|Now, there are a few things to
keep in mind as I recount this trip.
First, I started the trip out with a 50cc
Iron Butt ride (Coast-to-Coast in under
50 hours), so I didn't take any pictures
on that leg. Then I rode for a few weeks
for the pure enjoyment of riding, so I
didn't take many pictures on that
portion of the ride, either. For that
reason, this section will be somewhat
shorter that the others with a higher
Bearing that in mind, the story begins...
|As I mentioned, my trip began with a 50cc Iron Butt ride.
Riding my Yamaha FZ1, I left Pismo Beach on May 26, 2004,
and arrived in Savannah, Georgia 47 hours and 36 minutes later
(including all stops and about 5 1/2 hours of sleep).
Why Savannah? It's not the straightest or the shortest route by any means, but I was
going to spend the next few days with friends in Augusta, Georgia, and Savannah is the
closest beach town to Augusta. My first two days included three concurrent Iron Butt
rides, and upon completion of my 50cc at 2,612 miles, I continued on to Augusta for a
total of 2,738 miles in under 50 hours. Then I slept for about two days.
My only photographic memento of the ride is of
my now-classic annual fingerless glove tan.
|After the Iron Butt and a few days of recovery, I basically just set out to wander.
I headed north, taking slow meandering back roads through South Carolina
and up the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I took in museums and
stopped often at historical sites and generally relaxed and enjoyed myself.
There were only a handful of things that I specifically wanted to see,
but beyond that I had no plans and no timeline.
|I found out pretty
quickly that my
"Guide to Free
was actually just a
random collection of
parks and such
around the country,
most of which had
"NO CAMPING" signs
posted prominently at
their perimeter. The
upside is that New
England states are so
small that even though
the next campground
is half way across the
map page, it's only
really like 8 miles
when you are in
|The one place I REALLY wanted to see
in Philadelphia was the Mutter Museum.
These being pre-Zumo days, I had printed out
maps with thorough directions to the museum.
Unfortunately, I still managed to get lost
(I have a very good internal compass, but I
found Philadelphia to be a difficult town to
navigate). I found myself in a neighborhood
where girls riding solo on motorcycles
probably don't want to be, and I decided to
blow all the stops signs on my way back to the
interstate after a group of decidedly unfriendly
guys descended on me while I was stopped
at a traffic light. I finally gave up on finding the
museum, although I was very disappointed at
having to do so. Now that I have Zumo, I have
a good reason to go back to Pennsylvania!
|I do have to say that I was very impressed with the
generally high level of courtesy that I experienced in Pennsylvania
(and not just in the City of Brotherly Love!)
I stopped several times to ask people for directions or consult my map,
and several times I had folks say "Just follow me; I'll take you to..."
where ever I was headed.
I met tons of nice bikers who shared with me the best local rides and eats.
I rode from Philadelphia all the way across Pennsylvania to the Ohio border and
back again, all on little roads suggested to me to strangers. I had a great time
and really enjoyed the wonderful, friendly atmosphere during my days there.
|Finally, by popular demand, I am getting around to creating the
Solo North America portion of the site.
As many of you know, this ride took place pre-website, and I made a
super-snazzy PowerPoint presentation with my favorite pics and stories.
Being the busy person I am, I have dedicated weeks of my life trying to
figure out a way to just post the PowerPoint show on the website, thereby
negating the need for additional work on my part.
No go. So, fine - I give up. I'll make more website. Sheesh.
Oh, yeah - and Enjoy!