Home Is Whenever I'm With You - Southern USA - Moto Trip: The Americas

We make it back to the US and visit 3 museums, some family, and friends as we make our way through the Southern United States.
We landed in Houston early in the morning, and met up with our old friend Schmitty. He was nice enough to pick us up and drive us all around the area to deal with the bureaucracy necessary to get our bikes back. We spent a couple of days with him playing board games, and eating some amazing American style BBQ. Then we were off to our old hometown of Austin, where we had a petsit arranged for a few weeks. It was nice to have a place to sit around and readjust to life in the US while getting our bikes fixed and upgrading some of our gear.

We met up with our friends Elisa, Megan, and Kailee, and stayed a night at Kailee's awesome ranch outside of Austin before heading North to Fort Worth to visit our friend Amanda. Amanda had an awesome apartment located downtown, and we spent a couple of days there exploring the area. 

Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch

Then we were on the road again, finding a place to wild camp minutes from the Louisiana border. It was our first test of the new tent, and it held up well in the heavy rain. 

The next day we rode through western Louisiana, immediately noticing the difference in accents and food (lots of beaudoin & cracklins). We camped at an abandoned military area, and woke up in the middle of the night to a flash flood warning on Johanna's phone. Luckily we had chosen a good spot to camp and were able to avoid being washed away.

We dried off as well as we could and continued on, staying with Jeff from ADVRider and his family in Port Allen before continuing on to Orange Beach, Alabama to stay with Josh's family. While there they helped us fix Johanna's front fender and install some tool tubes to help us carry things. We also visited the famous Floribama, a massive bar filled with stages and live music all over the place. It was quite the operation.
We finally got tool tubes! (Also good for burritos).

So rainy...
We then moved North, and found a free campsite with some fun trail riding nearby. The mud however was very slick and immediately packed into our tires, rendering them nearly useless. The next day we continued North to stay with Ken, another ADVRider member who let us camp in his yard for a few days. We also met Derek from Canada, who had been doing a similar trip to ours, and knew a lot of the same people. Funny how small the world can be sometimes.

That mud packs in there quick.

Playing Munchkin at the campsite. Thanks Schmitty!

Ken lived about 4 miles from the Barber Motorsports Museum, and it was definitely a goal of our trip. We spent hours there exploring all the floors, and looked at motorcycles until our brains melted. 

Finally we headed back to Ken's for a fun night of Ken's homemade wings and local craft beers. The next day we hit the road early for a long, freezing cold ride to visit Josh's Aunt & Uncle in Dallas, Georgia. We had a great time visiting with them, and hope we'll get to see them again soon. 

We then rode on to the Chattahoochee National Forest where we visited Expedition: Bigfoot, our second cryptozoology museum of this trip (California had the first). We had a great time exploring the museum and learning about local sightings. Afterwards we rode deep into the woods to wild camp for the night. Luckily no Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) were encountered.

That is some huge Sasquatch shit.

In the morning we rode up Tennessee on Highway 129 to ride the infamous "Tail of the Dragon". This section of the highway is 11 miles long with 318 curves. It was a blast to ride and we had a great time. At the end there are gift shops and the "Tree of Shame" littered with pieces of bikes that have wrecked on this road. 

About 15 miles further down the road we found free camping right on the shore of lake Santeetlah, where it dropped to 30 degrees overnight. In the morning we had a shorter ride to the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground, where they gave us a deal for a cabin for two days, since it was the middle of the week. We stayed for 2 days, and spent the second day at the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum. Unlike the Barber Museum, this one had much more of a historic feel, with much of the museum resembling old workshops, etc. This museum also focused on American made bikes, so it was much more specific than Barber's.

After two great nights at Blue Ridge, we continued on to Charlotte, NC to pet sit 4 old dogs for a week. It was a pretty easy time, with a quick visit from Johanna's family mixed in.

There are so many churches in the south. Seriously, too many.

Then we had a short ride West again to Asheville for another pet sit, this time for 2 young cats. While there we managed to go on our own self-guided brewery tour around the city, starting at New Belgium. 

We enjoyed our time in Asheville, and it allowed us to rest up for our next step, hitting the new Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route. Check out our next blog post to see how we did.