April 5, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas

Summer Riding covid-19: day 738 | US: GA | info | act

Since the 19th annual conference of the Norman Mailer Society is in Long Branch, NJ, this year in June, I got the crazy notion of riding my BMW R 1200 GS. Usually, the conference is right in the middle of the fall semester, and that precludes my being able to take my time traveling. However, in June, while I will be teaching online, I’m not location-bound. I can take a few days on either side of the conference to ride—sorry, to tour.

Macon, GA, to Long Branch, NJ avoiding highways.

Day 1 (June 5, 2022): Macon to Red Springs, NC. ~350 miles. Walter lives in Red Springs, so this is a good overnight stop. I did this ride last summer.

Day 2 (June 6, 2022): Red Springs, NC to Norfolk, VA. ~250 miles.

Day 3 (June 7, 2022): Norfolk to Long Branch, NJ. ~320 miles.

The conference is June 8–10 with a half-day on the 10th.

Day 4 (June 10, 2022): Long Branch to Washington, DC. ~220 miles. Ernest lives in DC, so I might stay a couple of days, depending on their schedule. It would be fun to get the cameras out and hit some whiskey bars.

Day 5: DC to Afton, VA via Front Royal, VA, through the Shenandoah National Park. ~200 miles. Afton is where the Blue Ridge Parkway begins, though the ride through Shenandoah looks like it will be comparable. This will take a bit more research, though there appears to be some fine riding in this part of the country.

Day 6: Blue Ridge Parkway, heading southwest. ~200 miles. As I look today, Google Maps reports much of the Blue Ridge as closed. I wonder if that’s residual winter at work?

Day 7: to Asheville, NC (or Cherokee, NC). ~200 miles.

Day 8: Back to Macon or stopover in Augusta. ~250 miles.


OK, since I’m travel planning, we’re also going to Ohio in July. We’ll visit my mom and Spencer for a couple of days around July 4. I plan to ride.

Day 1 (June 30, 2022): Macon to Pigeon Forge. ~300 miles. I figured I’d stay with Dad and Sharon on my way up, and maybe on the way home, too, if they’ll have me.

Day 2 (July 1 or 2): Pigeon Forge to Dayton, OH. ~330 miles. This might have to be a highway day, unfortunately.

Days 3–4: Maybe up to Akron to see a friend I haven’t seen in a long while?

Days 5–6: Eastern Kentucky.

Day 7: to Dad’s.

Day 8: Pigeon Forge to Macon. ~300 miles.