19 May 2010

Trip Report: wheatonFJR's Appalachian Camping Meet: Riding Day 1

14 May 2010:  about 285 to 320 miles.
After the long day before, I was skeptical that theWolf would be interested in allowing me to get out of bed for the planned ride.  It must have been the environment.  The call of the bull frogs and crickets must have felt like home to theWolf because there was no argument when I got up around 7 to take my shower and be ready for kick stands up at 9.

The campground was all hustle and bustle as people prepared to depart on their respective rides.  MrTwisty was excited because he found an old frs radio and hoped to be able to communicate with us.   To the right, he's showing me his new radio while somebody is talking to eFnJustRide.  I thought maybe if we changed our channels, we might be able to include MrTwisty, but after several minutes, eFn realized he couldn't join us so we ended up sticking with the old channel and leaving MrTwisty out.  He'll have to get a newer radio to link with us.

I won't mention the song I was singing so eFnJustRide would know he was on the right channel.  That little diddy was stuck in my head for the first ten minutes of the ride!  For one of the few times, I was ready when every one else was!

Here are a few pics from just before departure:
Ogre and MrTwisty on the left and the Camp Manager on the right:

Here I am, actually ready to go on the left and I think this is AJ and his wife on the right.

View from the bridge as you enter the campground:
That is East Pigeon Fork River in the Balsam Mountains of North Carolina, where the campground is located.

the People in our group:

We didn't actually leave camp until around 9:30.  I needed gas because I didn't dare stop the night before and I only had half a tank.

The view around the entire area is stunning.  The weather was a little cool, as should have been expected that early, but not nearly as cool as I anticipated.  The morning weather was perfect for a ride.

All of this before we even got gas!  Pics of gassing up because MrsTwisty appreciates the calm before the storm...

Our planned route for the day was to kind of wander around but included Deal's Gap and the Dragon and maybe the Cherahola.  Exactly where I'd been on the Saturday before.  I bought a larger memory card so hopefully I would be able to get video of the whole road this time, especially since I was certain that the card was empty before departure.

From the gas station, we made our way to the Great Smokey Mountain Highway, US 23.  Before we even got near the area, I was getting sleepy.  That is one boring road when you're expecting a weekend motorcycle feast that is all twisty goodness.  Not to mention, my decision to wear my liner was adding to my discomfort.  It was getting hot.  I was glad when MrTwisty pulled over to shed a layer just before we reached US74. 

One way to know how boring the road is on a motorcycle:  no pics.  Neither MrsTwisty or the eFnWife bothered to take pics.  After that, we took a quick jaunt down Hwy 28 South before returning north and going on to Deal's Gap.

On Hwy 28 south:
the eFns:


We arrived around 11, too early to eat.  Ogre, MrTwisty, the eFns, jemride, and bob-st decided to do a "speed" run on the Dragon before lunch.  I decided I'd wait until later because I didn't want to run out of steam before the day ended, you know, the spoon theory.  I was thinking I might need to start conserving spoons to make it though the day.

While we were shooting the shit, the eFns pulled into the resort without anyone else.  A few minutes later, they entered the restaurant with an announcement, "I got good news and bad news.  Good news is MrTwisty is okay.  Bad news, they may have gotten a ticket."

Huh?  MrsTwisty was relieved but still concerned though she did her best not to show it as the eFns relayed their part of the story.  They were following Ogre and MrTwisty when they were slowed by a Harley rider.  MrTwisty and Ogre passed the rider at the first opportunity.  The Harley rider waved them by and just as the eFns were about to make their move, a passing rider gave the signal for cop, the radar detector went off, and the eFnWife started poking eFnJustRide in the thigh.  Just as they completed the pass, a cop came from no where in hot pursuit.

The eFns pulled over right away, thinking they were getting a ticket, but the cop kept going.  They gave him time to get on up the road before resuming the fun ride.  When they caught up to the cop car again, they decided it might be better to return to the resort rather than finish the Dragon.

By the time they finished telling their tale, MrsTwisty was lamenting the decision to send MrTwisty up the Dragon alone.  If she'd been there, she cooed.  If she'd been there, nothing different would have happened, except maybe a picture of the cop as he emerged from his hiding spot.  Of course, it would have been hard to see him because the eFns said the dynamic duo were disappearing down the road when the cop was attempting to catch them.

The problem however is the road is blocked.  They had no were to go.  While we speculated about our friends, bob-st and jemride returned confirming the bad news:  the cop had indeed pulled them over and they'd likely received tickets.

"If I'd just gone with them," MrsTwisty lamented again.

We kept an eye on the window for the first sign of Ogre and MrTwisty.  It wasn't long before we were rewarded with the welcome sight of our dynamic duo returning safely to the resort.  Over lunch, we got the rest of the story.

They had no idea there was a cop behind them.  They'd finished the dragon and were talking at the overlook waiting on the eFns when they realized it was taking them too long to catch up.  They decided to head back to make sure everything was all right.  As they passed the female officer, she beckoned them to the side of the road and asked if they'd passed on a double yellow.

"No Ma'am," they replied.  "We passed a Harley rider after he made room and signaled us by.  Perhaps you have mistaken us for one of the many other fjrs that are up here today?"

"No," the female officer said, "My partner is pretty sure it was you."

About that time, the partner pulled up.  What took him so long, one could only guess.  He took his time climbing out of his cruiser and placing his hat on his head just so.  When he saw his partner had caught their prey, he went back and turned on the lights, "You boys are gettin' a ticket!" he announced as he approached them.

MrTwisty said he didn't look too happy either, "Do one of you have XXX plates?"

"Well, yes sir, I do," Ogre said.

"Then you passed on the double yellow and your getting a ticket!  Let me see your license and registration."

The guys did as told.   After a little more small talk and some extreme contrition, they managed to get away with only a warning as long as "You boys stay off of MY Dragon for the rest of the day!  Go ride the Cherahola or something, but get off of my Dragon."

"Yes sir!!"

We ate lunch and laughed about the incident and thanked our luck that no tickets were given.  We wouldn't be riding the Dragon after all.  Afterwards, Ogre decided he'd had enough and was returning to the camp ground.  MrTwisty suggested we take 28 south instead of going over the Cherahola, in fact it was better to stay out of Tennessee for the rest of the day.  No problem with me, I'd just been there.

So here is the route we ended up taking for the first Riding Day.  Good thing we were flexible!

Here we are on 28 heading towards Highlands, NC.

After a quick refill near Fontana's Dam, the eFns took the lead.

The temperatures rose as the day wore on.  We took a little break to cool off before getting on 64 going towards Highlands and Bridal Veil falls.

I don't recall riding that portion of 64 before and thanks to traffic, I was able to enjoy the view as well as the ride.

At Bridal Veil Falls:

We got somebody to take a picture of all of us underneath the falls:

Near Cashiers, NC, there one of the best views in the area:

After 64, we took the Snake (Hwy 215) to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  There was fog on the Parkway making for an eerie atmosphere.  At one point, we entered a tunnel that was filled with fog.  It was like riding into another dimension.  I concentrated on the tail lights ahead of me until they completely disappeared.  I followed by faith and couldn't've been more happier to see daylight at the end of the tunnel.

BRP took us to 276 which was is the road that leads to the campground.  I nearly turned in until I remembered I needed to run to the store.  An hour later, the eFns, jemride, and I pulled into camp for the night.  We were a good kind of tired and made it in time to watch Mother Nature put on a show of Lightning and Hail while we ate Pizza for dinner.

Afterwards, we watched some of the video eFnJustRide and I shot and teased MrsTwisty about her photography skills.  In fact, we decided this was her best pic of the day:

Trunk Art:

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog