Day 6: Birmingham, AL to HOME! – Friday, June 1st

It was hard to leave the Holiday Inn Express, but it was time to head home. Goldwings never looked as good as they did that morning with their fancy-shmancy seats.

We had an unexpected problem on Friday. The storm system that blew through during the night actually took the temperature from the mid-90’s to the mid-60’s. All of my gear was mesh for hot weather, so I spent a fair bit of Friday pretty cold. It’s funny how big of a difference that 30 degrees make! Miserably hot to uncomfortably cold on a motorcycle!

The Last Supper….or Lunch? Soda Pop Junction

We took I-65 north for a while, then US-31, then back to I-65 to shake things up a bit. Really good riding through this part of Alabama. The reason is clear: we’re getting closer to Tennessee! Bailed on I-65 for good right across the TN state line and had a good lunch stop at the Soda Pop Junction in Lynville, TN. North to Columbia for fuel—and we parted ways in Dickson.

After a shower and a nap—it was time to close the trip out at Carl’s.

Day 6: 243 miles. Cumulative: 1,473.

Concluding Thoughts

This little excursion was far better than I hoped or imagined. Matt and I had both wanted to ride the whole trace ever since we started (and finished) or little business project, RidetheTrace.com. Everything else was just sort of an added thought. When we realized we had a holiday to work with that bought us another day, we kept adding things…and the trip was born!

The Natchez Trace Parkway did not disappoint. Quality ride. It’s nothing exciting, but it is a good ride. New Orleans and the coast were great, too. Alabama coming back home was a necessary evil.

A hammock for camping was actually almost an impulse-item for me during my last-minute wal-mart run. It worked so well, I never once set up the tent. Leslie and I are planning a trip later in North Carolina, and we’re thinking of going the hammock route. Sleep was comfortable, it didn’t matter if the ground wasn’t perfectly level, and it is way easier to set up and take down than a tent will ever be. The size difference for packing is pretty incredible, too.

I’d never done anything like this trip. I don’t do a whole lot of camping or a whole lot of distance riding—but I’m really glad I did. Definitely a bucket-list trip worth taking! Plus, who else can make it that far on less than 30 gallons of gas? That’s the fun of the bike!

The only question that remains: for Hat and Fappy II: do we make the cannon ball run?

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