Are you an indoor person or an outdoor person? Me, I'm an outdoor person who spends way too much time indoors. I was thinking about this a lot last week while working out my road trip lodging for my upcoming trip. After a lot of searching and thinking, I ended up renting a motel for the first few days of the trip. Not really what I wanted to do.
I took my first real motorcycle trip back in about 1981. I was riding a Suzuki LS550 with Bagman soft luggage and a Quicksilver fairing. And a tent. I pointed the bike toward the Smokies and hit the road. I was gone for 7 days, camped all but one. Rained just about every single day. I put up the tent in the rain; took it down in the rain. Lived in a cheap rainsuit, rode 500 miles home with a fever and strep throat…and loved every minute of it.
We went to bed by a campfire, albeit a wet one. We woke by rivers, lakes or streams, in the foothills of mountains. We breathed in fresh air, summer rain and wood smoke. Really nothing like it in my opinion. Sure there were bugs. Yes, I slept on a few rocks. Not all the showerhouses were so great. The tent was cheap, so was the bag and I didn't even had a sleeping pad. But the view and the atmosphere could not be beat.
Then, somewhere along the way, I became a sissy boy. Got rid of the tent and started sleeping in motels. I have not camped since. It has been so long since I did that sort of thing I'm sure most people think I'm just a city boy. Truth is, I was raised on a farm and spent nearly every night of every summer, sleeping in a tent by our pond, along with my buddies, fishing, gigging frogs and causing mayhem in the neighborhood. I've come a long way.
I will admit to liking the comfort of a bed, climate control, no bugs (hopefully!) and my own private shower. But I don't like the price. When I take a bike trip, the hotel really becomes nothing more than a place to sleep between rides. What a waste of money. And I don't like the view. I mean, really, which sight would you rather go to bed to and wake up to?
If I was better at staying put in one place while tripping, I would have used AIrBnB to get a compromise of sorts…a home with outdoor space to stay at. Maybe next time. Who knows, I might even get brave enough to give tent camping a go again. After all I have a brand new tent…never out of the bag…two years old!