Well, here we are. A year and a half since my first time riding a motorcycle and now we’ve finished day one of our 30 day TAT trip across America. Picture an average late 30s woman who still has a difficult time typing “woman” hopping on a dirt bike for 20 minutes, being terrified, and then promptly planning an adventure across the country on said terrifying vehicle. That’s me - layers63 (aka LT) writing in this annoyingly bright blue. Soon after the planning began I decided to purchase the “wife” bike - the Yamaha XT250 - at a dealership....*gasp* NEW! Because, in addition to not being comfortable with not being able to touch the ground, I wasn’t comfortable with being forced to know how to fix the bike before I learned how to properly ride it. Therefore new and hopefully glitch-free was the answer for me. Her name is Bangarang (aka Bang). Now she’s decked out with Zeta brush guards, ROX risers, DMO foot pegs, Double-Take adventure mirrors, Moose skid plate, Progrip gel grips, 1 gallon gas Rotopax, Seat Concepts saddle, Pirelli MT21s, and Cyclops 3800 lumen LED headlight bulb. For luggage she’s sporting an IMMIX rear rack, Mosko Moto Reckless 40 + 22 Stinger, Giant Loop Diablo Pro tank bag with Pannier Pockets, and Giant Loop Possibles fender bag. Not to mention scratches, gouges, dirt, duct tape, pee (damn you pStyle), sweat, and maybe even a tear drop or two. Spitfire75, Leevil, and I shipped our bikes with Motoshippers to Ocean City, Maryland on Friday, July 13 and they arrived in Maryland at my friend’s house on Saturday, July 21. We were able to send the bikes fully loaded as well as a box each with our helmet, gear, etc. That meant that when we flew out of LAX at 12:27 am on August 3rd, we only had carry-on bags and wore things we’d wear on the trip. We arrived safe and sound at 11 am and our stuff was ready to go. Fast forward to August 4th at almost 7 am. Starting day! We got a full 8 hours of sleep, had a good breakfast, and then finished packing the bikes. Aired the tires, filled our hydration packs and set everything up. My friend and host filmed us riding off....just to film us coming back because Spitfire75’s handlebars needed adjusting. It was a fitting beginning to our trip to have a false start. We regrouped and headed out for our second run just before 10:30 am. It was around 83 degrees and super humid but we were ready for the adventure to begin. We made it to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel around 1 pm and enjoyed the 18 miles of bridges and tunnels under the water to get into mainland Virginia. It wasn’t as scary as we thought and the view was nice. We stopped every time we came across a gas station if we were under half a tank just to make sure we didn’t run out of gas. It was also usually around 50 miles between these stops and nice to get off the bikes and stretch a bit. We drove for another few hours and stopped at Arby’s for a quick snack around 4 pm. It’s nice to think that we can always eat at local places but we wanted quick, clean, and air conditioned. After food was successfully wolfed down, we started looking into a campground to stay in. It took a while to find a place, but we settled on Rudds Creek Campground. We arrived around 7:40 pm. We set up our camp and timed ourselves at around 35 minutes to put up our tent and get our sleeping pads and bags together. Not too bad except that it took another 30 to prep for the trip and put on all our gear again to the drive to the restaurant. The woman who checked us into the campground recommended a place called Lamplighter where we could get some comfort food. Some fried catfish, chicken Alfredo, and hamburger steak later, we’re all full and ready for bed. It feels like a success having made it 273 miles on our first day. We don't plan to cover that many miles every day but we're booking it to Sam's Damascus start. It was all pavement and we’re super tired, but all-in-all we feel accomplished. No falls, no drops, and no injuries. It is now 10:30 pm, 79 degrees with 91% humidity, and we’re thinking of showering before bed...but who knows how that will go with such high humidity. My companions, Spitfire75 and Leevil, will pipe in with their motivation and information in the coming posts as well but that’s all for today.