So, the snow was mostly melted and it was time to get to a couple events. I like riding motorcycles, though I dont like the pressure of deadlines. Having to be at events on time was like a deadline (which I haven’t always made), but I going and they are a reason to get out on a nice long ride.
This year, Horizons Unlimited’s Virginia Event was two weeks before Overland Expo West. If I went from one to the other, I would have about 10 days to cover the distance. It seemed like a better idea than going home between the two, which would add 400 miles to the ride. Also, going straight across would give me some time to do other things, rather than just trying to cover some distance. I always like that.
So, that was my plan. Milwaukee to Appomattox to Flagstaff to Milwaukee. There were some interesting possiblities along the way too, if it all worked out.
The next thing I decided was to bring Curiosity – my 1981 Yamaha SR250. I like riding that bike, mostly because the seat is really comfortable and I have a lot (I mean a lot) of miles on it. Things I didn’t really think about when I made that choice was the new, low mileage engine I’d just installed and not ridden much, and that I’d said I was putting Curiosity into semi-retirement after getting my RX3 (White Rabbit) all set up last year. All choices have consequences I guess.
I also decided, rather than using my phone to take pictures (as I have been doing lately) I would bring a ‘real’ camera. That camera would be a Minolta X370 35mm Film camera, which I used to take the pictures in this post (and other RR seen online places).
So, I got on the road a Tuesday morning, planning on 2 nights to get to Appomattox. I went to ADVRider’s tent space for places to sleep, and got a really nice location that first night. I even had neighbors –
Mom and Dad goose kept their distance, and I guess last year they had a nest in the same spot and a racoon came and got all their eggs. I wonder if they are going to try again in 2018?
In the morning I was back on the road, heading south and east. I didn’t know how far I was really going to ride that day, and didn’t have a firm sleeping spot. There are quite a few national forests in the Appomattox area (at least coming from the west), and since I knew there were going to be showers there I wasn’t worried about roughing it, then trying to be presentable.
I found an improved campground in Pine Forest, which was supposed to have water but didn’t. I was a little light on water, but it worked out okay and I had the place to myself. In fact, there weren’t even any cars on the road. There were signs here and there for jeep trails, so I guess that would be the area’s claim to fame. I didn’t try any of them on Curiosity, though. There was a time I went out of my way to try dumb things, now I just let them happen naturally.
After a good night’s sleep I stopped for breakfast – no picture, sorry – and then arrived at Appomattox. The actual HU event is in a state forest, which doesn’t have cell signal but does have a nice view of the lake.
Virginia is a fin event. It’s the first event after winter, so it’s a good chance for people who haven’t seen each other over the winter to catch up. There are always cool ride reports, and some good technical talks. Chris Scott was there, and he was nice enough to shoot an image of me.
I gave a couple of talks, including one on packing. Blue came out, and I mentioned, when situations were tense, sometimes pulling out a teddy bear and a camera was a good way to get smiles. One of the attendees stated,, quite firmly, that it wouldn’t work on him. Naturally, this meant he got his picture taken with Blue.
After HU Virginia, I was back on the road – but not to Milwaukee. In about 10 days, I had another event in Flagstaff, Arizona (Overland Expo East). So, rather than going home and leaving again, I decided to head east from Virginia, visit an old friend in Georgia, see some sights, and otherwise just be on the road. It felt like a lot of my recent travel has been to get somewhere for an event and not just to wander around. I missed wandering – even if there was a bit of a deadline.