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Old 06-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #52
Aarrff OP
Gravel Grinder
 
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Ol' Smokie
Oddometer: 1,575
Buck Bald 6-19-12

Left here and hit 74 west to Murphy. It's about 2 hours for me to that point and I left about 10:30am. 74 is the main artery east to west through WNC and so I have seen that a gazillion times. Murphy is a neat little town and I knew the perfect place to get some great grub:



The daily Grind and Wine downown:



Forgot to take the pic before I ate most of my good hot turkey samdwich:



They sell a great hand cream at the register that mtngal likes so I purchased that as I paid up and hit the road west on 74 again into Tennessee



Over the state line



Then I hit 68 north toward Tellico Plains. There is a short cut on 294 but I like 68 better and here is why.





Nice flowing curves, nice countryside, so why don't y'all come ride this since its over here in Tenn and avoid those NC roads.

Headed up the gravel road to Buck Bald...big signs there so youz can't miss it!



Easy beginner gravel all the way up. One turn to the right near the top has no sign, stay left and up.



On the top







Saw this sign as I got back on 68



Must have picked up a nail somewhere up there I guess as my rear was going flat by the time I got to Tellico. Did not notice it until I wore the head off I guess. The main nail was still inside the tire when I finally got home. Some nice riding all the way up 68. Trying to get the plug to hold but it was an odd shaped hole so it kept leaking down. Glad my bike has a tire pressure monitor giving exact pressure readings so I knew when to quit and air up but it was still tough work in this heat. Re plugged the tire until I ran out of plugs and spent 4 hours getting back as far as Murphy where I had cell service and gave up and called mtngal to bring the trailer and rescue me It was over a two hour drive for her and through the Nantahala Gorge but she arrived safe and all smiles as always.



Once the tire problem started, I did not take time to take more photos and was just trying to get closer home. The last effort was to air up in Murphy at a gas station with 45lbs of air and I made it through 5 red lights and it was going fast so I ducked into the Super WalMart and found a little shade to share with some other folks while I waited for mtngal.

Remember in the introduction to my thread, I told you that I like to meet people along the way in my adventures and learn something about a little piece of life from another perspective. So sharing the shade tree with me was Woody and his wife Susan.





Yes Woody is a Vietnam vet but he lost his legs later in life largely by not taking care of himself very well. His wife Susan is legally blind. I could see they had not had good medical attention for some time. Their home is probably the van they have along with two little dogs and a cat. They were here for a few days until some money was being wired into a local bank as he explained.

They were a ball of fun with all kinds of funny stories about their adventures apparently they actually enjoy their life as best I could tell or they gave me that impression. So we swapped stories, tales and so forth while I waited for my lovely lady to rescue me.

Herein lies the truth in adventure. I am blessed to be healthy and able to ride around on my expensive bike and see the world. Yes I have worked all my life for this time but still I am blessed. My day, while on the surface seemed a bit frustrating in that I was hot, sweaty from the struggle, and unable to complete the ride I had planned, but nonetheless, another great day. When mtngal showed up and I was bidding them farewell to go load the bike, I felt I had become enough of a parking lot friend to maybe find out if they had eaten lately. They had not and had two corn dogs left over from yesterday that they were holding out on until they just had to eat. I had enough in my wallet to share so they could go get a good meal and they were indeed very appreciative.
So....now it all makes sense. There was good reason for my flat, and my struggle to WalMart...it all became a great day in the end with a purpose.....wonder if they are OK today?

My lovely lady showed up with the trailer and happy to see me:



We went to a Taco Bell where I was able to wash up a bit, get some Tacos, drink lots of water, and chilled out as mtngal drove us like a pro to home..

You can see Woody's van in the background..........
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Aarrff screwed with this post 06-20-2012 at 09:10 PM
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