Hello All, This is my first ride report and my first "major" post on the forum. The main reason behind posting the pictures, routes, prep-work, and experiences is the hope that this will inspire someone else to take their first long ride - solo or not. I read Advrider for years before making an account and posting. Then once the account was made I have made great excuses for not going out on a solo ride. My wife ended up beating me up for not actually taking a ride and just reading about everyone else's. Prep-work: First of all I want to cover some preparation that went into getting ready for the ride. As mentioned, this was my first solo ride, 2nd time ever camping off a motorcycle (literally camped one night off a bike), and the first time needing to carry everything with me instead of splitting it up between multiple people. It is also the first time I might have to repair my bike alone The first item on the list was new tires (went with the Shinko 705 front and rear since it was allot of road riding) and put new tubes in as well. Then went through all maintenance items while making notes of the tools I needed. Measured major nuts, bolts, allen-wrenches, etc. and made a list of items I needed to take with me. Packed them all up and added in a air-pump, tire tools, tire tube... best part is I never had to use them but they were there. After everything was packed I went through the process of unpacking, setting up the tent, repacking, etc. I also went for multiple test rides to check how the bike felt with the additional weight and to make sure the weight was distributed properly. Once the final setup was done I wrote down what was in each bag on a 3x5 card and then took a picture of it on my phone. Instead of searching for something when I needed it, I looked at the 3x5 cards and knew where the item was located. It also helped make sure everything was repacked in the correct location the next day and the weight distribution on the bike never changed. I ended up using some soft bags from my previous sport bike and made them work for the DR. The only downside was the tank bag did not allow me to stand properly for the off-road section. Figured this out about 4 hours into the trip but made it work. Day 1: Home to Clear Springs, MS Today was about getting to the base of the Natchez. Made a couple small stops throughout the day to stretch my legs and let the bike (and myself) cool down. Temps today were in the mid 90's and the weather app said it felt like 101. Needless to say it was a day of remaining hydrated. I left early in the morning to miss the traffic going across to Mobile, AL and also to beat the heat. Road through the De Soto National Forest: Stopped for the night at Clear Springs Campground in MS. Setup didn't take very long and then it was a quick trip to the grocery for food and beer Campsite was perfect and empty. It was myself and 1 other camper in a self-made camper van. Packing up the next morning took a little longer then expected and I didn't get on the road until close to 8 AM! This definitely put me behind schedule for Day 2.