06 July 2013

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally Arrival Day

6 Jun 2013:  Finally!

I was really been looking forward to this day for about three weeks.  Why?  Because I haven't ridden since February.  No little day trips and very few errands by bike.  It's partially because I was saving for the trip and partially because every time I get on the bike I'm way too tempted to just keep going.

In the weeks leading up to the Rally, I wrote a fairly long list of things to accomplish to the bike before the rally but only a couple got done:  Get the rear rim back in black, check rear wheel bearings, and put on the Tank Pads I got at the beginning of the year.  Baby has been running really well so while I have the list of things to do, nothing on it is really urgent.

On Monday, I took the bike to get all my vehicles registered.

That short ride convinced me that my time and energy would be better spent getting me ready to leave than worrying about Baby so that's just what I did.  My nephew will be dog and house sitting so the girlz will have someone familiar with them while I'm gone.  That was my main concern, with that taken care of I just needed to decide what to take and which tail bag to use.

I decided to leave the seat case on because that is my most comfortable seat.  Last year I was in agony the last day of the trip because my butt wasn't used tot the other one.  I haven't even ridden as much this year so I didn't want to take the chance.  I got the bike mostly loaded on Wednesday night (after getting a text from Cruzman of Stella all ready to go) and put the final essentials in the top case Thursday morning just before I left.

I left the house around 10 a.m., barely ahead of the forecasted afternoon rain showers, and rode through a brief shower on my way to Cruzman's house.  So brief that I didn't really get wet.  Gray skies above the way I usually went, spurred me to take I-85 through downtown rather than the way I normally go.  It actually seemed quicker but I don't think it will always be that way.

As soon as I got downtown, he called telling me they would be a Johnny's Pizza for lunch just in case I was close.  When I told him where I was he said something I didn't understand because I was trying to get into the correct lane so I could get onto I-20.  He'd hung up but I kept going and didn't stop until I got to the cross street to go to his house then checked my texts.

He sent the directions to Johnny's which was right down the street from where I was so I was there in less than 5 minutes.  I was able to catch up with my "moto" family over lunch before going back to Cruzmans house to get Stella and hit the road.  He must have been as excited as I was because he didn't even tell anyone goodbye.

The week before, we decided to take the quickest way there so we'd have plenty of time to setup camp then go find our friends or even better go for a ride.  This meant mostly 4-lane highway on the way up with a brief stint on the interstate.  By Elljay, I was already regretting the decision but I was committed to getting there quickly and riding as much as possible.  I even had an older lady tell me she wished she could ride with us.

A couple hours of slab later, right after stopping to un-hydrate and to rehydrate, we pulled over to put on our rain gear.  I kept encouraging Cruzman to ride as close as we dared to the dark skies and we ended up getting sprinkled on before pull over.

My Frogg Toggs don't feel right over the Fieldsheer Flex Leather perforated jacket so I avoid putting them on as long as possible.  We were maybe an hour and a half from Fontana. Cruzman got a text from iluvmyfz1 informing us that it was raining there.  The whole point of slabbing so many miles was to get there early so we could go for a ride after setting up camp.  Looks like that plan maybe out.

We pulled into the campground right at 6, about 5 hours after leaving Cruzman's, after registering and getting the site I requested.  I rode through the Village to see if I could see anybody I knew allowing Cruzman to beat me to the site.  Big mistake!  I hit this while trying to park.

You all know what happened next:  the front wheel slipped and down we went!  Cruzman and another camper rushed over to get Baby upright.  We wore most of that mud for the rest of the weekend.

While Stella stayed mostly mud free because Cruzman took the only real parking spot.  (And my visor was fogged up so I couldn't really see shit.)

Cruzman will say I could have parked in the street but I never actually made it there.  Either way we weren't hurt, other than a broken signal hole cover that Cruzman fixed with a spare ear plug box, and got to work on getting camp setup in case another rain shower blew in.

I was very pleased with the site's location.  For the price of camping at Fontana compared the the other places in the area, one should get a view like this.

As an added bonus, one of the other campers brought over some fresh trout caught in the Nantahala that morning.  We were a little hesitant to accept what we thought was cold fish but did it any way and got the best trout either of us have ever eaten for dinner.
Thanks Fishing Camping Stranger Man!

After our free dinner, we headed up to the Resort to find iluvmyfz1 and his wife.  We passed them as they were coming to find us.  We ended up talking at the Wildwood Grill until they shut the lights off on us before deciding to meet early in the morning for a Dragon Run before meeting the others for the group ride.

It was really nice to be able to go back to camp without needing to try to setup camp quietly in the dark!  Cruzman and I stayed up talking for a while longer before finally turning it.  Awesome first day especially because we didn't get too wet.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

View from right outside the tent door.  I love moto-camping!


  1. You failed to mention that on the way there right after I convinced you to put on the frog toggs, we rode through a frog strangler. It only lasted 5 - 10 minutes but we would have been soaked to the bone. As for the taking the best parking spot at the campground and you going down in the mud. I should feel more guilty. Its just been so long since I had ridden with you that I forgot the rule about ladies first.... Sorry.

    1. I figured the picture told the story, but you're right I did forget to put it in. All I remember is how hot the Frogg Toggs are over the leather Jacket. It was like a sauna so that shower we rode through was welcomed...until an hour later when it meant my shield was so fogged I couldn't see.


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