8,600 miles by bike, 600 by foot: Touring the U.S. for 2 Months

On the 27th of August I will be leaving on a roughly 2 month long hybrid motorcycle-hiking trip, living out of my frame pack and saddle bags for over 60 days. It’s something that has been in the works for a while now. It started off as a trip to New Orleans that Brent and I had been planning as a way to “launch” our site and then it just started growing from there, as plans like this often do.
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Planning the big trip

As I was scrambling to start getting everything ready today, I realized that even though the trip hadn’t officially started yet this was definitely a big part of it. Even though my work was done in China (for the time being) I was still busy as ever. Not to mention, the preparation for a trip certainly has a lot of bearing on the trip itself. So here’s what’s been keeping me busy: Step One: Since I was going to be arriving in New York from China less than a week before departure day, I was slightly concerned about jet lag, especially since there was so much to get ready once I got back. It all worked out quite well since I had going away festivities friday night, then was packing until 4am the night before take off. So with less than 8 hours of sleep over two days, it was
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Day One: New York City to Roanoke, VA

What a great way to start off the trip. In all we went through 6 states, starting off in New York City then New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and then Virginia. It was a total of about 550 miles over about 12 hours. Certainly the hardest part but also the highlight was Skyline Drive through the Shanandoah Mountains in Virginia. After 300 miles of interstate on I-78 and I-81 it was nice to get to the winding mountain roads. It was about 110 miles, which took us over three hours, but the driving was fun, the views were incredible, and we could not have asked for better weather. When we finally rolled into our hotel in Roanoke it was all we could do to drag ourselves and our packs to our room… only to find out that we were accidentally assigned the same room as the guests that signed
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Day Two: Roanoke; Disaster Strikes

Bad news today when we head out this morning. We had another pretty big day, including the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee. We left the hotel at about 8 or 8:30 and as we were pulling out onto the interstate, all of a sudden Brent and Pam pulled off onto the shoulder. He said that as he went into 5th gear the engine started cutting out. After looking the bike over Brent tried to run it again and we noticed some smoke coming out of a drainage pipe in the front. So Brent took off the air filter and we saw smoke coming off the carbs and oil dripping out. We thought that if he was burning oil, it would be bad to try and ride it anymore in case the oil ran out and the engine seized. So I went off to find a repair shop that could
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Day Three: Time to Hit the Tail! But the Victory is Bitter Sweet

Day 3 miles 600-920 Bad news, today it turns out I had to part ways with my travel companions. I took Brent to the dealership this morning to see what could be done. They said they’d take a look as soon as possible and even guessed that the problem might not be as bad as we guessed (just some dirty carbs). I had figured that if we could get out by 1 or 2 and the repairs wouldn’t be too expensive, then we could all make it to the tail of the dragon. Unfortunately, by 12 they had not yet gotten to his bike. So, because of time and financial constraints on all sides, and after a sad farewell, I decided to push on. We thought that if the bike turned out to be done early enough, they should give me a call and I’d wait up down the road,
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