Riding The Back Roads - My Family Travels

Our annual motorcycle trip began early Sunday, when my parents and I left Murfreesboro, Tennessee via the back roads to Thomasville, Georgia for a few days then north to Greeneville, South Carolina, the site of our annual Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) rally.  The plan was to get south of Atlanta and park for the night.  Easier said than done.

By early afternoon we were dodging rain.  That’s when the hotel search began in earnest.  We just made it to Thomaston, Georgia and had unloaded the bikes when it poured.  So we ordered pizza (YUM!) and settled in for the night.

Monday dawned with sunshine and we headed to Thomasville, Georgia, my dad’s hometown.  We stopped for gas in a small town about 150 miles from Thomasville and it looked stormy so mom and I decided to put on our rain gear.  Dad didn’t, but about 40 miles down the road we could see the rain up ahead so we stopped again for Dad to put on his gear.  We arrived in Thomasville just a little wet.

Tuesday, we planned to ride to Wakulla Springs State Park in Tallahassee, Florida, and take the glass bottom boat ride to see the wildlife.  But I could not find my keys.  I knew they had to be close because I had locked my bike the night before.  We searched our room from top to bottom.  No keys.  I went to the lobby to see if I had left them there the night before when I was using their computer.  No luck.  I was in a panic.  Back at the room dad had actually found them behind the bed, but was letting me “stew” to teach me a lesson.  Mom didn’t know he’d found them so she was calling locksmiths who could (1) make motorcycle keys and (2) make a key for my bike because it is a 1984 Honda.  Boy, was she aggravated when about an hour later he tossed me the keys.  Good thing mom hadn’t found a locksmith! 

We left a few minutes later and spent the day at the park.  The water was too murky to ride the glass bottom boat but we did take the regular boat tour and saw several HUGE alligators, some unusual birds & turtles.  It was really cool.

We left Wednesday morning and headed north.  Although it’s quite a bit farther to take back roads, it’s a much more interesting ride.  You see more than you do on the interstate.  Thursday was extremely busy because the Tennessee District was asked to help and we were scheduled to work registration in the morning and because I was Youngest Male Rider to Billings last year, I was to work the recruiting booth that afternoon.  That was fun because I got to meet lots of people and assist them in signing up for GWRRA.

There is a Guinness record for the most 2-wheeled Hondas in a parade.  So on the 4th of July we staged up and rode about 10 miles in a parade to downtown for the fireworks.  There were people all along the route waving and clapping for us.  Sadly, we didn’t break the record.  We had over 1,000 bikes but because some of them were trikes (3 wheeled bikes) they could not be counted.

Closing ceremonies were held on Sunday and by that time the headcount for the rally was around 11,000 people.  We left Monday morning and rode through North Carolina into Tennessee and back home to Murfreesboro, safe & sound.

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