HU Travellers Meeting Virginia 2018

Horizons Unlimited 4th Virginia Travellers Meeting -
Holiday Lake 4-H Center and Camp, near Appomattox

Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, Apr 29, 2018

It's All About Overland Adventure

Whether you're a seasoned veteran with wisdom to share or a complete novice hungry for ideas and guidance, it doesn't matter if you ride a motorcycle, a bicycle, or drive an expedition vehicle...

Horizons Unlimited meetings are for everyone who dreams of adventure along the road less travelled.

Horizons Unlimited Virginia Event Schedule

This event is taking place from Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, Apr 29, 2018.

On-site registration/check-in will open on Thursday, April 26, at 1:00 pm.

There will be presentations and tech clinics on Thursday evening; Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings; and Saturday afternoon and evening. We plan ride-outs on Friday and Saturday mornings. Come early and make it a great weekend! We recommend riding in on Thursday and leaving on Sunday, and participating fully in the activities in between to make the most of your HU experience.

HU Virginia 2015 group shot.

Throughout the meeting, we’ll offer talks, demonstrations, and other fun sessions, including interesting ride-out opportunities. In addition to hearing inspiring stories of overland adventure from around the world, you'll learn how to prepare for your journey, navigation tips, first-aid basics, photography, and a host of other essential topics. Whatever your past experience has been or your future plans may be, there will something for everyone.

A draft schedule will be posted here about a week before the event.

Presenters at HU Virginia 2018 so far...

Workshops and Tech Sessions below
Keith McKenney

Keith McKenney

Adventure Riding Made Simpler
Awesome routes + GPS + Donuts + Yoda make for a simpler, safer ride

Keith introduces a simpler way to do adventure and dual sport rides using curated routes on GPS devices that are simple to use and easy to follow. Many outstanding routes and rides are available on GPS chips. Examples (Mid Atlantic BDR) will be presented to show the tool set that include simple primary tracks, route options available based on skill and conditions, and what is in store for the ride with regard to gas resources and distances.

The concept of riding individually with a team using ride 'Donuts' is explained. The idea and role of a ride 'Yoda' is presented. Examples are provided for how to ride 'out west' on awesome routes without retiring from work and include the Continental Divide adventure ride, Utah BDR, Colorado BDR, as well as several examples of Mexico including Baja (San Diego to Cabo).

KEITH McKENNEY came back to riding six years ago at age 60 on an R1200GS. Maryland to Labrador was the first adventure ride, then La Paz to Ushuaia, San Diego to Cabo, Route 66, most of the BDRs and more, mostly on Adventure WR250Rs.

Keith McKenney

Peter Bodtke

Peter Bodtke, Peter's Ride

Advice for Impractical Adventure
Overview of multiple overland trips and missteps

In 2006, Peter watched the movie Motorcycle Diaries and immediately bought his first motorcycle. He was 47 at the time and his wife was out of town. Two years later, he set off for Costa Rica. Fast forward four years, South America called and a nine-month trip unfolded, with Jamaica and Cuba thrown in at the last minute. In recent years, Peter returned to Peru to ride the Andes, three trips and counting. And there are more trips in the planning stages.

Peter highlights photos from various trips, what worked well, his personal evolution as an adventure rider, and a laundry lists of mistakes. Stories include, in no particular order: a flat tire, running out of gas, road blockades, diesel fumes, vicious dogs, a series of GPS devices, search for mangoes, suicidal pigs, dodging Picasso's bulls, lots of llamas, dancing donkeys, a Brazilian motorcycle gang, rain, snow and hail. A generous serving of advice for the open road with a dash of philosophy.

PETER BODTKE has ridden nearly every country in Central and South America. A self-confessed punk traveller, he has pushed the envelope since he was a young lad. His personal motto: "Wow, we're still alive, that was fun. Let's do it again." Photographer, intrepid adventurer, and a nice guy most of the time.

Peter Bodtke

Peter Bodtke

Tom Medema

Tom Medema, Rally for Rangers

Rally for Rangers -2017/2018
A compelling short film about the 2017 Rally through Mongolia's Gobi Desert (with rare drone footage)

In August 2017, ten volunteers set out to cover 1500 km of the Gobi Desert to bring new motorcycles to park rangers in the Otgontenger Strictly Protected Area in Mongolia. Cinematographer and drone pilot Jeff Colhoun captured the adventure and reward of this incredible journey in stunning high definition. From the Flaming Cliffs and Singing Sand dunes of the searing Gobi, to the glacial heights of Otgontenger, the true spirit of this journey was a successful conclusion giving ten new Yamaha AG200 bikes to park rangers who need them to combat poaching and other threats to special species and landscapes. Learn more about Rally for Rangers' continued efforts in 2018 to the Altai Mountains of Mongolia as well as expansion into Patagonia.

TOM MEDEMA is a park ranger and co-founder of the Rally for Rangers Foundation. Tom's passion and dedication has attracted many like-minded riders to bring new motorcycles to park rangers in remote locations around the world to support their efforts to protect threatened species and landscapes.

Mongolian park ranger and bike

Line of riders in Mongolia

Chip Nelson and Ken Showalter

Chip Nelson & Ken Showalter, RTW North to South

Virginia to Ushuaia on Dirt Bikes
Two Suzuki DR350s journey south through Mexico, Central and South America

After a successful 2014 circumnavigation of the northern hemisphere, two longtime adventure junkies didn't wait long to start planning their next adventure. It was clear very early on that riding to the bottom of South America was the obvious choice. Ken and Chip left chilly Virginia on October 28, 2017, and found themselves in chilly Ushuaia, Argentina, 95 days and 15,000 miles later. They share their perspective on the choices they made during preparation in terms of bikes, mods, riding gear, luggage, spare parts, camping equipment, and trip expenses. You'll see and hear a taste of their experiences and encounters while riding through 13 countries and crossing 16 borders. Their hardearned insights to the pros and cons traveling on smaller bikes vs. bigger BMWs may also help others make bike choices that are best for their trip type and situation.

KEN SHOWALTER lives on a farm in northwest Virginia with his wife Marybeth. CHIP NELSON has lived for past 20 years on and off in the mountains of Colorado and several Caribbean Islands. They have taken two big trips together - 2014 on big BMWs around the world through 22 countries and just this past year through 13 countries to Ushuaia on the smaller DR350s.

The Hand in Chile

Jenny Morgan

Jenny Morgan

Northern eXposure
Double or Nothing
Rally Raid Kit for the BMW G310GS

Northern eXposure
An on- and off-road adventure through Canada and the bordering United States

This is the U.S. debut of Jenny's brand new travel video/slide-show presentation featuring highlights from her Summer 2017 solo adventure ride onboard her trusty Rally-Raid/Honda CB500X Adventure bike. This 10,000-mile journey through Canada and the bordering U.S. states includes some of the best backroads, by-ways and off-road trails between some familiar and lesser-known points of interest. NOTE: This is primarily an animated slide and video presentation with pauses for explanation and Q&A.

Jen on her CB500X Adventure bike

Double or Nothing
Tips for compact and efficient travel packing for on- and off-road

A wise man once said, "Overweight is underprepared." Jenny takes up this challenge and shows you how to pack everything you need into a minimalist luggage system for an indefinite period on- and off-road. Revised for 2017, this slide-show and practical demonstration includes tips on camping equipment, clothes, tools, spares, tech and navigation. With careful planning and consideration, a little can actually go a VERY long way indeed. Q&A is encouraged throughout the presentation.

Jen on the Trans-America Trail

Rally Raid Kit for the BMW G310GS
Tentatively an extension of "Double or Nothing" or on display

Decked out with its customized Rally Raid kit, Jenny's new BMW G310GS will be on-site for your viewing pleasure. Jenny will show the bike and the kit. And, as always, she's on hand for all your questions about it!

JENNY MORGAN is a British solo adventure overland traveller and rally racer. Currently dividing her time between the U.K. and the U.S.A., she has ridden in North and South America, Europe, and North Africa. She is also a key member of the Rally Raid Products (UK) development team, including the Honda CB500X and now the new BMW G310GS.

David Hamburger

David Hamburger

Vagabond Adventure: Europe 53 Years Ago
Early adventure stories: buy a 1953 BMW R51/3, cross Europe in tshirt, sandals and jeans... oh, and the jazz, the girls, and the French Riviera!

Fifty-three years ago, a 20-year-old student went on a quest to find a used BMW and travel vagabond-style around Europe through 10 countries. David enthralls you with his stories of the people he met, sleeping under the stars, and riding across the Alps, around the French Riviera, into Spain, and down the Loire Valley in the golden days of "Europe-on-$5-a-day", only 20 years after the Second World War.

DAVID HAMBURGER is a lifelong motorcycle vagabond who survived a 40-year Hollywood film career still smiling. Credits include Smokey and The Bandit 1 and 2, Cannonball Run, Hooper, Telefon, Silverado, Being There, Indian Runner, Mission Impossible Series. He is legendary for driving his converted 1947 Flxible Bus, with motorcycle attached, to his movie shooting locations.

David riding in 1965

Merrill Glos

Merrill Glos

Colorado Mountain Trail Riding

A solo RTW journey of discovery... my last chance

In mid April 2014, I left the front door and traveled in a westerly direction until I reached the back door. Google Maps says you can do an RTW in 23 days traveling almost exactly 10,000 miles and traversing 7 countries: USA, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France and England. So why did it take me 29,695 miles, 190 days and 34 countries? If you're only going to do it once, do it right - and at 68, it was now or never. Join me and Tarbaby Too (my Yamaha Super Tenere) as we cross 94 international borders, weather Siberia with snow, cross the northern reaches of the Gobi desert in Mongolia, hit the Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan and dip into Africa on the ride of my life. Don't wait.

Merrill in Istanbul

Colorado Mountain Trail Riding
Riding the mountain passes of Colorado on a WR250R dual sport

My friend Todd and I rode the iconic mountain trails and passes of the Colorado Rockies. We based ourselves out of Steamboat Springs, Gunnison, Ouray Colorado and Deadwood South Dakota. We were blessed with great weather to ride our dual sports on some of the world's most scenic trails and mountain passes. If a (self-described) fat 70-year-old man can do it, so can you!

MERRILL GLOS bought his first motorcycle in 1972 and has traveled in more than 50 countries, including to Ushuaia and back, Prudhoe Bay, a RTW and Cuba in 2017. He says, "I'm now 72 and it's time to down size." What's next?

Merrill at Imogene Pass

Dick Klehm

Dick Klehm

Lessons Learned in the Far East

Not one for selfies, Dick takes you on his most recent journey through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Russia and China. He compares the differences in border crossing into Laos versus Mexico, Canada, China and Argentina. Off-road riding taught him some lessons: traversing a slippery incline, the downside to an engine stall, and recalling the tips from an HU off-road skills training session.

DICK KLEHM's many years of riding experience include the U.S., Mexico, Europe, South America (including Ecuador which he presented in 2017, Canada, and Eastern Europe. He blames HU Virginia organizer Steve Anderson for talking him into to presenting. It worked because Dick's back again!

Dick on the Great Wall of China

Lyn Williams

Lyn Williams, Twoxtw

Roaming Through Russia

Three months traveling across Russia on our two Yamahas. Entered from Finland, traveled down through St. Petersberg to Moscow, across to Kazan, Chelyabinsk, through the Stans, then to Vladivostok via Mongolia. This gave us a good idea of life in this diverse country. Nothing compares to the eye-opening experiences of meeting people who have a very different life from ours.

LYN WILLIAMS and her partner Curt left Australia in 2014 to ride the world. Visualize their route: southeast Asia, Germany, all of the U.K., Europe, Morocco, and back into Eastern Europe. Then to Scandinavia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan , Mongolia, and Vladivostok. They shipped the bikes to Los Angeles and continued through to Mexico and Belize before returning to the USA. In Phoenix, they bought and converted a truck before setting off along the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, then onward to Alaska.

Roadside Russa sign

Lyn and two bikes with oceanview

Alan (Curt) Curtis

Alan (Curt) Curtis, Twoxtw

From Two Wheels to Six
Converting a box truck into a home-on-wheels

After travelling around the world on two wheels for a little over three years, find out why we decided to change our mode of transport for touring through USA and Canada. We bought a 16-foot box truck and converted it into our home-on-wheels. What were all of the pros and cons of changing vehicles? We share what can be done with a small amount of money and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

ALAN CURTIS and his partner Lyn Williams left Australia in 2014 to ride the world. Visualize their route: southeast Asia, Germany, all of the U.K., Europe, Morocco, and back into Eastern Europe. Then to Scandinavia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan , Mongolia, and Vladivostok. They shipped the bikes to Los Angeles and continued through to Mexico and Belize before returning to the USA. In Phoenix, they bought and converted a truck before setting off along the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, then onward to Alaska.

Truck conversion and moto rack

Truck conversion interior

Truck ready for conversion

Mark Carrera

Mark Carrera

Cultural Challenges in International Travel
Round-Table: Safety & Security

Cultural Challenges in International Travel

You will interact with many cultures while traveling by motorcycle. Whether it's a positive experience depends greatly on your ability to understand your encounters, endure the environment, and adapt to differences. Traveling by motorcycle opens many doors to new cultures. However, dealing with specific areas of extreme or even subtle change to your personal routine and comfort zone can be a big challenge; it can be a show-stopper. So, imagine navigating through the chaos of Bangkok at a snail's pace and the smells-sights-sounds of this extremely congested foreign world. Imagine sipping an unrecognizable beverage with herders in the vast expanses of the Saharan Desert, revel in the harshness, feel the squeak of sand under boot and tire, and the extreme isolation. How does it affect you, can you adapt, will you 'freak out' (and you will, at some point)?

At the heart of this presentation is inspiring, informing and connecting through awareness and increasing your cultural intelligence. It goes beyond using the correct handshake or donning the appropriate headwear - it's about increasing your ability to interact with someone or something that challenges who you are. You will be asked, at some point in your travels, to 'do the impossible', either literally or figuratively. Mark wants to put another tool in your pannier of knowledge to help you to meet those challenges. ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSION ALSO SCHEDULED.

Round-Table: Safety & Security

Join this discussion to address your questions about adapting to and experiencing international travel with cultural intelligence.

Mark Carrera, Shafer Travel, Utah

Mark Carrera with bike

Mark spent some of his earliest years (7-12) traveling throughout the U.S. with his 'hippy' mom using only her thumb (hitchhiking) and her wits. By his teenage years, he was exploring the west coast of Canada and the United states alone, sometimes by his own thumb and eventually by motorcycle. In 1993, Mark embarked on a six-year odyssey in central Asia, Nepal, and India. In 2010, Mark and his significant other, Luisa, roamed around Costa Rica two-up as an introductory ride to Central America. Cultural immersion and exploration is a large part of who Mark is: a global villager on the move.

Bill Hooykaas

Bill Hooykaas

London to China Across the Himalayas
Four friends head east from London... only ONE makes it back by bike

Four GSs left London. After 20,000 km in 60 days, only one made it back. This is a story about getting on each other's nerves, crashing many times, passing through war zones, dealing with nervous Russian combat troops, having a bike stolen and left with just a wet tent, sleeping bag and shorts... all while not speaking a word of local language or able to read their alphabet! Don't tell us you're not already hooked to hear the rest of the saga.

Bill is a self-professed old-timer boxer bum kicking around the globe for over 50 years.

Bill's river crossing in Asia

Emy & David Woodburn

Emy & David Woodburn

Norway To Bangui
Zaire To South Africa
You Must Have At Least One Question

Norway To Bangui
One family's journey by sidecar from northern Norway across Europe and desert sands to the jungles of West Africa

We were working in Norway, but dreamed of reaching South Africa. The trip took us through Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Ceuta, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, and finally to Bangui on the eastern frontier of Republique Afrique Centrale.

Zaire To South Africa
A continuation of one family's quest to South Africa, despite malaria and a civial war... and a dwindling purse.

The terrible roads of Republique Afrique Centrale were referred as the Super Highway, once in Zaire. It took us 31 days to reach the Rwandan frontier, a distance of about 1,200 miles. In Rwanda, we had a new clutch made and changed it for the fourth time in a few weeks. We found some work in Uganda, in Zambia, and then in South Africa. Too weary to head north back to Europe, we saved enough to get us to USA, more than nine years since first departing Singapore.

You Must Have At Least One Question
A chance to ask us questions that resonate in your heads as you ponder your dream.

David travelled in the 1970s and then began to travel again in the late '80s. Some things had changed, but the basics stayed the same. It takes a hardiness to travel well, but also a measure of common sense, tolerance and empathy - these will always be necessary. Cultures change superficially through technology, etc., but core values and customs (good and bad) continue to exist and are more impervious to winds that blow. My wife Emy and I cannot give you current information such as visas or exchange rates. We can also answer many of your other queries. If you are really set on traveling or on traveling further, then there is a lot bouncing around in your head. This is a chance to air those questions and perhaps get a reasonable answer, or at least, another point of view.

DAVID & EMY WOODBURN run a small bike shop in rural Georgia. During the '90s, they travelled the globe on an outfit with their young daughter. David had also gone around the world on an outfit for a few years after departing his native Australia in 1977.

On the sands of Sehal, Mali

French side of the snowy Pyrenees

Dan Kenney

Brigid & Dan Kenney

Expecting the Unexpected
Preparation & what to do for rider and motorcycle in the event a personal or mechanical disaster

If disaster strikes along the road, have what it takes at hand to get you and your bike upright and running, if possible. Know what to do, if not. Don't let your adventure of a lifetime be ruined by failing to adequately prepare for unforeseen events along the route - hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. From off-road mishaps and breakdowns to bumps, bruises and even broken bones, Dan and Brigid will guide you through what must-have trauma care items to pack for you and your bike. They'll cover how to be prepared for a motorcycle or human emergency and wrap up with a discussion of the various options available for global support should the need arise. A must-see for anyone contemplating a long-distance solo trip. Dan and Brigid will share what works and what doesn't based on their personal and professional experience on several cross-country trips from over 40 years of motorcycling, and their share of mechanical and human adversities encountered along the way.

With over 40 years on a bike and 300K street miles, Dan Kenney is an avid on and off road rider. As a previous motorcycle shop owner, mechanic and EMT/IV tech, Dan can help prepare you for breakdowns of your machine as well as your body. He's ridden several long distance routes throughout most of North America, including a 30-day solo trek in 2013 from Maryland to Alaska through the Yukon Territory and back. Brigid is also a practicing EMT who has logged over 150,000 miles two-up with Dan. They've ridden together on several long distance trips including cross-country trips in the U.S. and Canada.

Brigid and Dan Kenney river crossing

Curtis Nugent

Curtis Nugent

Do I Really Want To Do This?
Shakedown trip to Alaska

Find out if adventure travel by motorcycle is for you by heading to Alaska! Have you watched "Long Way Round" every winter since 2005? Still don't know if a RTW is the right thing for you? How about a shakedown trip to Alaska? Riding to Alaska will provide experiences that give you a feel for long distance motorcycle travel. A typical ride to Alaska from the lower 48 will give you four border crossings, experiences in dealing with foreign currency, and you will be able to do it all in your native language of English (unless you choose to ride through Quebec)! This presentation is of my first real long, long distance trip (10,248 miles). I made a lot of mistakes (most of them laughable) and I want to help you make your first long distance ride memorable!

KURT NUGENT is living proof that you don't have to be a rich movie star (or have one as a friend) to travel the world on a motorcycle. As a teacher, he has traveled extensively in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe.

Curtis Nugent

Joelle Gozlan

Joelle Gozlan

Ultimate Freedom
Travelling solo is also safe for women

Each time I travel somewhere, I am always being asked the same thing: "You are not afraid to travel alone?", and each time I get a little annoyed about it. Traveling alone has so many advantages. So far, the only disadvantage I find is that it is usually more expensive. I have backpacked to so many places on my own and rarely encountered a serious problem. There are many things that one will get out of a trip only by traveling alone. That being said, when you are alone, there is nobody to have your back and, over the years, I have found a little trick to make backpacking alone safer. Not having a good partner to travel with is never a reason to not explore a new place. Now that I am a rider, exploring is going to be even better. Planning too much is not always the best way to go. I share some of the situations I found myself in, and how today they are my best memories.

JOELLE GOZLAN grew up in Morocco and moved to the U.S. in 2003 from Israel. She is currently a highschool teacher and works in order to travel. From Alaska to Asia, passing the summit of Kilimanjaro, she always travels alone. Her travels have always been about backpacking, but Joelle got her first motorcycle just this past April and has taken one major trip on it so far. She's got her sights on a cross-country adventure next summer, including Canada. She's also a certified Krav Maga instructor and is offering a tech session... see below for details!

Joelle Gozland with her bike.

Workshops and Tech Sessions

...because Horizons Unlimited meetings are about information, not just inspiration!

Joelle Gozlan

Joelle Gozlan

Krav Maga
Learn how to defend yourself

Krav Maga is a self defense method invented in Israel during WWII. It is based on natural reflexes and is accessible to all. The techniques are simple and efficient - knowing them will help you get out of arm locks, shocks, someone on top of you, bear hugs, and much more. Whether or not you travel solo, it's important to know some basic moves to stay safe. Krav Maga is also a way of thinking: if attacked, you can't think as a victim... you want to go home, therefore, you will defend yourself and attack at the same time. Knowing Krav Maga will allow you to walk in peace, I know I do. Why don't you give it a try? You will get to practice some basic, but very useful drills.

JOELLE is a certified Krav Maga instructor who grew up in Morocco and moved to the U.S. in 2003 from Israel. From Alaska to Asia, passing the summit of Kilimanjaro, she always travels alone. Joelle got her first motorcycle just this past April and has taken one major trip on it so far, but plans a cross-country next summer, including Canada.

Joelle Gozland with her bike.

D. Brent Miller

D. Brent Miller

Fly Fishing for the Motorcycle Traveler
Discuss minimalist fly fishing gear to carry on a motorcycle & demonstrate fly fishing techniques.

Have you ever wanted to go fishing during your motorcycle travels? This presentation will give you great tips on fly fishing gear and techniques. A demonstration will also be part of the presentation, because it will be lakeside. Maybe we'll catch a blue gill or two — we did last year!

D. BRENT MILLER has been motorcycling since age 15. He is the Program Leader for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing—Cincinnati. The program teaches Veterans with disabilities how to tie flies, cast a fly line, build their own fly rods and provide opportunities for the Veterans to go fishing.

Brent's lake-side flyfishing demo.

Brent's lake-side flyfishing demo.

LOTS of presentations to come! As people register to present we'll list them here.

How about you? We're all here to learn, and there's LOTS to learn! We want to do more presentations and seminars, but we need volunteers to give them! Any topic you can contribute having to do with motorcycle travel, maintenance, planning, etc., lasting 30-60 minutes, would be great. Please contact us here to volunteer.

We'll also need volunteers to help us run the meeting. Areas of need include: pre-meeting setup; registration/check-in area; audio/video setup; computer/IT issues; general "go-fer" assistance; post-meeting packing and cleaning up.

Zacker Adventures Motorcycle Training and Tours.

Zacker Adventures Skills Session & Afternoon Ride

Zacker Adventures will be holding a skills training session on Saturday morning followed by an afternoon ride. This is an opportunity for you to polish up your skills and learn a few pearls with this fun and practical approach to Adventure Riding.

This session will cover the basic skills to make you a more capable Big Bike rider, reviewing all of the following techniques:

  • Adventure bike set-up and ergonomics
  • Slow speed control (throttle, braking, and clutch)
  • Riding posture (standing, sitting, weight transfer)
  • Slow speed balance and maneuvers
  • Afternoon adventure ride

Saturday schedule:

  • Morning Range 9am-12pm
  • Afternoon ride 1pm-4:30pm

Cost for the training session: $125. Limited availability. Register directly with Zacker Adventures.

***You must be be registered for the meeting to attend the training.***

Panel discussions at most HU events include...

Border crossings - How to get through borders with minimal stress and cost!

Packing light - Tips and techniques from experienced travellers to reduce weight and bulk.

Regional discussions - e.g. travelling in South America or Asia.

For Women Only - A must for the ladies, so be sure to plan on being there! A chance to talk to experienced travelling women without the men around!

Experienced Travellers Panel - ask the experts anything you want!

Walk arounds / Show and tell!

Tool Kits - Show us your favorite tools. Toolkit discussion.

Tents and Bedding discussion (in the camping area) - What works, cheap vs dear and which ones keep you dry, warm and comfy!

Farkle Walk - Take a stroll and talk about your best bike mods - homemade saddle bags, toolbox mounts, GPS mounts, seats, side stands, tank panniers, cup holders, etc.



Horizons Unlimited Virginia 2018 Planned Ride-outs

Friday morning: Ride to historic Appomattox Courthouse and tour the site of the surrender that, for all intents and purposes, ended the American Civil War.

McLean House reproduction.

McLean House (reproduction), where the actual surrender of the Southern forces took place in the front parlor. This is in the preserved village of Appomattox Courthouse, a national historical park.

Saturday morning: Ride to explore Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest via paved, gravel, and dirt roads.

Holiday Lake State Park.

Holiday Lake State Park

Facilities for a Fantastic Weekend!

We are excited to come back to the Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center and Camp. The camp is located in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest in central Virginia, about ten miles from Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park. The camp is about 85 road miles west of Richmond, VA; 85 miles east of Roanoke, VA; 170 miles southwest of Washington, DC; and about 130 miles north of Raleigh, NC. It's an easy and scenic ride from almost anywhere in the mid-Atlantic or central U.S.

The HU Virginia 2015 venue lends itself to lots of conversations!

This part of Virginia is characterized by rolling farmland and countryside, lush forests, and scenic, two lane roads with minimal traffic. While easy to reach via major highways, the Appomattox area is a mostly rural landscape, dotted with small towns, and shaped by history. When you're not participating in HU seminars and presentations, you'll enjoy great riding and plenty to see and do.

Presentation Facilities

Alex Chacon of Modern Motorcycle Diaries shares his stories at HU Virginia 2015.

Alex Chacon of Modern Motorcycle Diaries in the main presentation room

Susan Johnson presents '4 Easy Steps to Overland Adventure Travel' at HU Virginia 2015.

Susan Johnson presents '4 Easy Steps to Overland Adventure Travel'

 Chatting at HU Virginia 2015.

Chats on the back porch at HU Virginia 2015.

There are numerous areas where people can just gather for a chat.

Exterior of large pavilion with lake in the background.

Exterior of large pavilion with lake in the background.

Accommodation on site

Holiday Lake 4-H camp offers plenty of flat and grassy areas for tent camping with bathhouses nearby; rustic and historic cabins for basic accommodations with bathhouses nearby; bunkhouses with bath/shower rooms incorporated; a limited number of spaces for RVs; and a very small number of upgraded rooms (PODS) for more private lodging. You are responsible for providing linens – sheets, pillows, sleeping bags, towels, etc. – for all accommodations.

HU Virginia 2015 camping area.

Tent Camping

Tent space will be in two areas. One area will be on the lake side of the dining hall complex. There is a terraced, grassy area that will be set aside for tents between the dining hall and the large fire ring. Campers here would use the large bathhouse near the dining hall building.

Tents and bikes at HU Virginia 2015.

The second is near the entrance to the camp and across from the swimming pool. This is a flat, grassy, athletic field, and campers would use the bathhouse at the swimming pool just across the road. The swimming pool itself will be closed during our event. There is a large parking area on the far side of the athletic field. To avoid damaging the athletic field, you will not be allowed to ride your motorcycle up to your tent.

Camping Area 1.

All campers are advised to use best practices regarding the storage and disposal of food near their tents and cabins. We are staying in a state forest with the corresponding possibility of animals looking for food.

Fires are allowed only in the camp fire ring. Camping stoves are permitted at your tent site but not inside any buildings.


There are two bunkhouses plus a lodge.


Double bunkhouse

Bunkhouse interior.

Bunkhouse interior - we will not use the upper bunks!


There are two rows of cabins flanking a lawn with a volleyball court and grassy areas. There are 15 of these, each with four bunks (eight beds). We will use four beds (lower bunks) per cabin so there will be enough room for four adults plus plenty of gear. Beds are 72"x30", slightly narrower than a twin mattress.

To note - we will reserve one row of cabins for women and couples, and the longer row of cabins for men only.

Cabins at 4-H Holiday Camp. Cabins at 4-H Holiday Camp.

Exterior of cabin

Interior of cabin - bring your own sleeping bags!

Bunks will have mattresses, but bring your own sleeping bags or linens and pillows.

PODS - Limited Numbers!


There are five of these with two bedrooms with one bed in each, plus a bathroom and a living room. Heated and A/C.


The PODS. Yes, that's grass on the roof! They're planting vegetation on the roof of each POD to increase insulation and be greener -- no pun intended.

View from the deck of one POD towards the rest. Living room area of a POD.

RV Parking

There are 4 spaces available with electric hookup, but no water hookup or waste disposal is available. Cost is $25 per night.


Showers & Toilets

There are bathhouses for those camping in tents or staying in the cabins. Bunkhouses and upgraded rooms have their own washroom facilities, including private showers, toilets, and sinks.

Bath house.


Cellular Service and Internet

Holiday Lake Camp sits in a "bowl" in the middle of a state forest, and thus has practically no cellular service available. There is a landline phone we can use for emergencies or to let loved ones know we've arrived safely. Ask at registration if you need to make a landline call.

In the past, we've suffered from sketchy Internet service due to technical issues at the camp. As this is being written, cable Internet is being installed at Holiday Lake, so we expect 2018 to offer faster and more accessible Internet service for us all.

While this will ease transactions at registration and the HU Store, and allow you to cover your email and web needs, please don't forget the reason we're all here -- to interact with each other, to learn from each other, and to grow as a community. We encourage posting of photos, videos, and blog accounts of your experiences at HU meetings, but make sure you don't retreat into a Facebook cocoon while you're with us.



Meals are NOT included with your registration fee. You have choices regarding meals. Complete meal packages are either 8 meals (if coming for Thursday afternoon – Sunday morning) or 5 meals (if coming for Friday afternoon – Sunday morning only). Partial meal packages leave lunch up to you, and may make sense if you’re planning on a ride-out on Friday and Saturday. You can also sign up for the complete meal package and choose a box lunch for your ride-out.

"The food was amazing and there was so much of it, it was comfort food as well, I did not hear one complaint and the ladies in the kitchen were very accommodating."


HU Virginia 2016 meal time!

Meal time at HU Virginia 2016

"The food is very good. Well worth the cost, and certainly worth the time you'll save."


Meal Package A - 8 meals, $104

- Thursday dinner;
- Friday breakfast, lunch, and dinner;
- Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner;
- Sunday breakfast.

Meal Package B - 6 meals, $79

- Thursday dinner;
- Friday breakfast and dinner;
- Saturday breakfast and dinner;
- Sunday breakfast.

Meal Package C - 5 meals, $67

- Friday dinner;
- Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner;
- Sunday breakfast.

Meal Package D - 4 meals, $54

- Friday dinner;
- Saturday breakfast and dinner;
- Sunday breakfast.

If you desire a box lunch for either Friday or Saturday, please check the appropriate box.

There will be a vegetarian option offered at each meal - we will need numbers for these, so please indicate when you register if you wish a vegetarian meal.

Special dietary needs within reason can be accommodated with advanced notice.


Breakfast at HU Virginia 2015.

All you can eat breakfast!

HU Virginia 2016 cake.

HU Virginia 2016 - they baked us another cake!

Sample meal plan below (to be updated when finalized):

  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Eggs, oatmeal, sausage or bacon,
cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit.

Eggs, oatmeal, sausage or bacon, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit
Eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, French toast, sausage or bacon, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit
Lunch   Sandwich bar, BBQ, soup, macaroni salad, tossed salad, fresh fruit, cookies Hamburgers, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, tossed salad, fresh fruit, brownies  
Dinner Fajita bar – Make your own fajitas and enjoy them with a tossed salad and cobbler! Lasagna, baked chicken, herb stuffing, green beans, tossed salad, pie Roast beef, baked fish, whipped potatoes, green beans, tossed salad, cake  

Children & Pets

Horizons Unlimited wants to inspire the next generation of adventure travelers, so you're welcome to bring your children along if you wish. Bear in mind this event is for adults, with adult themes and language, and we won't have any specific activities for children. Those under 14 years old get in for free. Participants under 18 years old must, in accordance with 4-H regulations, be under the supervision of an adult. Please note that the health and safety of your children is your responsibility and they must be supervised by you at all times. Children will not be allowed in any of the presentations from 8 pm onwards each evening.

Pets and other animals are not allowed, as per 4-H regulations, except for licensed companion dogs.

Holliday Lake State Park is just across the lake from the 4-H camp and does accept pets.

Smoking & Drinking

Smoking is prohibited inside any of the camp buildings. Smoking is allowed on the decks of the dining hall. If you are smoking anywhere on the property, you must dispose of the butts properly in the butt cans.

Alcohol is permitted at the camp, but we reserve the right to expel without reimbursement any attendee who becomes intoxicated and/or causes a disturbance. Beer or wine can be purchased at almost any grocery or convenience store in Virginia; liquor is available at the state-run Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores. The closest one to the camp is in the nearby town of Appomattox and is open Monday-Thursday from 10am-7pm and Friday-Saturday from 10am-9pm.

Please note: Firearms are not permitted at the camp.

I've already registered - I just want to pay!


Includes admission to all presentations, tech sessions and discussion groups.
Meals and Accommodation are NOT included in the registration price and are priced separately below.

Register & Pay before Nov 30, 2017:


Register & Pay between Dec 1 and Jan 31, 2018:


Register & Pay between Feb 1 and Apr 19, 2018:


At the Event Pricing (applies after Apr 19, 2018):



Pre-order only - please order when you register so you don't go hungry!

Thurs dinner – Sun breakfast inclusive: 8 meals

Thurs dinner – Sun breakfast, no lunches: 6 meals

Fri dinner – Sun breakfast inclusive: 5 meals

Fri dinner – Sun breakfast, no lunch: 4 meals






Accommodation is NOT included with your registration fee. Camping or Lodge accommodation is available. See descriptions above. You are responsible for providing linens – sheets, pillows, sleeping bags, towels, etc. – for all accommodations.


3 nts

2 nts

Tent camping, per person

Cabin, per person, maximum four per cabin

Bunkhouses with bathroom, per person

POD (2 available, with two bedrooms with one bed in each, plus living room and bathroom. Heated and A/C. Per person.

RV Parking (4 spaces available with electric hookup, but no water hookup or waste disposal is available). Price is per vehicle.











All beds are sized for one person. All cabin, bunkhouse, RV parking and POD space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register early to ensure your accommodations!




days to go!

Join the discussion:

On the HUBB!
On Facebook!

Support Horizons Unlimited and protect your freedom to ride. Join the AMA.

AMA Sanctioned Event

HUMM - the most fun on 2 wheels!

What happens at HU events?

HU South Africa

Join the Volunteer Crew

From welcoming travellers at the gate, to taking care of the campsite and making sure all the presentations run smoothly, the success of every HU event relies on the enthusiasm of its volunteer crew.

"What a wonderful bunch of people. I had no idea how much fun I'd have by helping out!"

"It was my absolute pleasure to be able to give something back to the HU community and working with such great folks really made the event special."

Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, get more involved with Horizons Unlimited and have loads of fun! You can sign up to volunteer when you register for the meeting, OR click here if you have already registered and want to add volunteering.

Comments about HU Virginia

"HUVirginia15 is where the seed was planted and a year later, off I go! I could never describe fully the gratitude I have for what you and Susan do. I think it's very important for encouraging and empowering people to 'just do it,' including me. Again, many thanks to you!" Brent Carroll embarked on his long distance adventure from HU Virginia16

"Super weekend! Thanks! And Kudos to Steve for keeping everything running smoothly! Hope to see you all on the road!"

"A group of extraordinary travelers...see you in North Carolina this fall!"

"Thank you to everyone that made this event such a great time!"

"I had an AMAZING time at my first HU Event. It was great meeting you all!"

"Had a fantastic time, learned so much from the presenters and attendees and made new friends that I will stay in contact with and, hopefully, ride with sooner than later."

"We had a great time. It was my third HU meeting, the previous 2 having been in Mexico. Learnt a lot of things and met amazing people. Thanks Grant and Susan"

"You'll see & hear the most useful ideas on so many subjects that it boggles the mind. Presenters are attenders, so eating with the crowd does allow you to follow up and discuss the various topics...that helps as well."

"What a great event HU-Virginia was. Met lots of new friends. Learned a bit about RTW travel as well as local. Was inspired by many of the presenters. It's just a great community."

"Be ready to take notes and pictures. The speakers always have a lot of great info to share and you'll see plenty of innovative ways to prepare for travelling. You'll want to remember the tips when you get ready for your next ride."

"Susan, had a great time at my first HU event. Really appreciate all the work you and Grant put in to this. Met some great people and I'm looking forward to the tire-changing video after the real-life demo."

"Everything was great, but I loved the off road training."

"It was very well organized, had an excellent agenda, and as I hoped, the other attendees were very friendly, and were there to make new friends."

"I enjoyed all of the sessions I attended."

"I love meeting new people who view motorcycling as an adventure. HU provides access to a high concentration of those people. As I approach my 70s, these folks inspire me not just to keep riding but to be BETTER at riding, despite the handicaps of what non-riders might think of as 'old age'."

"All the presentations were helpful and entertaining."

"The venue was amazing! I love how we did not have cell service and wifi wasn't working. That forced people to have real conversations with one another, instead of staring away at their cell phones."

"Loved the venue, speakers, subjects and the overall good experience."

"Great event, learned a bunch."

You can help!

If you have a few minutes, please download the poster (Adobe pdf format) and print off a few and hand them round your club or your local bike shop or anywhere seems like a good place.

Poster in pdf format (447kb) full colour Event poster:

HU Virginia 2018 meeting poster.

High Res Poster (1.5 MB)



Postcard in pdf format (672kb) full colour Event postcard, can be printed 4 to a page:

Horizons Unlimited Virginia 2018 postcard.

Postcard - 4 UP High Res!

You may need to right click and choose "save target as..."


Be a Presenter

We're inviting submissions for presentations, so whether you're attending the event or exploring a distant continent, if you've got a story to tell or expertise to share we'd like to hear from you.

We love to hear stories about your travel adventures, especially if you have great pics! Also, practical how-to sessions such as roadside cooking, navigation / GPS, trip prep and planning, adventure motorcycling medicine, packing light, setting your bike up, communications / blogging from the road, self-publishing your story, yoga for bikers, bodging / bike maintenance, self-defense, photography, videography, tire repair, safe riding techniques, how to pick up your bike, off-road riding, all are of interest.

There are 40 minute and 90 minute sessions available for talks, workshops, demos and live web chats.

Click here to submit your ideas


Submitting a Presenter registration DOES NOT mean you will automatically be included in the schedule, as we often have more presenters than available presentation slots. We will confirm one way or the other as soon as we can (but not immediately!)

Departing or Returning?

If you're planning an expedition, why not make the Horizons Unlimited meeting your official start point? Or maybe you're nearing the completion of a journey and would like a very public welcome home? Of course you might just be passing through and fancy marking a key stage of your travels?

We'd love to make you a big part of the meeting, so feel free to get in touch and tell us your plans.

Book your Trade Stand space

Over the course of four days, this Horizons Unlimited event offers a unique opportunity to build awareness of your brand and talk directly to potential customers.

The Adventure Travel Zone occupies a central position at the event site and is exclusive to trade stands representing the overland adventure travel market.

Choose between our Premium and Standard packages, both of which include on-site advertising and Pecha Kucha presentations about your products and services.

Click here to book your trade stand

Advertise at HU Virginia

Run a business that serves the overland adventure travel market? Want to spread the word at HU Virginia but can't take a Trade Stand? Send us a vinyl or roller banner and we'll display it in a prominent position.

Click here to arrange advertising

Virginia Venue Location

Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center
1267 4-H Camp Road
Appomattox, Virginia 24522

N37 23.408 W78 38.445

Driving Directions

From Washington, DC area
From Raleigh, NC
From Pittsburgh, PA
From Louisville, KY

Other Accommodation

Other accommodations, should you not want to stay at the camp, can be found in Appomattox, approx 14 miles away.

Appomattox Inn & Suites
447 Old Courthouse Rd,
Appomattox, VA 24522
+1 434-664-2018

Appomattox Inn & Suites, Virginia.

Super 8 Appomattox
7571 Richmond Hwy,
Appomattox, VA 24522
+1 434-352-2339

Budget Inn Appomattox
1924 Confederate Blvd,
Appomattox, VA 24522
+1 434-352-7451

For those travelling with pets,
Holliday Lake State Park
is just across the lake from the 4-H camp.

2759 State Park Rd.,
Appomattox, VA 24522
+1 434-248-6308

Information about the area

Beautiful and historic Appomattox County is located in the rolling Piedmont area of Central Virginia, nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and the Tidewater region to the east. The scenic James River forms the County's northern boundary. The Blue Ridge Parkway, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Historic Richmond, Smith Mountain and Buggs Island Lakes and numerous Civil War battlefields are within an easy drive of Appomattox.

Appomattox is most famous for the events of April 1865, when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant to effectively end the American Civil War. The scene of that historic event has been preserved as Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, located just north of the Town of Appomattox.

Located near the geographic center of Virginia, Appomattox County offers a temperate climate, an excellent transportation network, and proximity to world-renowned attractions.

Local Bike Shops


Approx 97 miles

Morton's BMW Motorcycles
5099 Jefferson Davis Highway
Fredericksburg VA 22408

Mortons BMW have been a long-time Horizons Unlimited supporter, so a special thanks to them!

Approx 69 miles

BMW Motorcycles of Roanoke Valley
1003 Electric Road
Salem VA 24153



Approx 35 miles

Honda of Lynchburg
2210 12th St
Lynchburg, VA 24501


Approx 35 miles

Lynchburg Kawasaki/Yamaha
1101 Kemper Street
Lynchburg, VA 24501


Approx 88 miles

Star City Power Sports
5120 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, VA 24019


Approx 40 miles

Harley-Davidson of Lynchburg
20452 Timberlake Rd
Lynchburg, VA 24502

Local Hosts

Steve Anderson. George Parker at HU Virginia 2016. Jim Truesdell at HU Virginia 2016.

Steve Anderson is the local host for this event, supported by George Parker, Jim Truesdell and Annette Stout - we're VERY grateful to them for stepping up and really making it happen with a lot of legwork and effort.

Contact Steve at with any vendor, venue and presenters questions.

We can always use help on the day - please volunteer to help out for a couple of hours when you register (above)!

HU Events Refund Policy

We know 'stuff happens', and you know we have financial commitments to venues and caterers!

If you're unable to attend an event, please let us know (by e-mail reply to your confirmation e-mail from us) so we don't worry that something has happened to you...

Up to 30 days prior to event start, we will refund all fees in full less a $10 (or €9 or £8) fee for handling and PayPal charges.

Up to 15 days prior to event start, we will refund camping/accommodation and food packages in full less a $10 (or €9 or £8) handling fee. We will apply your registration fee to any subsequent HU event in the year or following year. If you have purchased a t-shirt, let us know your mailing address and we'll send it out.

Within 15 days of the event start, there will be no refunds, but we will apply your registration fee to any subsequent HU event in the year or following year. If you have purchased a t-shirt, let us know your mailing address and we'll send it out.

New to Horizons Unlimited?

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle. The website, HUBB forum and regular events across the globe have inspired thousands of people to follow their dreams and take the road less travelled.

Susan and Grant Johnson
Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - Show you're proud to be a Horizons Unlimited Traveller!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love overland adventure travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events such as this one (18 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

You can join at a reduced rate as part of your meeting registration. Note that new Memberships with your Meeting Registration are applied as of the Meeting date or as soon as possible thereafter, not earlier, unless you make a special request in the Comments box when you register.