Weather? Check. Clients? Check. Other important logistics? Check, check, check! Finally... all the stars aligned and I could steal away to Daytona without any undue stress.
Having made this pilgrimage for over 30 years, I've been taking a different route to Daytona, and a somewhat different approach while at Daytona for the last decade or so (minus the years when my business partners became enthralled with choppers and I was forced back into the Main Street and Cabbage Patch madness recently for 3-4 years...).
GA15 provides a great, straight shot to Daytona for me, completely devoid of slab and right through the heart of rural Georgia. It heads south from Athens (just east of Atlanta) through Greensboro, Sparta, Sandersville, Soperton, Vidalia, Baxley and Blackshear before merging with US1 at Racepond, just north of the Florida border. From there it's a straight shot to 295, and then 95 south to Daytona. Or... in this case, where I planned to camp for the weekend.... a top secret location.
Here is a map that traces the GA15 route.
Along the way, there is plenty of interesting places to see, such as Vidalia, the sweet onion capital. If you happen to wind up staying here for the night, don't miss the Li'l Rebel... the classic biker combination of bar, pool hall and party. We (my business partners and I) stopped there on the way down last year... it's a hoot!
Pardon the quality of the pic, it's from my camera phone... I sent it to my partners, who elected to stay home this year (they're burned out on choppers and now interested in riding GSs...)
The ride down 15 isn't any faster than riding the slab, but it's a great alternative with much local scenery.
I shot this pic as a study for a house that we are building up in North Carolina... my wife and I like the rustic nature of the old barns throughout the South.
Some hours later, I reached the first place I needed to go in order to access the top secret camping location. This non-descript governmental facility held the keys to the campsite... and the letter of permission required to camp there. Heady stuff!
With permits in hand, I headed to my campsite. Featuring about 5 miles of soft and sandy road to get to the site, I was certain that I would not be disturbed by noisy bikes doing burnouts at 3am.
This is looking good!