Wednesday, October 3, 2007

THREE DAYS ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

I received an email from a good friend in Pennsylvania asking me if I would be interested in meeting him on the Blue Ridge. I don't need much temptation to ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don't need any. I packed up the Bug (Buell) and set out for Boone, NC on Sunday morning. I had to run boring interstates to get up to Bristol and then East over to Boone. The Blue Ridge Parkway is just a few miles away from there. As I climbed up the twisty mountain road toward the Blue Ridge Parkway the air turned crispy. I stopped and added a pull over sweater under my wind proof riding jacket. Much better! A subtle right hand turn and the familiar Blue Ridge Parkway sign appeared and I coasted up to the stop sign. A sign bearing the words Parkway North with an arrow pointing to the left appeared. I eased out onto the smooth asphalt that would be my guiding path for the next two days. The road is simple and it runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge mountain chain. Switch backs are prevalent. There are no traffic lights to remind one of the complexity of society. It is an adventure to be here.I rolled the throttle on slowly accelerating to 60 miles per hour. A gentle sweeping (sweeper) turn appeared and bent to the right. I leaned the Bug over to the right and she followed the vertical right hand bank perfectly. Upon exiting the first sweeper, another appeared and bent to the left. It was a tighter corner and would require a greater lean angle from the Bug. I maintained the sixty mile per hour speed. This corner had a 35 mile per hour sign on it but I know the Bug's limitations and a 35 mile per hour corner at 60 mph was not even beginning to tax her prowess. I entered the corner and took the shortest path through it leaning the Bug far over to the left. Exhilaration! I exited the corner in fourth gear with the power on and up shifted to fifth at the same time I started to bring the Bug vertical. Seventy miles per hour was the exit speed. The whole event was perfect and smooth. The Bug is a cornering beast. One must exercise caution when driving a machine that does not transmit any negative feelings from the road. The aforementioned was repeated over and over countless times the entire ride on the parkway. I was doing my best to maintain a 55 to 60 mile per hour average as I wanted to be at Stations Inn by four o clock to meet my friend Tom. Station's Inn is a Motorcycle Hotel (only), located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway halfway through NC on the Parkway. I mean ya could toss a flat rock from the parkway and bounce it off the hotel roof. There was a motorcycle meet today, Sunday, and I pulled in just as it was breaking up. The parking lot was empty a half hour later. Tom pulled in one half hour after I did. What timing.
The sign says it all. I have been stopping here for over 35 years. Two old gals work the loom inside the cabin to make quilts. These quilts are the real McCoy. They don't say Made in Taiwan. They spin the yarn and use an ancient loom to create some of the most marvelous quilts on earth. The cabin is closed for the winter. I really wanted Tom to see the process. Another time maybe.
There it is; The Tuggles Gap Motel. I have more pictures of motorcycles parked under this sign than Carter has liver pills. Last time I stayed here it was with my good friend Alan. We hurriedly dressed, packed and left at 2AM in the morning when Pumpkin Head attacked us in the room. We figured there was something strange about this place when we noticed the windows locked from the outside. Humm!
Yep, he's coming out there. Just a pin point of light
Below is a rare photo of myself with another human being. Thats Tom...
Beauty and the Beast (Bug). Tom drives a beautiful swan of a motorcycle. A BMW. It is grand ...Beside the swan, the bug appears to be an ugly duckling only a mother could love.
The scenes below the deer pictures were taken from the porch at the rear of my little room at the Peaks Of Otter Lodge. The views are magnificent. If only the citifites would leave the animals alone!!!!
The people in the room next to mine were feeding the deer bread. I had to yell twice for them to stop. Feeding the deer human food will actually kill them. Their systems are designed to handle acorns, grasses and twigs. NOT BREAD! Human food can alter the digestive systems within the animal and make it impossible for the deer to gain nutrition from its normal foods. People!!!!ARG!!!!!!!!!