On October 2-4, 2009 Fred Fest was held at the Kickstand Lodge in Stechoa, NC. Most people arrived on Friday and old friends were greeted and new friends were made.
Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day for riding. I started by riding into the Nantahala National Forest to Forest Service road 711. This was probably a well maintained road years ago. Now there are signs of neglect... broken pavement and potholes. In the fifteen miles that make up FS 711 I saw only one other person. It was a great ride.
From there I went to Wayah Bald. On the short gravel road I discovered Wilson's Lick. This was the first ranger station in the Nantahala National Forest. I saw rows of white and some white rocking chairs in front of the old ranger station and decided to investigate. It turned out that a wedding was planned for later in the day. Notice the box of Kleenex next to one of the rocking chairs. That must have been for the bride's mother!
I then rode on to Wayah Bald for some beautiful views! What a day to be in North Carolina on a motorcycle!!!
From there I rode to the infamous "Road to Nowhere". This road is just outside Bryson City, NC. In 1943 the government wanted to buy land from the inhabitants to flood and create Lake Fontana. The dam would generate power for the secret city of Oak Ridge, then working on the Manhattan Project. The creation of the lake would separate the inhabitants from a cemetery where many loved ones are buried. In order to secure the land the government promised to build a road linking the island cemetery to Bryson City. The government started building the road. When the war was over the funds for the road disappeared and construction on the road stopped just the other side of the tunnel in the picture. This subject is still a sore spot with many of the residents in this area. First the government took land for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and then the Road to Nowhere. It is no wonder that folks in this area distrust the government.
That night back at Kickstand Lodge we were treated to a rib dinner that couldn't be beat. That evening we were entertained by the band Peace Soldier.
Well it is the middle of October and the weather is getting less predictable. My plans for traveling next summer are either Texas or Nova Scotia. I will have a long winter in the Appalachian Mountains to decide which to do. I will keep posting at least once a month, so check back or subscribe via RSS.
To all my friends in the southern hemisphere that are gearing up for the riding season...Ride Safe!