logowill england :: STAR 2008 and Moonshine Ride Report



Home Safe,
Or,

From STAR to the Moon(shine)

At George Washington Carver National Monument
At George Washington Carver National Monument
Large Version
Well, that was a nice week. Left Saturday, a bit later than planned, but still got out the door. Too much left undone, too many things to think about at home. Since I got the late start my original plan of finding lots of National Parks and camping went by the wayside. I still managed to get by the George Washington Carver Nat'l Monument in Diamond, MO on Saturday.

They had an interesting plaque there noting the merits of which path you choose --- similar to the Robert Frost poem, 'The Road Not Taken'. Spent a bit of time sitting and thinking about which road I'm taking on this trip, and in general. It's been a while since I've been on the road, gotten out among the world and away from the blinken lights of running a website.

After a while of sitting and reflecting in the sun, it was time to move on. Cutting out the extra stops took me basically over to US69 straight down to Dallas. I stopped for the night in Prior, OK -- found a nice little motel. Sunday found me riding all day and into the early evening, long-cutting around the North of Dallas to reach Kerrville, TX and the HSTA STAR rally.

Roads in the Texas Hill Country
Roads in the Texas Hill Country
Large Version
The rally was fun -- good food for once, great roads and lots of neat photos. More photos to come once I dump my camera to the laptop. Had to work while I was there, approving reviews and managing a live chat event for Buzz, so I didn't do as much riding as I normally would. Stayed in one night to watch KU come from behind and beat Memphis to take the NCAA championship! Go Jayhawks!

One afternoon I rode down the road to an apple store -- no, red, fruit things. They have a certain microclimate in the Texas hill country that allows the apples to grow and ripen on the tree naturally. Amazing apple pie and apple-flavored coffee. Met up with Fred Rau, former editor of MCN magazine, there and we chatted for a while. Turns out he's from St. Joseph, MO just up the road a bit from Kansas City.

Apple Pie and Hondas
Apple Pie and Hondas
Large Version
Leaving there, I managed my one goof of the trip -- I was making a tight u-turn and stalled the engine, laying the bike over. No damage done (other than to the already abused tip-over guard), and fortunately, Fred had already left so no one (or I thought) saw my tipover. Righted the bike and headed out on a scenic route to the LBJ Ranch outside of Johnson, TX.

Arriving back at the hotel, I was quietly informed that Fred and his riding partner *had* seen my tipover, and decided that I'd be more embarrassed if they went back to check on me. Glad they let it ride -- that would have been terrible!

Thursday the weather forecast was crap -- heavy weather all the way from Dallas through Arkansas to Illinois. Say, isn't that the exact route I had planned to ride to get to the Moonshine Run in Casey, IL? Bother. A bit of creative routing and I got around that -- headed through Austin to I-20 and took the Interstate across East Texas, Louisiana and into Mississippi, stopping for the night in Canton, MS. Crossing Louisiana was excellent -- you're only 75 feet above sea level, with biomass all around. Trees, vines, flowers, grasses and more. Very interesting place; must go back and explore more. Shortly after I crossed the Louisiana border, I passed into the cold front and the temperature dropped to the mid 60's. Stayed nice and cool all the way across, and shortly after crossing the Mississippi border, I left the cold front and the temperature jumped up to the high 70s. Oddest thing!

Friday, leaving from Canton the weather was passable -- a bit drizzly but not bad. I hit one wall of water as I crossed back through the storm front. 30 minutes of absolute drenching rain. After that, it was simply cloudy and cool. Getting cooler! The clouds cleared in Southern MO and the last few hundred miles into Ill. were beautiful -- clear skies with little fluffy clouds.

Arrived in time for dinner in Casey -- met quite a few hardcore riders from around the country. Jeff Schneider from Mulvane Kansas was up there too. I ended up getting the third highest mileage ridden total -- only a rider from the Pacific Northwest and George Catt from Arizona rode more miles.

Riding to Moonshine Store
Riding to Moonshine Store
Large Version
Saturday arrived cloudy, drizzly, cold and light snow flurries. Such is life -- Jeff Schneider and I geared up, rode over to the event hotel and headed out in a parade of other bikes for the Moonshine General Store and an excellent cheeseburger. Made it back to the hotel, warmed up, went out for another excellent dinner, this time served by the volunteer firefighters from Casey, IL.

Sunday dawned colder than Saturday with more rain and snow in the forecast. I geared up and got out of dodge. 400 miles later I was home.

The Route


View Larger Map

More Info

You can visit my other blog for some photos and audio updates from the road:

Photos!

All photos are on the Gallery now - check em out!


The usual suspects

[ Main -- Humor -- Art -- Food ]
[ Shooting -- Motorcycle -- Blog ]

Disclaimer: Anything I have to say is mine, dammnit! My employers, clients nor anyone else can take credit (or be blamed) for it.

Author: Will England ([email protected]) Complaints? /dev/null

Like what you found? Kick a buck or two my way via Paypal... Send $ via PayPal

This page is a Y to K complaint.

Valid HTML 4.0! Valid CSS!

Created April 14, 2008     ::     Updated Saturday, April 19 2008 @ 07:23pm