New year, new leaf

A long time has passed since my last post here. No excuses really, just a list of reasons:

  • Work stress
  • Dealing with the final arrangements from my dad’s stuff
  • Trip to San Francisco (which, truth be told should have been up here in the first place… soon)
  • Emotions from the bike incident

Progressive came through for me and bought my bike. Their original offer was for $12,300. Eventually they wrote a check for $17,750 with the custom parts and equipment. So with that I have a new bike. A nice new 2009 R1200GS Adventure is sitting in my garage while waiting for the great outdoors to thaw a bit more. I still have some of the bits and bobs that I have to mount on the new bike that I’ve not gotten to yet. I’m mostly done though. It’s just like the old one except it has five more ponies (my butt dyno can’t feel it) and it’s red instead of white (a total of 3 plastic parts are different colors). I’d be happier with my old bike though — I know how it behaved, I know it was a good bike and not a lemon.

I think I’m going to call up to Labrador to see if I can’t buy back my wheels. That’d be pretty damn cool to have two sets of wheels and tires for my bike. Mmmm… knobbies.

At this point En and I are starting to make plans for this summer’s trip. We’re thinking of mainly aiming for the Smoky Mountains and branching out from there. I just ordered travel guides from a whole host of states around there: Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. I know: dead trees. They whet the apetite so though.

The nice thing is that it’s relatively close by — less than a day’s drive to get out there. According to the Google it takes less than 10 hours to get there. So even if you stretch it out it’s less than two days away! Hell, I drove down to Spencer, NC in less then a day and that was taking the long and scenic route through some twisty West Virginia mountain roads!

The nice thing about going so comparatively close is that we really can take our time.

Really.  🙂

My mom, my brother and I went down through there when I was growing up. We were heading down to see my dad down in Pompano Beach, FL. I must’ve been around 13 or 14 at the time. Between Cleveland and Florida was a lot of fun.

We stopped by the New River Gorge Bridge and did some rafting on the New River. Retiring back to the hotel in Cades Cove we stopped by a mini golf joint and played a round or two — the only reason I think I remember it is that the poor old Civic was parked on a steep grade and left in 1st gear. Slowly gravity won over the compression of the engine and the car was creeping back. Over the course of the game the Civ nearly walked back to the street.

This trip was just about the perfect trip from what I remember. Very much the type of trip I’m trying recreate with all of my motorcycle trips I’ve been doing. There’s a start. There’s a destination. Between the two points is a great unknown of possibilities waiting to be explored. We had options that we brought along on our way courtesy of AAA TripTics and guide books. Those gave ideas.

But so did the road signs.

Like the one for the cave we passed on the highway. I don’t remember what the it’s name was, but it was the first (and thus far only) time I’ve been in a cave. Cool stuff.

We saw a lot and did a lot during that trip. Driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the little Civic pushing the poor car to its limits. (Like the Kia we had recently in California) We drove south on 441, the looped west and came back north on 28 and 129.

Here’s roughly what that day looked like.

Imagine the 1982 Civic hatchback running the Dragon.

I guess I’ve been there.

Just not on a bike.


But En will be with me this time.

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