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Day 171 – 28th May 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on May 28, 2009

Thursday – Deals Gap, North Carolina

Rain rain go away, grrrr

Yep, it rained again during the night but I did not get all that wet. It looked like it may clear up though, so that was good. I went and had some breakfast, I had bacon and eggs yesterday, the bacon was crap, Lesley and Jim had warned me but I forgot. So, today I decided I would go with the sausage and eggs, damm, this is what they call a sausage??? It is sausage meat, but like a hamburger patty, how weird!

I had planned on going to Fontana Village for a look, maybe use the internet somewhere and check on email etc, but the road was blocked.

It seems a Z car had come around the hairpin corner and crossed the double line and taken out a Goldwing going the other way 😦 The info I got later says the rider was OK, the bike was flattened and the car driver died, no seatbelt. 😦

So, instead I went the other way, which meant I had to do the dragons tail again, yahoo and this time I kept on going, past the dam and turned east along the foothills parkway. Of course it started to bloody rain didn’t it, gear on time again although I was already soaked by the time I got to a lookout where it was safe to stop!

The roads seemed OK and this ride was nice despite the rain 🙂

I get into the Smokey Mountains park where the traffic was bad, slow and dreary.

As I was leaving the small tourist town of Townsend I noticed all these wood carvings at a shop place, so I turned around and stopped for a sticky beak, it was pissing down by now, so it was a good choice. I met up with one of the workers who showed me around; he mentioned the owner was over in Asia somewhere at a chainsaw carving convention, which is how all these pieces are done, fantastic stuff. Check these items out, I had no room on the bike, otherwise I would have had a wooden farkle to take home, you can guess which one(hint, I am sitting on it)

Now this was also interesting, this is a propane gas tank. They used an oxy torch to cut the world map into it and eventually it will have a light mounted inside and put up outside near the road. They will of course paint it blue and green etc, I thought it was excellent.

He also showed me a local mother wood dove and her two chicks, she has been back for a few years now, so the wood must be good 🙂

Here are some more items, remember all done by a chainsaw, in fact in some of them you can see the raw product prior to carving!

<img src="” alt=”” />

I passed on some information to this chap, I forgot his name, sorry m8, about the chainsaw carvers in Tasmania, also about the other wood carver down that way, so I gave him my website and told him to go to late October of last year, it is actually October the 24th, there are a heap on that page and also on the 29th is the Wall, up near Queenstown, great life like stuff there.

Anyway, off I go in the rain again and this time I am caught behind a heap of cars and some idiots on bikes. I say this because the one in front, half way around the corner already, kept on doing no hands stuff, popping wheelies all the time, in the wet, how stupid.

The woodcarver chap told me when I went through Pigeon Forge up the road to close my eyes and he was actually embarrassed by the touristy stuff there. I can see why and I did not stop either as it looked like carnival town, not my cup of soup.

It kept raining all the way to Cherokee and when it did clear up after this, by crikey I was boiling. The roads were wet but the sun was hot at that time, so I stopped for some lunch at Bryson City, I chose a Subway again and tried internet, but nothing was around, bummer.

I fuelled up across the road and met a couple of bikers, they showed me a series of roads down in Georgia on the map for tomorrows travels, good stuff. I also bought some beer for tonight, they had big cans of Fosters and the new lady behind the counter had no idea on the price of them. I jokingly, as you do, mentioned $1 a can, haha, but in the end as she could not find the manager, she charged me $1.06 each. I saw later a sticker on each can saying $2.56, so I think I won out there 🙂 These are big cans though, about 32oz each, way too big for my stubby cooler anyway. After lunch I headed west back towards Fontana Village again, but of course I went the long way round and the roads were nice, so was the scenery 🙂

Then I hit upon the best sign all day , yay 🙂

It looked great to start with.

But, then it started to rain again, bummer.

I stopped at the servo at Fontana Village because by now it was bucketing down and once again put on the wets. So did a few other chaps who were also part of Tanks group and eventually I got back there through some real bad weather. Remember those nice photos of the misty river near the power station, well, the mist had risen higher than my head because of the heat and rain, so it was a slow old plug back to the resort.

So, I got back to there and of course there are a lot of bikes sitting around waiting for the rain to stop. It was actually a real bad hard storm cell and it dumped some heavy rain.

But, after about half an hour, in which I spent talking with Tank, it had gone and a little bit after that it was time for another run down the dragons tail, even if it was wet I was leaving tomorrow, so no time like the present. 🙂 In actual fact, just over the hill it was not raining and had not been for some time, go figure that one out, but the road was dry and I pushed it for a good while. I slowed down when I saw a cop car at a corner with a heap of people and bikes hanging around, right near where the photographers were, but kept on going and at the bottom I turned around. I had seen a tow truck heading up the other way and yepper, I had no choice but to stop, just after the lookout over the dam.

What had happened was a fully dressed Harley had misjudged a corner and ridden over the edge. It turns out he actually rode it downhill until he hit a tree, but he was OK and crawled back up and out. This actually happened two hours before these pictures, so he was very lucky I reckon.

If that does not bring it home, nothing will, keep within your own limits, but I guess, you never know your limits until you cross over them, as long as it does not mean over the edge like this bloke. He survived, there have been quite a few that have not survived apparently!

Anyway, after this I decided a beer was good for the figure and headed back to camp. It turns out the towel I had left out to dry was a soaking mess, so no shower tonight I guess. Oh well, lucky there is beer 🙂 I got some ice, filled the panniers again and started to get the beer colder, they were cold when I bought them but warming up. I had a few beers from the bar, but as that closes at 7pm, it is as useful as tits on a bull. A whole stack of the Z cars turned up and looked at the tree where we were sitting, nice legs, I mean cars 🙂

I am not sure I am a cage convert, but a low slung car and a short skirt, well, it does have it’s merits 🙂 Meanwhile,Tanks missus cooked up a feed on the BBQ which I was invited to, great snags thank you very much, I should have got involved and shown them what cooked onion can do for you, but never mind, another time, maybe in Ohio 🙂

When the food was done we all sat under the covered area and chatted and had some beers and whatever. It was a good choice because did I mention it rained, man this was some shitty weather, lucky I had beer, cos I knew the tent I was sleeping in was going to be wet, I needed a buffer.

On one of my many trips to the dunny I took the camera because the sticker I saw there took my fancy 🙂

It was a very late night, there was a firework, I remember only one, there could have been more, it was a great social evening and once I reached my tent, I discovered I may actually sleep in a bit of dryness. Except, because of the crap tent design, as soon as you open the door, all the water on the roof goes inside, idiots! I guess that is why it is sold by Walmarts and they only charge $48!

Day – 194 miles and 312 km
Trip – 11,588 miles and 18,649 km


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6 Responses to “Day 171 – 28th May 09”

  1. Ken & Beverly said

    Looks like fun, I’ll be in that area in about a month, so your report is even more interesting for me.

    I see some Stroms in your pics, don’t forget to hand off the Cache.

    Ride safe.

    • travellingstrom said

      Handing off the cache is only good if the people own stroms and use Stromtroopers, so far nothing like that has happened, except Tank, but I forgot to mention it. There are some good riding roads down here, well up there, not Florida. Richard

      • Ken & Beverly said

        Actually it is open to any type bike, and the web addy is in the box. So all they would have to do is go to the addy and update the location.

        Don’t get to much sun in Florida! 🙂

        • travellingstrom said

          Ahh, well I did not know that and the stickers say Vstrom Cacher, so that is why I thought Vstroms only. Cheers TS

  2. windinhair said

    TS that breaky looked a tad ordinary but ok,really enjoying your posts,I am a single parent and my two boys are independent young men now and I think I would like to take my K8 abs strom on some adventures,my appetite was wetted by my ride to the Coffin bay Strom meet.What budget have you set for a days travel TS?

    • travellingstrom said

      Hi, yeah the breaky is something to not write home about. I have budgeted for about $100AU a day, this worked well in Oz because I camped and had plenty of beer money. It is not so good over here as the camp sites are crap, so I am using most of th ebudget on motels. This will change soon I hope. Go riding m8, just get out there 🙂 Cheers TS

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