August 19, 2003: T.W.O. -- Home Away from Home
Over the previous weekend I had spoken with a board member of a swing dance site, http://www.yehoodi.com/, I participate in. We have a motorcycle thread where we talk about bikes, our rides, etc. It's an interesting sub-culture of a sub-culture, swing dancers who ride motorcycles. Anyway, Peter reminded me about T.W.O. in GA, gave me the number, I called and they had room. I remember reading about T.W.O. from Kathy and Laney's trip reports, and Peter highly recommended it, but nothing can compete with reality. T.W.O. is a riders heaven. The decor, the ambiance, the grounds, everything is great. I rented a room, as I'm not carrying camping gear with me. (Someday I'll have to try that.) As it turns out I have the whole thing to myself. There is no one camping, in a cabin, room or anywhere. This place is so special I'm disappointed that I don't have anyone to share the experience with. If you need to recharge the battery, find some time away, take a break or whatever, T.W.O. is a great place to do it.
For me this trip is as much a mental process of recovering from five years without a vacation and the dissolution of the IT partnership I was in, and other stuff, as much as it is a motorcycle trip. It's rolling therapy. I don't have an FRS, MP3 player, radio or other source of distraction on the bike. It's just me in my helmet and the road. Me in my room at night, me and my computer, me and me. Time to reflect, time to evaluate, time to project. I think T.W.O. is the best thing I've found.
I rode some great stuff getting to T.W.O. GA-180 is a great road, lots of twisties, but that seems almost secondary to the home away from home today.
One nice note though. I rode down to Dahlonega, GA and they have WiFi access in their town square. It was great to open the iBook and be online. I loaded up a bunch of pages from the BMWMOA site about the Iron Butt for later reading. I was able to check my email and get in touch with people. All in all a great benefit. So, if you find yourself at T.W.O. and you're jonesing for a BMWST.com fix, get out your laptop and head for Dahlonega, GA-60 between Suches and there is a great road.
August 20, 2003: Wild Goose Chase
Well, I checked my oil and I need some. The custom shop in Dahlonega doesn't have what I need, they sent me to a repair guy who as it turns out doesn't stock anything. He sent me to Toosies. Bingo! They have what I need. With all of this and checking email, scheduling my 12k service in Greensboro, NC, coordinating plans with friends in NC, etc. I'm getting a late start on riding today.
I rode the full length of GA-60 from Dahlonega to US-76. Then headed east on US-76 to US-19 and US-129 south. This was a nice road. More suited to my skill level. Nice sweepers, more open site lines. I followed US-19 back to Dahlonega, got dinner and headed home. GA-60 north was wet from a light rain and a bit treacherous. So, I took my sweet time. The smells are amazing when it rains down here. Everything is so alive. People in cars have no idea what they are missing.
Back at T.W.O. a fellow rider, Mike from Sarasota, FL is camping. I won't be the only one at T.W.O. tonight. Finally someone to share this great place with. We sat around the fire, ate some chocolate, drank a little and told each other lies for a while; we connected like riders so easily connect. He even gave me a message to pass onto a Eureka Springs, AR native when I attend the Un. He says I'll have no problem finding the recipient. So, I guess a "quest" has been given to me. I must find J.R. from Eureka Spring, deliver my message and be released from the spell.
All in all a good day, no work, got oil, scheduled my service, did some riding, met a fellow rider. Life is good.
August 21, 2003: Domestic Day
Having been on the road a week now it was time to take care of some domestic concerns. Laundry was the project of the day. It's interesting how you can really minimize when your traveling platform is a motorcycle. I probably brought too much stuff, but hey it fit in the Givi.
Just a short ride today. I met a local rider, Jason, while I was doing my laundry. We rode over GA-180 to US-129 from Suches. This is a great road. Lots of tight twisties and switchbacks. It is very reminiscent of The Dragon. Not quite as intense, but a really nice road. The nice thing is we had the road pretty much all to ourselves. If you ever get to Suches be sure to check this road out. I'm becoming a lot more comfortable with roads like this. GA-180 threw me a little when I was riding into Suches. Today is was nice. Following Jason helped. He showed me great lines. Knowing where to put the bike is so important. I'm getting better at it.
Back at T.W.O. people are showing up. Now there are three additional riders camping. It makes for a nice feel. There are people to share this incredible place with. We can all sup from the waters of riding and feed our souls in a community of riders.