Charleston, South Carolina

Text: Chris Myers • Photography: Chris Myers, Kathy Myers

Call me crazy, but I have this firm belief that motorcycles should be on a trailer for only two reasons: mechanical issues and the absence of a license tag. If you want to ride somewhere, ride to get there. This goes for scooters too. When I told people I was planning to ride a Kymco Grandvista 250cc scooter to Charleston, SC, they looked at me funny. When I told them we were going two-up, they called me crazy.

The Call of Adventure
Rick Chappell and the guys at Honda of Winston-Salem, our local Kymco scooter dealer, don't quite know what to make of it when I tell them I'm planning on riding to Charleston. Everyone agrees that a scooter is the perfect ride for Charleston; they just don't agree with me that it'll do fine as a ride to Charleston. Which makes me wonder what's happened to our good old American sense of adventure. Undeterred, I fire up the mighty 250cc Kymco power plant and head home to show Kathy our ride for the weekend.

"It's cute," she says, "but will it make it all the way to Charleston?" Man, what a bunch of doubting Thomases. I quickly tell her to grab her helmet and join me on a quick ride to stress test this bad boy. A zip through the country and a short jaunt on the highway assures her, and me, that we'll have no problems on the road. Curiosities satisfied we headed inside to pack for our trip.

300 miles, 250ccs, and1.5 Gallon Fill-Ups
Every good road trip starts with topping off the tank. The fuel gauge shows the tank nearly empty, and the automatic shut-off stops the gas pump almost as soon as it starts. Yep, 1.5 gallons does the trick. You gotta love it.

We're taking back roads as much as we can, which makes a lot more sense than riding the interstates and fighting the cyclonic blasts of speeding 18-wheelers. (Crazy, maybe, but I'm not insane.) That lengthens the trip but the scenery and the unique charms of the road will be worth the extra time. The flat landscape of southern North Carolina and South Carolina isn't too spectacular but somehow it never grows old. The towns are small and the farms large, yet the nods and waves from the folks you see are welcome reminders that there is such a thing as southern hospitality. And thick as the scent of magnolia, there's an air of mystery about many of the towns the road winds through. Each seems the perfect setting for a great southern novel. But some stories will never be told, and maybe that's a good thing.

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the January/February 2005 back issue.