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Old 10-09-2012, 08:21 PM   #136
Dr. Greg OP
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Had a good (if wet and gloomy) morning's ride from Sumter, SC to uh, Clemson, SC (home of the "Tigers," as I was told many times). But after that---from NE South Carolina thru N. Georgia, the riding was GREAT!

Took a few pics, but I was hanging' on to the bars!

Am having a great evening with inmate -GREG-...will likely tour Chickamauga tomorrow and update RR at a motel Wed. night. Had a little MTS1200S electrical gremlin this morning (can you imagine?) but all OK now (PM me for details).

Weather improving...saw the sun at 2:20 p.m. today for the first time in years. MTS12 Thermometer (pretty accurate) finally moved off "51"...

--Doc
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #137
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Doc- there's some great riding in north east Georgia (the area around Suches is HIGHLY recommended), and Chickamauga is well worth a visit for your Civil War tour.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:20 PM   #138
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I saw a bike like his come up the road past our place this week. I thought, "That looks like Dr.Greg's!".

Now I wonder if it in fact was. If so he rode right by..........and it's about 4 miles to Suches!
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:32 PM   #139
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Tuesday 10/9: Sumter, South Carolina - Chickamauga, Georgia

Sorry for being "out of touch" for a ANOTHER day or so...sometimes things just get out of hand. But everything is going well, as you will soon see...


Leaving My Ol' Buddies John and Ginny Safford in Sumter, SC

I thoroughly enjoyed my "R & R" at John & Ginny's place in Sumter. Unfortunately, the weather put a damper (quite literally) on some of the things we tried to do in the area, but I felt very much recharged as I packed up and got ready to leave. Well, somewhat recharged, since the morning dawned VERY gloomy (yet again)...don't you guys in the EAST get ANY sunshine?

Before leaving, John remembered my comments on "brain-tanning" hides that I mentioned in my June "US West Trip Report," and brought out this deer hide that his father Alton had brain-tanned (his father also made those moccasins):

John said that his father told him, "...every animal has just enough brains to tan its hide..." I guess the Creator planned well. Won't discuss humans.

My route out of Sumter led generally towards Greenville, SC (where I almost met up with an ADV inmate, but who unfortunately was ill...heal up fast, buddy!) The weather EN ROUTE wasn't the greatest (see comments above):



Some FUN Riding in "Tiger Territory"

As I mentioned in my brief update, my "GPS-formulated" route bypassed Greenville but led right thru Clemson, South Carolina. I can't resist a little "Dr. Greg" story here: growing up in rural SoCal one of my best friends ("Dennis") had an amazingly parallel career to mine: when I was attending grad school in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford, Dennis was attending grad school in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley. Dennis ended up in a Ph.D. program at Clemson University (there's the "tie-in") but dropped out when he met his rich wife-to-be (don't worry, he'll never read this; they've split now anyways). He mentioned the insanity that was "Clemson football Saturdays." Anyway, there I was. Good thing it wasn't Saturday...

However, leaving Clemson on US 76 one soon enters the Oconee National Forest, and some great twisty roads! I tried to snap a couple pics, which as usual don't really capture the essence...




It was still pretty gloomy, but it wasn't actually raining...



DELIVERANCE...I Saw That Movie!

Back in 1972 when I was a grad student at Stanford (you've heard that phrase one time too often) it rained for a week straight (kinda like the East). My roommate and I (it was a guy, OK?) went to see the movie "Deliverance." The beginning of that movie, with the sunshine and the river, just captivated me. The later stuff in the movie, well, let's forget that.

So anyway, I was TOTALLY unprepared for the fact that at the border between South Carolina and Georgia was the CHATOOGA River (the one where the movie was filmed). By the time I fumbled with my camera to get ALL SIX settings right, I was already across it. Well, almost exactly in the center of the pic you can see some water, I think...sorry!



The Southern Highlands Trail (or something like that)

As I entered northern Georgia, the riding was WONDERFUL. I followed hwy 76, which eventually became 4-lane (that's OK, I had had enough twisties). The weather was finally clearing:





A Night in Paradise....

I had previously hooked with inmate -GREG- near Lookout Mountain, Georgia. After taking what seemed like endless (and ever-narrower) back roads, I finally approached a narrow gravel driveway (can THIS be it?) But two kids in a golf cart showed up and excitedly waved me into the driveway...that was my "welcoming party!" Here's a portion of his driveway:


And the final hurdle was this hill to get into the garage:


But Milledue was up to it, and soon Greg was helping me unpack stuff.

It turned out that a "BBQ Party" had been planned in my honor (well, not really, but...):

From Left-to-Right, that's Greg, his buddy Rick, his dad, his mom, one of his daughters, and his grandma. We had a great time (Dr. Greg was taking the pic).

And then we had a nice campfire out in the woods. I even toasted a couple marshmallows (succesfully, Mrs. Greg!) but chickened out on making "Smores."


I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow...


The Plan for Tomorrow...

At Greg's house I was only a few miles from the Chickmauga National Military Park (and battlefield), so I intended to stop by there on the way out in the morning. Then from there I planned to head for my VERY LAST Civil War site: Shiloh.

I'll get that stuff written up in the next hour or so. Thanks for following.

--Doc
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #140
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Wednesday 10/10: Chickamauga, Georgia - Savannah, Tennessee

This will get everyone caught up to my present location: Savannah, TN, right next to the Shiloh Nat'l. Military Park.


Leaving Paradise: It Has to be Done...

In the last installment, I showed a couple pics of inmate -GREG-'s place in north Georgia. My photos don't do it justice. His house and property are absolutely GORGEOUS!! It should be illegal to live in such a beautiful place (j/k, sort of). But ADV inmates are the best, they'll even make you breakfast:


And even better, we get to EAT BREAKFAST on the porch overlooking the beautiful North Georgia woods:


Dr. Greg (L) and -GREG- (R)...turns out "Greg" is a "Dr." also, but he was kind enough to let me have that screen name:


You know, staying with folks on a trip like this is perhaps the most fun part. ALL of the people I've stayed with on this trip have been THE BEST!! So hospitable; and the memories of those fine people will stay with me probably longer than the scenery I've seen (uh, with the possible exception of Gettysburg).

I mean, can you imagine a better situation for breakfast than this?


Riding away from Greg's place this morning, I had to stop and snap this pic. His place is up in those foothills. Absolutely paradise. He is a lucky man, for many reasons. BTW, Greg is one of those guys that "if I told you what he does, I'd have to kill you" But we all should sleep easier for guys like him.


Oh yeah, he also owns a Ducati Multistrada 1200S, but HE knows how to RIDE the thing (unlike me). He showed me a set of tires he used at Barber during a trackday on the Multi...looked like a set of tires Casey Stoner used at Phillip Island. Sure glad I don't hafta keep up with him...the part of MY tire that isn't even touched (the, er, "chicken strip") was all gnarled on Greg's tire. Sure glad he's a friend of mine!

I had to take this ONE LAST pic leaving Greg's place...see, it IS paradise!



Chickamauga National Military Park

From Greg's place it's only a few miles to the Chickamauga Battlefield and National Military Park. So---given my (Un)Civil War theme---it was a "must see." Here I am!


Chickamauga was actually a BRUTAL battle in terms of casualties. I know that I've heard that name for, well, every since I've heard of the (Un)Civil War.

Here's the map of the battlefield...any questions? Ha, ha...just kidding.


I took a few pics of slides explaining the battle. I also saw the VIDEO (which most (Un)Civil War parks have, but IMHO it wasn't very helpful). Anyway, here is some info:


I didn't think I had cut this pic off, but I can't see the full images of the two generals...sorry! I think they are Generals Longstreet & Thomas:


More explanation:


No, this isn't the current "Presidential Election"...it's a map showing the Union v. Confederate holdings. Note that since the Siege of Vicksburg (remember that in my Ride Report?) the Mississippi River is COMPLETELY held by the Union, which "SPLIT" the CSA.


Meanwhile, Milledue was waiting patiently. Note the "monument" just above my helmet:

Also, note that there are SHADOWS in the above pic...the SUN IS OUT!!!

Finally, in leaving the Chickamauga Nat'l. Military Park, I took a GPS-motivated WRONG TURN and had to make a U-turn. When I finished my U-turn, there was this monument (hey, the same one in the previous pic!), so I took a pic of it. Dunno who it is...SORRY!



ALABAMA!?!? I Thought I Was Goin' Thru TENNESSEE!

Since Savannah, Tennessee is very close to the Shiloh Battlefield, I punched "Savannah, TN" into the GPS (remember, I'm a slave to the darned SatNav), and headed out. After a while I realized I was in ALABAMA! Huh!?!? Turns out that was the shortest route.

Well, all right then. If Alabama is where "RTWDoug" is, it's good enough for me! Plus, I HAD been thru the "US 64" route in TN, but had never before been thru northern Alabama, so this was new territory. Excellent!

I largely followed highway US 72 thru Alabama (4-lane, but pretty). I believe this is the Tennessee "River," which one inmate pointed out the TVA has turned into a series of "lakes"...well, here's a lake:


{ON SOAPBOX}
I saw a sign for a "Nuclear Power Plant" and got this pic (see the cooling towers?)

It is Dr. Greg's opinion that NUCLEAR POWER is a good thing. We should invest in it! And not just huge reactors, but small "neighborhood-sized" reactors. Darn it! Renewable are fine, but we need a reliable "baseline" of electric power generation. In the summer of '69 I worked for General Atomics in La Jolla, CA (just N of San Diego) on their "high-temperature gas-cooled" reactors. OK, ok, 'nuff said.
{OFF SOAPBOX}

I stopped for lunch at a burger joint, and behind the parking lot was this BEAUTIFUL EASTERN DECIDUOUS FOREST AGAIN...just can't get enough of this stuff (yeah, I know, it's the rain that makes it):


As I got closer to Tennessee, here's some more Tennessee Lakes (er, Tennessee River):





The End of Dr. Greg's Civil War Tour...

I finally made my way to Savannah, Tennessee...strategically chosen cuz it's very close to the Shiloh Battlefield & National Military Park. My "guide" in my route planning is inmate Pantah, who recommended Shiloh highly. So I intend to spend as long as I want tomorrow at Shiloh. I honestly hope it doesn't depress me like Gettysburg did...or maybe I should hope that it DOES...I really dunno.

Anyway, after visiting Shiloh, it's time to head back to New Mexico. There really isn't too much that I care to see between Tennessee and New Mexico, so I might very well just get on I-40 and see what happens (I can't believe I'll last long on I-40 with all the trucks). If I do that there won't be much more to report.

However, I certainly WILL document my experiences at Shiloh.

But after Shiloh, the purpose of the trip has been accomplished. And I'm getting homesick. My 3rd son Mark and his new wife Zoe are in Albuquerque, waiting for me. And there's Mrs. Greg, if she'll take me back (j/k, ha-ha).

So my "adventuring" spirit is kinda closing out. Maybe I'll just take the fast way home.

I will definitely write up an EPILOGUE after I get back to Albuquerque.

And then of course there's the issue of whether I'll keep Milledue...don't wanna say that too loud while I'm still relying on him to get me home...

Cheers,

--Doc
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #141
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Brain tanning

"John said that his father told him, "...every animal has just enough brains to tan its hide.."

And the joke is some animals have more brains and do not get caught.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:52 PM   #142
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You'll do fine at Shiloh. Certainly you are numbed by now. I didn't visit it until a few years after G'burg, so it struck me once again. But whatever, it is a very different field. Compact, and the slaughter was swift as it was desperate... Go home Doc Greg. You're done here. Us too probably. Maybe use that trail bike you have home a little more.

Can I interest you in Smokey Mountain Road, just north of the Glen Canyon Dam to Escalante? Another is Seven Springs Road to Bloody Basin road loop out of Carefree AZ. Both are a little over 100 miles and just a few hours stress. I have a few more. These are more do-the-route and then do other things.

Most importantly, I think you should try very hard to do the Alcan5000 rally in 2014. $2k entry, but it includes lodging, chase trucks, fuel trucks and luggage hauling. Even a few meals. You couldn't do it much cheaper solo.

Seattle, to the Arctic Circle, then over the top to Fairbanks. Then we finish in Anchorage. Lots of dirt. This event is right up your alley. It is a competition we can still do on a motorcycle at our age. If you want to win, you can do that too. It just takes work.

I'll nag you again on it because I really think it will be a good adventure for you. Mrs. Doc can participate too. Check the 2014 Intinerary in the link. I can put you in touch with the man in charge if you want. We visit.

www.alcan5000.com

-P
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:46 AM   #143
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Great to meet you Greg! Have a safe trip and stay in touch.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:39 AM   #144
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$2000 is right in there. I took 21 days from Louisiana and back, 10,006 miles, camping 2/3s of the time, $2100. That included lodging/camping food and gas.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #145
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Nice Doc, get home safe n sound.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:24 PM   #146
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Hey wait a minute...I'm retired now! You must be in league with Mrs. Greg.

As always, thx for the info. Had quite a day today, but it all worked out. I'll get the RR updated later this evening.

Sigh...my poor ol' body...

--Doc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
You'll do fine at Shiloh. Certainly you are numbed by now. I didn't visit it until a few years after G'burg, so it struck me once again. But whatever, it is a very different field. Compact, and the slaughter was swift as it was desperate... Go home Doc Greg. You're done here. Us too probably. Maybe use that trail bike you have home a little more.

Can I interest you in Smokey Mountain Road, just north of the Glen Canyon Dam to Escalante? Another is Seven Springs Road to Bloody Basin road loop out of Carefree AZ. Both are a little over 100 miles and just a few hours stress. I have a few more. These are more do-the-route and then do other things.

Most importantly, I think you should try very hard to do the Alcan5000 rally in 2014. $2k entry, but it includes lodging, chase trucks, fuel trucks and luggage hauling. Even a few meals. You couldn't do it much cheaper solo.

Seattle, to the Arctic Circle, then over the top to Fairbanks. Then we finish in Anchorage. Lots of dirt. This event is right up your alley. It is a competition we can still do on a motorcycle at our age. If you want to win, you can do that too. It just takes work.

I'll nag you again on it because I really think it will be a good adventure for you. Mrs. Doc can participate too. Check the 2014 Intinerary in the link. I can put you in touch with the man in charge if you want. We visit.

www.alcan5000.com

-P
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:26 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -GREG- View Post
Great to meet you Greg! Have a safe trip and stay in touch.
Man, it was MY pleasure. I enjoyed our time together more than you can imagine. Hopefully not the last time we meet...

--Doc
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:30 PM   #148
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Quote:
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Nice Doc, get home safe n sound.
Hey, DCrider...I Still feel bad about not hookin' up with you. But there are always more rides ahead.

Around noon today in Memphis I'd have given you even odds on me gettin' thru in one piece...but I made it!

Full report later tonight.

Thx for all your support.

--Doc
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by llamapacker View Post
$2000 is right in there. I took 21 days from Louisiana and back, 10,006 miles, camping 2/3s of the time, $2100. That included lodging/camping food and gas.
Omigosh. I don't even wanna think about this...

--Doc
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:06 PM   #150
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Thursday 10/11: Savannah, Tennessee - Conway, Arkansas

After around two weeks on any (ADV-type) trip I've taken, I tend to wake up (preferably in a tent, but this trip hasn't gone that way) and wonder "...where the heck am I, and WHY am I here?" And yes, I am getting that feeling now. What that feeling tells me is that IT IS TIME TO BE HEADING HOME! So that's kinda my attitude, as you will see...

...but there is still some useful historical and scenic topography to cover. Which I shall.


A Pretty Sunrise...Good Omen or No?

Upon poking my head out this morning, there was a pretty sunrise:


Let's see, what's the old saying..."red sky at morning, rider take warning...?" Hmmm.....

Crossed the Tennessee River (er, "Lake") yet again. Even given the TVA, it always impresses me with its, um, BULK, I guess...you gotta realize, my benchmark is the RIO GRANDE, which is kind of a joke.



Shiloh National Military Park

I had stayed last night in Savannah, Tennessee, which is just a few miles from the "Shiloh National Military Park." I had been advised that this was a good site, and it didn't disappoint.

Upon turning into the Military Park, the first thing I saw was some "cannonball" sites. I was reminded of Edward Abbey's (one of my favorite authors, BTW) disparaging comments on the Eastern "Cannonball" Parks...well, I understand, but here I am as a Westerner touring the "cannnball" parks with quite a bit of interest. Depends on your POV, I guess. Abbey came from the PA mountains, and in his later years (once he got his gonads under control) reconciled with the East. Of course Dr. Greg got HIS gonads under control much earlier than Abbey (OK, okay, Mrs. Greg, I'll control myself...)

Oh yeah, back to the "cannonballs"...I snapped this pic cuz it had the name TUTTLE on it...that's Mrs. Greg's maiden name, and her father (Professor Orville "Frank" Tuttle) was an internationally-known geochemist (Department Chair & Dean at Penn State, and Department Chair at Stanford...recipient of the famed "Roebling" Medal). Anyway, that's why the interest in TUTTLE:



And a close-up:



The Shiloh National Military Park

I punched up "Shiloh National Military Park" into the GPS, and it led me there. I swear, I couldn't find anything without it. But here I am (sorry, no support for tripod, so no self-portrait):


Just to make sure you know that the Northern soldiers have an advantage:

However, in one of my readings I recalled that an observer noted that---despite the Southern' troops lack of materiel---they conducted themselves with a bearing and carriage that belied their lack of tangible assets.

Y'know, I've complained about the weather, but I've gotta admit that it has given me a much more realistic view of what the soldiers had to endure. I'll probably mention this again a couple more times in today's report.

Northern Commanders:

Well, Ulysses Grant we certainly know (my buddy "Gale" from Pagosa Springs, Colorado, always referred to my Buell Ulysses as "the General"...bless you, Gale!).

But the other Union Commander was Don Carlos Buell. As the owner of a couple of Buells, I've always wondered about any lineage between Erik Buell and this guy. Could be...?

Southern Commanders:


Albert Sidney Johnston (left above) was held in VERY HIGH regard by CSA President Jeff Davis. General P.G.T. Beauregard also. But Johnston in particular. Unbelievably, Johnston was KILLED at Shiloh due to a wound to the artery in the back of his knee...he BLED TO DEATH! That strikes me as a terrible way to die...not that there is a good way, I guess.

I know less about Beauregard. I guess with a name like that...well, I don't know.


More Tools of War...

I couldn't resist (dunno why?) taking more pics of these aweful shells, etc. These terrible shells that detonate to enhance their destructive capability. I know, these are "child's play..." Well, I guess I'm becoming a CHILD. As I've said, what must it have been like to have the guy next to you hit by one of these things?


And another "artillery" pic for those "artillery-heads" among you (you know who you are!):


This was a NAVAL round of some sort, but (naturally) designed to blow apart and hurt even more human beings (sorry):


Here's a photo of old man TUTTLE...remember the "cannonball" pic I showed earlier? This might have been a relative of Mrs. Greg! Annie, whaddya think about this guy?


And this is ol' Lew Wallace, usually held up for his authorship of...what was it?...not Quo Vadis, but...dang it, I can't remember.


"The Robe?"...no, I give up. Well, what I REMEMBER HIM FOR is his rebuff to "Billy the Kid" after he said he wanted to meet with THE KID to give him a break...pardon my French, but IMHO the true test of your character is how you deal with the LITTLE PEOPLE (like Billy) rather than the big government honchos. Humph. So I'm not a big fan of Lew Wallace.

And I STILL can't remember the name of his book...oh yeah, in proofreading this text, I looked at the pic...Ben-Hur! Sorry, Paul Newman. No, it was Burt Lancaster. No, Clark Gable...oh, I give up. Charlton Heston?

I never knew that "SHRAPNEL" was actually somebody's name...yikes! Lt. Henry SHRAPNEL, for goodness' sake!


Just to show you that I actually got back outside the Visitor Center:


BTW, there is a 16-mile (or so) "auto tour" route at Shiloh. I took that kind of route at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. I just wasn't up to it at Shiloh. Both because (1) I didn't want to spend the time, and (2) those "auto tour" routes are kind of a pain on a motorcycle...gotta get your gear on/off all the time, etc. Anyway, I passed it up. Sorry...

Finally, I watched the "movie" at the Shiloh Visitor Center...I thought it was excellent. I thought about these 18-year old kids (on both the Union and CSA sides) who had their initial battle at Shiloh. I thought about the night between the Saturday and Sunday battles when there was a fierce lightning storm, then torrential rain at midnight (with leaky tents, of course). What must it have been like to have been there? What would be going through your mind?


Miserable in MEMPHIS...

After leaving Shiloh, I had a delightful ride on TN hwy 22, and a few others. Finally made my way to I-40. After dire construction warnings (overestimated...this was as bad as it got):


BTW, I have NO PATIENCE when it comes to construction delays, and closed lanes, etc. I probably saved myself a half-hour by ignoring those kind of "warnings." If you ever ride in Europe or Asia you can't let yourself get suckered by those things. Motorcycles have an advantage...USE IT!

OK, okay, so why was I "miserable in Memphis?" Because of the FRIGGIN' RAIN!! About 10 miles EAST of Memphis the rain started POURING down (didn't even have time to get my tank bag cover, or glove covers, or...). It continued just DRENCHING me all thru the Memphis "freeway" area...all the maze of (unknown) ramps and interchanges, and...folks, I was SCARED and COLD and UPSET...I mean, the timing was HORRIBLE!

I finally made it across the Mississippi River and pulled off on an off-ramp and got some lunch. By then the rain had mostly stopped:


At this point I had no idea if this weather was gonna last the rest of the day, or what!? So I phoned Mrs. Greg (she's always somebody I can complain to...) So I complained. WAAH, WAAH! I whined. POOR ME! She was very gracious, as usual...

Then I thought for a minute. What was my "plight" compared to, say, those 18-year old kids at Shiloh? Or RTWDoug on his Cannonball ride? Or...how many thousand other ADV riders who have suffered thru a rainy day (or night, or week). So I figured...c'mon Dr. Greg, you're riding a stupid motorcycle, for goodness' sake. Whaddya expect?!?! Attitude adjustment time.

Funny thing...about then the weather began to improve.

And it kept improving on into Arkansas; until Conway, where I finally stopped for the night. Now it was beautiful.


Gettin' Closer to Home...

So from Conway, AR it's 850 miles to Albuquerque. Some of my friends would think nothing of doing that in one day (not me!) I'll try to get a reasonably early start in the morning and cover perhaps the majority of those miles tomorrow (Friday). Then on SATURDAY I'll get home to Albuquerque!

I'm gonna be on I-40 the whole way. BTW, I-40 isn't that bad...yeah, there are a lotta trucks, but you can get BETWEEN the packs of trucks (and cars) and have CLEAR ROAD for a long ways in front and in behind. That is, if ya cruise at 65-70 mph like I do with my cool 15-42 gearing.

Cheers,

--Doc
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Isa. 58:14 (KJV)
2013 BMW GSW
2000 Kawasaki KLX300R
1992 Ducati 900SS
1991 Honda Hawk NT650 (commuter)
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