Sunday, May 16, 2010

CIW 2010 - Day 1

May is here and this year I'm supposed to attend the Harley Davidson Riders Edge Continuous Workshop (a.ka. CIW) being held in Milwaukee, WI. The home of all things HD. Whoopee!
It's a road trip though and the last time I attended the CIW in 2008 I completed my BBG1500, SS2000 and road the Tail of the Dragon on the way home. So while the workshop may be necessary for my instructor certification, the trip to and from is necessary for my mental well being.

Willie Nelson's song "On the road again" was the furthest thing from my mind today as we traveled down the road. What was going through my mind however was the disorganized client who is trying to move data centers without much real planning, another project that I'm struggling with to make profitable, and the exhaustion from catering last night's wedding reception of a friend's daughter. None the less we left town today.

The goal was to leave by noon, well by 1pm we finally hit the road. It's just par for the course now it seems, no matter how hard we try something always comes up and we are late getting on the road. None the less, we got on the road finally and headed up 59. The plan was to take 59 to Livingston and the go east on 190 through Woodville. We stopped in Woodville for gas and a break, leaving so late in the day meant we were riding in the hottest part of the day but since we had so much to do this morning we didn't have a choice. After the break we continued east on 190 to Jasper where we picked up 63 east  When we crossed the Sabine river into Louisianna 63 turned into Hwy 8 and we followed it all the way to Leesville.

As we passed through Leesville, I kept an eye out for a red Suzuki Savage that used to be Reagan's. I didn't really expect to see it but it would have been funny if I had.  In Leesville we picked up hwy 28 and continued east to Alexandria. We headed north on 165 and circumnavigated the metropolis of Alexandria. The GPS was telling me we were getting closer and closer to the motel so I started watching for open restaraunts in case there weren't any near the motel.

When we arrived at the Max Motel I was glad I had paid attention to my eating choices along the way. Because the closest thing to the motel was a Chevron station and a church. In the lobby there was a menu for the Magnolia Cafe but it turns out they are only open for Lunch and only during the week. Shucks, if my cooking was that good I might just open a restaraunt too, then again it might one of those places that "daddy" opened to give his kid some sort of a job. Who knows, I doubt I'll find out on this trip.

The motel is clean and the folks are friendly. We unpacked the bikes, sat down for a few minutes and then headed back down the road to Ball for mexican food. Reagan had the idea to order Fajitas and that was a superb decision. Afterwards we rode back up the road to the motel, cleaned up windshields and covered bikes. Then I started working on my computer and trying to get the Windows OS to read the Linux partition so I could get a file off. That didn't work but rebooting a few times got everything copied to where I needed.

There's going to be 5 days of traveling on the way up and just 2 and a half on the way home. So the site seeing will be happening this week. Tomorrow we are going to Memphis to stay at the Peabody, eat at Rendevous and walk down Bealle street. It's sort of part of Reagan's birthday celebration since Tuesday is her birthday. For her birthday we'll be going to St. Louis to see the Gateway arch.

I'm carrying my new GoPro HD camera with me and if I can get everything working, I should be able to put together a little video montage of our trip. Unfortunately I don't have a remote start/stop button for it, so I have to start it when we stop for a break and let it run until the next break. I think when/if I find myself in some fun twisties I'll stop and turn it on. At least I hope I remember to.

Oh, and our stats for the day? 272 miles over a 5 hour 24 minute period. According to the GPS we left the driveway at 12:46 but I know I sat in the parking lot of Academy for a few muintes before we actually got on the road.  Tomorrow's route is 336 miles and estimated to take 7 hours. We are continuing up 165 to Monroe and then working our way over to the Mississipppi river. Then we are going to follow it up to Memphis while trying to stay close to the riverbank along the way. We'll see what happens. But the ducks walk at 5 and we have to be there for that per Reagan.

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