Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oh god, mountains. I missed them so much.

I'm currently typing this from a hotel in Fairfax, Virginia. The connection here is lame and slow, too slow to realistically upload pictures, so they will have to come later.

Until I get a chance for a real update, here's the tl;dr version:

Thurs the 28th: Left Chicago. Super-slabbed it through light rain to Detroit, where I met a girl. Motel 6'ed it for the night.

Fri the 29th: Left Detroit, headed south through Ohio through some nasty crosswinds. Took the bike for some VERY light off-roading, found someplace to camp down an ATV trail in Wayne National Forest. Found out that my sleeping pad had a leak.

Sat the 30th: Started the day with ice on the inside of my tent, and heavy layer of frost on the bike. Headed east from Athens, Ohio, hoping to find an REI to exchange my sleeping pad at. Found that the closest one was in Virginia, so I burned miles along Rt 50 all day (which has some amazing stretches, BTW) and got to the REI in Fairfax, VA, around 6:30pm. Got a hotel for the night, which is where I am now.

Pics will come in the next few days. The plan now is to make my way down the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the Great Smokey Mountains.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here we go again . . .

Last summer, I took a four-month long, 27,000 mile road trip, taking a wildly inappropriate bike into places it was never supposed to go. I posted about it here, and ended up wrapping all my blog posts into a single PDF for people to download for easier reading . Since then, I've been killing time in Chicago, working some proper 9-5 type jobs and generally trying to be a productive member of society.

It turns out that I'm not very good at that, so fuck it. I'm going back on the road.

I'm leaving today, and this time on a much more appropriate machine; my black '04 Wee-Strom. I spent the last week doing the usual wrenching on it; valve check, chain and sprockets, tool tube, etc. Compared to my Virago that I did my previous trip on, this bike has so much storage space I don't quite know what to do with it all.

Fall is almost over here in Chicago, so my goal is to get south as soon as I can. I want to get over to the Blue Ridge Parkway before it closes for the season, and then head down the Natchez parkway before heading across the South to the Trinity test site, and then to Death Valley. By this time, my money will probably have run out, but if I can I want to also make it up to the Giant Redwoods forest, because I <3 giant trees. At that point, I'll sell the bike (if I can. 75k+ on it, some trackdays and a couple of at-speed laydowns do not a good resale value make), and fly back to Chicago.

I can't describe how powerful the urge to get back on the road has been, and I'm jittery with excitement to get back to living on my own terms. This will be a short trip, only a month or so. I've got a new job starting on the other side of the world on December 16th, and I'm flying out from Chicago on the 14th, so I am a little bit constrained by time.

Alrighty, guys. I've gotta do some last minute bike adjustments, and then it's back on the road again (THANK GOD!).