Dr. Greg & Milledue try to make sense of the Civil War...
Preface: US East 2012 "Civil War" Trip
CIVIL WAR: Now THERE'S an oxymoron...
After my May 2012 retirement from academic life, I've gotten interested in U.S. History (also some of the rest of the world, but all in good time). I've recently read:
1. Bruce Catton's "Civil War" trilogy...kind of a tough read, IMHO
2. "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James MacPherson, an excellent single-volume Civil War book
3. Am halfway thru Shelby Foote's "Civil War" trilogy...it's also a challenge
So anyway, I'm trying to educate myself on the American Civil War. And as part of that I figured it would be appropriate to take a ride through some of that country. So on Monday, September 24, I'm going to try to go through NM-TX-LA-MS-TN-KY-WV-PA-NJ-VA-NC-SC-GA-AL-MS-LA-TX-NM. Or some rough approximation of that.
As usual, I'll be on the Milledue. Remember, "Milledue" (MEE-lay-DOO-ay) means "1200" in Italian, not "mildew." I learned that from a Ducati engineer. Just to get things straight. So I'll use "Milledue" to refer to the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S (this is MTS1200S #2, bike #1 was totaled when I hit a patch of hoarfrost on November 4, 2010. I replaced it with an identical bike.
At the start of this trip the odometer read 22,553 miles, and the bike had been completely trouble-free (as had bike #1, FWIW). Woulda had more mileage but I was sick with a severe (weight was down to 120 lb) lung infection, so no riding (or working either).
As I've said many times, the performance of the Milledue on my previous June 2012 "US West" trip and tomorrow's "US East" trip (Mrs. Greg & I just got back from China for #3 son's wedding) will determine if I keep it. There are a wider array of bike choices now than there were in 2010. One thing I will say: the Milledue seems to FIT me better than almost anything else. Just wish I were a little taller and bigger and stronger (I'm 5-8, 145). And for that matter I wish I were a little wiser, too...don't we all. Sigh
Might as well say this now. For some reason whenever I go east (like my Fall 2010 Trip to NYC and eventually Maine) I get butterflies in my stomach. Dunno exactly why, except that I'm a "Westerner" by birth and upbringing. Same for this trip. Once I get on the road I'll be all right.
I Don't Travel LIGHT
The pic below shows some of the stuff I'm bringing (I'm planning on camping much of the time).
And all the clothes (I brought too many) that go into the top case. And the tank bag for incidentals, including the drinking bladder.
And the folding chair, of course...
Anyway, it all adds up. Here's a pic of the bike fully loaded and ready to go...good ol' '06 Uly (great bike!) in the background.
Note that I do not typically ride in big fluffy slippers...
My last month in CHINA!
I thought it might be interesting to post a few pics of our last month in Yantai, CHINA for my 3rd son's wedding (Yantai is on the Jiaodong Peninsula; on the coast just across from the Korean DMZ). Here's the view from his 12th floor apartment:
Yantai is a "small" city by Chinese standards...only 6.5 million! Only ONE US city is larger than that...New York City. Yowza!
Note that the air quality is really quite good; that's just HUMIDITY. The first two weeks of our visit had temps in the high 80's (F), and humidity in the high 80's. UGHH.
But all of a sudden it dried up...see? It was so much nicer!
"Real" Chinese Food is not what I thought...
So I tried to eat everything that was put before me, insectoid stuff like this (actually some kind of shellfish):
See, I'm enjoying it! Beer definitely helped...
I now have a Daughter-in-Law!!
Here's a pic at the wedding in China. Dr. Greg (and Mrs. Greg) on the right; my Chinese in-laws on the left, and my son and new wife (Zou-Nan; we call her "Zoe") in the middle.
Look at my beautiful new daughter-in-law!
OK, Okay, enough with the Chinese wedding. With any luck I'll update this Ride Report periodically. And the Milledue will not have any major malfunctions. After all, with an Italian bike what could possibly go wrong?
I like exploring civil war history too. I got interested after riding in Virginia a while. Been reading up on it a lot more over the last couple years. Looking forward to where the road leads....
Congratulations on your new daughter-in-law. Enjoy retirement and be careful out there.
Good luck Dr. Greg, looking forward to following your ride report across the country, we'll keep the light on! JC&KC
Monday 9/24: Albuquerque, New Mexico -- Lubbock, Texas
Not much between Albuquerque and Clines Corners, NM...
For any of you that know, there's not much between Albuquerque and Clines Corners along I-40. *But Clines Corners is a "must stop" place, at least IMHO...
Here's proof that Milledue and I were at Clines Corners...
And this "cigar store Indian" out front impressed me (for some reason...)
Finally, of all places to find a Savonius wind turbine:
Interestingly, the "sound" of the Savonius rotor was VERY noticeable...you could really hear it "whooshing" around. Sounded quite different than the typical big "propellor" type turbines.
South from Clines Corners on US 285
Turning south off of I-40 onto US 285, there's not much...
At Fort Sumner, New Mexico, I had to stop at the "Billy the Kid" Museum.
Billy the Kid was killed by Pat Garrett at Fort Sumner in 1881. Apparently some of this story is in dispute, but...the museum docent played a video on Billy the Kid that I had never seen, and I learned something: the roots of the "Lincoln County War" (in which B the K was perhaps the most consistent protagonist) came from the old "Irish vs. English" conflict. Never knew that...
Onward to Lubbock, Texas and my Host for the Night...
ADV inmate "theRoss" in Lubbock agreed to put me up for the night...along with a friend of his we all went out for a burger...(Doc on the left, theRoss center, friend Mark at right(he's a real doc, unlike me))
Then he tried to get an "artsy" pic of Doc and the Multi outside the joint...there wasn't much light, but at least it shows that Lubbock, Texas does indeed have some nightlife!
Tomorrow I've got another ADV inmate expecting me in Scurry, TX. The only problem is how to get from Lubbock to Scurry WITHOUT going thru the DFW traffic during afternoon rush hour. Over a few beers tonight (see above pic) I think we hashed out a plan.
I enjoyed having you stay, and look forward to the rest of your ride report!
Be careful and have fun!
Doc, I been following you from back in the Buell days :) (In fact I never even heard of hoarfrost until I started reading your stuff, it's not a term we use on the East Coast. Hope you don't find any hoarfrost on this ride :D )
Maybe our paths will cross in PA :)
Tuesday 9/25: Lubbock, Texas - Scurry, Texas
On Tuesday morning I went out to Chris' garage...he rides an R1200 GSA; poor Milledue was feeling bad in the company of those capable Germans...
I don't know what it is about the R1200GS(A), but those darn things just always look RIGHT to me. When I saw Chris' GSA in his garage, I got "GS Envy" yet again. There's something about the 12GS that really, REALLY, REALLY appeals to me.
I've test-ridden several, and they still seem to feel "too big" for me, but I can't seem to get over my "GS Envy." Dunno what to do. Maybe test ride another one when I get home. Ironically, I've heard of at least one longtime New Mexico GS owner who is trying to sell his bike and buy a MTS1200. Oh, well...I went ahead and got Milledue prepped for the day's ride. Good Milledue, I'm not really thinking of trading you (don't wanna tick him off...)
Chris got "geared up" for work (partial ATGATT; we had a good ATGATT discussion)
then led me out of his neighborhood and on the way towards my destination for the day: Scurry, Texas.
Leaving Lubbock and Heading for the SUN...
As soon as I got up and out of town, I got hit with THIS!! *Turn off the sun; it's killing me!
Actually, I've made a "sunshade" (thank, Mrs. Greg) of fairly opaque plastic that I've attached to my face shield; helps so much with the glare I leave it on permanently. Still, the sun in my face was a little hard to take. Life is rough sometimes.
Once out of Lubbock, I'm again reminded of the incredible wide-open spaces of the American Southwest.
West Texas seems even "bigger" to me than New Mexico. I tried to explain to my new Chinese daughter-in-law what it's like to have NOBODY around...she really couldn't appreciate the concept. They'll both be spending three months with us in a couple weeks; it's gonna blow her away to see the American Southwest!
Downtown Oil Wells...
When I stopped for gas in Post, Texas, I noticed there was an OIL WELL across from the gas station. Now there's something you see only in Texas:
I believe this is a closeup of the SUCKER ROD (real name!)
Thought I'd throw a self-portrait in here:
Just How Many Forks does the Brazos River Have?
The first fork of the Brazos River had a LOT of water in it, but I missed getting a pic. *So every time I crossed yet ANOTHER fork I took a pic. But all the rest of 'em were dry! See?
I give up.
Lotsa "Picnic Areas" in Texas
Before I left, Chris fixed an excellent pot of coffee. Then another one. Well, down the road a ways all that coffee has to, um, be evacuated. Thank goodness for the Picnic Areas!
This one (in particular) had a beckoning gate and nice footpath to an secluded area which was, um, "just right" for the intended purpose.
When I was walkin' around after my, um, "relief" I looked at the native foliage:
I got to thinkin' about what USED to be here. I'll bet almost NONE of the USA is in its "native" condition. What with land clearing for agriculture, etc.. Just wondering...anyway, the foliage NOW is pretty dense and nasty (oops, don't mean to offend any Texans).
Another attempt at a "Brazos Fork"...any water down there?
You gotta forgive me; growing up in rural SoCal ANY running water is MAGICAL to me, so I try to photograph it...
Finally made it to inmate "rusty44"s Place
My goal for the day was inmate "rusty44" somewhere in the vicinity of Scurry, Texas (about 50 mi SE of Dallas). After a successful attempt to skirt the DFW Metroplex, and endless "county roads," I finally made it! See? I know, you can't really tell from the pic...
But there's Alan and his lovely wife Joni...what a great pair of hosts!
And lookit the cool ol' Beemers in his shop: Milledue wasn't scared of these guys, BTW...
So we sat and watched the sun go down on his porch overlooking the rural Texas countryside. It was QUIET! And "quiet" is in short supply these days. What a lovely way to end the day.
And I was BEAT. It was around 95 degrees, and quite windy. Well, after all...it IS Texas.
Tomorrow I'm headed for Shreveport, Louisiana. As I'm sure you all know, that's the birthplace of roadracing legend "Fast Freddie" Spencer, who is a hero of mine. In tomorrow's ride report I'll include the photo of "Dr. Greg" and "Fast Freddie" taken in 1998.
PS. The Ducati Multistrada 1200S hasn't yet missed a beat. Take that, all you naysayers who keep harping on how "complicated" and "delicate" it is. Between my two Multi 12's, I've had 35K troublefree miles. Knock on wood. Or pasta...
Safe trip there Dr Greg, you sure got out of here fast :lol3.
Sorry we miss you , the visiting Canuck, Al, Sandy and I put on about 500 miles over the weekend.
Ride safe, gonna enjoy your RR, lots of memories from the area you are heading .
:clap I'm in! Love Doc's ride reports! Be safe, Doc.
Great RR so far, looking forward to more. I follow your rides over on the ducati forum as well seeing as we share the same taste in bikes. The multistrada really is a great sport touring mount.
Great to see you out riding again. Really enjoying the RR so far.
More importantly, if you're coming through Houston, outbound or return you have a cool room, comfy bed and warm shower at my place. As a fellow New Mexican and MTS1200 owner you're always welcome over. It would be good to catch up with you since we last met a few years ago.
Keep safe and let me know. PM to follow with my contact info.
very good trip report:clap<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
Always interested in reading your perspectives in your ride reports, and your Civil War (aka War of Northern Aggression) angle has my attention again.. :thumb bon voyage.. :lurk
Looking forward to it, Doc. Safe travels :thumb
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