Everything is wet. I'm sitting in my tent, in Buchanan, Virginia and going on outside around me is a downpour. This will be my last night of camping on this motorcycle trip, and I suppose it's fitting that the weather gods put me to the test one final time. It's quite steamy in here, and of what little light there is, everything is a murky green-orange hue, because my tent is orange and the tarp on top of it is green. Why is my tent covered in a tarp? Well. Once I had everything set up, and was sitting happily in my tent starting to feel a little less wet (I had to motorcycle through about 45 minutes of rain), I realized that there was a palpable drizzle taking place inside the tent. The rain fly is on, so I have no explanation, other than that the rainfly is actually not waterproof (as a friend told me, "it's always raining inside the tent"). True. My tarp solved the problem, but now it is dim and moist. The ratio of wet things to dry things is about infinity to zero.
Last night I ended up in a random free camparea (the term campsite would imply something more civilized). Out in the boonies of Johnson City, Tennesssee, there is a dirt road that goes up and up and up and never stops. It is called Low Gap, ironically. It was only 7 miles of driving but it took me 30-40 minutes because dirt roads are not friends with motorcycles, and the road was wet, and every so often some hooligan would come whizzing by in a truck and push me off the road. I attempted to converse with one such young man, but there was a language barrier and we called it a draw.
Shoutout to Brian, awesome dude I met who was also camping there- we ended up sharing a space and building a fire with the help of some teepee technique and a little sploosh of gasoline. Turns out Brian works in pyrotechnics, typically fireworks displays, but apparently he also indulges in some everyday applications. We talked about marijuana legalization, Hells Angels, and beer. He woke me up as he was leaving in the early AM to give me a parting gift of a couple bottles of water and some granola bars and Little Debbies. Thank you Brian.
Today I entered Virginia from Tennessee, and got a nice run through some picturesque countryside with rolling hills and little red and white houses. The ratio of houses to churches seemed to be about 3:1, which I found a little odd.
Tomorrow will be the last stop of the trip. I'm visiting family in Hanover, Pennsylvania, and after that will traverse my final 360-mile segment before landing home.