So I made it as far as Roanoke, Virginia today. I’m completely exhausted. The highway did it’s toll on me. I stopped pretty frequently for short breaks to walk a bit, refill the hydration pack, change my jacket as it got warmer, and remove the liners from my pants. But it was a pretty windy day and being blown around out there on the open highway is strenuous.
I finally used the ear plugs that I bought. They made a big difference (as long as I get them inserted properly). They really cut down the wind and engine noise which I found let me relax a tiny bit more than if I didn’t have them.
After a few stops along I81 in Virginia I decided to try to make it to Roanoke. My initial plan of trying to make it to Knoxville, Tennessee just wasn’t practical in my tired state. I saw signs that Roanoke was 190 miles away. Then it got closer. I saw so many other signs for things that I really wanted to see… but I needed to find a place to rest for the night. To Roanoke I went.
Arriving in Roanoke I pulled in to a gas station and pulled up a list of hotels on the Garmin GPS. I chose Comfort Inn and headed off. I didn’t care how much it would cost. I was exhausted and I could really feel it. I knew I needed to find a place to stop, take my riding gear off, and relax. It’s scary when you feel your judgement lacking.
I arrived at the Comfort Inn and checked in. The guy at the front desk was pretty cool and let me park the bike on the sidewalk. He walked outside for a cigarette and we talked motorcycles for a bit. I told him I rode from Harrisburg, PA and that I was heading for Austin, Texas. Then he started to tell me his story. Because everyone has a story.
He lived in Atlanta, Reno, Las Vegas, then moved to Roanoke because his father was in bad health. Working the front desk is only a part-time job for him so he can put a 1,000 foot addition on his house. He said there really is nothing in Roanoke to see (sounds exactly like what people say about Harrisburg). When he moved here he found himself married, then with kids and a house and tons of responsibility. We had a pretty good talk.
Then I cleaned up a bit and headed out for some seafood. I had breakfast and an energy bar… and that’s all I had all day. It was time for a good dinner. Crab cakes it was! They were pretty good, but no match for Maryland crab cakes.
I’m unsure what to do at this point. Texas seems to be way outside my limits of riding. I really want to be able to ride there. But I’ve never even ridden as far in one day as I did today. And I am far from where I wanted to be on my first night. But I’m on vacation. I found a nice place to stay, got some good food, and now I’ll keep an eye on the weather and see what I do tomorrow.