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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JamesHTrotter, Mar 15, 2019.
Did he eat any peaches?
JamesHTrotter, you sir, sound like an interesting character. I'm gonna check this out.....
I am sitting in a small coffee shop in Long Beach, Mississippi. Thinking about camping out somewhere around here, but I do still have a girlfriend, and maybe she prefers me not to do that. As mentioned in an earlier post, I have lived the last decade without having that piece of stability; living as what Saint Benidict might consider a gyrovague (in principle, not necessarily practice), sleeping anywhere that feels right.
Recounting the last few days is quite a blur. I’ll start with the photos of the bike: wind screen (BajaWorx), saddle bags (Wolfman) and tail bag (ALMSNYC). And yes, that is a roll chart; writing out my days if necessary.
Prior to heading out of Saint Augustine, I made sure to go swimming in the mighty Atlantic. Many years ago I lived in Saint Augustine very briefly, so it was rather nostalgic and a little emotional being there.
Under the light of the setting moon, I was on the way west before sunrise. It was a long day, but a beautiful one. Following the recommendations from ADVrider YJake, the roads were incredibly scenic, spanning the length of Florida through the marshes, and out along the gulf coast.
With the exception of fuel stops and helping turtles across the road, the day took me just north of Pensacola, where ADVrider Madhouse had offered me a camping spot on his property.
Picked this hitchhiking nail up while riding through Panama City; which is still in ruins from the hurricane. Madhouse offered to come pick me up, but thankfully it was a little one.
Arriving pretty late and exhausted from a 15/16 hour day, was so grateful to see that Madhouse had gone out of his way to have a fire pit waiting for me with food and waters!
I cowboy camp. So when the rain started around 5am, Madhouse invited me in for coffee and wonderful conversation. After sunrise, we rode a short distance to visit SR56, who also has a love for the CRF230L/M. He treated me to a once over on the bike, topping off the oil and tightening up the chain.
Travel like this, one is open to that incredibly humbling experience of love and kindness that people share with one another. Madhouse and SR56, I am very grateful for your hospitality.
But it goes beyond that, and is so strong in the motorcycle community. Beyond the biker wave, we share this community, an unspoken bond. Riders who pull up and ride along for a short distance, or a quick “All the way from New York?! Ride safe!” as we sit at the red light. Not to mention the underpass hangouts during rain storms and the general looking out for one another.
How can we generalize this compassion and caring to others in our lives? Beyond the boundaries of being on two wheels, to see the unity in humanity.
In Saint Augustine, I met a well traveled man who highly recommend camping at Fort Pickens.
After leaving Madhouse and SR56 in Pensacola, it was a short ride to the fort.
Met a lovely family at the campground who shared wonderful stories and food. In spite of their nourishing company, it was early to bed and early rise.
Look how big that crane’s foot print is!
Madhouse suggested taking the ferry across the Mobile bay, which proved to be a beautiful experience. Met a couple (Daniel and Carolyn) from Quebec, bound for Mexico on a Harley.
The coastal scenic highway through Alabama was memorable and beautiful. It’s hard not to stop and take photographs; the streches of crystal clear water in particular
Oh! And I lost my Nalgene water bottle somewhere along the way. It was given to me in Washington state in 2017, and we have since traveled many, many miles together. In the unlikely event anyone finds it let me know (somewhere between Fort Pickens and the ferry)!!! It has been a good travel partner, and if our paths do not cross again, it’s served me well, and now I thank it for teaching me about attachments.
That brings me to Mississippi. A coffee house in Long Beach. I don’t have caffeine more than a handful of times per year, but have had three coffees in three days now!
I feel this emotional current building within my heart. Maybe it’s the caffeine.
Thanks for following along.
Thanks for sharing, and do ride safe.
I am in
Look forward to hear what is next...
Where to tomorrow?
Ha! Saw that first photo in this report and thought "man, this guy REALLY packs minimalist"...
Great report...safe & fun journey!
Fantastic writeup! Many riders avoid Florida, unable to appreciate it's beauty and lamenting that it doesn't provide the adrenalized pulse pounding curves offered by other regions. Nice to see that it's earned a place in your heart.
Looking forward to the rest of this tale!
Enjoying this journey. I previously owned a CRF230F, L, and M. The "L" was my favorite. You really lucked out on the nail-if that hadda been me, it would have been a railroad spike or the like. Safe travels.
Nice To meet you Matthew !
We are at la fayette tonight and going to galveston tomorrow ! May be we gone a see you.
Yes, and safe travels to you Matt.
Keep us updated with tidbits of this journey!
Picture I took of you and SR57 at his place.
Food and fire waiting on Matt.
Hey Matthew, great trip report. Looking forward to more. I'm a little worried about your riding "boots" though
Great report so far, following you now. If you come through Phoenix and need a place to stay, I've got plenty of room for you.
Don't know where you ended today. I had kind of hoped to catch you on your way through but sadly Work has once again got in the way of Fun.
I ain't gonna preach ATGATT but I would recommend better footwear. You are definitely taking this Minimalism to heart.
Don't know if you rode in South Louisiana today but if you did you got wet. Very wet.
Where are you now?
The sunset along the coast of Long Beach, Mississippi was beautiful. The next morning allowed for a relatively late start before making the way into New Orleans. It was cold before sunrise, and so I was grateful for the opportunity to allow the sun to warm everything up before riding on.
It would be short day, so far as miles are concerned; a welcomed rest after a few long days. The ride along the Gulf Coast was still stunning. It is a balancing act only stopping to take pictures on occasion. The roads just into Louisiana were fun to ride. Gentle curves, very few cars, relatively bumpy, forcing me into an off-road stance—floating along while the bike gracefully endures the terrain below. With the occasional sign warning about flooding and water on the road, I was warned by locals that this time of year the waters are particularly high. Hugging the coastline, I made my way into New Orleans.
Some of the interactions we experience in life, although brief, hold a certain depth to them. This was true for Brad Mattei. A brilliant mechanic who graciously took his time to give the bike a walk through. More than his mechanical time, was the conversation we shared; very much a wonderful and reaffirming time. As mentioned in an earlier post, this is just one instance of many. So many folks along the way offer such love and kindness. It is humbling. The old adage says that it takes a village to raise a child, and so is true for anything. To speak specifically to this spanning the North American Continent, it is something I could not do alone. The kindness of strangers, the conversations and the apparently endless offerings of coffee; it is fuel for the spirit. The simple smile and wave, it all helps. I have spent much time in solitude, prayer and fasting, and while they have their bennifit, it is the company of others which provides a similar sustenance.
Brad left me with a warm embrace and directions of a nice loop to ride through the city, which included a stop at Cafe Du Monde (I am up to 9 coffees at this moment, more than I’ve had since a mission trip to the squatter villages in the Domican Republic).
Really enjoying this thread Matthew, I'm curious about your food source being just a "large bag of grains"-could you be more specific? I'm picturing a sack of grains straight out of a silo, but is it more like a large bag of Cheerio's? Quaker Oats? Very interested.
Still following backroads, made the way out of the city into the more secluded sourrounding areas. Spent the night sleeping on a trampoline, under the Louisiana stars. In the morning had, what is becoming a routine, morning coffee with KandJRacingSolutions. Through his reccomendation, dropped back south to the coast and followed route 82, which thus far has been the most memorable stretch of roadway, running right along the water, scenic and not well traveled. Very few cars, fewer houses, and no fuel stations. Stopped to help another turtle along, and this one tried to urinate all over me. Not sure if it was just timing or intentional, either way, it was safely escorted off the road.
Thankfully came across a small service station before riding 82 to an abrupt end, where a small ferry spans the waterway, before the road continues onward.
The entirety of the ride thus far, with two small exceptions, has been some really amazing back roads and scenic byways. What a gift to see the country this way!
82 continues on into Texas, where speed limits increase. It was a fairly emotion stretch from the Louisiana boarder into Beaumont. This being in part because of the massive amount of chemical plants juxtaposed upon the surrounding natural beauty. This exists throughout the Gulf coastline, but was most apparent in this section of Texas—maybe a post for another time. In Beaumont, I was invited to stay with Joey (psunami) and his friend Stace where we stayed late into the night around a fire pit sharing travel stories and philosophies on life.