Showing posts with label Hagerstown. Show all posts

Day 5: 700 Miles in 10 Hours on My Ducati Monster 600

I woke up this morning around 7ish and checked the weather.  After four days of sunny skies and the temperature hovering in the 60's range, I knew I was spoiled, and of course there were scattered thunderstorms predicted, which would turn bad in the afternoon.  
I had breakfast with the boys one last time, and we decided to part ways early.  I had an amazing time with them, and I was really regretting not taking them up on their open invitation, and running off and going west, as I knew they were in for an epic adventure they would remember for the rest of their lives.
I managed to leave at around 8:15am, rushing a little bit because of the coming rain, and Google Maps told me I had 692 miles to get back to my grandmother's house in PA.  I didn't look back. In fact, I don't think I stopped for more than five or six minutes to fill up for gas or have a breakfast bar for the next 10 hours...  I was Tennessee quickly, and once I hit the Smoky Mountains it started to get really dark, veering through semi trucks and around the mountains.  After Johnson City, it cleared up and I picked up 81 in Kingsport, which I would take for most of the rest of the trip and it suddenly it got dark again began to drizzle. "Shit."  I stopped in Roanoke Virginia to put on my frog suit.
 The skies cleared once again. For the next six hours the weather rotated between hot and humid sunshine to dark, moist gloom. I didn't really intend to drive all the way, but I felt like I was outrunning the storm, and the forecast wasn't too much better tomorrow, so I kept going and going, through Harrisonburg, where I was planning on going to Rocktown Beer Festival that weekend, through Winchester and then onto Martinsburg, West Virginia.

 By the time I had gotten to Hagerstown , Maryland at around 4pm, I wasn't even sore any more. I was numb. I was the bike. I continued to Carlisle and Harrisburg Pennsylvania. When I arrived home around 6:30 (still in rain gear), I wasn't even tired and swear I could have ridden to NYC if there was enough light.


Immediately after pulling up, my brother in law snapped this photo and handed me a cold glass of Nugget Nectar. I took a long shower, and as I sat alone on my Grandmother's glass roofed porch, the sky finally opened up to a violent storm, beginning with a hail leading to a torrential downpour.  I can honestly say that sitting there was one of the happiest moments of my life.  Outrunning a storm half-way across the country, drunk off of a beer and a half, truly clean for the first time in a week, my vision cleared (my peripheral vision was still whirring by at around 70mph), while the throaty melodies of my Monster reverberated rhythmically in my head.  


© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

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