The Journal  

20 March 2006

Florida to Virginia

Author: Jeremiah

Photographer: Holly


Home Base: Florida to Virginia , USA

March 11-12

Top 10 Things We Enjoy About Being Back in the U.S.

10. Pumping your own gas and paying with a credit card at the pump.

9. Dogs are curbed and kept on leashes.

8. Not having to pay to use the restrooms.

7. People who speak English.

6. Peanut butter, cheddar cheese, grits and fresh squeezed orange juice.

5. Fresh brewed coffee (you'd think they didn't grow the stuff down there.)

4. Interstate highways where potholes are the exception and not the rule.

3. American breakfasts.

2. Being able to drink water from the tap.

1. Being able to flush your toilet paper.

The morning after our Bike Week visit we left Orlando heading north on the final leg of our journey to Virginia . Traffic for the 50 mile length of I-4 was stop-and-go with Bike Week and weekend traffic. After we merged onto I-95 the five-mile-an-hour parade continued, as trucks pulling trailers that hauled motorcycles attempted to beat the Sunday rush of traffic leaving Bike Week. If everyone who brought their motorcycle to Daytona Beach was riding it home, there wouldn't have been a traffic jam. It took four hours to crawl to Jacksonville .

  Oranges and grapefruits were for sale at a gas station in northern Florida.

Once we hit the Georgia border, almost no motorcycles were being ridden north. We were passed by one valiant group of riders with Pennsylvania and New Jersey plates. The Florida traffic had delayed our progress and at dark we stopped just short of our goal for the day, about 30 miles south of Charlotte , North Carolina.

The next morning we crossed the border early, spent an hour riding through North Carolina and rode through the fog on the mountains into Virginia . The weather was perfect and by mid-day the temperature had risen into the 80s.

  We are a mile from I-81 and less than two hours from home.

At 1 p.m. we turned into our driveway, with our families waiting for us on the lawn, over four months after we had left on a Sunday morning. Despite blue skies, we were hit by a shower of birdseed as we headed inside for a home cooked meal.

  We are heading up the Knupp lane to a sea of family that awaited us. Photo by Woody Marcus.

  Our families gathered around the bike to see the machine that had carried us over 17,000 miles. Photo by Woody Marcus.

  Our friends, the Fadley's, who live across the mountain
from my family had a sign ready to greet us as we rode by their house on Sunday.

The Numbers

Total days traveled: 127

Total days outside the country: 115

Total days in Mexico : 22

Total days in Central America : 21

Total days in South America : 72

Total miles traveled: 17,417

Total flats: 3

Total falls: 5

Most expensive gas: $8 a gallon ( Chile )

Cheapest gas: $1 a gallon ( Argentina )

Longest ride: 723 miles, 13 hours ( Argentina )

Number of days in the rain: 4

Number of borders crossed: 19

Number of countries traveled in: 14

Pieces of clothing stolen at the laundromat: 3 (2 underwear, 1 sock)

Highest elevation: 15,865 feet above sea level ( Bolivia )

Total pounds of rice eaten: 23.75 each (estimated)

Weight of the Guzzi unloaded: 541 lbs.

Weight of the Guzzi loaded with passengers: 1,030 lbs.

Total photos taken on the trip: 9,908


All photographs © Holly Marcus / Page design by Robin Marcus