Monday, July 5, 2010

July 05, 2010 – Day 30 The Tail of the Dragon

This morning I said my goodbyes to Terry and thanked her for the wonderful hospitality she’d shown me. We hugged and Doug and I set out to meet Kevin for breakfast in Tellico Plains. We left Kingston in bright sunshine, riding past the park on the south end of town.

Besides his black MP3 500 Kevin owns a Victory Vision; one of the most controversial motorcycle designs out there. He promised to ride it this morning and he did. I remember the first time I saw one of these and I wasn’t too sure if I liked it or not. It must be one of those designs that grow on you because I’m liking it more and more, especially after seeing it roll down the highway.

We rode for awhile and then I started complaining about wanting to eat so we stopped at the Town Square Café & Bakery. The menu was filled with generous sounding items and between the three of us we ordered enough food for six people. I’m not going to say what I had because it’s too embarrassing.

Green Girl waited patiently outside parked besides one of the local constable’s rides. Sorry about that, eh?

Kevin had to go to work so Doug and I set out on the Cherohala Skyway, the one I was supposed to meet him on when I arrived. Better late than never, right?

There were a fair number of riders out but not nearly as many as yesterday. We stopped at a couple of pull-outs to take pictures and enjoy the view.
One such stop presented us with a perfect but slightly dead butterfly. Pretty little creature and not a mark on him. It was time for Doug to turn back so we said our goodbyes (but no hugs) and each went our own way.
I rode at a leisurely rate and for the most part was alone. Occasionally sports bikes would boil past me going full tilt but other cruisers were most often seen parked at pull-outs. This lasted quite awhile, then I came upon an accident involving at least one sports bike and maybe two as there were two bikes against a rail. An ambulance and two safety cars were in attendance and I could see one of the riders sitting bare-chested but not the other.

There was only one car in front of me but before long a line built up behind me, mostly Harleys. I counted over 20 at one point. We waited for a half hour or so, then one of the safety trucks rolled past saying he was going to close the road off so the helicopter could land to airlift one of the guys out. It may have been a passenger now that I think about it as I saw the ambulance guys get a stretcher out. Helluva deal the way some of those guys ride.

They finally turned us loose and since I was the lead bike I rode off at my regular rate, which wasn’t fast but I soon found myself totally alone with no one in sight behind me. Maybe all the Harley guys parked somewhere.

When I arrived at the Deal’s Gap store near the beginning of the Tail of the Dragon it was packed. Riders were everywhere, mostly on cruisers but also a lot of sports bikes and even a couple of dirt bikes. Maybe those guys took a wrong turn somewhere?

I lumbered on past the store figuring I could stop on my way out to buy the obligatory T-shirt. The traffic was fairly light and the speed was very slow for the most part due to the sharp curves. The only time I got bogged down was when I came upon a group of old geezers riding Goldwing trikes going about 15 mph. I only had to follow them for a couple of miles and then we came to the road block where we turned around to head back. I got lucky, there was a state cop parked and he asked one of the trike guys something which gave me an opportunity to slide past them.

The ride back was enjoyable but uneventful other than being passed once by a couple of squids out to get killed. I wondered how they’d have been riding if they’d seen the two guys up on the Cherohala Skyway this morning.

I stopped at the store and bought my T-shirt and a Red Bull energy drink, then started out towards Cherokee, my destination for the day.

It took less time than I thought and I found a vacancy at the Comfort Inn. For dinner I rode into the Casino and signed up for the buffet at the Fresh Café. It was pretty tasty so I probably won’t have to eat for several days now.

Back at the motel I found time to catch up on the last three days blog postings so with this one I’ll be current. Tomorrow I think I may head towards Kentucky.

Post Script: Odd things sometimes happen…just as I was finishing up this posting I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It was the largest spider I’ve seen since the late 50’s when I was in Japan. The most accurate estimate I can give of his size would be 2 ½” across his legs and he was moving like hell; ultimately running behind the drapes. I’m ordinarily fairly calm but I don’t like sharing my room with large spiders; especially when I’m about to go to bed.

Pulling the drapes out I saw him and he saw me and ran a few feet, further behind the drapes. I couldn’t think of anything big enough that I could kill him with and then I thought maybe I could spray him with something. The only things I have with me are my Foamy shaving soap and the foot & sneaker spray that I use daily on my boots. I opted for the latter and pulling the drapes aside I saw him hunkered down eyeballing me.

I gave it to him good, sprayed and sprayed and he didn’t like it one bit and tried to run off. No way was I going to let him get away so while he was reeling around under the influence of Tolnaftate (kills athlete’s foot and boot odors) I smacked him with one of my cycle boots. Actually I smacked him somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred times so now there’s a lot of him spread out over a very large area. It should be very easy for housekeeping to vacuum him up.

I wonder if he had a mate....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for catching us up. Great blog posts as usual. :)