Just a little bit of background. I live in Knoxville, TN. Ive been riding a Burgman 400 for a few years, but a few months ago bought a 2007 Yamaha FZ1. Weekend before last, I decided to take the Yamaha up the Tail of the Dragon to Deals Gap. While hanging out up there, I met Klaviator and talked to him a bit about this forum. I went home and started checking it out. You could say I got bit by the adventure bug and youd be right. I immediately started planning my first trip. Im no pro photographer, Im no pro rider, Im no pro anything, but I do have one trip under my belt now and am planning my second one for a couple of weeks from now. As soon as I made up my mind and got permission from my boss (the wife) to try it out, I started making a checklist of things I would need. I also started checking out luggage options. The FZ1 is seriously lacking in that department. I dont think it even has a place to store your gloves (at least not one that Ive found). Due to budget constraints, I decided Id go with a $15 duffel bag, an $8 bungee net and a few more bungee cords I had in the garage. Im surprised this worked as well as it did. I was able to fit my bivy sack tent, a 40 degree sleeping bag, camp pad mattress, battery powered lantern, and a tripod camp stool in the duffel bag. I packed a change of clothes, a book to read, camera, mp3 player and some high-class rations (beef jerky, sunflower seeds, and a mountain dew) in the backpack. I planned to leave out around lunch time on Thursday. I strapped the duffel bag down to the passenger seat on the FZ1, suited up and strapped on the backpack. I noticed two things very quickly. 1. Bringing your leg over a duffel bag isnt as easy as it might seem. 2. A backpack is a terrible idea. I stopped and gassed up a few miles from home. The backpack just wasnt going to work out the way I had hoped. The duffel pushed against the backpack pushed against me pushed against the gas tank was no way to ride. I took the backpack off and used some bungee cords to strap it to the top of the duffel bag. This felt much better, but I was concerned a little bit about how stable it would be. I adjusted the mirrors so I could see the cargo and kept a close eye on it for about 15 miles until I felt ok with my strap down abilities. Satisfied that everything was cool, I cleared my mind and got into the excitement of having 24 hours of me time. My plan was to ride from Maryville, TN (just south of Knoxville) down highway 411, then get off on highway 360 in Vonore and take it to the beginning of the Cherohala Skyway. From there, on to Robbinsville, NC and down to a place called Topton, NC on Highway 74/19 where I had found a small campground on the interwebz.