Eight Years in the Doing
Eight years ago, back in 2006, I bought my Honda ST1300. As I rode this biggest bike I have ever owned home, I wondered what grand adventures this machine would take me and Roo on, what memories would be made on board, how many hundreds of pictures of my ST I would take in different locales. It was a very exciting ride home. A new motorbike, thoughts of longer distance moto travel than we did on our Honda Shadow, and entry into the world of motorcycle sport touring.
By the time I got home, I had a grandiose travel plan laid out in my head. After all, this is a big, mile munching, sport touring bike, always itching to chew up miles and miles of asphalt. I was just the person to scratch that itch. I know what it is. Talking it over with Roo, tweaking here and there, it was decided. We would tour all of the southern US states east of the Mississippi River. Not just a dip of a wheel over the state line, we had to actually ride through the majority of the state for it to count, while visiting points of interest or attending bike events.
That weekend, over dinner, I enlisted a friend and fellow rider to accompany me on the first state tour, which fittingly was our home state, South Carolina. A perimeter tour of 900+ miles over three days. That was spring, 2007, and the beginning of a bond with MyST and long distance travel by motorcycle.
States we traveled through: South Carolina (perimeter tour); North Carolina (mountains to sea); Virginia (Blue Ridge Parkway & Skyline Drive); West Virginia (Cass Mountain Railroad, coal mining country); Kentucky (Mammoth Cave National Park); Georgia (North Georgia mountains, Charles Lindberg first flight); Florida (backroads to Key West); Alabama (Barber Motorsports Park); and Tennessee (Honda Hoot Rallies).
Now, eight years after buying the beaST, we have one state left to achieve the goal: touring all the southeastern states east of the Big Muddy. In less than three weeks, we leave for a 10 day, 2000 mile round trip to Mississippi, via The Natchez Trace Parkway. The beaST is in the shop getting prepped, and trip planning is running smoothly. Excitement is building!
The posts documenting this trip will be titled, 2 Up on The Trace: Traveling the Natchez Trace Parkway through Mississippi. Look for it.
By October 13, 2014, our goal will have been achieved, and it will truly be:
C’est fini, y’all.