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So, The return trip will look like this for travel:

Day 1: NC, TN
Day 2: AL, MS, AR
Day 3: AR, OK
Day 4: Off bike
Day 5: TX, NM, CO

Its gonna be fun! I had originally written the work ‘Epic’, but in retrospect, it’s not really EPIC. Now, a motorcycle trip from here to Spain, or around the world would be EPIC. but just a few thousand miles doesn’t quite qualify for the word, ‘Epic’.

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The plan is to leave Boone NC around 0900 hrs after a wonderful breakfast with my family, then head south on the BRP (I have to get video of riding the viaduct on Pearl) then head south on hwy 221 after Grandfather mountain, and on into Asheville.

From there, I’m riding to Deals Gap and make a run on the dragon and collect my stickers, then head to the campsite near Chattanooga TN.  Highlights for the day will be:
1. The Linville Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway
2. Tail of the Dragon
3. Cherohala Skyway

In reality, there is much more great riding in the area, but I’m hitting I-40 and Hwy 74 to save some time. Hwy 221 between Linville and I-40 and Hwy 28 by Fontana Dam are top shelf roads as well.

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The start of Day 2 will be in Louisville, KY. I want to drive to my brother’s house near Mooresburg, TN. This gives me roughly 249 miles to drive, a pretty easy day by motorcycle. Google says around 5 hrs, but I know better. I did choose to forego any interstates, so that will add some time, but I think it will be worth it, looking at this  section of the route I chose:

Day2

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After looking at some other ideas, I think my plan is to leave right at midnight Monday night. So I’ll make sure the bike is packed up Sunday afternoon and ready to go (minus fuel). I’ll come home Monday afternoon after work and grab supper, call Robin, Caleb, Shelby, and Andie, then hit the sack for about a 5 hour nap. I’ll set my alarm for 11:30 PM and get up and head out at Midnight, Monday night.

The plan is to knock out my Iron Butt ride Tuesday, from 00 hrs Tuesday morning to around 1630 hrs Tuesday afternoon. This should put me around Louisville, Ky. for day 1, just shy of 1100 miles.

Day1

I hope to arrive in Louisville around 1630 hrs (4:30 PM). I’ll get a room so I can get a good night’s sleep and a good meal.

Day 2, my brother Mark’s place near Bean Station, TN. I should be there around lunchtime, which will give me a good half day to visit and rest up from the marathon the day before.

Day 3, a quick trip through the Blue Ridge to Statesville and to see my beautiful family!!

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So, what do you do on a February day in Colorado when there is snow on the ground and the temp is busting at the seams at 42? You start thinking about your summer trips of course.

I’m getting excited about the trip back to North Carolina this summer and started jotting a list of packing items for the trip. So far I have clothes, camping items, and gadget stuff on the list:

3 – pairs of running pants (to wear under my motorcycle pants)
2 – pairs of jeans
4 – Tshirts (3 short sleeve and 1 long sleeve)
2 – button up shirts (for looking presentable)
4 – under shorts (never get caught with dirty drawers)
6 – pairs of socks (4 riding socks, 2 t-shoes socks)
1 – pair of tennis shoes (for when I’m not riding)
1 – pair of flip flops (just because its summer)
1 – pair PJ shorts (my cutoff sweat pants)
1 – PJ shirt
1 – pair of nice shorts
1 – belt (versatile, can be worn w/jeans or shorts)
1 – swim trunks
1 – ball cap
1 – pair of sunglasses
1 – rain suit
1 – pair of gloves (summer, will be wearing)
1 – pair of  riding pants and Jacket (joe rocket, breathable)
1 – towel
1 – cell phone charger
1 – Cardo Packtalk charger
1 – gopro charger
1 – map of the U.S.

And the camping stuff:
1 – lightweight sleeping bag
1 – hammock w/slapstraps
1 – rain fly w/stakes
1 – jetboil
1 – pack of coffee packets
3 – Mountain House meals (will replenish when needed)
1 – flashlight
1 – hygiene pack (to include toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc)

Miscellaneous motorcycle stuff:

1 – kickstand puck
1 – can of LP spray cleaner & polish w/rag
1 – can of chain lube
1 – motorcycle cover

Now, there are other items I travel with (for safety) that are necessities, but do not need mentioning (those with ears, let them hear). The trick will be to get it all to fit on Pearl. I plan on using both panniers, a rear seat bag, and a tank bag. I haven’t purchased the rear seat bag yet, but I will get picks as soon as I do.