Day two, we head south for the Blue Ridge Parkway and North Carolina, for what turned out to be a beautiful day. We would follow the rain many times throughout the day but never ended up getting wet. Neither of us had rode this far south or been on the BRP, so we had quite the time making it to Marshall, NC. Plus we had a little surprise at the end of the day.
View of Mt. Jefferson from the BRP.
Feeling hungry and needing fuel, I consulted the GPS to see what restaurants were nearby; we see the Parkway Restaurant is close and hit the next exit. We end up blowing right by the place as it's pretty small and probably would have never found it unless the GPS told us to turn around. The place was packed with locals, we ended up having to share a table with an older man as there weren't any free tables in the place, even after waiting a few minutes. He was quite the character, we shared hellos with general chitchat about what we were up too. Other than that I don't remember much of what we talked about but I don't think I'll forget him saying in his slow tongue chewing accent that he, "always wanted to go to Kentucky and see all the pretty horses" but he "never did." All I could think about was how sad he seemed by the fact, I mean we were in NC, Kentucky is the next state over.
He did follow it up with how he had been as far north as Maryland, probably because of the look I had unconsciously put on my face. You got love riding through rural America, there is always plenty to think about.
On down the road, wanting to see the Casino on the Lake Tahoma we made our way off the BRP and onto NC 226A or the Diamondback then onto NC80 known as The Devils Whip. I had no idea the two roads we were about to ride were so well know to motorcyclist but it sure was quite a nice little detour.
Getting off the parkway, we head over to my cousins in Marshall, NC where we would be spending the night. We made it half way down her road when my CB had a complete change in in exhaust note and a big loss in power. Stopping at the bottom of her driveway I knew there was no way I would be able to make it up her driveway, which is at the base of a mountain. I checked all the obvious things like fuel, etc. We had no such luck in finding out what the wrong.
We did end up making enough noise for them to come down and see what the hell we were doing, after making a few failed attempts to climb the driveway. About 30 minutes later we had the seat, top case, and tank off to find out we thought I had lost one of the coils and had no spark on two cylinders. Giving up for the night, as we had rode over 300 miles and had just sweated our asses off. I pulled the luggage off and bummed a ride up the hill leaving the bike next to the road.
After a few glasses of tea, we went on the hunt for a tow strap to pull the bike up the mountain. Having towed the bike we had another first for the trip as I had never towed a bike (or wanted too) and had never broke down either. That night we figured out we could throw a couple Cavalier coils on the bike and possibly get it back on the road in the morning.
The next day we went out and and got the stuff we needed to replace the coils only to find out what was really wrong was I had a bad igniter. This was even worst news because we had no other easy option than to find a bike replacement part. We searched around for motorcycle junkyards finding the closest one was in Tennessee, some 60 miles away and only a "we can probably find one if you bring your old one" guarantee. Not wanting to impose on my cousin any more than we already had, I decided we would make the journey two up on Aaron's CB. This was probably worst part of the trip. Aaron and I are both pretty big guys slightly north of 200 pounds, close to 6 feet and all I can say is I don't want to have to do that again.
We ended up finding the an igniter and almost paid a hefty price for it too, all the while I'm thinking about how I have two of them sitting on a parts bike at home. Oh well, shit happens, right? At least we got the part so can continue on our trip after our 60 mile two up ride back. :