Our first day was a bit of a struggle because we had left so late and really wanted to make it all the way to Mobile, AL. Truthfully, our plan was to cut through the States as quickly as we could to get to the “real” adventure south of the border. The surprising part was just how much fun we had covering even the most mundane of miles. There is a really special feeling I get when I am on the open road for any amount of time. It is almost hypnotic or meditative. There is a gentle, almost indiscernible shift in landscape as thought some grand hand is painting over everything around you the moment you look away. When your eyes drift back to where they just were the world has altered in the slightest way but you can’t help to feel the motion of the earth. It has the effect of making me feel insignificantly small and totally connected at the same time.
The first rains of our ride occurred late on day one as we neared our destination which is fitting for my first long trip because I also encountered rain when I first rode a motorcycle just ten months ago. From that first day I have really enjoyed riding in the rain though I have never lost my respect for it. I recognize the difference in how I must ride when the rains come and it is an attitude that will surely be very useful later in the trip (hint, hint).
Unfortunately, I was so concerned with churning up pavement on our first day I recorded almost nothing of our travels. There was one bridge as we pulled into Mobile called the General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge but lovingly referred to as “Hello Dolly”, I presume because of the wonderfully ample dual humps rising out of the tree line as you approach. We crossed the bridge at night which made for an exhilarating late night boost after a 12 hour and 700 mile day.
We pulled into the hotel where they told us to park the bikes in the front courtyard of the hotel which immediately made me feel incredibly cool. We got VIP parking right up front so we could remove all our gear and luggage under the watchful eye of the partying patrons as it was nearly 11pm on Saturday night. I wanted to believe I didn’t smell nearly as bad as I did after driving all day in what felt like near 100 degree heat but I don’t think my thoughts were enough as more than a few people allowed us to take our own elevator to our floor.
The first day was done and we had another big day planned for Day 2. We wanted to get all the way to Austin where a family friend was going to put us up for the night so we could enjoy all the nightlife Austin could offer on a Sunday. It was going to have to be an early day and 700 miles again to make everything work out. With the first day down and the excitement of the trip slowly turning into focused anticipation, I settled in to get my body right and my mind rested because soon I was going to be traveling into Mexico for my first international ride.