or four hands of trail mix and crap.

And now I go to face tme the wife.

Oh yeah, the chain. I realized I felt a clunking when I hit the throttle hard, and so I checked the chain, and it is super loose. It will need to be adjusted or replaced. I really wish the BMW guys had fixed this, but I have come 2000 miles. If I can get to Ft Lauderdale I hope I can get it fixed quickly at the BMW shop where Lori shipped her bike.

daq7 screwed with this post 05-03-2013 at 08:43 PM
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:45 PM   #14
FotoTEX
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Just so you know MR.Big Mtn. State Guy, the reason the Mtns. in that area are smaller is because they are ALOT older than your Beautiful Mtns. of Colorado. Just saying. Love your writing style. Great Report.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:56 PM   #15
daq7 OP
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wow, just wow

Wow, just wow.

I will try to refrain some from the typical jackassery. *This was a different kind of day, and I am not so much in the mood.

I did not really have time to muse on crap the way I would since I was worried about the F800. *As I said yesterday the chain is almot shot. * So I nurse it, constantly worried it will fail. * I start out very low and don't *subject it to any hard acceleration. *I rode it this way the last time the chain wore out for a long time, so I probably should not worry too much, but I am. * Also I hope I can get it replaced quickly in Fort Lauderdale.

The riding was still largely pleasant, but the roads in the east seem to be much more like a rat's nest or a web than the entirely logical roads of the west. * At least it is not Tokyo. *But I kept having to check whether I was going the right way as the signage was not always helpful and I was not always attentive. *Much of the day passed like this getting far enough away from Seneca and all the little towns that I finally hit real interstate. * It took forever.

A good way before I hit I 95, I succumbed to some fatigue and pulled over to rest in a parkiing lot. *This has not happened to me on this trip, but it used to happen all the time when I was a carb junkie. *I find five minutes with my eyes closed can really freshen me up for a long way. *I went to put the bike on its kick stand and it leaned way over. * I thought, "What the hell?" * But I was tired and kind of loopy I think. It ultimately stood ok, and I figured I was just tired, but when I was ready to go, I tried to lift the bike to neutral position and it was way harder than usual. * Turns out one of the bolts had worked its way loose and fallen out. *Fortunate thing number one: * there are two bolts. * Fortunate thing number 2: *the bolt that fell out had been caught in this sort of ledge and cup shape formed by the kickstand connection. *It was still there. * The kick stand was very wobbly so I had to hold it with my foot while stretching down and trying to put it in with my fingers. * I was successul after a bit of fiddling. * I rode on through rain and rain.

I thought when I got to Jacksonville I would be in sunshine. * Lori told me Fort Lauderdale was going to be 85 degrees. *I knew it would be raining in Georgia, but for some reason thought Jacksonville would be clear. * I could not be more wrong. * I finally hit I95 and figured I was golden. *500 miles would put me about 200 miles out of Ft Lauderdale. * But it started to rain hard. * And it rained hard for a long time. *I passed Jackson in heavy wind, hard rain, and crowded traffic on a three lane highway. * I saw Jacksonville through mist and terror. * Ok, terror is overstating it but I was very nervous, and yet still moving very fast. *I am not an expert in such things, but I think it must have been ridiculously dangerous. * I had unplugged my electric jacket earlier before the rain started and I kept going, because I did not want to stop on the shoulder to plug it in. * It was 65 degrees but raining pretty hard. * I was starting to shiver. * Eventually I did just stop on the shoulder and plug it in. **

Around Daytona I finally broke into sunshine and 75 degrees. * I had basically determined to stop in Daytona earlier but I was considering pushing a bit farther. * I stopped and got gas and headed out while feeling the chain skip a couple times. * Earlier a freeway sign said SB I95 closed after exit 268 because of an accident. * The whole freeway was shut down. * I am not sure why I did not just stay at the Howard Johnson near where I got gas. * Earlier in Jacksonville there had been a lane closure due to accident, but they had it cleared by the time I blew past. * I guess subconciously I must have figured the same thing would happen. * *Nope.

Three lanes of heavy traffic stopped. * Completely. * Dead. * For a long long way. *Just what I did not need. * All day I had been both worried about and subjected to stop, go, stop, go, stop go, and this was the crowning insult, the "stop and goiest". *I stayed in line for maybe 45 minutes and then yelled at some guys in a truck asking how far the exit was. * They told me it was a long way and asked why I did not just go on the shoulder and cut. * Ordinarily I would not, but a few others were doing it, and I really did not want to subject the chain to *all that. * I still have to get to Fort Lauderdale. *So I decided to do it. It was a long way. * I passed semis parked in the shoulder. * I passed a BMW rider parked, because his bike was overheating. * I kid you not, I passed one of those "abortion is really awful" trucks parked there for everyone to see. *WTF? * I almost got run over by an over eager four wheel drive guy as discipline began to fray. * But I made it out pretty fast once I began to ride the shoulder and do a bit of lane cutting.

I went back and got a room at the Howard Johnson, which seems to be associated with some Harley megaplex. * Up to this point I had eaten one banana, two small egg patty things and one handful of cashews. * And I was not really hungry. * Very odd.

These days all have a similar structure, but a completely different character.

Some old lady in the slophouse I went to store up energy told me the crash had been a semi that had taken out part of an overpass or something. * A couple of people died.

If anyone knows what happened, feed free to tell me. *Thanks.
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