You have all been very encouraging and I thank you.
I'm starting out slowly around home here in Florida with some overnights and perhaps two-night trips.
Part of the reason is to "shake down" the equipment and to be sure that it balances and stays attached.
The other thing that I have to work into is freeway riding. Right now, I tend to avoid interstates because they are boring but also because I am still skittish about having trucks blow by me at 400 mph (more or less). I have to get my skittishness behind me.
Finally, I am grateful for the encouragement, because the simple fact is that this is my bike and it must serve all purposes. I was worried that perhaps there was something that made the F800 inherently unworthy as a long distance tourer (even some of the other posts on this forum seem to make that claim).
I'm glad you all see it differently -- it makes me feel much better. I hope to see many of you in Wyoming. Look for a blue ST with a Florida plate and an old man at the controls.
BTW, the best part of the F800 is the 67 mpg on the highway. Try that on a big bike someday.
(oh, yeah, I almost forgot -- Sapphire, When I came back to riding after a 20 year absence, my first bike was a CB600F -- it was as close to my old CB550 as I could find -- and it quickly reminded my of why I always wanted something better than the 550. Great little bike for tearing around town, a horrible bike for touring more than two hours at a time. And it got 46 mpg on a good day).