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Old 07-14-2014, 07:37 AM   #1
Miltonkid OP
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Joined: Apr 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Oddometer: 63
NH-NC-NH on 2 bikes in 8 days

Little background-

This was my wife's first trip longer than a few days on a bike that she bought last June. We were on a trip last October and she had a crash and was transported by ambulance to the ER with a badly dislocated shoulder and some other minor injuries. She is still working on getting all of her range of motion back but has recovered for the most part. She has had her motorcycle license for about 6 years now but had only ridden her Yamaha Vino 125 and a couple of rides on my old Yamaha XT 350 before getting her her 2013 HD 883 Superlow. After the accident she wanted to ride again so I put her through the HD Riders Edge course in May to help get some confidence back. It worked.

I've been planning the trip to the Tail of the Dragon for a while after I did the same one last year solo and haven't stopped talking about it. This time though I wanted to camp along the way.

Here is the gear I've been buying for a few months.



All packed up. I carried all the gear.



We were supposed to leave on a Saturday but since we had already dropped our kids off at their grandparents house and I knew we wouldn't get much sleep we decided to just leave on Friday July 4th with no reservations.

Oh yea this was the radar when we left....Hurricane Arthur.



She has never really road any kind of distance in the rain so this was trial by fire run. We road through the pouring rain about 90% of the time before grabbing a hotel.

Gas stop on the Mass Pike. This is where my wife found out her rain gear wasn't doing its job as she was soaked.



It did clear up just before we got to the hotel.



Got to the Hotel and helped the wife peel her wet clothes off. Stats for the day.




Our hotel was a mile away so we took a picture as they were not scheduled to open for another 5 hours.



Our next segment we had beautiful weather!











Camp spot for the night, Matthews Arm Campground about 22 miles in from the northern entrance of Skyline Drive. This was Saturday July 5th.

When we check into the campground another guy comes in who is looking for a different site. His site 129 has a bear on it. The Ranger says ok and gives him another site. Obviously not concerned about it she takes all of our info and we read the bear warnings and she gives us site 120. 😱 That site and all the others have NO bear boxes but after looking outside she thought that our food would be safe locked inside my saddlebag. All is well and we get set up.



Chatted with Jim and Debra from Ontario who were camped next to us. They were headed down to Robbinsville NC as well for a Gold Wing get together. We actually ran into them again at Deals Gap a couple of days later. Great peeps who have been everywhere.



Hit the tent for some sleep only to keep getting woken up by dogs barking and other noises that of course I thought were bears. Apparently I finally dozed off because I wake from a dream screaming/growling (wife says) because I'm being attacked where I sleep by a bear. Wife is elbowing me telling me to be quiet I'm going to wake up the campground! We are still laughing about that.

The next day we pack up and I notice that my power points aren't working. I have the one on the dash and another in my saddlebag. Both are dead. More on that later.

We hit the road only to see this at an overlook a few miles down Skyline Drive.






Thankfully this was our last encounter with a bear during our trip!

We make it to the Blue Ridge Parkway sign and met a couple from Florida on an '14 Electra Glide and I explain my electrical issue and they tell me there is a HD Dealer about 10 miles away. I forego any roadside diagnosis and figured I do that in the parking lot of the Dealership.



We make it to the dealership and I start taking things apart to troubleshoot the issue. We need the power points for our phones, iPad and GoPro batteries.



1st check was the fuse panel and sure enough it was a fuse. I went inside and they did not have any replacements. Really?? Luckily there was a spare 20 amp in the box and I plugged it in. Bingo, back in business! A man in his 70's came up while I was working on the bike and he was talking to me while I worked. He helped me figure it out that it was the USB speaker I plugged it when we were getting leave that must have blown the fuse as I've used/charged everything else before with no issues. The nice man even offered to ride his bike to a store and get me some spare fuses. Southern hospitality at its finest. We thank him but grab some later at a different dealership and head out. The plan was to make it to the The Peaks Of Otter campground for the night. We hop on I81 to make up some time and head south.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:32 AM   #2
Miltonkid OP
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We make it to The Creeks of Otter campground on the BRP for night number 3. campground was deserted.




Movie night!



Next morning we pack up for Robbinsville NC. We jumped back on the I81 to I26 to RT352-Rt212-Rt209-Rt23-Rt74-Rt28. One section was called the Rattler and was a lot of fun!




Stopped at Wheels Through Time. Awesome place and a must see if you are in the area.



The next 2 nights we stayed at the Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge. $20 for a camp site. This place is fantastic. If you are in the area check them out.




Some ride planning...



Next day was the Tail of the Dragon, rain gear for the wife and the Cherohala Skyway.







http://youtu.be/biYEnSq5eWA

We pack up the wet tent and head out tackling the best part of the Blue Ridge Parkway (Southern end) working our way back home to NH?







Camped at Doughton Park on the BRP.



Another pack up wet morning and we headed North to finish the BRP.




Our last camp night was Shernado Lake Rec Area just off the Parkway. Very nice campground!




It poured shortly after we set up and rained all night. We packed up,wet for the 3rd day and left. Took a break in MD one of the only pics I took that day.



Stayed in a hotel the last night and were on the road by 0600 for the last push home. My son had his last baseball game and I didn't want to miss it.

We made it home around 1pm.




I turned 10k on my bike pulling into my driveway! I bought my bike in March.



This was a great trip! My wife did fantastic and learned a lot about herself during the trip. She loved it and is ready for another one. Me on the other hand will be leaving for a 3 week trip out west the end of the month!!

Thanks for reading
-Keith
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:36 AM   #3
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I should win an award for the least viewed RR. Hahahaha! I enjoyed the trip and that's all that matters.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:08 AM   #4
Lollipop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miltonkid View Post
I should win an award for the least viewed RR. Hahahaha! I enjoyed the trip and that's all that matters.
Yeah, don't sweat it at all. Great ride with the wife. Some of us can't ride anymore and have wives that wouldn't even ride pillion, so having a wife that rides, especially distance, is a great thing. Thanks for taking us (?) along.
As a side note, I lived in Barnstead Parade, NH for 4 years, back at the tail end of the 70's. Great state to ride in, but it seemed like every year I would swear that I was leaving as soon as the kids were out of school, then spring came and it was so beautiful I would be stuck for another year. My hat's off to you rugged types that live there.....Pop
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:14 AM   #5
Miltonkid OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollipop View Post
Yeah, don't sweat it at all. Great ride with the wife. Some of us can't ride anymore and have wives that wouldn't even ride pillion, so having a wife that rides, especially distance, is a great thing. Thanks for taking us (?) along.
As a side note, I lived in Barnstead Parade, NH for 4 years, back at the tail end of the 70's. Great state to ride in, but it seemed like every year I would swear that I was leaving as soon as the kids were out of school, then spring came and it was so beautiful I would be stuck for another year. My hat's off to you rugged types that live there.....Pop
Thanks!

The wife and I were falling in love with the remote spots in NC and talked about retiring there. Still lots of time and lots other states to explore so who knows!
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:09 PM   #6
bobw
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Haha, just saw this report, sometimes I read almost every one and others I catch up in Winter. Congrats to SWMBO for getting back on the horse and to you both for being able to share the trip this way.

NC is the New England of the South. If you get back down check out the information center on top of Mt. Mitchell, nice view, beautiful park and nice folks that have all kinds of info on how the only two places that share certain unique vegatation and whatnot are NC and N.E. We still have many friends and family spread across area from Cape Cod to the White, Green and Berkshire Mtns., love New England, but there has been a greater "change" up there that is in better balance down here for us anyways and riding year round between the Piedmont and Mountains is hard to beat

Safe travels,

Cheers
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
Miltonkid OP
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Joined: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by bobw View Post
Haha, just saw this report, sometimes I read almost every one and others I catch up in Winter. Congrats to SWMBO for getting back on the horse and to you both for being able to share the trip this way.

NC is the New England of the South. If you get back down check out the information center on top of Mt. Mitchell, nice view, beautiful park and nice folks that have all kinds of info on how the only two places that share certain unique vegatation and whatnot are NC and N.E. We still have many friends and family spread across area from Cape Cod to the White, Green and Berkshire Mtns., love New England, but there has been a greater "change" up there that is in better balance down here for us anyways and riding year round between the Piedmont and Mountains is hard to beat

Safe travels,

Cheers
Rode up to Mount Mitchell but it was raining so we didn't see much. The vegetation did remind me of some of the higher mountains around here.

I'd love the better balance as the riding season here is way too short.
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