Preface: Jeff aka Augie lives in Boston and is a LONG time friend of mine. Where we went was the annual Iron Butt Pizza Party in Jacksonville, FL The SS1000 was 1000 mile ride collecting 10 bonus location photos in less than 24 hours. Stupid is as Stupid does, Part 1 Plan A: Augie would trailer (truck bed) his bike out of the black ice and snow to my home in Culpeper. So that we could spend some time catching up with each other, we would trailer our bikes to SC, there to visit my parents, leave the trailer and ride the rest of the way to JAX. He arrived a day early so he could take advantage of our local twisties and shake out the winter cob webs. The night before leaving, we load his bike on my trailer. The next morning we loaded everything in the truck and when we went to load my bike, we learned the trailer wasn't wide enough for two wide touring bikes. Plan B: With no other option, and a little stressed about this new delay, I opened up the truck bed and quickly grabbed my gear. I needed fuel, so we agreed he would head south via 29, 250, 64 and 81 and I would catch up with him down the road. By the time I started donning my gear, Jeff was out of site. It was then I discovered I had grabbed two right handed gloves. Oh well, I'll just catch up with him and get what I need. Within one mile of home I was making a simple right-hander from a 25 mph zone to another. I make this turn 20+ times a week. However, I've never negotiated that turn on brand NEW PR3's at 37 degrees not wearing gloves. I gave it the same power and lean angle I've been using on my 13,000 miles scrubbed in PR2's. It was The Perfect No0b Storm. I low-sided hard on the right. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! The intersection had those pavers across the path of travel and on closer inspection there looked to be some oily sheen on them. But even without that, there were enough factors in place to assure a low side was going to happen. I was bleeding so heavily from my left thumb I couldn't tell what was wrong beyond the skin was damaged. The driver of the next car behind helped me lift the bike and after I assessed it was rideable, I looked for my cell phone to call Jeff. Well shit! It was in the truck were I put it as part of Plan A. Plan C: Go find Jeff. I did 50 miles later near Crozet, VA. We exited there and at a local store and together we assessed the bike and zip tied and duct taped the loose parts. My thumb was still bleeding so I went in and washed it up. I got a rubber glove and with Augie's first aid kit, I dressed and covered it. It looked like I dislocated it or at worst pulled the nail off of the matrix. "Blood clots, suck it up princess". Jeff tried his very best to talk me out of continuing But it didn't hurt too bad and I'm hard headed. Two hours later we stop in Christiansburg, VA for a bite to eat. After we finish, I washed my thumb again because it has bled through the dressing and had filled the rubber glove piece I had covered it with. After it was cleaned and I could really assess it. I could flex the tip of the thumb but it was bending where it shouldn't. I called Jeff in and I said I thought I might have an open fracture. If that were the case, I absolutely had to seek medical attention. Plan D: We located a Med-Express, told my story and took some pictures. My first clue came from the Rad Tech, "You done it good". The Doc said I had an open fracture and they wouldn't treat me and that I MUST to go to the ER. I said, "How can that be? It should hurt more." Warning - blood (you'll need to click it) http://shoganai.smugmug.com/Travel/IBA-JAX/i-3GkNhZf/0/XL/Fresh-XL.jpg Plan E: We go the ER. While waiting to be called back, Jeff and I hammer out Plan E. First, I had to make him understand "I got this" and that he was NOT abandoning me. The plan involved him putting my saddle bags on the bike, bringing in all the rest of my gear and heading south without me. He didn't like it but there was no need to let my screw up cost him this trip. I got called back, he lugged my gear to the room and we said our goodbyes as the doctor came in. Plan F aka F***Me! After Jeff left I told the Doc my story again. She was surprised I was able to ride with the fracture and I told her it didn't hurt too bad. I also told her that I would still be riding to Jacksonville and to keep that in mind with her plan of care. She said she could help that happen. I REALLY, really HATE lidocaine! Now that hurt! I was grateful though when she burned two holes in the thumb nail then using the nail as an anchor, pulled the fracture closer together and closed the skin. Total time lost to this event was pushing 4 hours, so I called my parents and begged off stopping I SC. Then I called my husband and told him everything that had happened. He was NOT happy with me for continuing my trip but he also knows am very determined to succeed at anything I set out to do. I loaded and packed my bike alone, albeit more slowly than usual. This was my new reality...everything just got a little more difficult with only one useable thumb. I arrived at the hotel at a little after 0200 after a little over 700 miles. I walked in to check in and I was totally surprised yet another rider was also just arriving. (if you see this, please post and tell me your name again). He was young, riding an HD and had a long beard gathered up with rubber bands. I enjoyed our conversations. I got in bed at about 0300 and was awake again at 0430. After a shower, I re-dressed my thumb then Jeff and I went to the lobby. I was so excited to be riding in a mini-LD rally-like ride I could hardly believe it. Everyone was so helpful as I'm sure they could see I was clueless as a deer-in-the-lights. I was gathering stuff and trying not to make a complete fool of myself. I saw Mike Kneebone there and when we made eye contact, I stuck out my hand and said, 'Hi I'm Gwen". Mike shuck my hand then put his hand on my shoulder. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this ride. It seems Jeff told him about my thumb fracture. I said, "Yes, I sure". He went on to say I had two years to complete the ride. I replied, "I might be dead in two years". He was clearly concerned but also could tell I was going to ride the ride so he offered me best wishes for a safe ride. Since Jeff said he load the waypoints in his GPS and we would be riding together, I didn't put them in mine. Now in light of how the prior 24 hours went, feel free to imagine the possibilities this day will hold for us. We left together and soon joined a group of fellow riders. Approaching the first bonus, the group turned left but Jeff continued straight. After several turns all over that small town we stopped at a T-intersection. Jeff said he was having a hard time with his GPS. It kept trying to route him back to the hotel. I couldn't figure out how to input Lat long in my 478 (since corrected) but I had spent some time on Google Earth and using the route cards I made told Jeff we needed to turn left. We arrived at the location where other riders were already doing their thing. We took our pics and started dealing with the GPS issues. While I was trying to input the data, Jeff called out, "We have a leader"! One of the riders he was talking with volunteered to lead us. That was the beginning of what I'll always call an EPIC ride. Jim lead and Ron mostly ran second and Jeff and I mostly traded third and four. I could tell Jim and Ron had been riding together for some time but as we rode it became clear we made a great riding group. We knocked out bonus after bonus, stopped for fuel and food and at every stop we talked briefly getting to know each other. Always on the clock, we never really lingered long. Because I was nursing the thumb, I couldn't take my riding glove off for fear of dislodging the dressing. At McDonalds I had to take it off to deal with using the toilet. While eating I asked Jeff to go out to my bike and get me a piece of gorilla tape so I could secure the dressing to my hand. It worked very well. I also caved and took some Tylenol. Ron Jim Augie By the time we bagged Fort Hawkins I was starting to feel the hours and miles. My back started hurting and my left arm was tiring of the modified way I was having to work the clutch to avoid pressure on the tip of my thumb. I would have to say, the ride from there to Parris Island was mentally hardest part of this whole ride. It was also the point where the cooler riding had maxed out my tolerance level. Since leaving Culpeper, I had been riding with just a long sleeve shirt and jacket which is normally fine. The body's core temperature drops as low as 97.4 when the sleep cycle is approaching it's deepest. The fact I was feeling cold warned me that my body would like to be sleeping. I became vigilant for signs that I need to stop and get off the bike. I'm generally comfortable at temps as low as 47 and ok to temps to 40 and can tolerate short periods at 37 before I seek warmer gear. When we exited I-95 onto 17 we stopped for drinks and to stretch our legs I bought a hoodie and cut the hood off so it would fit in my jacket. It helped a lot. Just after this pic I felt relieved it was almost over AND I had almost completed the ride. FWIW it's illuminated by my external helmet 750 Lm LED and I'm holding the camera as Jeff held my flag. I suggested we separate for the ride to the hotel to take the pressure off to stay together which we all agreed was a good idea. Jim and Ron left followed by Jeff and myself a little later. Funny thing is we still ended up arriving at about the same time around 0200. After hours in the my riding glove and covered with blood gauze and a piece of rubber glove my thumb needed air. So I uncovered and washed it and redressed it lightly with gauze and gorilla tape because it worked so well. I hit the bed like 178 pounds of fat, old tired chic with one gift to myself...no damn alarm clock! So ends part one.