16 June 2011

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally, Day 4

12 Jun 2011:  Going Home
Approximately 185 Miles

I woke up to gray skies!  The night before when eflyguy said he was leaving at the buttcrack of dawn, I told him good trip and I'd let him know when I got home safely via text.  I did not want to leave at the buttcrack of dawn.  In fact, I wasn't ready to leave at all.  With such good company and great roads, I wasn't ready to go home.

I tried not to think about all the plans I'd made for the past weeks that culminated with the FZ1 Rally because it didn't come to fruition.  I spent two months servicing my bike and modifying my gear with an eye on riding to Washington to see my best friend then maybe going on to Alaska to see what I could see.  TheMomma and I had talked it over and she was prepared to live without me for six weeks but not the 3 or 4 months I wanted.  Then around Christmas, TheMomma got sick and hasn't really been the same since.  For a while, it looked like she was getting better but then it got worse.  We still don't know what's wrong but suspect it has something to do with her meds.  I love my momma but I wasn't ready to go home just yet.  I wanted to ride the Dragon unencumbered and wearing my boots to make up for the squidly ride on Friday.  The gray skies made me reconsider.

Instead, I decided to use my stove to make grits and coffee.  It would be instant coffee, something I only drink at Auntie's when the coffee I leave there has run out because she refuses to buy the good stuff.  (She'll never read this no matter how many computers I give her!)  I had time since I'd done most of my packing the night before.

Made the coffee first.  It was the best I ever made!
Then Grits.  I warped one of the plastic spoons Sloth (82Packer's wife) gave me the night before.
My Grits and coffee.
 The best I ever made!
After that, I consulted with the radar again...

Things were looking better but I decided not to linger in the vacinity since the really blue skies were in the direction I was travelling.  I gave Sloth my grits because she said she never had grits (and she gave me butter and cutlery that I forgot) then I loaded Baby for the ride home and said my safe travels to the 82Packer Clan.

Since I wasn't going to do a Dragon Run, I decided to finally visit the dam.  On the way, I saw the remains of the dead turtle I'd seen the day before.  He was on the buzzard's menu!

They were having a race of some sort that came through the campground then to the dam.  I'm not sure where it went after that.

I was on the road by a quarter to 10.  Even though the skies were brightening, they still looked threatening so I high tailed it out of the area via Hwy 28 to Franklin the 441 into Georgia.  Once there, I'd made such good time, I decided to take US 76 over to GA 197.  I was surprised at all of the trees that were down in the area, it kind of took some of the beauty away from the road.  I couldn't tell if it was from storm damage or people moving into the area.  I think it was the former.

Once I got stuck behind some cars, I ducked onto 356 pass Unicoi State Park then took ALT 75 to avoid Helen's traffic.  I got back onto 129 and took the familiar quick way home with a stop at Cycle Gear to pick up my new boots.

I was home, sweaty and safe by 3:00 and rotisseried a chicken for TheMomma's dinner.  It was good to be home.  In a way, it's a good thing TheMomma was too sick for me to go on my Alaska trip this year.  After the rainy day, I decided I want a new tent.  One with a larger vestibule but smaller inside.  And one that doesn't have sagging sides!  But the new tent and the process that made choose it are for another post.

This year's FZ1 Rally was outstanding.  The people were great and all felt like family of sorts.  I know Dipps (the master organizer) and woodsaytr (the master welcomer) say they won't be planning one next year but enough people want to have one so I think it will happen--without all of the planning.  MarkByrd and Scotty have already reserved the same weekend at the Gap Resort.  I'm going to make sure I can do both Alaska and the FZ1 rally next year!  I don't know how yet, but I'm open to suggestions.

thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

efly would be proud to see I learned my lessons well.  this was the only shade in the parking lot!

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