October 14th, 2002

Washington, D.C. to Presidio, Tx

The trip started off in great form when we met up with a number of our riding buddies who wanted to see us off and spend the first night camping with us. We had a great ride down some local Virginia roads and down the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stopped just north of Roanoke and like every other time we've gone camping this year we were rained upon. The following morning most of the guys went off to terrorize the locals but Dillon decieded to keep riding with us for another day down to Knoxville, TN where we had arranged to meet up with my friend and former co-worker Pascal. While spending the night at Pascal's we made plans to visit the Jack Daniel's distillery the next day. The following morning CJ complained of feeling ill and throughout the day complained of neck and back pain. While Todd and I visited the distillery CJ took a nap outside. After the tour we decided to cut our days riding short and camped out near Huntsville where it rained cats and dogs through most of the night. The next morning CJ was feeling better and we made our way through Alabama down to Mobile where we were to stay with another friend  for the evening. The next morning we made the short trip from Mobile to New Orleans. New Orleans as usual involved the usual amount of drunk and disorderly behaviour and after two nights we left town in a driving rain headed towards Austin, Tx.  During the days ride CJ again complained of neck and back pain so after ~230 miles we stopped in Beaumont for the night. The next morning  a very friendly gentleman from the Harley shop next to the motel  came and spoke with us and told of us his own exploits in Mexico and points south. He also generously offered to provide any assistance we might need in the future for which we are very grateful. That morning as we were loading the bikes CJ informed us that he was in too much discomfort to continue the trip and had decided to head back to D.C.. The previous evening I also discovered that the screen on my new laptop had given up the ghost and all of my pictures prior to Huntsville were lost to me. So with less then high spirits Todd and I headed off to Austin under grey skies. As we approached Houston the skies cleared and as always happens when I'm riding my spirits lifted . In Austin we had the good fortune to offered a place to stay by a member of the VFR list who I had never met before but who went out of his way to be helpful and make us comfortable. Many thanks to Mack for the all the generosity and hospitality. While in Austin Todd came down with a nasty bug(sp?) and spent musch of the time trying to recover his strength. Saturday in Austin the temperature was in the mid 90s, Sunday morning as we prepared to head out the temp was only in the 50s. We ended up riding nearly 300 miles in chilly, overcast weather but still had a great time enjoying  the roads , scenery, and near misses with buzzards through the west Texas countryside . The next day started much the same way with cold grey weather but as soon as we reached Big Bend the skies cleared to reveal the park in all its glory. Things only better as we left the park and made our way along the Rio Grande to Presidio. Tomorrow we will be crossing into Mexico and trip will have truly begun.