I left packing my bike until the last minute. I was scrambling to remember everything I needed to take and had to remind myself that it was only a three day trip to North Carolina so I didn’t need much. This trip was a little different, I had been accepted to speak at a motorcycle travelers meeting hosted by Horizons Unlimited. It was at this same meeting two years ago where I listened to traveler’s stories and travel tips and became inspired to take my own adventure, and now I was speaking and hopefully inspiring others.
The ride to North Carolina was uneventful but I was surprised at how familiar it seemed despite having only traveled this route once before two years ago. Once I arrived at the Iron Horse Motorcycle lodge I was greeted by some familiar faces, Bob and John from Ontario who I spoke to recently about their plans to travel to South America, another Canadian guy who I met in Machu Picchu, and my friend Bill who I was doing the presentation with.
The presentation was called “Two Ways Down” and it compared the pros and cons of traveling by motorcycle solo or with a tour company (Bill travelled to Ushuaia with a tour company). We presented to a respectable size audience and it was well received with lots of great feedback and interesting questions, it felt good to help others and provide inspiration.
While in North Carolina I had the chance to ride The Tail of the Dragon, twice (318 curves, 11 miles)!! The first time I did it two years ago I was very nervous, this time I was taking the sharp corners at high speeds like and old pro. Since I had to be at work on Monday I decided to wake up early and make the 1,100 kilometer trip in one shot, stopping only for fuel and very fast food. I did it in 12.5 hours, good practice for an Iron Butt Challenge if you ask me.
Horizons Unlimited also had a motorcycle travelers meeting in Barrie Ontario, their first one in Ontario ever and very close to home for me. Bill and I did our presentation again, this time to a somewhat larger audience. I had a chance to meet some new people and was surprised to find that some of the people I had met had been following my blog since the beginning of my trip and others that were friends of friends. Again it felt good to inspire others, make new friends and share tall tales. I hope this event becomes and annual thing.