Asheville, NC, June 21- 25th, 2000
It started out as a whim, just a thought that it would be nice to go to the "Honda Hoot" in North Carolina. I've always heard neat things, but never first hand stuff. You know, the friend of a friend who went and found that it was all that he ever expected and more. Well, you never really know how much embellishment there has been to the story each time it is re-told, so, I felt I needed to go and see for myself. My local riding buddies couldn't get the time away, my wife didn't want to go on a long tour (you know, the children are busy, and we really shouldn't leave them with grandparents, etc...).
So, I took to the VRCC message board and the Regional Message Board to see if anyone from Indiana or nearby would be going. I had great luck in doing that last year for a trip to Montrose, CO, where I had a fabulous time (other than the extensive carpal tunnel damage done to my hands). I can't wait to take the wife and kids out there (4 wheels this time, not two!!) and show them the sights.
The long tiring days of straight and flat through Kansas and eastern Colorado were not much fun on a bike, but western Colorado made it all worthwhile. But that is another story... I had a few responses from VRCC members about the Hoot, but no one was certain exactly how and when they were going. I had one semi firm comment about the trip from Jim Morse (VRCC #570, Crawfordsville, IN) who said he was going to trailer down and ride when there.
I had the option last year of trailering out to Montrose, but opted to ride that trip. If given the option, I would always rather ride, unless a virtual downpour was guaranteed for extended periods (days!). As the trip got closer, I had convinced Jim that it couldn't rain on this one, as I had a "Magic Rain Suit". It was this same Rain Suit that kept the rain at bay the whole trip to Montrose: 10 straight days, without any real rain while riding!!! We had rain overnight, we had rain during stops to sight see, but never any real rain while riding to or from.
During our communications, we decided to get togther to meet and talk the trip over, and we did that at the Miracle Ride in Indy . We talked a lot there, and found many similarities (he has two daughters, I have two daughters; the wife doesn't much care to ride, his wife doesn't care to ride, etc...) We had a pretty good time at the Miracle Ride, and decided that riding down wouldn't be too bad if the weather allowed, after all, it was only 6 ½ hours away from southern Indiana.
Up to the morning of the trip, Jim had been keeping close watch on the weather, and he said it didn't look good for the trip down, but if it stopped, he would pull it off the trailer and ride with me, otherwise, he'd drive and I'd follow! Well, the morning of the trip out, and Jim left home a little after 4am, I left here (Bedford, IN) around 5:50am, and we were to meet on SR 37 at the Wendy's Restaurant. On my ride into town (5 minutes) it was a little damp, well, it was raining lightly. I didn't need the Magic Rain Suit yet, but, as I promised Jim, I had it packed and ready.
Jim pulled into Wendy's about 6:15 am, driving his Camaro and pulling his Valkyrie Interstate on the new trailer behind. He had come through a little rain on the way down, but the plan was to go down to my Hobby Shop (P&T Hobbies and Raceway) and leave the car and trailer there on the well lit parking lot, and head southward from there.
I had been convinced by Jim to get a Chatterbox 27A radio for this trip, as he had one and it worked really well, and I had been looking at these things for a while, and tried the cheap ones and they didn't work out. This one hooked up easy enough, but I couldn't get the CB portion to work with the headphones. I wasn't sure what was wrong, but Chatterbox agreed to send out a replacement cord via UPS three day express. The cord came in time, and at the hobby shop, Jim helped me get my setup working.