So here I sit back home in North Carolina after another motorcycle trip in the books. I've never been good about keeping up a live ride report, in part because I'm lazy, in part because sometimes internet connectivity isn't a given, and mostly because when I'm out on a trip riding I just like to be gone. These "post trip" ride reports are almost more of a way for me to relive the journey and act as a sort of personal journal as much as they are a chance to share it with others. I left NC on September 28 and got back on October 13 and clocked right at 3,000 miles. This trip is the second longest I've completed so far, the first being a 2016 ride out from NC to Colorado to run the COBDR and back which took about a month. I spent most of 2017 chasing an intermittent gremlin in my 2002 KLR650 and lost a lot of good riding opportunity thanks to that. 2018 was not going to get away without a big trip. This is my escape from the 9-5, my "zen", and one of the only things I've found that feels truly real. This trip had all the qualities of a good ride: great times with old friends, meeting new friends, great scenery, breakdowns, salvation by strangers, inclement weather, and good nights spent around a campfire with beer and/or bourbon. The first week of the ride was running the Mid Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route (MABDR) with my friend Travis. We'd been on several motorcycle trips together at this point, including a week riding 125cc Yamahas around Nicaragua, riding the Smokey Mountain 500, and several local trips around NC. We both mesh well on the road, both fairly easy going, up for challenges and changes of plan, and I was glad to take another trip together. For those who may not know (probably rare on this site), the BDRs are a series of mostly off-pavement dual sport/adventure motorcycling routes put together by the Backcountry Discovery Routes organization. Most of the rides are out west (for obvious reasons), but this year, they released the MABDR, the first on the east coast. Having now run the COBDR and the MABDR, I have to thank them for spending the time and resources to plan out these routes. They've been some of the most fun experiences I've had. The second week of the ride was a solo trip around Vermont and back to North Carolina. Travis could only get one week away from work and I had two... so naturally I thought "well I've never been to Vermont before, and the end of the MABDR isn't THAT far away from the NY/VT state line, and there would be no better way to explore it than on two wheels". So without any real planning other than the previous thought, I just happened to hit Vermont in peak leaf season. I'll keep the chronological postings coming over the next days/weeks, but for now here's some eye candy: a picture of Travis and I in West Jefferson NC getting ready to start the MABDR, and one from a detour to Somerset Reservoir on the way from Bennington to Brattleboro VT.