Thursday, August 20, 2009

Motorcycle adventure - 5 days of mountain roads

Less ambitious than the last two summers, my wife and I took off last week for a 5 day trip swirling around the southern portion of the Blue Ridge and northern bits of the Smokey Mountains. A total of 1380 miles over 5 days averaging about 275 miles and anywhere from 6 to 9 hours a day. We got every weather type available during the summer months: hot, humid, hazy, rain, cold, foggy. Sometimes all the weather in the same day. Here are some highlights:

The route

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Monday - to Point B in Roanoke
We left in the heat via various back roads to Roanoke VA. The map shows a more direct route which was the plan, but we didn't feel compelled to follow the plan. I spent most of the day wetting down my mesh jacket which works quite well as a make shift "evaporative" air conditioner for a couple of hours--it works. We arrived in Roanoke in the late afternoon and relaxed in the pool until dinner time.

Tuesday - to Point C in Maggie Valley
Rain. Rain. Lots of rain. A miserable ride. This was the longest distance riding day and because it rained so long and we were so wet, we opted to get on I-40 through Asheville to make some time. It helped. When we arrived, the rain stopped (of course). We hung out in the hot tub anyway until hunger prompted finding a restaurant for dinner.

Wednesday - to Point D in Johnson City
Rain. Fog. The day didn't look promising. A bit down the road we found a place to stop for breakfast wanting to dry out as much as eat. Thankfully, the rain stopped while we ate. Ultimately, about midday, the sun came out. The heat turned up. And we decided to make a detour through the Dragon Tail, aka Deal's Gap: 318 curves in 11 miles. I rigged my small point & shoot Canon on my handlebars and took video of my wife on her trike. By the end of the day we were whipped. Too whipped to hang out in the pool. We ate dinner and hit the sack.



Thursday - to Point C in Glenville
Took US-19 north through West VA across the New River Gorge bridge, the highest vehicle bridge in this hemisphere. Cool. Unfortunately, it was hot and hazy. So much so, my photos of the bridge weren't exactly picturesque. Ah well.
From 2009 Motorcycle Trip

The hotel we stayed in was in a peculiar place: 10 miles from the nearest town near nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. If felt kind of weird.


Friday - to Point F home
We went north through WV to US Rte 50 and east back home. Nothing particularly exciting except some windmills. We stayed pretty much were on roads that we had been on many times in the past. But it was a nice leisurely and the weather stayed nice, though warm, the whole day.
From 2009 Motorcycle Trip


Overall a great 5 days.

But there's no place like home.
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