Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Day One; Lebanon, KY
The day started early. I had the alarm set for 6:30, but I woke up at 6:00, wide awake and raring to go. Got up, took my pills (way too many of them anymore), did my stretches, and got dressed (pretty much my daily routine). Went downstairs to finish packing the bike.
I had packed my clothes yesterday and put them on the bike. But I still had my computer, electronics, overnight kit, and shoes to pack. So, I found suitable places for them and then strapped on the duffel bag with the bumblebee inside it. The bike was ready when I attached the tank bag.
Then some cereal for breakfast, brushed my teeth, and put on my riding gear. I was ready to roll at 6:50am, ten minutes earlier than planned.
It was a gray, misty morning. Not cool, but not hot. Muggy though. But the good news was that it was not HOT! Good news indeed.
I had played with routes for several hours in the preceding weeks, but I was not satisfied with any of them. So, I told the GPS to be quiet and I rode Interstates to US 52 in Winston Salem. Before getting there, I thought I’d run out of gas, wanting to make it to Mebane, where they have the cheapest gas around. I made it with 0.6 gallons left! Unfortunately, the gas was more expensive there than in Clayton. So much for saving money on gas!
Up US 52 North. I turned on the routing, with instructions to prefer the medium sized roads, but allow small roads and big roads. I had thought that it would then keep me on US 52. Much to my dismay, it did. OLD US 52, which winds parallel to the new 52, but through every little village along the way.
After a little of that, I got back on new 52 and went around Mt. Airy and on to Hillsville, VA. Actually once past Mt. Airy, it was a fun road, with enough curves to be interesting and not much in the way of towns.
Had lunch at a little Italian place in Tazewell, VA. A meatball sub that was very good. Tazewell is near Burke's Garden, a neat community off the beaten path. Gary and I rode there a couple of years ago, and it is very unique.
I got to a point where the road was a lot of fun, but sensed the need to turn west towards my destination for the night. When I turned the routing on again, I learned that I had turned the wrong way somewhere along the way and was on a secondary road headed southeast! Towards home!! Damn… So I backtracked about 15 miles (still a lot of fun on that road) and found my way again.
The ride was pretty uneventful, except for some hard rain along the way. I went through 3 spells of rain, but one was prolonged and it POURED part of the way. It was the kind of rain where cars were pulling over to stop because they couldn’t see. I kept going, albeit a little slower than usual. I didn’t stop; I had the waterproof bumblebee in the bag, but didn’t want to stop to put it on. So, I got a little wet (arms, some chest, and legs). But the hard rain lasted only about 30 minutes, and in an hour I was dry.
Found my way to Lebanon, KY, where I’m staying in Anne’s Chateau. Mary Ann and Blake Ohsol are Motorcycle Travel Network folks, and have graciously allowed me to stay with them tonight. Mary Ann rides a Honda Shadow, and Blake has a BMW GS 1100. Both are pretty bikes. Blake says he can take or leave riding, but says Mary Ann rides every chance she has!
The house is an old, 1890 house with multiple additions over the years. Very unique. I have my own private room and bathroom, a clean bed, and that’s all I need for the night.
Walked downtown for dinner at a Mexican place. Pretty good, and very reasonable. Had a combination plate with a Margarita for under $12. Pretty good, too. Then walked a few blocks around town to get a little feel for the town. It felt good; comfortable. Then back to the house for the night.
It was a good day, with 587 miles on the odometer. More than I wanted, but necessary due to the logistics.
Tomorrow—going north to Chillicothe, IL.