Re: Facing my crash head on one year later!
Well, I made it back to Iowa, safe and sound.
Here’s how it went down! Friday, the 13th, was the day I retraced my steps from last year when I had an unscheduled dismount on the Parkway. This year, nothing as dramatic happen, but the riding was less than ideal. Drizzle for most of the way from DC to the start of the Parkway. Then, more than drizzle; at times, a downpour, and the thickest fog I have ever experienced. That coupled with the threat of deer (not imagined – I saw at least 20 deer this time, all off to the side of the road, luckily, but it was thick with those critters!), made for a less than stellar ride. But, still better than not riding, right? As I was nearing Roanoke, I decide to detour to Frontline Eurosports to chat with Tommy, the mechanic who dealt with my totaled RT last year, and thank him personally. Unfortunately, Tommy was out sick that day, so I just perused the showroom floor, bought a t-shirt, and headed back to the Parkway. I’m not sure what the deal was, but the traffic through Roanoke was horrible. It was about 3pm, so I don’t think it was rush hour, but it sucked nonetheless. Rain too. As I entered the Parkway, I was greeted with “Road Closed” signs and the Parkway was blocked. Turns out, milepost 106 – 112 is closed for road repair, and guess what, the detour took me back through that lovely Roanoke traffic!
So, an hour or so later, I’m back on the Parkway headed towards the infamous milepost 148; the site of the death of my 2012 RT and the poor deer that decide to jump out at me. I had all sorts of ideas on how to commemorate the anniversary, but when I finally got there, you know, I didn’t feel like really doing anything about it. I’m generally not superstitious or anything like that, so I just pulled a couple fist pumps as I rounded the curve and continued on my way through the pissing rain and pea soup fog.
The rest of the day saw me though the northwest corner of North Carolina and back northwest to Grayson Highlands State Park in VA. Got into the campsite around 8pm, so it was about an 11 hour day. Boil-n-bag for dinner and wet night’s sleep was the agenda for the rest of the evening.
Saturday, 9/14, saw me twisting my way out of Grayson Highlands and slabbing it through TN and on over to KY. As soon as I crossed over into KY, the route I had created took me though all sorts of crazy weird little roads, eventually spitting me out in Daniel Boone Nat’l Forest. This is where I picked up KY 192, which I believe is called “The Rattlesnake” – fun road and hardly any traffic. I’m not sure if this is the same “Rattlesnake” I’ve been on before or not – I seem to recall that other Rattlesnake being in OH? Whatever the case, it was fun and I really enjoyed riding some twisties after spending many hours slabbing it through TN.
Plan A for that night was to camp at the Pharaoh Campground in Shawnee Nat’l Forest in southern IL. It’s a first come, first serve site that I’ve stayed at a few times. Very quiet and nice, but since it was Saturday and unseasonably warm, I sort of figured it would be packed by the time I rolled in around 7pm. I was right, so Plan B it would be (hopefully). Just about 7 miles from the Pharaoh is Pounds Hollow – a much bigger (and sometimes, louder) campsite. However, this time, it was not crowded at all and was super quiet. Perfect! I unloaded my crap, threw up my tent quick, then headed into Harrisonburg, IL for some grub. Back at the site, I started up a nice fire and just vegged out for a few hours until bed.
The last day in, Sunday, 9/15, was pretty boring, in terms of roads. Straight out of Shawnee Nat’l Forest west towards St. Louis, then north back home, where I rolled into the house around 6pm.
All said and done, over 2800 miles (including my commutes into DC last week). The RT handled like an absolute dream, even loaded down with all my crap. I dare say it handled the trip better than my ’12; not to speak poorly of the dead, or anything…
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue..."
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