We did it! Eight years. Ten states. Don’t even know how many thousands of miles. The goal of touring in all the southern states east of the Mississippi River by motorbike has been accomplished. Virginia – West Virginia – North Carolina – South Carolina – Georgia – Florida – Kentucky – Alabama – Tennessee, and now, the final state, Mississippi.
Our trip to snag the final state had us on the road for ten days, 1753 miles, and traveling through seven of the original ten states listed above! Our route took us through South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and back to South Carolina.
I would like to put a shameless plug in here to my wonderful wife and co-rider. Sharing this experience with her was phenomenal and made the trip so much more meaningful than if I had done it solo as with some other trips. She is the perfect co-rider, as she is just as engaged and aware in riding the motorbike as I am. She is almost a second driver. Kudos to Roo. Thanks Babe!
Below begins an accounting and sharing of our trip: the things we’ve seen, people we’ve met, experiences we were priveleged to enjoy. If you have been to any of the places mentioned, please comment and tell us of your experiences there!
DAY 1 – Saturday, 10/4 – Simpsonville, SC to Franklin, TN
As any experienced moto traveler will tell you, your travel plans must be flexible, and ours came to the test the very first day. The original plan was to leave Friday, 10/3 and travel to Tellico Plains, TN, then on Saturday, ride the remaining distance to Franklin, making each days ride just shy of 200 miles on back country roads. Ma Nature had other plans, and one must always listen to their mother, yes?
A severe weather front was to engulf us here in South Carolina on Friday, with severe thunderstorms and high winds, as a large cold front was pushing eastward quickly. So we pushed our departure date back one day, watched the storm rattle our windows and light up the sky all day Friday, and watched Saturday dawn beautifully sunny and cold! But hey, we could RIDE!
This meant, however, that now we would be traveling close to 400 miles in one day, mostly (but not all) on interstate highways. Oh, and we started out in 45 degree weather and were traveling north! Did I mention the wind? It was blowing like stink, and it was unrelenting. The 400 mile day was nothing new to me, but I was concerned for Roo, she having not ridden pillion for more than maybe 175 consecutive miles. We stopped frequently, about every 75 to 100 miles, plus a longer lunch break. This must have been hard for The beaST, as she has a 300 mile range, and was not used to stopping so frequently!
Roo did fantastic! We arrived in Franklin, TN late afternoon and checked into our hotel. We were both very tired, the cold and wind having taken it’s toll, but Roo was happy having set a new benchmark and wants to go higher! No problem!
Below are a few random pics from different points of the trip, to be expanded on later with the who, what, when, where, and why’s.