Everything is relative in this world. While my trip doesn't compare to some of the 20,000 mile, 12 month ultra trips that some of the inmates take, it still blew my mind. It was my little AntiHero adventure (thanks for providing some of the inspiration and the perspective to take a little risk in life... for reference, here is his unbelievable thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=808437&highlight=italian+supermodel). Anyways, I planned this trip for a few weeks and could not wait to get on the road. Living in downtown Dallas I can almost feel the outskirts of the city pulling me out, some sort of magnetic pull that the road exerts. The MotoGP event down in Austin gave me the perfect excuse to plan a solo trip to do something I've never done before. There were two rules: 1. Take the long way, regardless of the time. For those of us that are constantly goal focused, it is hard to enjoy the time and effort spent getting somewhere. This is true in the literal sense, like in a trip like this, and in a figurative sense: career, relationships, life events are punctuated by the achievements and waypoints rather than the space/time between those events. I wanted to enjoy the journey, as cliche as that may sound. 2. Come back in one piece. This one is self-explanatory. My chosen steed is my new 2012 Honda NC700X, my first brand new vehicle. I wrote about this motorcycle in an earlier post. Ready to roll on Friday, April 19th around 2pm. I was going to head west out of downtown Dallas, toward Fort Worth, then head south in back roads. Sitting in traffic kind of takes the wind out of your sails momentarily, but I was exhilarated once I got to my first stop: My butt is not quite prepared for sitting on a motorcycle for several hours straight, so the first couple of days I stopped pretty consistently. By the third day I was a steeled and weathered traveler, a highway and backroad king with octane in his veins and a V-twin powered heart. Either that or my butt went numb. I passed lots of small, non-descript rural Texas towns. City Hall at Valley Mills did not impress me: I hope there's an actual fire truck behind that garage door, not just a drawing of one. The library was quite depressing: I had made a reservation at Cedar Hill Park to camp, and got quite a good spot Planning the next day's route with the Butler map, and heating up my soup: Day 1 was fun... the beginning of any trip tends to be enjoyable, and the expectation of waking up in the morning and the only thing I had to do was get on my motorcycle to ride around made it hard to sleep. The Texas countryside was stretching its legs as the weather warms up for spring, and the bluebonnets were out on the rolling hills. However... nobody bothered to remind nature that I packed as if we were in the middle of spring, and the mercury dropped overnight. I slept with all the clothes I brought on: tshirt, long sleeve tshirt, First Gear Kilimanjaro Jacket with liner in, 3 pairs of underwear and 3 pairs of socks, First Gear Tex Mesh pants and Alpinestars S-MX5 boots while inside of my sleeping bag and I was still shivering. Only slept a few fitful hours, and since I had nothing else to do I just kept eating and reading... so I ate all the food I brought for the trip that night while I shivered waiting for the sun to come up.