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Down The Road I Go...

STILLSMOKEN

Inactive Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
78
Location
whitney, texas
NOT TO HIJACK BUT, My Spot will be taken by my wife to Diamond Jacks in Shreveport La. to meet her sister from Conroe Sunday- Tuesday. Gona make us RICH----yeah. I'm caught ---do I watch the Spot or just take off for Junction to run the area????????
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
531
Location
Sugar Land
NOT TO HIJACK BUT, My Spot will be taken by my wife to Diamond Jacks in Shreveport La. to meet her sister from Conroe Sunday- Tuesday. Gona make us RICH----yeah. I'm caught ---do I watch the Spot or just take off for Junction to run the area????????
You can do both!
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
92
Location
Irving, Tx
Wow this is neat- never heard of Spot till this post.

Gonna have to check into it more for the wife, she can keep up with my trips now.

Thanks-

Ride Safe- Have fun :zen: :clap:

Ron
 

STILLSMOKEN

Inactive Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
78
Location
whitney, texas
Well she has been sitting in a resd. area in front of a house for 30 minutes. I think she is OK for the day even though she hasn't hit her CHECK OK button yet. Kinda relaxed now.
 

STILLSMOKEN

Inactive Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
78
Location
whitney, texas
Looks as if she moved the bike or SPOT to the back of the house and hit the CHECK OK Button so I guess we can call it a day. Area looks as if it is a Golf community. Nice!!
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
Yup, my sister lives in a golf course community in middle-of-nowhere New Jersey. I'm in for the night (and for the next few days) and the internet works better here than any of the hotels I stayed at so I'll be able to catch up on uploading pics and stories.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
1,147
Location
Katy
Yup, my sister lives in a golf course community in middle-of-nowhere New Jersey. I'm in for the night (and for the next few days) and the internet works better here than any of the hotels I stayed at so I'll be able to catch up on uploading pics and stories.
Awesome!!!
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
17,293
Location
Arlington, Texas
still no worky...I there are too many "https" in the link or something....:shrug:
Did you try the one in my post or the one in the quote? I fixed both now.

-------

Squeaky, the satellite imagery does not show your bike in the driveway - you must have it in the garage... ;-)

(glad you made it)
 
T

Texfire

It's kinda spooky, "She's parked behind the house now."

Where's my tinfoil hat emocution?
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
Day 3
Monday, April 28

Waking up and figuring out if the clock is reading CST or EST is confusing. Either way, I'm running late getting a jump on the day. I load the bike and hit the wet roads, although the rain was all but done falling from the sky.



The clouds loomed overhead for most of the morning. I was nervous about heading towards Deals Gap - US 129, known to riders everywhere as the Tail of the Dragon. 318 curves in 11 miles that makes motorcycling hearts go pitter patter at the thought of scrubbing tires through each winding twist and turn. For me, it's a nervous anticipation, and with the threat of wet pavement I wasn't "feeling it".



I was also cold, and cold = tense. I stopped to add a layer of clothes, opting to include my ducky pajamas and my TWT tee.



The sky was getting brighter, but the clouds stuck around.





After a late breakfast/early lunch break, the sun started to work its way out to dry the roads an restore my spirit.



The first few miles before the Tail started wandered around the water and gave scenic views of the surrounding hills.





We'll have to wait and see what ZeeFoto and Killboy got of me out there, since my hands were NOT coming off the bars for pictures on the Dragon. I tried second gear for the twists but felt like the bike was lugging up, down, and around the turns. I dropped down to first and stayed there for most of the ride, which made input on the throttle jerky at best.

I managed to pull off for the North Carolina state line sign:

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And turned around to get the Tennessee sign since I'd missed it the day before.

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Once safely at the Crossroads of Time, I picked out a few souvenirs and scoped out the riders hanging out at the cafe.

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I got my dragon sticker! I certainly earned it.

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Heading out. One dragon slayed, a thousand miles left to tackle (give or take)

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088

US 28 was still twisty, but not nearly as much as the previous 11 miles had been. I started to relax, and the curves started getting smoother and I was able to flow from one to the next.

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Lots of riders out on the road, but not in overwhelming numbers.

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By early afternoon, Mother Nature had provided an amazing backdrop.

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Fontana Dam and recreation area

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One of the locks at the dam

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More twists and turns. Lots of pics from the saddle.

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The sun and the trees made mosaics that lay before me

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Towns, fields, farms, and barns. It's what this country is made of.

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Once out on the highway, I thought I would be bored with straight, flat, traffic-filled main lanes - but I was pleeasantly surprised by the winding ribbon of pavement that presented itself. I'd stumbled onto the Great Smoky Mountain Expressway. This is what I call a road!

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I finally made my way towards Fletcher, just south of Asheville. I was near the airport but tucked away on a back road. I had to get a smoking room in order to get a first floor with outside access.

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After seeing folks of all shapes and sizes come and go while I unpacked the bike, I decided I wasn't all that sure about the safety and security of my beloved Strom.

I did the only thing I could think to ensure his safety.

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Yup, I popped the panniers off and powered it up over the curb and straight into the room. It was a close fit at the bard, but a little wiggle got it in without having to remove the bar ends.

I walked over to the Mexican restaurant for dinner to go. It was the only thing within walking distance, but the desolation inside the restaurant wasn't saying much for their popularity.

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The food was good though. I was surprised to find decent Tex Mex this far from the Rio Grande.

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I tried to settle in and get caught up on the ride report, but the internet access wasn't cooperating and I couldn't manage to get pictures uploaded. Oh well, it can wait.

Tennessee, North Carolina
219 miles

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T

Texfire

288175040_tvN9w-O.jpg


After seeing folks of all shapes and sizes come and go while I unpacked the bike, I decided I wasn't all that sure about the safety and security of my beloved Strom.

I did the only thing I could think to ensure his safety.

288175062_Nsrcr-O.jpg


Yup, I popped the panniers off and powered it up over the curb and straight into the room. It was a close fit at the bard, but a little wiggle got it in without having to remove the bar ends.
Well that's one way to protect your bike, as long as the management doesn't see you do it... :lol2:
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
17,293
Location
Arlington, Texas
Waking up and figuring out if the clock is reading CST or EST is confusing.
Well, that is your problem - it should be CDT or EDT! :nana:

:mrgreen:

Looks like you on the first and second pages of Killboy - lookin' good! (also 2 on previous page)

first 8 on second page
last 2 on first page

(just click on "Continue" to see them)

:thumb:
 
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Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
Day 4
Tuesday April 29

I left my mark on the carpet in the room. Oops. Nobody said the Strom was light.

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Packing the bike back up is getting just a little quicker and easier. Or maybe I've just learned to not unpack as much overnight so there's less to do in the a.m.

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First thing's first - head south to "tag" South Carolina, then motor my way northeast.

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The plan is to get a good push on mileage so I'll have an easier day getting up to New Jersey to see my family. As much as I'm enjoying the solitude of the trip, I'm social by nature and the casual conversations with strangers while on the road just aren't cutting it for me.

I've not wrapped my arms around my sister for a hug in nearly a year. I'm overdue.

It was chilly, but the miles went by quickly out on the interstate.

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At the state line, there was a truck loaded with cement blocks parked next to the sign. Maybe the driver was a wanted man in SC and afraid to enter? I don't really care what his reasoning was - it made for a sucky picture.

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So I headed up towards the Blue Ridge Parkway. After reporting how enjoyable the Natchez Trace was, RocketBunny advised I'd enjoy the BRP.

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I made it 10 or 15 miles in when orange signs blared the announcement that the Parkway was closed up ahead. I followed the detour signs down to I40 - "Parkway North Detour Exit 86".

I just got on at exit 55. This is one heck of a detour.

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Um... did Robin need help finding it?

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A few exits from my intermediate goal, I decided the restrooms at the Chamber of Commerce were calling me.

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I stopped in, bought some post cards and a map of the Parkway for $1, and learned some local knowledge about the BRP around these parts. The woman at the desk advised I head up Route 80 as an alternate to the scheduled detour, then backtrack south to Mount Mitchell to see the highest point east of the Mississippi River.

As I made my way up 80, I realized this was going to be as twisty as the Dragon, or at least a close second. What had I gotten myself into? There wasn't even a sticker to be earned for this one!

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I wasn't going to be able to take pictures along the way, and I needed proof that I tackled this one - so I rigged the camera on my left mirror stalk using my mini tripod and set it to take video. (I don't have video editing software with me, so that will have to wait until I get back home.)

It was nerve wracking. I did most of it in first and second gear, and there were two switchbacks that really had me regretting the decision to head up the side of a mountain. Making it even worse were the locals that would come flying at me using almost half of my lane.

Once atop the Parkway, I headed south but it wasn't long before the beautiful scenery was overshadowed by the sheer drop-offs, lack of guard rails, and overall altitude intensity.

Acrophobia sucks. It turns what should be a beautiful ride on a curvy road into a terrorizing event that seems to go on forever.

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The more miles I'd backtracked, the closer I was to the goal of Mt. Mitchell. I couldn't turn back now - I had to do it. I had to prove to myself that I could. This was NOT going to be another "Coronado Trail incident".

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The overlook area was large and flat enough for me to safely park the bike and decide my next move.

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We were so high up, there was still snow on the ground within the shade of the pine trees. Not one to pass up an opportunity, Spank tried to make a snowman. There wasn't enough, so he made do with a snowball.

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What you can't see here is that Spank is giving the construction sign the finger.

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(to be continued)
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
(day 4 continued)

We decided that we were cold and hungry, but there was no telling how much longer it would be before we'd reach anything resembling a town. Out came the Jetboil and some camp food for a mountain-top picnic.

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We decided to head back, but the cold was overpowering my ability to stay relaxed through the curves and elevation. I needed to head back down off the ridge, but there was no way I'd take 80 again. Instead, I opted for the scheduled detour back down to Marion.

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Which was just as bad as the ride up! 10 and 15 mph switchbacks, warning signs for trucks and RVs, and lots of blind turns. After a while I got tired of holding the clutch in, so I put it in neutral and coasted down feathering the brakes.

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The interstate was boring, but I was just glad to be back on (mentally) solid footing. I'd made a full circle out of the BRP 'event' and lost a half day or mileage.



I motored east, heading for Greensboro.

My shadow grew longer...

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I was glad the setting sun was behind me and not straight in my eyes.

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As I neared my intended destination, I was just getting my second wind. I needed to make up for the mileage I'd lost earlier so I pressed on for Durham, NC.

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I made it there but got mixed up finding the hotel I'd selected - I hadn't loaded this section of the state into my GPS because I had no idea I'd be traveling this far east on the trip. I saw the glowing green and white calling me from a Starbucks sign and headed there to grab a cup o' joe and get my bearings.

I ended up at the Howard Johnsons, a very clean and friendly place just minutes from the Duke campus.

North & South Carolina
375 miles

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T

Texfire

The pictures on the dragon are great, you need to get those for your scrapbook. A couple of pictures later there's a Goldwing in the same section scraping it's pegs. :eek2:
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
The pictures on the dragon are great, you need to get those for your scrapbook. A couple of pictures later there's a Goldwing in the same section scraping it's pegs. :eek2:
I'm actually quite embarrassed - I'm barely leaning at all. I was in first gear and going about 16 mph through there... :doh:
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
17,293
Location
Arlington, Texas
We'll have to wait and see what ZeeFoto and Killboy got of me out there,
Nothing on ZeePhoto for 4/28 - yet. Maybe it will appear later.

Looks like you on the first and second pages of Killboy - lookin' good! (also 2 on previous page)

first 8 on second page
last 2 on first page

(just click on "Continue" to see them)

:thumb:
Total of 10 pictures on 2 pages - so you don't miss any.

Great report so far. I found your Dragon pics on Killboy, April 28 in the touring bikes section at the bottom of the page. They look awesome! You're gonna want to order some of those. :rider:
Pay attention, Sparky! :nana:


Squeaky - don't forget the family pictures in NJ - I want to see if your sister has the family resemblence of you and Heath... :ponder:
 
T

Texfire

I'm actually quite embarrassed - I'm barely leaning at all. I was in first gear and going about 16 mph through there... :doh:
And it was also the first time you had ridden that road and were exiting a blind turn. What do you have to be embarrassed about?
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,843
Location
Arlington, TX
I'm actually quite embarrassed - I'm barely leaning at all. I was in first gear and going about 16 mph through there... :doh:
Now I know what's wrong, if you're paying that much attention to your speedo then no wonder you were going that slow!!! Eyes on the road girl!
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2007
Messages
2,500
Location
Houston, TX
Wow great pictures!! :clap:

I think your KillBoy pictures look great! Definitely get some. :thumb:

I'm jealous. What an awesome trip.

:popcorn:
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
Now I know what's wrong, if you're paying that much attention to your speedo then no wonder you were going that slow!!! Eyes on the road girl!
Well, I looked down to check it since I'd been passed by two bikes, five cars, and one flatbed truck :giveup:
 

voyagerrider

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
593
Location
Burleson, TX
I'm actually quite embarrassed - I'm barely leaning at all. I was in first gear and going about 16 mph through there... :doh:
Kathy did the same as you on the Dragon when we went in '06. I was leading and having a blast just focusing on the road, and I looked for her in my mirrors she wasn't there. I called her on the radio she was about 1/2 to 3/4 mile behind me just taking her time. When we got to the overlook to turn around she came in probably a minute behind me. Going back to Deals Gap she was in front of me so I could video her since I videoed going up. The time difference between the 2 vids is only like 3 mins. I never got going faster than about 40 mph and saw 4th gear only in couple of spots very breifly. When we watched the video at home we marveled at the color on the trees( we were there in the fall) cause we never saw them when riding. She says that we go again later this year that she won't ride the Dragon again, but she will. You have to be careful the Dragon will bite you.
She did good and so did you. I am enjoying the report on your trip keep it up.
Marty
 

voyagerrider

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
593
Location
Burleson, TX
Your killboy pics are great! Squeaky & Wilbur on the Dragon. Wilbur sporting new jewelery (Dragon Sticker).:rider: :rider: :rider:
Marty
 
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Texas T

Moderator
Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
11,906
Location
Sun Lakes & Show Low, Arizona
I just get a blank map when I go to the SPOT page. It shows a note that there have been no new messages in the past 24 hours, but that's it. Is there something I'm supposed to click on?
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
17,293
Location
Arlington, Texas
I just get a blank map when I go to the SPOT page. It shows a note that there have been no new messages in the past 24 hours, but that's it. Is there something I'm supposed to click on?
It only gives info on the last 24 hours - she has been idle (except for the computer) for a bit longer than that.

Maybe she will go outside and press the "OK" button... :trust:
 

Texas T

Moderator
Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
11,906
Location
Sun Lakes & Show Low, Arizona
That was my assumption, but didn't know for sure. I just checked prices on ebay and one vendor has them for $140 right now. I don't think I'll need one until next Apr/May so I'll wait on a purchase and see if the price drops a little.
 

Squeaky

2
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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
Day 5
Wednesday April 30

The original plan had me landing in New Jersey at my sister's place for the night, but that was many miles an states away from Durham, NC. I have to stick to interstates if I'm going to make it there before my nephews' bedtime.

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Spank, you ready to hold on tight? This is going to be a high speed day!

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Headed north up 85 and got my Virginia welcome sign on a cool, shaded shoulder.

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Stopped just shy of Richmond for a quick lunch and refueling.

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Made it to DC by early afternoon.

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I decided that if I was this close to national monuments, I might as well take the time to stop and get some proper pictures with my bike.

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After struggling with tourists on foot, in cars, and in caravans of busses I hit the highway to head north again. DC doesn't feel the need to put up signs, so I guess nobody is welcome here.

Now I had to fight my way towards Baltimore with mass commuters trying to make it home for the night.

I'd made it into Maryland but without a Welcome sign letting me know when it happened.

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Bridges

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And tunnels

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And bridges

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And then there was Delaware. Tiny state, big sign.

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Then more bridges.

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Welcome to New Jersey!

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It was the homestretch. I was in the state, all I needed to do was make it north to Hackettstown before it was pitch black.

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I was losing the race with the sun.

Off the interstate and northbound on 206, all I wanted was a hug when I arrived.

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I got more than a hug. I got to read him not one, but TWO bedtime stories!

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North Carolina, Virginia, DC, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey
516 miles

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Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
39
Location
Jefferson, TX
Day 5
Wednesday April 30

stories!

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North Carolina, Virginia, DC, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey
516 miles

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Man I have never been so sosoooooooooooooooo so I can't even think of the words to describe how it has felt following you on this adventure.. It is a heavy load you carry to be responsible to all of us poooooor unfortunate people that cannot for whatever reasons do what you are doing.. Good Grief Girl..... I can't even think how to tell you how proud I am of you and I'm soooo new to this forum the first thing I did was click on this thread and now I can't wait to read the next installment... Thank You!! and that seems weak and not enough but that's what I got ... and again Thank You for :rider: including me in your trip..:rider:
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
227
Location
Schertz, Tx
Good going. Nice trip report and pics. Those bridges in Natchez across the Mississippi river looks familiar. :trust: September, 2007 and I was on the return leg of a trip. :rider:

100_1225.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
168
Location
Missouri City
Day 5
Wednesday April 30
SNIP
I got more than a hug. I got to read him not one, but TWO bedtime stories!

288294074_vdZ9M-O.jpg

SNIP
Dang girl. You're, like, the COOLEST aunt in the world! Not only did you read two bedtime stories, you SHOWED UP ON A MOTORCYCLE!!

I mean, does it get any cooler? I don't think so.

Looking forward to the rest of the trip report (your stay and your trip home). Ride safe...can't wait to hear about stuff you're NOT putting in this report at Java Joe's.
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
Dang girl. You're, like, the COOLEST aunt in the world! Not only did you read two bedtime stories, you SHOWED UP ON A MOTORCYCLE!!

I mean, does it get any cooler? I don't think so.
And he was wearing his MX pajamas when I got there!

We had a talk today about the difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle. He likes it and is considering hopping on it with me, but his mother isn't excited about anything but picture taking while parked.

His brother thinks my key tastes yummy. :lol2:
 
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