Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ADV Old's Cool Fall Rally

The Old's Cool (Old School...get it?) Fall Rally was held September 25,26, and 27 in Tellico Plains, TN. I left Asheville about 3:30PM and by 4:00 I had on my rain gear. By 4:05 the rain had stopped but I cruised on to Tellico Plains, TN via the Cherohala Skyway. Got to the event and there was no food. Oh, well there was plenty of liquid refreshment to replenish my diminishing calorie supply.

The next morning stared off innocently enough. I had breakfast with Chromesux and Docwells at a place that had a really scary Jesus watching us eat. Chrome and I decided to head for the Joe Brown Highway. Once up on top of the mountain it began to thunder and lightning. We decided it would be best to go back to the campground.

Once we got back to the campground it began to rain. It was a good decision to get off the mountain when we did. We sat under the pavilion and it continued to rain...and rain...and rain! Soon the little creek where we were camping began to come up out of its banks. Some fellow riders were camped close to the creek and had to move their equipment before being flooded out.

It rained all day and eventually it stopped. The water receded almost as fast as it rose. When the rain was over we were rewarded for our perseverance with a rainbow.

That evening we had a BBQ dinner and most of us drifted off to bed to get some sleep for the ride home the next day.

The next day began foggy but soon cleared to be a great day for riding. On the way home I rode over the Foothills Parkway, through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

While riding on the Foothills Parkway I passed a bear grazing on the side of the road. Sorry, but I did not stop to take a photo!!!!

While riding through the park I stopped at the Mingus Grist Mill to pick up some corn meal for cornbread!

After riding through the park I took the Blue Ridge Parkway home for the last leg of the trip.

It felt good to get home to a dry bed!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Labor Day at Kickstand Lodge

This past Labor Day I spent at Kickstand Lodge in Stecoah, NC. Riding there on Friday afternoon I passed a motorcycle fatality. It seems a man and his wife were riding their Harley in the passing lane up Soco Mountain and crossed into the oncoming lane head on into a car. The HD rider was going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit of 50 MPH. He and his wife were killed. I saw their bodies under sheets as I passed by. Incidents like this remind you that we are all vulnerable out there on our chosen mode of transportation. Let's take it easy and enjoy the ride! There is no need for speed.

On Saturday I rode to the Hiwasee Dam in extreme western North Carolina. This was one of the original dams built as part of the TVA project. It is still in operation today.
My next planned event is the Old's Cool rally in Tellico Plains, TN September 25-27. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Horizons Unlimited Traveler's Meeting

I spent August 21-23 at the Horizons Unlimited Traveler's Meeting in Stecoah, NC. This was my third traveler's meeting and I always learn something new at each one. This year I met travelers from the USA, Belgium and Australia. Many interesting tales were heard each evening. Tips on "living life on the road" were shared and demonstrated. Tales of travel in South and Central America, Europe and the "Stans" filled the evenings. My bike had been giving me a pain in my right shoulder after riding only a short distance. Grant Johnson, the founder of Horizons Unlimited, checked my bike's ergonomics. He found my bars were too low and advised me to raise them. Since I did... no more pain!

Each year I attend this meeting (it is NOT a rally) I am inspired to ride even further. The school year has started and it is time for me to start planning next year's summer trip. Newfoundland & Labrador?