Tues May 17th and Weds 18th
Our stays in Asheville and Roanoke amounted to nothing more than dinners and sleep, with not much time for sightseeing as our days left are down to two. We spend both nights just catching up on much needed sleep as the last two days rides have been long with cold wet weather. It takes a lot out of us and we still have one last long ride to get to Lorton Va and the train that takes one of us back home.
The trip has been amazing! It has been full of long rides in both great and terrible weather. The first day out we were frozen before we put 20 miles on the bike but we were so happy to be doing this that we laughed off the cold and pushed forward until we reached the train that would take us and our bikes to Florida to begin the long journey.
Along the way and each night we would plan our next days ride, the route we would take and the place we would spend our nights. We didn’t use a GPS but only for one time when we were clueless where the heck we were. Most days we would ride between 200- 250 miles with the longest ride being 475 miles and the shortest trip 185 miles. We averaged 200 miles a day forÂ a total of 3700 miles. We often traveled back roads and avoided highways unless we needed to make up time or if bad weather was nearby. Riding thru old towns and back roads were often both rewarding and risky and more often than not they weren’t clearly marked by road signs designating the direction in which we needed to go.
We ate sparingly while we were riding with mainly just Peanut Butter sandwiches for a mid day snack so as to save money and not overeat, which would drag us down if we did. Only twice did we eat lunch, the first day in Florida and once again in Arkansas during a gas up. In fact the station had some great BBQ Brisket, but not quite as awesome as Rich’s homemade brisket we shared in Seafood at his home. Eating light for lunch was probably the only reason I gained only three pounds on this trip because we made up for it with the dinners we had in all the great towns we visited.
Sharing the highways out west is challenging for motorcyclists due to all the tractor trailers that move goods cross country on these routes. All in all they were very courteous and aware of us and it seemed as if they made an effort to make it easier for us to navigate around them. The roads through Texas were the worst both highway and city but the back roads were great both wide open and lightly traveled. The best roads by far were in Tennessee as they are paved, curvy, long straights, high speed limits and most times extremely scenic. At one point we passed a body of water that was the bluest green I have ever seen. It looked crystal clear from the seat of my bike and all of us commented on it when we stopped for gas. The waters in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and even along the coast in Texas, are horrible and I can’t believe anything can survive in them. Nothing but murky muddy waters which surprised me.
The best scenery had to be between Tennessee and North Carolina with all the mountain vistas and overlooks. They were at times breathtaking and must look beautiful during the fall months. I have to say that the open roads in southern Texas were pretty cool too. Grassy fields as far as you can see off the sides of the roads, many filled with cattle grazing. It reminded me of the movie Twister especially when we rode thru some stormy skies. I kept waiting for a funnel cloud to move in front of us.
With only one more days ride ahead, things begin to feel strange. Our time together is coming to an end and we share mixed feelings about it.
Tomorrow Lorton Va, the Amtrak Auto train and our farewells!
Just One Man’s Opinion
The Regular Guy