July 27th, 2008 - Back To The Valley Of The Snake

Bryan's buddy and roommate Josh had let the cat out of the bag last week when he asked me if Julie and I were going with he and Bryan 'over to The Snake' the following week-end.

I told him that I hadn't heard anything about it and didn't know if we were invited or not.

So you know a short time later Julie gets a phone call from the boy where he explained that he was wanting to go, but no plans had been made and of course we should go too.

That kid is such a smooove talker...

To be honest, I had been wanting to make a trip over that way so that we could try out some of the other roads in the area. It's like the sign says "Three mountains, one valley, 489 curves" and we'd only seen a small part of it. As the plans came together we invited Teddy and Tim along, thinking they'd enjoy it too.

Teddy, Tim, Julie and I met Josh and Bryan at what is now our meeting spot. The Waffle House at the intersection of I 77 and US 70 in Statesville. It's a good midway point from Charlotte and Lexington for going west towards the mountains.


Gotta love those Waffle House breakfast's and waitresses!

After getting our bellies full and deciding which way to go in order to get to the mountains we saddled up and headed for the hills.



Yucking it up in the parking lot before we headed out.

Josh and Bryan getting ready to ride.

We had decided to take US 64/90 over to Lenoir and then take US 321 north into Blowing Rock. It had been a while since any of us had been that way and now seemed like a good time to see how the road construction was going on 321.

It was open. We'll leave it at that.

We stayed on 321 through Blowing Rock on into Boone and there picked up US 421 west and headed for the Tennessee border. It wasn't long before we were in Mountain City, Tennessee and the infamous "Snake", a roughly 10 mile stretch of US 421 that has over 130 turns in it.

Teddy and Tim were in front, Julie and I behind them, Bryan was next and then Josh (thanks to the obnoxious exhaust on his GSXR 600) was bringing up the rear. The plan was to let Bryan and Josh take the lead as we entered the curvy section, but we weren't able to let them get by as quickly as we'd wanted too, so they were forced to follow the old folks on the cruisers until we could get to a safe spot for them to pass. Until then, we decided to try and not hold the boys on their sport bikes up to much and a spirited ride ensued.

It wasn't long before a fairly long and flat section of road came up so I got on the radio and let Bryan know to come on around and bring Josh with him. Tim saw what was happening and swung wide so that they could come on around them as well.

The chase was on!

Now before we go to far here, we were NOT racing or even riding over our heads or recklessly. THP is patrolling the area very heavily, especially on the week-ends so while we technically were breaking the 35 mph speed limit in spots, we were mainly trying to maintain a constant speed through the turns.

The sport bikes have the edge in these situations so as valiantly as Tim tried the boys were soon out of sight, and Tim was soon out of my sight as well. But that's deceiving as none of us were ever more than three or four turns apart, we just couldn't see each other until we neared Shady Valley and the road began to straighten out a little.

We stopped at "The Country Store", because we always do, and to feed the boys. It was noon and had been three hours after all...

I took a picture of Julie taking a picture of Teddy & Tim.


Julie has decided that this is her next lawn mower.

We left the store and continued west on US 421 towards Bristol, it was still early and Bristol was only 20 miles and a bunch more of those 489 curves ahead.

The road initially was fairly straight and level, then we got on the mountain again. At that point it became just as twisty as the section east of Shady Valley and was an absolute hoot to ride!

We were riding along at a good pace when we Julie made the comment that she smelled brakes and wondered if it was coming from the car ahead of us. Two turns later we saw the back end of a semi trailer and figured out where the smell was coming from.

The driver was doing all he could do to man handle his rig around those sharp turns, but even with his steering axle on one side of the road his trailer axles would be on or near the other shoulder effectively blocking the road.

Bryan and Josh were now directly in front of us and Bryan was trying to get the driver to talk to him on the CB, he was offering to be an escort to the bottom of the hill, but the driver wouldn't answer. I told Bryan that the poor fellow had his hands full and couldn't get to the microphone, then offered to work with Bryan and escort him down the mountain if he would simply let us by.

Just then, as the truck was trying to negotiate a SHARP left hand turn two bikes coming the other direction appeared and had to hit the shoulder of the road as to not hit the truck! The shoulder wasn't in very good shape with ruts and rocks littering the narrow piece of non paved road shoulder. Both riders did an excellent job of avoiding the truck and staying up right and thankfully got back on the asphalt on the other side of the truck totally unscathed.

Bryan and I both began calling out to the driver again to no avail. But within a few turns he found a shoulder wide enough to get his truck off the road, and by the time we got to where the tractor was the driver was out of the cab and looking like he was going to sit there for a few minutes. We slowed but passed on by figuring that another bike would be by soon enough and would escort him down the hill.

As we got to the bottom of the mountain the road smoothed and straightened out. A sign told us we were 8 miles out of Bristol when we decided to stop and let Tim fuel, and check the map.

We were right at Tennessee Route 44 and saw where we could follow it south to Tennessee Route 19E, which would lead us to US 321 which we could then take back to Boone, North Carolina. After a short break we were heading down 44.

It was nice winding country road that took us through the middle of some wonderful Tennessee farm and rural land. At one point we found ourselves in a small little town where no one seemed to be out. The road ran us close to a river that I never saw the name of, and where there was absolutely no boat traffic on or no one out swimming. Strange.

We intersected 19 E and got on it, heading for 321. Not long after we had been on 19 E we came to an intersection for Hwy 91 and Shady Valley! Hot Dog! Lets go that way and find some more of those 489 curves!

Where we got on 91 on the outskirts of Elizabethton, Tennessee and had to ride through the edge of town before finding ourselves out in the country and climbing the mountain again. Once again Tim and I let the boys get around us and we settled in behind them. At this point Teddy and Tim were behind Julie and I, and as I usually do I was trying to keep my eye on them in the mirror as often as I safely could.

All of a sudden they weren't there! I slowed down and told Bryan over the radio to hold up. We all pulled over and waited a few minutes but still no Teddy and Tim. In my mind I knew Tim should be right there unless he had stopped so we turned around in search of them.

Fortunately we didn't go far when we saw their headlights and them met them coming towards us. We turned around again and took off after them, Tim slowed and waited on us so that we could all gather up then once together we all took off.

We would find out later that Teddy somehow or another had a bee fly into her pants and sting her! She made Tim stop immediately, then jumped off the bike and dropped her britches trying to get the bee out! I miss all the fun!!

As I figured, 91 intersected 421 at The Country Store in Shady Valley. We decided to go straight across and get on 133, which we had ridden many times before, and head for 58 in Damascus, Virginia.

In Damascus we stopped for fuel and to take a break for a bit, then headed out on 58 east. Now 58 is a fun road. Twisty and hilly with a great road surface it is a bikers dream. Unfortunately it's also usually got some traffic on it. Usually someone either pulling a trailer, or someone that doesn't know that the pedal on the right makes the vehicle go, or someone that doesn't understand mountain road etiquette where you pull over and let faster traffic by.

We found all of the above.

At times it was clear road and smooth sailing. Other times it was all we could do to remain upright as we were going so slow following one of the types described earlier. Still, it was a good time, as it usually is. As usual we stayed on 58 until we got to 93, which took us to Sparta, North Carolina, then took 21 south into Cherry Lane where we stopped and got something to drink and sat around shooting the breeze.

We stayed on 21 until we got to Hwy 901, then we split off from the boys, they would be going back to Charlotte and we had to go to the house. Julie and I pulled the Nomad into the shop right around 8:00 pm, the trip meter reading 389 miles.

It was a great ride and a good time was had by all.

I've been playing with the suspension and tire pressure on the Nomad some lately and I'm getting real close to having it dialed in. On many, many occasions Julie and I heard and felt the floorboards scape against the pavement as we negotiated the turns in the mountains. Bryan commented one time that while he was behind us in a turn he saw sparks about a foot long flying out behind the bike!

Scrreeaaccchh! And the sparks fly!

Another way to tell if a rider is getting the most out of the bike is to look at the width of the "Chicken Strips". That's the unused area of the tire next to the sidewall. Wide strips indicate little lean angle, narrow ones show how far over the rider has had the bike. This is our front tire.


This is our rear tire.


THP was well represented this week end.


389.9, a good day ride!

Bruce

Riding The Snake

One of our favorite day trips is to wind our way to Boone, North Carolina riding the back roads, then take US 421 over to Shady Valley, Tennessee. From there we will usually take Tennessee Rt 133 to US 58 at Damascus, Virginia and follow it east to Hwy 16 and into Sparta, North Carolina. At that point we will find our way home again following any number of the plentiful North Carolina two lane country roads.

There is a section of US 421 between Mountain City, Tennessee and Shady Valley, Tennessee that is commonly referred to as "The Snake" by riders in this area. It's a little over 10 miles in length and has close to 140 turns and is a hoot to ride.




Once in the town of Shady Valley the locals claim that within a twelve mile radius there are a combined 489 curves on the locals roads and highways. I can't say that we've found them all, but we aren't done trying either.

Shady Valley is also the home to "The Country Store", now known for being a pit stop for riders of all kinds of bikes it also holds claim to being the oldest continually operating business in the state of Tennessee. While nothing fancy it is a welcome sight out in the middle of the Tennessee back country for riders needing a break and wanting to fill their tanks and bellies.

We almost always stop in for a cold drink and sometimes lunch, as well as to check out the bikes in the parking lot. There's always a crowd on the week-ends and there's no telling what, or who you'll see.

On this particular trip during the first week-end of May we rode with our pals and riding buds Teddy and Tim.


Teddy & Tim's Honda VTX 1800 C
Tim ambling over to the store

Julie & Teddy being silly




You can't miss 'The Country Store', not only well marked there's usually a crowd there too
Typical week end crowd at the store

Julie & Teddy showing me some love

Leaving Shady Valley on 133 headed towards Damascus, Virginia it doesn't take long to get to one of the stranger sights in the area. It's called "Back Bone Rock".




Back Bone Rock is a natural rock formation that is roughly a half mile long and about ten feet across. It juts up from out of the side of a foothill and ends at a creek.
Many years ago when the area was being used as a timber supply there was a need to get trains into the back woods. The loggers and railroaders decided the best way around Back Bone Rock was to go through it and carved the hole you see then built a railroad bed and laid tracks for the train. Once they quit logging the area the tracks were picked up and a road was built on the sight of the original railroad, including what is referred to as "The Worlds Shortest Tunnel" going through Back Bone Rock.
There is now a state park and camp grounds at the base of the rock as well as a hiking trail that takes you up and over the top of the rock.

There were climbers there that day trying their hand at scaling Back Bone Rock

Teddy & Tim making their way up the staircase leading to the top of the rock

"Whew. Made it."


"Oh c'mon Teddy, this is supposed to be fun!"



View from the top



Long way down, huh Tim?


The creek at the end of the formation


The other side of "The Worlds Shortest Tunnel"


Not an exceptionally long ride, but a full day with stops. We had a great time as always with Teddy and Tim and look forward to many more trips with them in the future.
Bruce

Fourth of July Week End Ride - 2008


Several years ago before we bought our bike, I don't remember the exact year, Julie and I borrowed a Nomad that had been traded in at the shop I was working for at the time. It was (supposed to be) a simple day trip to the mountains that ended up starting a tradition and marked the beginning of 'The Curse'.

The tradition obviously became our annual 4th of July rides. 'The Curse' is our uncanny ability to become rain magnets, drawing any rain cloud within 100 miles to us then having it dump it's contents all over us, AND whoever might be with us.

We planned this years trip to be a three day, two night adventure for not only Julie and I, but Jordan and Bryan too. We were originally planning on heading up Hwy 16 into West Virginia.

The problem was that by the time we were able to actually sit down and make hotel reservations we found that there were none to be had anywhere around where we thought we'd be at night.

OK, plan B then...

We were able to secure a couple of rooms in one of our favorite spots, Helen, Georgia, then we found two more for the next night in Athens, Tennessee. The game plan being we'd ride to Helen the first day, get up early and ride the north Georgia mountains, then head to Tennessee for the night. From there we would get up early again and ride some of our favorite roads in the western North Carolina mountains while working our way back home.

Good in overall theory.

Julie wasn't able to leave work until after lunch on Thursday so with everything else involved in getting ready for a trip like this, it was almost three when we pulled out of the house. With almost 300 miles to ride!

It really wasn't that bad though, it wasn't getting dark until after 9:00 pm so we rode in daylight almost the entire way, and were still able to ride the way we enjoy, i.e. making some time, but stopping along the way to enjoy ourselves and each other.


At one time or another, Bryan and I have both raced dirt bikes with the number 178 on them. So as you can imagine this road was a must for us. We've all been on it, just not this trip. We did however get this picture this time around.


US 178 is our kind of road! A motorcycle road!


We arrived in Helen just after dark and got checked in at our favorite hotel. After unloading the bikes and locking them up we walked downtown in search of something to eat. Unfortunately, most of the restaurants were closed or closing for the night! We ended up finding a Mexican place that was open late and had a great meal. Then took a stroll down main street before heading back to the hotel for the night.

The plan for getting up early was blown the next morning as it was after 9:00 am before we had everyone up and moving. Since the kids had only seen the town at night (and closed) we decided to take another stroll down main street and look around before loading up the bikes and heading out for the day.



The Hampton Inn in Helen, Georgia.


Main Street, Georgia Hwy 17/75, Helen, Ga.


Julie finds some puppies to love on.


The city of Helen actually calls itself "Alpine Helen" and over the years has remodeled and rebuilt the buildings, especially those on main street, with a Bavarian theme.


Flower gardens and a fountain in front of some the many little shops downtown.


Bryan and Jordan.


Some of the shops off main street.


I honestly don't know what business this windmill belongs to, but it really did work!

I was just looking around and happened to see this. Couldn't tell you exactly where they were coming from, other than that roof, or why they were even there. But it was cool!




Pretty flowers along main street.


Jordan's and Julie's beauty outshine the flowers.


It was close to, or maybe even after noon before we were fueled up, packed up, loaded up and heading out of town. Starting out that late we had to re-think my plans for where we would ride too. We decided on a loop that would take us out by Brasstown Bald (the highest peak in Georgia) and then out of Georgia and into Tennessee via some scenic routes, a few of which Julie and I had been on back in 2006 on our vacation trip to the Trace.

We hadn't been riding for an hour when the sky's began to look ominous and dark, especially on the mountain tops. We kept going, hoping we would miss it when 'The Curse' reared it's ugly head and the bottom fell out! The road offered no where to stop at all so we just kept going getting soaked and worrying about the luggage on the bikes. One of those mini storage facility places came into view so we pulled into the parking lot so that we could at least cover the bags.

No sooner than we stopped a car pulled up beside us and the lady inside rolled her window down and told us that she had a little store up ahead and we were welcome to come inside out of the rain there. We thanked her and then followed her just down the road and pulled in here;

The Bearwassee Furniture Store. Our temporary haven from a summer shower.

It was truly a cool place. A little pricey, but handmade quality furniture is. We spent almost an hour there waiting on the rain to stop, looking around and talking to the nice lady that owned the store. She showed us several photos that had been taken in her back yard with a deer camera. There were pictures of a deer, a raccoon, and a BEAR. Julie was thrilled! We asked her over how many nights the pictures were taken and she replied, "Oh just one." *gasp!* Busy back yard!!!!

After the rain let up we got back on the road and headed to the Brasstown Bald. As I said earlier, the Bald is the highest point in the state of Georgia. Originally a weather station and fire look out tower the facility now also houses a visitors center and is one of those places that is a must see. It is said that from the observation deck you can see four states, and I believe it. Regardless it is spectacular!


Julie being silly. This was taken in the parking lot as we went in. Notice the visitor center and observation deck behind her on the mountain top.


Taken from the same point using the zoom on our camera.


Now a view of the bikes in the parking lot from the observation deck, again using the zoom.


Now normal view. Unreal, huh?








Different views from the observation deck.




"Oooo! Ooo! Take my picture!! I want to be a train driver!!!" A display from inside the visitors center.

I guess it's only right that I mention the little 'incident' we had...
See, there's a place here in North Carolina where Bryan and I ride our dirt bikes called 'Brown Mountain". One of favorite things to do there is to find ourselves at the top of the mountain on trail number one then ride dead engine, coasting all the way down to the parking lot. It's loads of fun and teaches you a lot about using momentum and overall bike control.

Well, the road leading to the visitors center, Georgia Hwy 181 spur, is a very steep and curvy and nearly three miles long. As we started down I got the bright idea to slip the bike into nuetral and coast down, so I got on the radio and said "Bryan! Let's do like we do at Brown Mountain!", and off we went.

To be honest it was a hoot, and eye opening. As good a bike as the Nomad is, it is still a BIG and HEAVY motorcycle. It didn't take long for our speed to climb dramatically, and it took a good deal of braking to slow it down as well. As you would figure, right?

I found out later that at the very moment that Bryan told Jordan over their intercom that we had read where doing this was bad for the bikes, but we'd done it for years on the dirt bikes and never had any problems, I came over the CB and told Bryan and Jordan that I had lost my rear brakes!

Yep sports fans, Julie and I were now like a semi truck in (fittingly) 'Georgia Overdrive' that had lost it's brakes... potentially in a heap of trouble. Luck (and not good sense) was with us though as I could see the bottom of the hill just ahead.

I slipped the transmission into gear and slowly fed the clutch out while using the front brake. In all honesty it was no big deal and we stopped cleanly and effortlessly in a wide spot at the intesection of spur 181 and 181. But also in all honesty it could have been disastrous and Bryan and I both learned a thankfully painless lesson from it.

Only on the dirt bikes. ;)

The rear brakes got so hot that the brake fluid boiled in the lines, caliper and reservoir, causing me to have no 'feel' at all in the pedal, and applying no pressure at all to the pads. Now, we had this happen before, on the dirt bikes (but not on the hill at Brown Mountain), and knew that the only way this problem would be resolved would be to put new brake fluid in the system. So I sent Bryan and Jordan into the next town to get some fluid, while Julie and I waited on the rear caliper to cool.

When the kids got back Bryan and I flushed, filled and bled the rear brakes sitting there on the side of the road. My little 'fubar' not only was stupid it had cost us about an hour and a half of daylight. But we are fortunate that's all it cost us.

As I said, never again.

We left Brasstown Bald and started working our way towards Athens, Tennessee and our hotel. It was getting late in the afternoon and we really didn't know exactly how far we had to go, or how long it would take to get there.

Part of our route was US 64 in Tennessee, it wound along side the Toccoa River and through the mountains and was beautiful. Out of no where we ran upon one of the sites of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games! We all commented on the radio how we would have liked to stopped but we probably didn't have time and kept going.
Not two miles down the road we came up on traffic stopped in the middle of the road. We were told that there had been an accident and that the road was blocked and probably would be for some time. Another rider who was turning around told us how to get around the accident, but I was familiar with the route and knew it would take us several hours to do. So we decided to go back to the site of the Olympic Games and look around while waiting to see if the road opened up anytime soon.

The 'track' for kyack river rapids competition. I later found out the facility is still used for week end enthusiasts, but in the photo the water level is down for some reason.


The dam that controls the flow at the southern end of the rapids.


Another view if the dam.


Bryan and Jordan pose on the finish line bridge. Directly behind them in that 'V' was a platform that we think was used for a television camera.


"peak-a-boo..."


I took a picture of the gang...


...then Bryan saw me and took a picture...


...of me taking a picture of him!

It wasn't long before we noticed traffic was moving out from the other direction, and that it was long lines of traffic. Obviously the road was open again. It wasn't too long before dark so we hurriedly loaded up and got on our way.

We followed US 64 for another 30 minutes or so then turned north on US 411 looking for Hwy 39 that would take us into Athens. As it was now approaching darkeness and we still weren't really sure how far we had to go, it seemed to be taking forever. We came up on an intersection where 39 merged into 411 so we figured it couldn't be that much further.

We were approaching a town and decided that once we got there if we hadn't run up on our road we would stop and take a peak at the map. As we rolled into town things didn't look quite right...

There were people lined up on both sides of the road. They were sitting in and on cars and trucks, lawn chairs and benches. Then we came up on a city park in what we thought was the center of town and there was some festivities going on with tons of people and even a live band. Then it dawned on us. It was July 4th, everyone must be lined up to see a fireworks show! Cool!

We stopped at a store to check the map and saw where Hwy 39 was just on the edge of town. Bryan asked a local if the road was, or was going to be closed and was told no. We eased on through town and found our road at a traffic light, made the tuen and saw a sign that read "Athens 10 miles". So I asked Julie if she wanted to stop and see the fireworks, then got on the radio and asked the kids as well. It was unamious!

We turned around and went back into town, stopping at a Dollar General store parking lot. The store was still open so Julie went inside and got us some drinks and a snack then we settled in to see the show. As luck would have it we had a front row seat as the spot where they were lighting off the fireworks couldn't have been more than a quarter of a mile away!




The fireworks display in Englewood, Tennessee.

It was nearly 11:00 pm when we left the fireworks show, and almost midnight when we got checked in to the motel. It didn't take long for everyone to get settled in and off to sleep. It had been a loooong day.

We did manage to get up early the next morning, and were on the road by 8:00 am. It was going to be another very long day with lots of miles to cover and we knew it.

We rode out 39 again and then took 411 south to Tennessee route 30. That led us to Tennesee 315 which took us through a beautiful piece of the Cherokee National Forest and into Tellico Plains, Tennessee.

From there we got on the Cherohala Skyway, which rates waaay up there on out list of favorite roads. As usual, we had a good time and a good ride crossing the Cherohala.

Just short of the peak we stopped to put in our jacket liners (it's cold at 5500 feet) and to make a plan.



The clouds were hanging low on the Cherhala Skyway that morning.


"Hey Jordan! Wha'cha doin'?"


"You'll see..."

"Ta-da!!!"

We had decided to make one pass on the infamous "Tail of the Dragon", US 129 near Deals Gap, North Carolina. We wanted to do it just because it is (usually) a fun road to ride, but we also wanted to take a few minutes to stop and talk with Darryl Cannon, aka "Killboy" of the Killboy.com website. ( http://killboy.blogspot.com/ )

I won't lie and will tell you that we also hoped to have him take some photos that would end up on his 'front page', which is the lead in page to his store. Getting your picture on the front page of the Killboy sight something that most riders who ride the mountains would love to do, as long as its not one of those "uh-oh" photos...

Bryan's plan was simple. Darryl had started this thing using a thing from a middle school game where you drop your hand below your waste and make an "OK" sign of sorts. In the game, if you sneak up on someone and do it, you get to punch them in the arm (I think), on Darryls web sight you stand a good chance of making the front page. Bryan wanted all of us to give him that sign as we went by.

I told Bryan that the game was after my time, and that I'd never remember to do it, but also added that when we stopped to talk to him and he saw Jordan's flowers he would definitely take her picture, and wouldn't it be a hoot if SHE made the front page and we didn't.

Bryan and Jordan get ready to ride "The Dragon".


Talking with Darryl Cannon, aka "Killboy" of the Killboy.com website.

Well... I was right. Darryl took Jodan's picture and it made the front page. But so was Bryan. He and Jordan both gave him the sign and that picture too made the front page of the Killboy site.

The caption for this picture was "Flower child".


This one read "Oh the first double finger trap"

The rest of the ride on "The Dragon" was boring at best. Due to the notoriety of that road traffic has become a real problem, especially on the week end. We followed a couple of riders that were obviously new and shakey on their bikes as they rode no faster than 20 mph and even then couldn't stay in their lane, the remainder of our pass. However, I am not being condesending. It's a public road and they have every right to be there. It was just a little scary watching them and I'd be less than honest if I didn't say I got a little annoyed having to clutch the bike in second gear just to stay behind them. It's all good though.

From there we rode the Foothills Parkway to US 321 into Townsend, Tennesse where we picked up Scenic Rt 73 that winds through the Smokey Mountain National Park. That road is also always full of slow moving traffic, but you really don't care as it has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the country.

We wound our way through the Smokey's and stopped in Cherokee, North Carolina at a Dairy Queen to take a break. By the time we left (another long story involving slow service and someone smitten by our Nomad) it was close to 6:00 pm and we still had a good four and half hour ride in front of us.

As we climbed our way over the foothills surrounding Cherokee we noticed some rain clouds. Julie and I were just saying on the intercom that we should probably stop and put our rain gear on when... you guessed it. The bottom fell out.

By the time we found a place to stop, put our rain gear on and cover our bags we were wet. Not really soaked, but wet. With no other choice to make, we got back on the road and continued on.

It wasn't long before Bryan told on the radio that he had a problem. Their intercom was squeeling wildly when they turned the unit on, and he couldn't use his connection to talk on the radio. They had already plugged his headset into Jordan's receptacle so that he could talk to me when he told us all this. They decided that they would be OK like this so we kept going.

It rained on us most of the way home. In order to make time we had decided to take I 40 most of the way home so we found ourselves on the interstate, at night, in the rain. Not a lot of fun to be sure. Because we had to slow down due to the heaviness of the rain at times and make a couple of stops for fuel and to just get off the bikes, it was midnight when we made it home.

Once again "The Curse" followed us on our trip, but it was also another fourth of July trip to remember. In all we logged just short of 900 miles on the trip. Not a staggering number considering the time we were out on the trip, but still a good ride.

I can't wait for next year!!!


Bruce


Not really, but I'm game!