June 4, 2022
Well, I’m packed, planned, and psyched to go. The BMW R 1200 GS is serviced, and I spent this morning making some reservations and planning part two of my summer ride, from Long Branch to Macon via the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is the longest motorcycle trip I’ll have taken, probably over 2000 miles when I arrive back in Macon. I think I’ve planned about as well as I could have; I still have not made hotel reservations for the last two nights of the journey, but I have a bit of time.
I said good-bye to Henry and Autumn this afternoon. They headed down to the grandparents’ place to avoid the heat for as long as possible. Our house’s HVAC system must be completely replaced, so the AC is on the fritz. Yesterday was awful inside until it rained; today was a bit better due to the overcast skies. Anyway, I’ve finished most of my prep, so I plan to watch Stranger Things and have some pizza.
Tomorrow, I ride to Walter’s in Red Springs, NC. This should be the longest riding stretch of the trip, nearly 350 miles. I rode this distance last summer in one day (one of the hottest of the year), so I know I can do it. I’m pretty much retracing that route. On Monday, I ride to Cape Charles, VA. Tuesday, I have to scoot up to Lewes, DE, to catch the ferry to Cape May, NJ; then, it’s just over 100 miles to the hotel near Monmouth University. I’ll be conferencing Wednesday through Friday.
After the conference ends on Friday, I’ll ride to Silver Spring, MD, just north of DC for two nights to visit with Ernest and his family and to chill for a minute post-conference. On Sunday, I’ll trek west to hit the Shenandoah Nation Park down through Waynesboro where I pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway. I’ll stop in Roanoke that evening and ride to Asheville on Monday. Tuesday, I’ll head back to Macon. I’ve programmed the whole trip into the GPS, so I should be all set. I’m mostly avoiding interstates, though I do use them occasionally to make some time.
COVID-19 is making a comeback, so that’s a bit troublesome. I tested myself this morning, and I will again before the conference starts. I have one final test I’ll do before returning. I plan to mask indoors and avoid crowds, etc.—maintaining my usual distancing procedures in-place for the last two-plus years. Man, will we ever be over this? Part of the reason I’m riding is to avoid the airports and planes. Oh, and riding will be so much more fun and rewarding.
Now, if I can just get a good night’s sleep.