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Archive for June 8th, 2009

Day 182 – 8th June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 8, 2009

Monday – Boone, North Carolina

I thought I was back in Melbourne, hot, cold, wet and dry, nearly everything except snow

Well, the day dawned sunny for a change, so it looked to be a good riding day.

While packing I took a photo of my new flag, this is a week old and won’t last too much longer.

I had noticed it on day one actually, the corner seam stitching had come undone with the flapping and slowly worked its way to the top and along the edge, then the actual material started to unravel. I have an idea using some type of glue to bond the seam together, that may make it last longer. I have a few spares, so I will experiment. In fact while at Johns place he mentioned seam sealer as used in tents, so when I buy a tent I will buy some and try that.

First thing to do was to hit the slab and get to Cherokee, which is the start of the ride. I stopped at the North Carolina welcome centre for a map and also got one for the Blue Ridge itself.

I could tell I was heading into the good stuff because the mountains were ahead and the freeway had corners and climbs.

It was still a way to go anyway, but I eventually arrived in Cherokee and grabbed some fuel and a sub for lunch, before heading back out of town to the parkway. This town is very touristy and is in the Indian reservation of Cherokee, which would account for the name of the town huh!

So, it was now 1.30pm and I am at the start, or what I thought was the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway, I may have missed a bit, but not to worry 🙂

Almost immediately I was amongst some nice roads and some great views, but look at the sky, it had turned overcast, I remember John saying yesterday, stay away from the coast and it should be dry, lol, I laughed at that and reminded him of my 3 days in the rain at Deals gap, which is just up the road, he replied, well normally 🙂

A few pictures with me in them, just for fun and to prove I was there 🙂

There was lots of these little lay bys where you could pull in for the views, the roads were in good condition, but the speed limit was 45mph, John had advised to stick to them as the cops in this state are vicious, I mean diligent.

It was only half an hour and I had reached the highest point on the parkway with a lot of nice windy roads, nothing too technical though, mainly sweepers although there were a few hairpins. As I gained altitude it got chillier, so I added a layer at the summit.

This view further down the road would be excellent in the full sunlight, it was great today even.

I had been leap frogging this couple on a Harley for a short while and I tried to flag them down, because they had two hocky straps(bungy cords with hooks) hanging down near their rear tyre, but they did not pay attention, oh well, they turned off at Ashville, I continued on, hopefully they made it to where they were going without mishap.

Also during this time I took the opportunity for a few short movies. A technical one to start one, for those that remember way back I had a wobble in the front end, this was with the original front tyre and it turned out badly worn. This wobble only showed up with no hands on the bars, which does not happen usually, but I can also feel it while slowing into a corner on a downhill bend. Anyway, the new tyre fixed it, but has been back for a while now. So, this is what it looks like, it can be a bit disconcerting 😉

I will have to put up with it as there is too much life in the tyre, this is a different tyre as well, a Tourance, while the original was a Trailwing. I am and have been aware of it for a fair while, so it is not a major issue, I just wish I could find out how to stop it from happening, it never happened at home throughout my 90,000km riding life and at least 4 front tyres, maybe more.

Anyway, back to the action, here is a small video of the corners and bends, for those non bikers, this is what is fun about mountains, mind you, this is at slow speed due to the limit.

After a bit of a stop to check my bearing at French Broad look out, I continued on where I ran into some road works, but the road around here needed it.

Just up the road was the Craggy Gardens visitors centre, a good place for a look and a dunny break.

There were a lot of wild flowers on the bushes around here, not many places to stop that are safe though 🙂

Then I arrived at Mount Mitchell, John and others had mentioned for me to go there, so I did, but as it started to pelt with rain while I had stopped, I decided against the walk up to the big observation post you can see in the photo.

Now that it was raining steadily, it was not as much fun, but a lot better than riding in the rain on a freeway, that is until I found the remnants of the grass slashers all over the road, as slippery as snot this stuff and the same colour, very dangerous as well!

There were a few breaks in the rain so I could take a photo. Did I mention the tunnels, there are heaps of these, one in particular was a hairpin bend, inside the tunnel, that was interesting with sunnies on 🙂

Well, it was getting quite cold due to the height and rain and the no sun policy and I had sort of made my destination a town called Boone. I had to leave the parkway to get to it and that was when I found it was a touristy area, of course it was.

But after a while I found a place that met my needs near a place called Grandfather Mountain.

The internet was only available in the lobby area, so I checked emails and found some from DS, he is to call me in the morning about meeting up, so that is good.

A quiet alcohol free night again, that is two in a row, wonders will never cease and they even had a bar here, but they were playing trivial pursuit over the microphone, so I gave that a miss 🙂

Day – 358 miles and 576 km
Trip – 17,292 miles and 27,829 km


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