Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 Nottarally

The 2017 Nottarally took place between September 28 and October 1.  As usual it was a great time.  The weather was perfect (perhaps a little chilly  Friday and Saturday night).  Food was excellent and prepared by knowledgeable cooks and no one that I know of went hungry.  It was a great weekend filled with a lot of good riding.

The Honey Wagon arrives!

This little minibike with a sidecar was all the rage at Nottarally!

The days were quite warm and sitting in the creek was a good way to cool off.

My campsite

The Kermit Chair ride.  No injuries this year!

I love riding in Appalachia.  

I always like to stop and see Masonic Lodges when I am on the back roads.  This one is near Greenville, TN.

     With this post I am caught up with posts for this year.  I may have one more ride coming up before winter settles in.  I won't know for two more weeks.  You'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Horizons Unlimited North Carolina

The weekend of September 20-23 I spent attending the Horizons Unlimited Traveler's Meeting in Stecoah, NC.  This meeting is very similar to the meeting in Virginia I described a few posts ago.  It is sort of like a family reunion.  To be honest, I see some of these people more than I see some of my family!

The event is held each year at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Resort.  Did I say "resort"?  Yes, I did!  This venue is absolutely fantastic.  Beautiful facilities.

Traditional picture of my bike and tent.  This time with a can of Chef Boyardee included!
This is what we do.  Stand around and talk about motorcycles.

More standing around talking about motorcycles.

BMW GS sidecar.  This will run you at least a couple of $$.

Demonstration on how to ride with a service dog.

There were a lot of presentations by several travelers.  The presentations covered everything from travel photography to Round the World trips.

My next Horizons Unlimited event will probably be the HU meeting in Virginia next year.  I can't wait to see my friends and fellow travelers!!

I have one more trip to post about and I will be caught up!  I hope to have it up later this week.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Weekend at Kickstand Lodge

The weekend of August 25 - 27, 2017 I spent at the Kickstand Lodge in Stecoah, NC.  Kickstand Lodge (KSL) is a unique place.  It is campground operated by riders for riders.  It leans slightly toward the "American Iron" crowd, but all are welcomed heartily.  Besides Mo, the owner, the best feature of KSL is its location.  It is truly some of the best motorcycling in the United States.  Some people save up to spend a week or two in the area and I am lucky to live eighty miles from this outpost.  Nearby is the famed "Tail of the Dragon".  A little secret here.  We send tourists to the Dragon so we can have all the better roads to ourselves!

Highest Elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway

On the way to KSL I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville to Cherokee.  It was a nice day and I was in no hurry.  I passed by the Highest point on the Parkway.  I've been here many times, but always have to stop for a photo.

Brunhilde at Waterrock Knob

Here is Brunhilde (my bike's name) at Waterrock Knob.  I have ridden this ol' girl to the Arctic Circle and the Yucatan in Mexico.  She's been in 46 states.

Deal's Gap before the circus begins

Saturday Morning I woke up early and rode over to Deal's Gap.  It was early and the squids were not out yet.

Lunch in Franklin
Around noon I decided to stop for a gourmet lunch in Franklin.  After lunch I thought I would make a leisurely ride back to KSL.  Alas, it was not to be.  I saw an interesting road to the left off of Highway 28 (the Moonshiner road).  After about 5 miles the road became gravel.  No big deal, but this gravel road went straight up to a ridge via hairpin curves and straight down via hairpin curves.  Most of the hairpin curves were basically sand.  Not a favorite road surface of mine.

Somewhere in Western North Carolina.
I made it back to KSL (obviously) and enjoyed an evening of Mo and Bobby's cooking and socializing with the other riders.

The Sunday morning  ride home was uneventful.  It usually is.

Next post will be up next week and it will cover the Horizons Unlimited North Carolina Traveler's Meeting.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Horizons Unlimited - Appomattox, Virginia 2017

OK.  I know I am not the best at keeping this blog thing current.  To be honest I have not ridden much this year for some reason or another.  I promise I will try and do better in the future.  For this post I am going to have to go all the way back to April and try to catch up.  That will be only three posts and I hope to have them all up by next week.  The bikes have been a couple of "hangar queens"  this year.

Let's start with the Horizons Unlimited Virginia meeting for 2017.  The meeting was held April 27 til April 30.  For those of you that don't know, Horizons Unlimited is and organization for us folks that like to cross borders on our bikes.  No, I don't mean state lines... I mean borders.  For example, Guatemala, Mexico, Turkey, Poland, etc.  Around the fires you will hear conversations about the advantages of cross into Honduras at Corinto instead of Agua Caliente.  You will not hear conversations on which bar in Fresno has the coldest Bud Light.
The camping area with the bikes up front.  The make and model of the bike is not important.
What is important is that you ride, ride, ride.  Something I have been guilty of not doing
 this year.  By the way, that's my bike in the lower left corner with the read and green fuel bottles.

There were the usual presentations by folks that had ridden around the world or from Prudhoe Bay to Tierra del Fuego.  But what makes these events special are the people.  After attending these meeting for a few years there get to be a core group and the meetings become something akin to a family reunion.  We understand each other while many people don't.

The venue where the presentations were given.  This building also served as our mess hall.

It was great meeting and the weather was the best it had been in the three years since the inauguration of the Virginia Traveller's Meeting. 

The camping area before the unwashed masses arrived.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Horizons Unlimited North Carolina 2016

Once again Horizons Unlimited held their annual Traveler's Meeting at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Resort in Stecoah, NC.  Horizons Unlimited is a group of like minded individuals that share a love for long distance motorcycle touring.  We get together once or twice a year (there is another meeting on the east coast near Appomattox, VA in the spring) and discuss all thing motorcycle.  Most presentations at the meeting relate directly to a trip but some teach an aspect related to travel.  This year I was most interested in the presentations on photography.  We had a professional photographer show us photographic techniques including Smartphone photography and related apps.  Hopefully this will improve my photography for future postings!

My campsite at the meeting

The Horizons Unlimited tent city
Of course, I had to first ride to get to Stecoah.  Stecoah is about 80 mile from my home.  I could ride there in about and hour and a half, but why should I?  I live in a beautiful area for riding and decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The BRP can be beautiful this time of year.

Above the clouds on the Blue Ridge Parkway

At the time I was not intending on continuing this blog, but several folks asked me to pick it up again.  I am now retired and have more time to give to this blog.  It does kind of seem funny to start or resume a blog about motorcycle travel in October.  Oh well, so be it.

Soon I will be posting about the ADV Old School Fall rally held in Tellico Plains, TN.  Stay tuned!

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm Back!

I have been asked by several people to revive this blog.  I have kind of let it slide for more than a year.  You can look forward (?) to new post in the coming week.  It kind of sucks that I have decided to revive this in October, the end of the riding season.  But, that's life.  I have just returned from a Horizons Unlimited Traveler's Meeting and will post on that next week.  I will be attending an ADV Old School Rally this weekend and will post on that shortly after the HU post.  Stay tuned and let's see where this goes!

Monday, October 12, 2015

ADV Girls Weekend 2015

Due to my son, Niels, arriving from Japan I was only able to spend one evening at the 2nd Annual ADV Girls Weekend.  This is a little get together mainly for women who habit the site, but men are allowed to attend as "umbrella boys".  The rally is held annually at Willville Motorcycle Camp in Meadows of Dan, VA just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As I said I just rode up and back for one evening so I don't have many photos.

My camp site at Willville

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weekend at Kickstand Lodge

I spent last weekend at the Kickstand Lodge in Stecoah, NC.  There isn't really much to tell about this trip.  I spent most of the time just hanging out at the campground.  I didn't even put a key in the motorcycle on Saturday.  It's always good at Kickstand Lodge.  It is sort of a guilty pleasure for me.  Each time I go I meet new and interesting folks and this time was no exception.

My campsite at the Kickstand Lodge

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ADV Old School Spring Rally 2015

From April 23 to 26 I attended the ADV Old School Spring Rally.  The ADV Old School group is a great bunch of guys that get together twice a year.  It is a relatively small group and more a gathering of friends than "motorcycle rally".  This year, as usual, we met at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground in Cruso, NC.  This is really close for me, about a 45 minute ride down the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Since this was the "Old School" rally I decided to ride my 1985 BMW R80RT.  I really love this machine even thought the Frau is always wanting me to sell it.  This year I got a cabin instead of tenting it and found that at my age I really enjoyed the added comfort.  I still like tenting, though.

My 1985 BMW in front of my cabin
 The weather was predicted to be lousy. The forecast was for 80% chance of heavy rain all day Saturday.  The forecast was wrong.  The weather was beautiful!  On Saturday I got a good ride in on the old airhead and had a great time!

On the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mount Pisgah

What can I say?

Of course, the best part of this rally is getting together with old friends and riding.  This rally was no exception.  Great friends, great bikes and great locations!

Using my new selfie stick

 I have a couple of videos to add to this post.  I hope you enjoy them!

Stay tuned as this is just the beginning of the season.  I have many more motorcycle trips planned this year!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Horizon Unlimited Traveller's Meeting - Virginia

The 2015 riding season has begun!  My first trip of this year was to the Horizons Unlimited Traveller's Meeting near Appomattox, VA.  The HU meetings are gatherings of like minded souls that like to travel internationally by motorcycle.  A normal group of people we are not!  The weekend was filled with several trip reports ranging from Mongolia (a favorite among us for some reason) to China to the Middle East.  I did not present at this meeting but plan on presenting at the October meeting in Stecoah, NC.

We were just a few miles from the Appomattox Court House where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant.  This weekend was the 150th anniversary of the surrender.  At times we could hear cannons in the night while laying in our tents.  There were re-enactors on the site re-enacting the events of 150 years ago.

The camping area
A class on travel photography

It was a great weekend and I got to reunite with some old friends that I have not seen in years.  One had ridden around the world on his motorcycle since I saw him last.

There will be more events and weekends coming up soon, so stay tuned and check back often!