Getting the bike back on the road at around 3pm, we decide to carry on with the route as planned. We would ride as far as we could that day and make a decision about whether to ditch a section of our route down into Georgia the next day.
After rolling out of Marshall we headed up to Hot Springs, NC, then back south to Maggie's Valley then to end of the BRP.
Smokey Mountains National Park
So just after entering Smokey Mountains National I see a sign for elk the next XX miles. I promptly laugh to myself thinking , "What a joke. I've seen so many signs for moose and been all over New England but never even got a glimpse of one." A few miles down the road we come up to a bunch of cars alongside the road. I'm thinking someones had an accident or something, but to my surprise there are a few elk off to the side of the road. Luckily, Aaron had his zoom lens and was able to get a couple good shots of them.
The pictures really don't do them justice, really this guy was about the size of a large work horse. This picture makes him look about the size of a deer.
After a chilly ride up to Clingman's Dome
After a little hike we make it to the dome. The ride up here and the views are probably my favorite part of the trip.
After some epic riding and vistas we find a camp, setup for the night, and tune out. The next morning before we pack up and hit the road.
Taking a little break before we ride, The Dragon.
Made it, might have made pixie dust out of my exhaust clamps but it sure was fun.
Somewhere along the way we made the decision that we would ride the entire route we had planned even though we were about a day behind. It took us down to Georgia and I'm glad we did it, as there are some good roads down there.
Our day down to Georgia ended in Kentucky, we had road 425 miles for the day and were finally back on track. Our last day would be one full of rain, an unfortunate first, then ending back in Ohio.
Still in Kentucky and about 200 miles from home base, after fighting low fuel, (as my bike was pissing gas more as the trip went on) plus stopping for rain gear, I had a little incident. As I went into a curve the bike felt like the rear tire locked up so I did my best to slow it down before sliding straight off the road.
After getting up and checking myself out I found that my new jacket, only a few months old had a nice hole in the left arm and my raingear was shredded in the same location. Other than a sore/bruised elbow I was fine, as it was the only part of my body that hit the road. The bike, on the other hand, was full of dirt and ejected my key as the headlight and cluster jammed into it. Thank god for crashbars. They really took a hit and probably saved the bike and me, as they slowed the bike down when it hit the dirt.
Talking to Aaron we figured the kickstand was down as I shot some nice sparks going into the corner, causing the bike to tripod. We had just stopped a couple miles back and I figure with all my riding gear and rain gear I caught the kickstand walking the bike back on the road, as it sticks out pretty far. We just can't figure out why it didn't fold up or Aaron didn't see it down. Oh well shit happens right
, after we found the key, straightened out the cluster so I could get the key in and removed the grass wedged in my motor. We continued on and ended up taking a direct route home, without further incident.
The next morning wake up and ride the 100 miles to take bike to my dads for storage. Luckily our trip wasn't much longer as the choke was stuck on and one of my carbs was really pissing gas now. I had to fill it up twice and feather the petcock half the way after using 4 gallons of gas in 50 miles. Needless to say my Dad has got a little work to do if he wants to ride it while I'm in Mass. Also snapped some picture of the damage.
Another project we have in the works.