“Ramble On”

Tonight I sit here thinking over my awesome weekend and meeting new motorcycle friends. That stated, a weekend away from everyone I see on a regular basis (excluding hubster) was just what I imagine a therapist might order for a girl suffering from the weekly grind of routine and offices. Two wheels and an open road to clear my thoughts and rejuvenate my spirit did just the trick.

We booked an amazing little ranch cabin located in the cozy town of Brooksville, FL. The cabin was set on a horse ranch that included a variety of other farm animals. It felt like camping but much more comfy.  If you like doing the AirBnB thing and you’re into nature and animals, click on the link above, this place was great.

“Thanks to you I’m much obliged for such a pleasant stay…”

-Led Zeppelin

We decided on our ride down from Bama that we would take our time and avoid the interstate. This gave us the chance to take it all in. I saw an older gentleman selling Tupelo honey off the back of his pickup truck. We passed more than a couple of mom and pop BBQ joints with smells that tempted me to stop on more than one occasion, so long diet! We also took in more somber scenery in the form of property devastation from hurricane Michael. The media has all but forgotten the people of the little rural towns of south Alabama and North Florida. I will say it didn’t deter the folks who live in these parts from working to rebuild and it didn’t keep them from being friendly. Everyone who stopped to discuss our motorcycle trip with us was brimming with kindness.img_0591

I had a passenger on my ride, a tagalong from a sweet little relative who is completing a class project. Flat Stanley was a great companion, easily fitting in to my saddlebag and popping out for cool photo ops, one of which was our ride through Apalachicola National Forest. d5ea9ac0-41c0-4f09-8f99-4db8090c86bf

Sarge, my Triumph Tiger Xc, was comfortable and accommodated all of my packing needs easily. I went with soft bags over the hard case panniers due to pricing, and I attached another duffel over the rear seat. Never did I feel like the bike was overloaded nor did I feel any difference in handling with the added weight. The handlebar warmers that come standard on this particular model were nice for that early morning takeoff. I will eventually upgrade to the heated seat as well.7438e96c-35fe-4cd0-aac6-10fe081d9f2d

Hubster was riding along on the KTM Superduke and feeling pretty comfortable as well. His bike, a sport touring model, boasts a lot of power and torque, stuff hubster loves. The KTM also provides a bit more comfort than some of his previous bikes which allows him to look young guy cool 😎 with old man 👴🏻 comfort, haha. The KTM comes standard with hard side bags for storage which hubster utilized along with an additional storage bag over the rear seat. I’m finding that people often mistake his bike for KTM’s version of the adventure bike. I don’t know if that’s because he’s often riding alongside my Tiger or that KTM is so well known for their dirt and off road motorcycles.img_0537

We made an extended stop in Cedar Key, FL where I got to sample some local seafood and walk around a bit to stretch my legs. We saw other motorcyclists and had conversations about bike makes models and gear we like. I often get feedback on the height of my bike, but it’s the most comfortable bike I’ve ridden thus far. Listen up ladies, don’t let the bike size intimidate you, had I went off of looks alone I would’ve never given a motorcycle like this a chance. Rider experience is what it’s all about & while being able to touch the ground is important, being completely flat footed is not, more on that topic later.c73579f5-3a93-4128-bd91-a1c605826934

Hubster had taken the liberty of reaching out to some motorcyclists we’d been following for quite some time on social media so our plan was a morning of horseback riding at the ranch and an evening of meeting some fellow riders. Before meeting up with the other bikers to ride hubster was questioned about our riding experience. This is an important and, I feel, necessary question when riding in new groups. These were sport bike riders, a type of riding I haven’t done in a while, so upon introductions I made it clear I’d be in the back of the group. Our new sport bike friends were more than gracious and reassuring regarding the topic.img_0601img_06109dcaee03-6074-4410-9cb9-9e628dc5da53

YamahaGRL and her husband are amazing riders and they introduced us to some curves in Florida I would’ve never known about. Shout out to Florida Department of Transportation and their amazing roads, some of the best maintained roads I’ve had the privilege to ride on. I liked that YamahaGRL and her husband were sticklers for safety gear and she had the literal scars to prove just how important gear can be. As we discussed riding ability she shared that every time she becomes too arrogant in riding she gets humbled so her advice to me was keep riding and stay humble. I mentioned earlier about not always being flat footed on a bike, well YamahaGRL was on her toes at stops, but she knew her bike and her abilities, that’s what it’s all about ladies. We spent that evening getting an idea of the roads and route we’d be taking the next day when we’d be meeting up with more seasoned motorcycle enthusiasts.img_0681

That following morning we met other riders Salt, Heather, & John just to name a few and set out on our ride. I admired everyone’s riding abilities and believe it or not, Sarge kept up! Sarge may not be a sport bike but it didn’t lack the handling and power needed to get into some leans. I used every bit of my tire and was feeling confident in what my bike was capable of. This group of riders were courteous to traffic and each other, we took breaks as needed, and had an all around enjoyable experience.img_0639

Our next day was intended to be more adventure as we made our way back home. I wanted to take the Tiger down a trail I’d heard about but as chance would have it Mother Nature had other plans. It began raining about half an hour into our trip home. We always prepare for rain but I don’t love it. The right gear makes all the difference and it’s definitely time to upgrade mine. Each of our stops included a hot beverage and extended time due to the fatigue brought on by cold. Thankfully I was able to get by with the gear I had b/c the hand guards, windscreen, and hand warmers on the bike do a good job of doing their job. Despite the cold and rain, when you have the opportunity for a cool photo op you take it. We found this cool church covered in murals and took several pics.0f5ccb75-73ed-4812-af9e-fd5498d5565aa733d3d6-092b-42b2-85ab-cf58c1d8a399

On the initial trip down I noticed a sign for a state park I wanted to check out and since the rain and cold wasn’t letting up any time soon we figured why not check the place out. So glad we did! Wakulla Springs is an amazing little spot that offers river boat rides for minimal prices. There is a beautiful historic lodge in the park that has a restaurant and a nice snack bar. We took a river boat ride and saw several manatee, alligators, water fowl, and plant life. Our guide down the river was great, funny and full of facts.img_0696

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If you’re an old movie lover like me then you understand what a treat it was to learn the old horror flick Creature From The Black Lagoon was filmed here. My imagination ran wild as I could definitely see how this would’ve made a great movie setting. The condensation coming off of the river gave the area that creepy vibe, well that and the alligators. This is an area I plan to revisit when it’s not cold and raining!img_0695

This is what adventure riding is all about for me. The trips, the trails, the foods, the smells all culminating to create a wonderful overall experience. The best part, meeting new people & making new friends. The world isn’t as ugly as the news would have you believe, people can be awesome. So get out and find some adventure. I can’t wait for my next one!img_0620

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

-Helen Keller

6 thoughts on ““Ramble On”

Add yours

  1. It was wonderful to have met and rode with both you and your husband. The camaraderie shared among the motorcyclist regardless of the make, style and model to me is what it’s all about well, besides the curves. You two are a rare gem of motorcycle riding couples and like all precious gems you should be cherished and kept safe. I pray our Lord does just that for you. Until we meet again…

    Liked by 1 person

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