Back in 2014 I rode my 1982 Honda XL500R from California to West Virginia. While I was out I decided to take a trip to Asheville, North Carolina to visit the Overland Expo East. It was kind of last minute, though I hadn’t been to an expo in a couple years and figured since it was sort of close I should make it.
Packing up my bike I hit the road 280 miles south. Back on the road again was nice from being cooped up in the office. The day was sunny, so I took my time. Once I arrived in the evening I made my way to the camping area and set my tent up. Since this was my first expo where I didn’t have something on display and it had been a while since I was active in the overland world, the feel was different. Apart from being on the other end of the country, there were tones of new faces.
The guys who setup camp next to me came over to introduce themselves. Later on they invited another motorcycle rider and myself to some dinner and beer. Couldn’t pass that up! It was ironic everyone a the table was in the tech field to some degree. I find it interesting that most of the adventurers I do meet are likewise. Possibly due to the need to escape the work environment, we all need to get away. Far away. As always, it was great to meet other like minded people and relax around a campground.
In the morning it was muddy mess. Rain overnight turned the paths into slip and slides. There’s a couple YouTube videos you can find showing the slippage. I walked over to the start of the show and began my rounds. I wandered through the exhibits and attended a few of the presentations. Most of was I focused on was the moto videos and seminars, as this trip was my intro to dual sport travel. As its been a year later from my visit, the exact classes are now a bit fuzzy. I do remember the evening video of Neil Bailey Rides, Tibet by motorcycle and another from Europe to Mongolia.
That evening I checked the weather. Low temps and possible snow was headed in the next day. I wasn’t prepared for freezing temps. Just had my riding jacket and a sweater. I decided to call it good and pack up in the morning to leave. My ride back to Charleston, WV was long and cold. I stopped every 15 minutes to warm back up. Crossing into town I bought two beanies, one for head and another to block wind on my face, and insulated gloves that made the return a little better.
Overall I had a good time. Definitely some room to grow and learn as I venture more into adventure motorcycling.