Monday, July 5, 2010

July 03, 2010 – Day 29 Off I go to Tellico Plains, TN

I’d planned on riding to the Dragon today but after reviewing the distance and time involved I decided to take a more leisurely route and just meet Doug at Tellico Plains. Then after a day or so with him I’d have a go at the Tail of the Dragon.

I headed north in the sunny morning and before long came to an intersection that was extremely busy with cars & bikes everywhere. I rode through all the congestion and turned onto the highway heading to Tellico Plains, then realized I’d just passed through a huge flea market area having their holiday weekend sale.
So what's one more U-turn?
Great canoes!
Whoa! Back I went and found a convenient parking place with a group of bikes; then it was time to explore, maybe pick up a small treasure or two. The first place had a huge collection of canoes, many of them of the birch bark type constructed by Indians. Or Native Americans….whatever, they were wonderful to see and the shop owner claims he’d sold “thousands over the years”. I didn’t ask how many years but he looked pretty old so maybe he’s been around that long.

I spent the better part of an hour, maybe more just wandering and looking at junk, none of which I either wanted or could see shipping home, but it was fun just the same.

About the time I was ready to call it quits and move on I came to the boiled peanuts people and since I’d been told to try them I did. The guy stirring the pot gave me one to try and although I thought it tasted weird I sprang for the smallest bag, three bucks worth.

That was my final purchase for the day and I continued my ride north towards Tellico Plains. The countryside was pretty and the weather was perfect for riding. I became so absorbed in the pure pleasure of riding I forgot to take any photos until I was nearly there. An old abandoned cabin alongside the road finally caught my attention so I stopped for it, then it was back on the road again.

Scarecrows are one of my favorite things and I lucked out and spotted one. Some people are bird watchers, I like scarecrows. What can I say?

Just before the turnoff to Tellico Plains I noticed Hunt’s Lodge, a campground/cabins place that caters strictly to motorcycles. There are a number of similar places scattered throughout the area and I know several guys who stay at them and like them a lot. One day I’ll try one but for now I’ll stick with the motel thing as I didn’t bring a single piece of camping equipment.

I rolled into Tellico Plains in the early afternoon and since it’s such a small town I figured I’d cruise through it and have a look around. I was supposed to meet my friend Doug and ride together on my way back from Deal’s Gap and The Tail of the Dragon but since I’d decided to put that off until after the 4th of July I was not where I was supposed to be.

During my brief tour of the town I came upon a red Piaggio MP3 500 scooter, the very same model and color as his and I immediately assumed it was his and he was somewhere in town killing time until he heard from me. I called his cell phone and left a message to the effect that Green Girl was parked next to his scooter and for him to call me. Then I started going shop to shop asking if anyone knew the owner of the red scooter and although I met lots of nice people they were all clueless.

At one shop, a small used book store I asked the only person in sight if anyone else was there and she said there was a guy in back reading and I should call out for him. I did, a very loud “Hey Doug!” to which a male voice immediately responded “Yeah?” and out he came, larger than life and not even close to the Doug I was looking for. What are the odds of that?

Anyway I continued my door to door search without any success and figured he’d eventually show up. The Ice Cream store beckoned and I had a single scoop cone which I carried across the street to the Motorcycle Outfitters store where I showed great restraint and only bought one T-shirt. While there the gal waiting on me asked if I minded if she stepped across the street for a moment so I was in charge. She was back in a couple of minutes accompanied by the little girl who’d made up my ice cream cone. Turns out she owns the ice cream store and her husband who was home sick owns the Motorcycle Outfitters store. Small town business, eh?

Shortly after that my cell buzzed and it was Doug wanting to know where the heck I was at. He hadn’t gotten my message and was amazed to learn where I was, telling me he’d be there in 5 minutes. When he arrived and we’d talked a few moments he turned his attention to the other red MP3 500 and figured out it belonged to another member of the Modern Vespa Forum as the two of us do. Sure enough, before long Will, aka Tennessee Sooner came ambling down the street and we all had a good laugh about the coincidence. We’d all had lots of contacts on the forum but had never met in person.

Will aka Tennessee Sooner below

Since it was fairly early in the afternoon Doug suggested we go for a short ride and he’d show me some of the area which we did. Will went along with us and after riding awhile we stopped to sample the local McDonalds so I could see if they were any different from the ones I’d already been to. So far they seem to be very similar but I’ll keep sampling them as I go along just for the sake of scientific research.

After lunch and some more riding we headed to Kingston where Doug and his lovely wife Terry live and I got to meet her and some of her visiting family. Plus I made the acquaintance of Dingo and Blondie; two hairy dogs whom I liked a lot that they were dog-sitting. They’re really nice pooches and they made me miss Daisy and Chance a bunch.

We relaxed for awhile on Doug's and Terry's red barn patio trading stories and consummed a brand of beer I'd not heard of, "Yuengling." Izzat stuff made in China, Doug?

As a special greeting for me Doug had me sample a bit of Southern peach-flavored Golden Elixir which is best taken from a fruit jar. Very tasty, very nice, cough, cough, gasp! No further comment required, eh?

As it happened it was Terry’s birthday and since she was putting up with me for two days I insisted on treating the two of them to dinner. They’re home is only a few blocks from the lake so we walked down to Red Bones, a really nice restaurant where we enjoyed great food and a view of the lake. Then it was back to the house where we sat up till all hours yakking and finally called it a day.

I should'a bought a Red Bones T-shirt!
Anyway, tomorrow would be Independence Day and folks were coming over to visit. And guesss what? Neither Terry nor Doug like those awful boiled peanuts either. Must be an aquired taste so I suggested they donate them to someone who likes them.

1 comment:

  1. lol on the boiled peanuts larry...can't stand em myself...but i do like the Yuengling. :)