In the morning I repeated the same pack-up. This time I strapped my backpack onto the yellow dry sack. I had ridden with it on my back from New Mexico to Kentucky and the weight was getting to me. Although I started to do this earlier in AZ I was paranoid of it coming undone. It had my laptop, which I needed for work once I get to West Virginia, as well as other expensive electronics. I spent a while rigging the backpack on so it wouldn’t budge. Back on the road again I finally got to see some country. I rode along the blue grass highway and every so many miles a sign for one of the Kentucky distilleries would pop up. I’m not one for hard liquor, but it might be fun to stop. I kept pushing onward since I was kind of ready to be off the bike for good.
The trip was fun through Arizona and New Mexico but the fun was lost once I hit Texas. Just flat, hot and not much to see for me. Kentucky had a good introduction in my eyes, but I was on the verge of being burnt out. I ended up back in the marathon driving routine that I always talk about to others to avoid. I was tired and knew the trip, for now, would be at an end by sunset. That’s when my mind started messing with me. All the mile markers started going backwards and forwards in random increments. Twenty miles to the next town says one sign. Seemingly a half hour later another sign. 10 miles to some other town that wasn’t mentioned and 18 miles to the original town. What the hell? Am I going crazy? Next sign, original town 5 miles. Have I entered the twilight zone or am I just tired as hell? I honestly can’t say for a fact since my trip odometer didn’t work. I was feeling the trip wearing on me finally. Again, I think it had to do with the mental aspect of knowing it would end soon.
When I crossed into West Virginia I was excited and happy I had reached my destination. Then reality set in. I was still another hour away. Shit! The closer I got the further away it seemed my destination was. I continued on and my body started to go along with my mind. I couldn’t get comfortable on the seat. My hands were going numb and my right thumb felt like someone was jabbing a knife between my thumb joint where it meets my hand. It was excruciating. Why was it I rode 2350 miles just fine with only mild discomfort, but now was in agony? The last 50 miles were not fun at all. As much as I want to try and say it was, I can’t. I have always been decent at endurance challenges. This one I wasn’t able to mentally ignore. I rode the interstate into downtown Charleston almost in tears. I pulled up behind the building I would be working in and got off the bike. I started pulling off my gloves, helmet and jacket. I had finally made it. Roughly 2400 miles of riding a 1982 dual sport in 8 days. Mentally drained, I called my friend to let him know of my arrival. He came over and I and parked the bike in the stairwell to the building. I headed with my friend over to his place so I could take a hot shower.
Overall the trip was good. I had ridden almost across the entire USA, so that has to count for something in my book. Although from Texas eastward I didn’t see a whole lot, I still had moments of fun. I’ll be in West Virginia for work for a while. Once work is done I’ll head back out in a new direction. But when that happens I’m definitely going to plan more time so I don’t burn myself out.