Ballad of Beast and Badass (Note: The full title is Ballad of Beast and Badass, but I swapped Badass to Biker in the post title as I didn't want to run afoul of the forum rules. If the mods are ok with Badass in the title, they're more than welcome to change it back :) ) An adventure? Pshaw. Theres no such thing as adventure. Adventure is an adjective in my dictionary, not something as banal as a noun. A ride along the TAT can be adventurous, but it is still nothing more than a motorcycle trip. Your vacation may involve being chased by drug cartel mercenaries through the Darien Gap while you escape with the drug lords Amazonian Princess of a daughter and a million in unmarked bills. Sure, its adventurous, but its still a vacation. Yet this also means that anything can be adventurous. You dont have to trek the back forest of Glacier National Park or have a trip around the world to have an adventure. Whatever activity you choose to do can be as adventurous as you like. Need some milk from the corner store for that kickass triple chocolate fudge cake waiting to be baked? Hop on the ol pedal bike and see how many rail slides, wheelies, and bike-assisted parkour jumps you can do before you get there. Then double that on the way back with the milk in one hand. See? Its just a milk run, but its an adventurous milk run. So here we have a ballad, of beast and badass. Perhaps the motorcycle isnt as much of a beast as some, or myself its pilot much of a badass. But together man and machine interweave as lucidly as a fabled poem. Together were not having an adventure, were signing a ballad. Before I begin, let me just say that Im going to be stupid and try to cater to many different crowds at once. So Im going to format the posts in such a way you can skip over sections you might not like. Anything that is directly related to a ride report entry will look like the above introduction in terms of formatting. It plus photos will be the bulk of the report. Oh, and daily/trip stats at the end of the post for those mathematicians and staticians that like to lurk along. I admit, Im a bit of a stat whore, myself. Anything in plain text, such as this, is either prephrial to the core ride report, random comments, replies to other messages, or otherwise not directly part of the report. Paragraphs like this, however, are narratives. Bits of story-like text that dont move the ride report along, but on the other hand can provide character, feeling, verbose description, or otherwise enhance some part of the ride report. Feel free to skip these if you want, or read for a better literary prose. Moving on. My original plan was simply to take time to do a ride. It slowly morphed into being after purchasing a Moto Guzzi V7 Stone. I love the look of classic bikes and UJMs, but really didnt want to fret with the reliability and/or work that an actual classic might entail. Plan the First, as I like to call this initial plan was to take the new classic V7 Stone and travel to various US ghost towns and forgotten places, connecting the modern age with the old using the V7 as a catalyst. Plan the First faltered a bit when my query on ADV met with only one reply from an expat at that. Good advice from the friendly fellow, though. It completely died with my V7 Stone. A trip of a few days signaled the beginning of a multi-month saga of despair and anger. To spare the details lest anyone perhaps is curious as my details are in the V7 Classic thread the nice looking V7 Stone has been sitting at the dealer for over two months waiting on repairs, which is actually the third time since May of 2013 its been in for service. Combined with the lemon of a Multistrada that it replaced, I suppose that says something about me and Italians, no? With that Plan dying off to horrific chromosomes, Plan the Second passed along briefly before expiring in a gurgling mess of bad DNA. Looking to expand my horizons and actually do some dirt road riding, I swapped my CBR250 for a lightly used BMW Sertao. By this time I had booked three weeks totally to myself and thought hey, dual sport, tons of time, I can do the Midwest and actually see unpaved roads! Thats about as far as that plan got. It was a good plan, mind, but I didnt feel comfortable enough humping around 420-odd-pounds, plus baggage, by myself, who knows how many thousands of miles from home, when my dirt experience mostly consists of a few hours on a forest road and some short gravel roads. Around this neck of the woods you have your choice of surfaces: beach, pavement, farm, or swamp. There are eleventy billion logging roads in the area, but theyre gated works on private land. Enh, who am I kidding, I would have done it but with a wedding coming up next year Id rather at least wait until my future wife would get all my death benefits before I kick the bucket doing something totally stupid. Oh, and the Beemer has recently developed a small oil leak from somewhere that Im not too keen on getting bigger while plodding along in the wilderness. There's adventerous, and there's going out with a known issue. And hence, Plan the Third: no plan. Planning has been about as successful as me winning the Olympic weight lifting competition, so I tossed out planning altogether. Well, there was some planning involved, but that was mostly just making sure all my stuff fit and the bike would run. And I washed the bike. Sorta. Thus begins in two days on the 10th my Ballad. I have virtually no plans, nearly three full weeks to do with what I please, a credit card, and a general sexual open-mindedness which I hope will get me out of any situation the bike, my mind, or credit card cant. This ride might last all three weeks, it could putter out within a day, I might find spiritual enlightenment and start a commune. About the only concrete thing is that Ill be sticking to the lower 48 in the US. The US is so damn big with so many things to see and do, why not? Besides, I dont possess a passport and my job makes international travel way too difficult. Seeing as how there arent any plans involved, Ill take discarded ideas and scraps tossed down from the peanut gallery as to things to do, places to go, and generally what random ass crap you FFS can come up with for me. Im toting along two lenses plus SLR, two GoPros, a waterproof Nikon camera, micro tripod, RAM mounts, laptop, and all the assorted paraphernalia for charging, taking, and storing. If it wasnt for this metric ton of electronics to support my adoring fans Id probably be able to cram my stuff into a duffle bag. My rain gear alone is nearly as volumetric as my clothes. Hence my two-day-early post: if there doesnt seem to be enough interest, Ill just leave a lot of crap at home and wing it solo. Also, any suggestions that I can jot down to see while I'm out are welcome. So, would you like to listen to my ballad?