All right ladies and gentlemen, this is my first ride report. I've taken probably a dozen longer motorcycle trips and even considered sharing a few here, but always figured no one wanted to hear about MY adventures, especially since I'm not a skilled writer. That said I have always enjoyed and been inspired by others ride reports so I feel I need to at least make an attempt to give back a bit. If it ends up terrible and a waste of a thread, please let me know. Don't worry, it won't hurt my feelings or keep me from travelling or hanging out here at advrider, it'll just keep ya'll from having to read a crap ride report! Ok, down to business. Early this year I decided that I wanted to ride from the Florida panhandle (near Pensacola) where I live, up to see some friends and family where I grew up in the northern, lower peninsula of Michigan, and do it on as much dirt as possible. I know many of you here can understand why that is appealing, but most of the people I am around on a daily basis thought I was nuts and wanted to know why. I just don't have a simple answer to that. I guess the simplest answer is it combines a lot of things that I really enjoy doing. Having never planned or done quite this sort of ride before I wasn't sure where to start. Unable to find a good source for dirt road mapping I started plotting GPS tracks on Google Maps using satellite view and started vectoring north, it was working, but was very time consuming and tedious. Shortly after that I got the brilliant idea to ask for advice on here and a few people started telling me about each state's or region's adventure routes...now we are talking!! I used the routes of others and pieced together a plan that I figured would take me about 10 days to complete. With a route to guide me I just had to figure out when to take the trip this spring/summer...of course, like most of us, COVID had different plans and dang near nixed the trip for 2020, but at the last minute work was willing to let me go and there were no restrictions in place. I don't have any friends that have the time, the desire and the equipment to try and drag along with me on a trip like this so solo it is. The only other problem I had was that I had JUST sold my DR650 to make room for a Tenere 700 as soon as I could get my hands on one (that wasn't red). No worries, I still had a perfectly good DR200 that my wife had abandoned learning to ride on dirt (Her only mode of transportation when we met was a motorcycle, but she doesn't like the loose feeling on dirt). I've only ever packed for a long camping trip on cruisers so I decided to get some soft bags I could throw over the bike and used a dry bag on the back fender with my sleeping bag and tent. Here's what it looked like. Then came the weekend I was leaving...Now I'm not sure how many people watch the Gulf of Mexico in late summer/fall like we do down here, but this is what I was facing..... I was originally planning to leave on Monday, but looking at where Sally was going to be I decide I want to leave a day early and try and not start my first day in a hurricane/tropical storm and cancelling/postponing it after everything I went through to make it happen wasn't high on my list of choices either. After some discussion with the wife, she agreed that leaving a bit early is probably the best plan and she can handle things around the house since it's supposed to go well west of us and not be THAT strong of a storm. So I hit the road on Sunday. About a half an hour from my house I stop for gas. As I'm getting ready to fill it up I realize I've had my first casualty of the trip. Fortunately it's REALLY minor, just the end of one of my tank bag straps got loose and melted on the exhaust. It made it a pain later in the trip when I tried to remove it, but otherwise...inconsequential. Back on the road. It was a pretty hot ride wearing full gear, but I didn't really have any room to store it, and I guess the extra protection can't hurt. (I'm not really an ATGATT sort of person, I know....I know....) I was quickly reminded how uncomfortable that stock DR200 seat was and only made it another 30 minutes before I had to take a break. Made it an hour before the next one and picked up the first dirt road on the Southeast Adventure Trail shortly thereafter. Road Selfie! Near Marianna, FL. This is 50-75 miles inland from Mexico Beach, FL (Ground Zero for Hurricane Michael in 2018). This doesn't really show it well, but many, many trees around this area are all snapped off at the same height, part way up from the winds. It will be decades before a lot of places in this area and south will look even remotely like it did before the storm. Near the beginning of the first section of dirt. Pretty cool looking oaks. Random Road Picture. There wasn't as much sand as I expected, and I am pretty comfortable in the sand, what I wasn't really prepared for was, like usual in the southeast US, there were a few spotty afternoon showers and this left some roads that had a higher clay content surprisingly slippery despite appearing dry on the surface. The first time I found some I almost slid right off the corner, but managed to bleed off enough speed without TOO much brake and keep it upright. A lot of this area is farms. Passed an old mill...Looks like the water wheel has been removed. Looks like I'm limited to 10 pictures a post so this seems like a good spot to pause. I'll pick up where I left off in the next couple days as work and life allow.