Today I woke up feeling fresh. Not only did I rest up yesterday, but I also experienced one of my favorite motorcycle rides ever – granted, I’m no expert, but it’s still a milestone for me. Time seems to be passing very quickly, and I must confess that days are starting to meld together. Thoughts and plans are taking different shapes with every mile I ride, and what I originally expected to get out of this trip has suddenly turned into something else. And it feels good, it feels like each day is a separate life that brings with it new challenges and expectations – if I fail, I always have tomorrow. Anyhow….
After a delicious eggs and coffee breakfast, Motor 1 offered to accompany me as I started heading west towards Texas. I loaded my bike and said goodbye to my very fancy RV home. Before heading out my host asked “what do you have in case you run out of gas?” I said “well I have a rotopax and that’s all I need” to what he replied “ooohhh no, you need a Tennessee credit card!” “a what?!?!?!” I said. “You know, one of these” – he pulled out a handy dandy hose with a coupling and a bearing on one end, used to siphon gas out of any container available. Right away he pulled out an extra one and strapped it to my bike – now I’m all set, no gas issues ever. Thanks again sir!
Our first stop was a local bike shop as I was looking for an extra set of Rok-straps – I left with only one from NY and it would be nice to have a second set for any additional needs. Unfortunately they didn’t have any, so after browsing for some time we headed out, not before checking out this piece of artwork parked outside:
So far I haven’t taken any dirt roads as most of my travels south have been on interstates (booooo), so it was exiting when Motor 1 turned into a nice dirt road that cut across a Cherokee Forest reserve. To be honest I am a complete novice when it comes to dirt, so it was a good chance to practice and ask for pointers which Motor 1 was more than happy to provide. It’s definitely challenging and feels counter intuitive when you come from riding on paved roads – but it’s tons of fun and I can’t wait to get better at this game, I’m sure Central and South America have a lot of roads to practice on.
We made a quick pit stop at Motor 1’s friend’s house who is currently restoring an old Honda I believe (can’t remember model/info), and has a collection in his garage of different bikes. I did not take any pictures but was very impressed by the work he put into them, making custom brackets and parts in his own shop at home.
We then headed out and stopped at subway to, you know, East Fresh. After a nice lunch we said our final goodbyes and parted ways. I set my GPS for Texas, not knowing where I was going to stop to spend the night. I rode for a few hours until I got to a town in Alabama called Guntersville. I looked on advrider to see if there were any tent spaces available and, although it was very last minute, I PM’d a few prospects to see if they could spare some grass to camp. Everyone was either busy or out of town but a few of them pointed me towards Guntersville Lake Park where they offer primitive camping for a fee – TWENTY ONE DOLLARS!!!!!! But it was getting dark and camping was way cheaper than staying at a hotel so I went ahead and paid my fee and rushed to get my tent set up. I actually was looking forward to camping as this is one of my favorite hobbies, so I eagerly set everything up right next to the lake and watched the sun go down, while eating some yummy cup-a-noddle, chips, a snickers bar and some nature made water. It was a beautiful day’s night stay.
Tomorrow I will continue to head west and hopefully make it to Mississippi!
Lesson Learned: In order to continue with any endeavor, it’s very important for me to take a break. Stop what I’m doing and look around me, see what others are up to, re-visit my goals or expectations and adjust them based on my recent experiences. I need to ask others what they think about my progress so far, specifically I’m looking for candid advice that can strength my path to success. Then, allow mind and body to sink into relaxation, forget about planning, and timing, and any other logical process. Just absorb this immediate moment, tomorrow is another day.