Friday, September 7, 2012

After years, of planning and dreaming, the day has finally arrived. I gave Ingrid a big kiss and she headed to work. Not seeing her every day is going to be toughest part of the trip.  Neighbors, Kathleen and Alyssa, and assorted kids poured out to wish me well, which turned out to be short lived, only made it to the end of the block and couldn't remember if I shut the front door...
I left 2 hours later than planned, no worries. The first day was rainy and perfect for a trip heading through Central and South America, to the End of the World, Terra Fuego. First a quick stop to Cross Country BMW to pick up spare inner tubes and see some of my favorite people, Greg from parts and Jeff the master mechanic.

Next stop, lunch with Mom in Coatesville, PA. She came out to see the bike and try am I might, I could not convince her to get on the back and come with me. Mom turns 92 in September, an event I sadly will miss.
On route I stopped to see my oldest friend in the world, Wayne. We had coffee and chatted about the trip, politics and family. It was a good send off. As I got on the bike to leave for Virginia, Wayne said "For a guy who got into motorcycles late in life, you sure embrace riding." This comes from a guy that has been riding since he was 9 years old. I got my license in March of 2007 and left for Central America in October 2008...

During the afternoon riding through southern Virginia, I was following 3 or 4 car then a truck. Something caught my eye. It looked like the truck had run over a door mat or small piece of plywood. Soon grey smoke was pouring out from under the truck and it was apparent that a tire and blown. Black snakes of shredding tires started flying through the air. The strips of rubber started scattering on the breakdown lane and the passing lane, dancing like worms on a hot skillet. Everyone has seen strips of tire on the side of the road. It is a totally different experience ride through these little demons, each with whiskers of of steel belt. I worried about picking up a piece of steel mesh on one of the tires, but got by unscathed.

Made it to Harrisonburg, VA that night. Ingrid encouraged me to stop for the night, and my lower back agreed. Found a budget hotel and called it a day.

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