Part of why I do what I do is to “put the social, in social media” to get out and actually meet the people from the various FaceBook groups, Instagram and web forums. Some have been close personal friends, Vanlife, Traveling Vagabonds, Tenere 700/ 1200 groups and even contacts from old High School buddies.
The fall season started before I left on the 2500 mile loop. Good friend Heidi from Vancouver, Washington was on a mission to carry out a final request from one of her dear friends that passed last year. Before spreading her friends ashes in Colorado, Heidi took them on a roadtrip all the way out to Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. They stopped by the property for a night while passing through. Heidi and her husband run Cruise in Consignment in Vancouver Wa. It’s a used moto gear shop. She’s been a good friend for over a decade. It was great to see her and hear her stories of the road….. and she brought me fudge from Uranus!
Not too much later was a visit by Ms Maura from Savannah Ga. that had just completed a 4 month, cross country solo “overloading”adventure in her Toyota 4 Runner from Florida to Alaska and back. We have mutual friends Myron and Cherie in Indiana that got us connected while she was out on the road. We missed each other earlier in the summer when Maura was in the PNW …. I was enjoying my lemonade 😉 but were able to meet up on her way back through. She stayed for a couple days in Arkansas and I got to show her around the Ozarks, then she returned the favor by showing me around Savannah while on my loop. A good friendship amongst travelers has developed. I’m sure this won’t be our only adventures together. One more great thing about this lifestyle, getting to meet some pretty amazing people!
On my way out and back of the loop you’ll notice I cross paths in Nashville… thats for 2 reasons. One is to see my former PNW buddy Kyle and the other is to have some really good fried “HOT” Nashville chicken. Luckily Kyle works about 2 blocks away at Nashville BMW/Ducati from Haiti B’s HOT Chicken. Kyle Plannich is a great guy that has already accomplished some amazing things. Ran a motorcycle shop in southern Mexico on the Guatemalan border, Coffee importer and now head Ducati salesperson in Nashville. He’s also a great mechanic working on both my Super Tenere and T-700! Stopping by the dealership with lunch both times through gave of some good time to catch up. Lots of stuff to drool over at the dealership too !
I made 2 stops in North Carolina to see old and new friends. Greensboro was my first stop, Ms Deena Jacroux and I go way back, she’s retired now and living closer to her daughter and grandson. It had been several years since we had seen each other, so it was nice to spend the evening catching up with her and her beau Steve. Parking the Yamahauler wasn’t the easiest so I couch surfed, a first in a while. Until next time Deena and Steve!
Next on my travels outside Asheville, North Carolina was Robert Abbot and his wife Sherry. They are RV traveling snowbirds with ADV bikes. Having a couple mutual friends and a in few of the same groups on social media, he had said it was ok to park at the mobile home park they own as I passed through. Bouncing between the Appalachian mountains and Big Bend area of Texas is a great way to spend a year! They are definitely doing it right.
Dropping down into Greenville South Carolina the following day was to meet up with the larger then life character “Are Dubbya Bee”(RWB) aka Robert Barnes. RWB runs one of the fastest growing ADV social media groups “Redneckastan Dual Sport and Adventure Riders” It’s a bit rough around the edges and breaks most of the rules of other ADV groups across the board. He’s also the mattress king in the town of Mauldin at the Mattress Folks . Meeting him was a hoot! Got a better feel for the Admin position I have with that group as to the direction and discretion needed(hint, there isn’t much🤭) Spent the night behind the mattress shop before heading out the next morning.
The next day was a somber one, I headed into Augusta Georgia and the Fort Gordon Army base to see the Electronic Warfare range named in honor of a good PNW Tenere buddy that passed away last year from Covid. Sergeant First Class Gary “Joe” Rankins was a friend and host on my travels through the years. Joe was there at my going away party in 2016 for the 48 state ride then he PCS’d to Upstate New York where he and his wife Susie hosted me as I rode through that part of the country. Susie asked one of his co-workers on post to get me a little tours of the range. Lots of training happens there for new soldiers just learning their jobs. I then went over to their house to help price some of Joes moto gear so she can clear out the garage a bit. A tough chore but glad I can help. Miss you buddy!
Some of the items are still for sale, please message me if interested
One of the last stops on the way back was in North East Alabama with Giorgio Torregrosa at the Little River Adventure Company . I’ll be covering more about his place in part 3 but I’ll fill you in about Giorgio. A Puerto Rican native and motocross racer since a young child. He’s become quite the entrepreneur with the campground, motorcycle and E-bike rental. He’s also Alabamas only Yamaha Destination location. I first met him this spring at the Let’s Take a Ride spring rally. Seeing all the bikes he brought made me take notice. Glad I made it a point to pass through! Giorgio took me on a mini dual sport adventure with a pair of the rental XT250’s (mini Tenere) within minuets of the campground. Awesome scenery! Thanks for the quick tour, looking forward to spending a few days out there on the T-7!
Next up in part 3 is about a few of the ADV campgrounds that I’ve stayed at and one that’s closer to the Arkansas property. Stay tuned!