So my buddy and I decide fairly last minute to head up to the mountains over memorial day weekend. He was leaving out of Atlanta and me out of Savannah. Plan (to the extent there was one) was to head to North Carolina the first day and see what happened from there. We camp along the way on all of our trips. Being the high level thinkers we are, we didn't even think about room in campgrounds being an issue with the holiday weekend. We made it into North Carolina about dinner time and stopped for our typical gas station break, snack and bs-ing. Met a couple of other riders passing through and chatted for a bit while we looked up campgrounds in the area. As would come as no surprise to any rationale adult (not us), all the campgrounds were booked solid with festive holidayers. We were weighing our options and receiving advice from a couple of locals of some possible guerrilla camping spots where we "might" not run into trouble, when I remembered I had my Anonymous book stashed in the top of my side case. I've never used it before and wasn't really sure how to go about an introduction on a phone call like that. At this point it was about 8pm on Friday night.
I pulled the book out, flipped to the closest city on our route and found the first number with the glorious "c" code under it. First thought was remembering posts about being considerate to fellow Anonymous users and not calling late, etc. etc. so i'm feeling like i'm really starting off on the wrong foot already! Take a deep breath, dial the number and a voice appears on the other end! Now what the hell do i do?? I say hello give my name, tell the gentlemen that i'm a member of the MOA and I got his number from the Anonymous. I get a tentative "okay." Explain that i'm on the road, looking for a place to camp, saw the "c" by his number and apologize profusely for a few minutes. To my surprise, he responds like he has a clue about what i'm rambling about. He turns to his wife, "this is a guy from the Anonymous they want to camp in our backyard." She gave the nod, we get his address and we're off. To his credit, he gave me very good directions but I didn't hear much as I was still trying to process it all. I got the address in my phone, and we were off.
About 25 minutes later, we were pulling into a wonderful brick home-lined neighborhood and into a cul de sac street. Here is where my faulty note taking bites me as he told me which house and which side of the street it was; however, that information already flew out of my head on the ride over. Its beyond dark at this point and impossible to see the street numbers on the houses. We idle our way to the end of the cul de sac and start back up the street. Just as i'm thinking i'll need to attempt this recon on foot, I see two smiling faces and and arms waiving up ahead in my headlight. We heads towards them and they guide us up their driveway and down into the backyard like an airport ramp crew. We park the bikes in the back, dismount and pull off our helmets to find two of the nicest faces we've ever met. Our husband and wife hosts for the evening.
We exchange pleasantries and our anxiety over calling in the first place and so late. We talk about our trip and they tell us of their experience with Anonymous riders before and how well it went. I look around and see a couple of cars but no bikes so i ask, "uhh what do y'all ride?" A few minutes later we're welcomed into the first of two workshops filled with gorgeous vintage bikes of all levels of restoration and use. Drooling to say the least. Soon we were too far immersed in conversation of bikes and specs to even think about tents and sleeping bags. The second workshop failed to disappoint either and we all talked like the best of friends though only knowing each other a short time.
Finally our hosts could see the road weariness and we turned our attention back to accommodations. The back yard was absolutely perfect for a couple of tents, though our hosts most graciously offered us a spot inside the house. They showed us around the house and where the bathroom was and told us to make our selves at home during the night as we needed. As we were setting up our tents, they brought us homemade cookies and offered to fix us breakfast in the morning. It was really all just so welcoming and unexpected to a cynic like myself. Feeling like we were imposing already, we did our best to politely decline the breakfast offer but would take them up on any recommendations for a good local spot. We set up our tents. Recounted how blown away we were by the experience and then immediately crashed in our tents and were out.
We did our best to get up as early as possible to get going and out of the way. Our host returned as we were packing up and we compared notes on bikes, rides, and camping gear. They gave us the name and address of the best breakfast spot in town, and we promised to check it out. We talked a bit longer and received extremely helpful info on routes and good roads on our paths. We mounted up and rode away with the biggest smiles on our faces similar to the ones that greeted us the night before.
We hit up the breakfast spot and recounted how great the experience was. That one night really made a good trip great.
Given the above and my self-professed flagrant violations of Anonymous protocol, i have done my best to the keep our hosts identities and particulars confidential. While I'm hesitant to use the Anonymous again because nothing can compare to this experience, I am blown away by the experience. First time, first number dialed and it was just amazing. I am most grateful to our host for welcoming us and hope to repay the favor some day. When I finish this post, I'll be dropping them a note of thanks.
Just wanted to pass this along. I'm an Anonymous fan now and forever.
Thanks to all who have made it a reality.