Fathers Day Ride - June 16th, 2008

It has long been a tradition at our house for Bryan and I to go riding on Fathers Day, first with the dirt bikes and more recently on street bikes. With the addition of Bryan's FZ6 now it can be a full family affair, now all of us can go!

Sadly, Jordan couldn't join us on this ride as she was spending the day with her father and the rest of her family at home. We missed you Jordan and thought about you a lot, but were happy you were spending time with your Dad.

This year, Julie and I rode the Nomad across Hwy 70 from Salisbury to Statesville where we met Bryan at a Waffle House. We had breakfast and talked for a while then went to a gas station to top of the fuel tanks.

Julie will make me tell this...

After fueling the Nomad, I was fumbling around with the card and my wallet, listening to Bryan tell us... something, and trying to read the digital read out on the fuel pump so that I could get a receipt.

*sigh*

Even after Julie telling me not to do what I ultimately did... I pressed the button to add $7 for a car wash.

There. I said it. Happy Julie?

I went inside to ask the attendant if I could cancel it and wouldn't you know the dude was lucky to know what day of the week it was. No soap.

My darling bride then called me an SFB, and asked if it was safe to ride with me because I sure wasn't making good decisions...

*sigh*

I decided that I wanted to go for a long ride and go somewhere new or at least where we hadn't been in a while. We got on I 40 west at Statesville and hauled the mail over to Morganton where we picked up Hwy 181 north to run it up to the BRP.

181 is a fairly familiar road to us as we used to travel it going to an ORV park and a GNCC race. Julie and I have been on it all the way to the parkway a few times but this was Bryan's first time. Going north, once you get past where there are several camp grounds grouped together the road becomes a windy, twisty and fun road for several miles before it intersects the Blue Ridge Parkway.

At one point I eased over and let Bryan go around us because I knew he could easily make better time than we could. Running at a comfortable, safe, yet fun pace Bryan on his FZ ran off and hid from Julie and I on the Nomad. As you would expect. Gotta admit, it was fun watching him ride off. He appears to be comfortable on and with the bike, and handles it well.

Makes his ol' Daddy proud.

When we got to the BRP we headed south but stopped at an overpass that was right there to heed the call of nature and study the maps.

Julie and I hadn't been this far south on the parkway in a long time we decided to ride it south and then Bryan would show us some roads that he and Josh had ridden a few weeks ago.

We hadn't gone very far when we ran up on the exit for the Linville Falls. I asked Julie if she remembered it, then asked Bryan on the radio if he had. We decided to turn around and go back for a look see, and as Bryan said in his blog ( http://bmccraryfz6.blogspot.com/ ), I'm sure glad we did.


Bryan with two of the three things he's never far away from.


At the top of Linville Falls.


"What are you boys doing now?"


Looking towards the first long drop of the falls.


The upper falls and pool.


First, a close up of the left side...


...now the right.


This was growing on the side of the trail.


We left the falls and rode further south on the BRP. It was getting close to lunch time so we got off the parkway and headed into Little Switzerland where we found a neat little road side cafe. There were several sportbikes parked out front so we knew it was biker friendly at least.

Actually the place turned out to be a find. The food was outstanding and it was a neat place with a lot of atmosphere. I'm sure we'll stop again.

After we were done eating and getting ready to go a couple that were out riding too walked over and introduced themselves. We shared info on the local roads and talked for a bit, then waved good bye as we rode off.

You meet the nicest people on a motorcycle...

Back on the BRP, we rode south down to Hwy 80 which is where the northern side of the big detour off the parkway is. The road is closed for repairs beyond there and we were wanting to go a different route anyway.

80 is a typical mountain road, twisty and tight near the top and then more gentle and rolling as you get off the mountain. Bryan and Josh had ridden it earlier but it was the first time Julie and I had been on it. Bryan was wanting to show us another road they had been on, so we headed out in search of Hwy 9.

As usual we got... um, misplaced, and ended up on I 40 again, even having to cross over Black Mountain before finding the exit for our road.

Once on 9 we followed Bryan for several miles, winding through the foothills of the western North Carolina mountains. It wasn't long before we came to US 64, and followed it east, stopping for a break and to take some pictures just east of Lake Lure.



The kid and the old man ham it up.


Momma and her boy.

















Just east of Lake Lure we found a small pull off and parking area that was close to a small river. We stopped there and walked down a trail to the rivers edge and took the photos above.

At this point the highway is following the river as it wound between the two mountains you see above. Bryan noticed the waterfall pictured and called me over to see it. While down by the river he took the one of the fish. How cool is that?

It was beginning to get later in the day so we headed out towards Charlotte, stopping in Shelby for some Fathers Day grub. We stopped at a Hamm's in Shelby, got our bellies full, laughed and talked for a while, then got back on the road, headed for Bryan's apartment in Charlotte.
Once at Bryan's place we put the photos he had taken on my back up SD card so that I could use them here and have them on my hard drive. That done, Julie and I headed up I 85 for the house.
I didn't take a picture of the odometer as I normally do, but seems like we ended up with 350 miles for the day.
Another fun day trip!
Bruce
P.S. I just noticed that Bryan's report on his blog is very similar to mine. We've even got some of the same photos posted. Well, it's just a case of great minds thinking alike and all that...
These things are too time consuming to do for me to change it now, so it is what it is. ;)