The night in the Holiday hotel was no holiday
Insomnia and reoccuring intrusive thoughts are an issue...and that evening was wrought with them . So the following morning , feeling like death warmed over , I packed and headed to my next goal .... the Foothills Parkway and the infamous I29... The Tail of the Dragon . After a hot breakfast and a stop for gas. ..things got a little wierd . I left the gas station and rode for a while and had this odd feeling , I didn't know where I was at and the foggy feeling in my head was scaring me so I pulled over to sort myself out and regain some composure . After shaking that off for a half hour , I headed out and back up onto the BRP for a scenic bypass of Cherokee , made a right onto rt19 at the end of the parkway and headed out to rt 441 past Cling man's dome , to rt 73 across to the town of Townsend across 321 and made a left on the Foothills Parkway
71 miles of nice scenery and another road well worth riding , and drops you off right at the north end of the Dragon . I stopped for a break...watched bike after bike ride by and another went by on the hook... a new Roadking smashed to bits . This actually made me nervous...was I gonna be that post in the Killboy thread on my ass cause I panicked at the thought of a camera pointed at me ? After a few minutes ...a jolt of caffiene and nicotine ... I mounted my mighty steed and headed off to meet my destiny .. to slay the mighty dragon . All went well ... the KLR is no sportbike or speed demon by any means. ..but I gave her hell for 11 miles , managing to scrape some footpegs and tested the grip of my Kendas . I hear people say the Dragon is overrated. ..I had a blast ... so much so I did it up and back again .
The Tree of shame ... everyone has to have a picture of it .
For all you Top Gear fans ....
I went into the store , thats mandatory I think , and was gonna buy a decal . When I asked for the red dragon with USMC die cut into it , the girl behind the counter handed it to me and thanked me for my service .... cool
Yes...its a Bilt helmet...I ride a KLR remember ?
I left the Dragon licking its wounds and headed to the next leg of my journey ....The Cherohala Skyway . 40 more miles of beauty ...and squirrel poles ?!?! Yes ... they have poles built on the skyway on the elevations above 4000 ft because of the endangered flying squirrels , seams they won't cross the road on the ground and the trees along the road are too far apart
Another beautiful ride ....great helmet therapy
I made my way to Tellico Plains , Tenn and my home for the night , Cherohala trails mountain resort
Mark is an inmate here ( don't know his screen name) nice cabins , quite and he is a very nice guy .
Dropped the gear and headed out for a little BBQ
Pulled pork ...yummmmmmm
Spent a quite night reflecting on what I had just accomplished...how I didn't let my issues beat me down as it has for 22 years . Has it cured me ? No... not in any way. Whatvit did do is prove to myself that if I push myself hard enough...I can overcome what can be a debilitating disorder . I know...for 22 years of my life I have had to live hidden away because of it ...because I didn't know what was wrong with me and didnt know where to turn . This trip has been very empowering to me , and hopefully can show others that stepping over your own boundaries can be liberating . Will the next trip be a piece of cake ? I doubt it ... but I know now that I am capable of stepping out of my comfort zone , that there is nothing to fear .
A nice nights sleep in a quite cabin ... early morning departure to make a 600 mile blast up highway 40 to hwy 81 with a stop near Roanoke and the final 300 miles on Sunday inbthe pouring rain .... quite and adventure I must say
1680 miles ... I was rained on for much of the time , cold at times , wondered on a daily basis what the hell I was doing . But I got to accomplish something that I will never forget , and my issues were not able to take any of that away from me . I did what I said I was gonna do , although some told me I shouldn't , including my doctors .
One last pic...a kid gave me that while I was on a job once ... He has been on every bike I have owned . When shit gets hairy , I just poker his belly and things get better ....:sly:
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