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Old 02-24-2013, 06:45 PM   #91
dean10 OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Netherlands
Oddometer: 258
Chicago, Tuesday, 21 August 2012, Day 78

Chicago Art[/caption]

Got up quite early and had the free breakfast which was surprisingly good and plentiful for a hostel. I have decided to stay an extra day, as after checking the bike it was still there which it was so with that decision made I could take it easy. Last night I had been doing some timeline planning as I had arranged to meet an old friend of mine Supriya who lives in Nashville and would be nice to be able to tell her when I maybe turning up on her front doorstep. Sounds quite a simple exercise but there are so many variables I was only able to come up with a rough estimate of 2 weeks but based on my planning thus far this either very optimistic or very pessimistic and I have nothing to base the planning as is all unknown territory to me. Also need to figure when I will be going back to the NL and that is turning into a logistical nightmare as well. So having made the simple decision of staying here an extra night I set of to get an all travel card and discover the delights of Chicago. The Plan was to use public transport as much as possible but again this plan was ignored as I sent most of the day walking from one Chicago hotspot to another so I am knackered but it was very enjoyable but certainly walked for miles. Tomorrow I will use the public transport more and give me poor little legs a rest

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Old 02-24-2013, 06:46 PM   #92
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Chicago, Wednesday, 22 August 2012, Day 79

Chicago River[/caption]

I am glad I decided to stay an extra day in Chicago as I really enjoyed yesterday and was looking forward to doing it all again today. First thing I did was go to the Zoo why because it was free.* Normally not a big fan of zoos as I believe animals should be in the wild not in cages but I do like seeing animals so zoo make sense at a certain level but still mixed emotions especially after I saw one of the lions there pacing his area he was walking around a log and just kept on doing this and was still doing this later when I went past so I am sure that not a good sign when animals are pacing like that surely I sign of madness and stir crazy creeping in and this was one of the reason I do not like going to zoos when you see unnatural* behaviour like this.

True to my word after the zoo I hopped on a bus to minimise the walking today and then on to the L train L for elevated and went round the loop a couple of times taking pictures. This after waiting for an age for a purple line train to come eventually just got on the first train coming through and later I found out that the purple train only runs in the rush hour.



So spent all day wandering the town on a mix of train’s buses and walking.





Went to China Town for a late lunch early supper and walked the golden mile and eventually got back to the hostel at about 6 ish short rest and then back into town to the John Hancock Building again as I had been there yesterday and it was fantastic and you could buy another ticket cheaply if you brought whilst you where there the first time so this time I was going to watch the sunset. *After the sunset at about 8.45 I was just about to get in the lift and leave when the attendant mentioned that Wednesday night there was a firework display at 9.30 from Navy Pier so a quick U-turn and grabbed a seat and waited for the display whilst waiting got chatting a nice German who just qualified as a Doctor. Watching the fireworks from a skyscraper was weird normally you are looking up at a display going ooh and aah but now I was looking down on it with no sounds excellent if not a bit strange!





Afterwards back to the hostel which was a bit lively quite a young crowd all trying to out cool each other which is amusing to watch bad thing was there where a couple of guitars there as well and there is always some sad git who thinks they can play a bit murdering all your favourite or not so favourite songs wish they would shut the f**k up as I have no desire to hear some talentless git play the guitar and sing toneless along with it I do that myself in the shower where it bothers no one mini rant over guess I am no longer young and or cool
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:47 PM   #93
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Chicago to Flint, Thursday, 23 August 2012, Day 80

Michigan Road[/caption]

Heading towards the Niagara Falls today 2 days hard dry so planning to get some decent mileage done today to make tomorrow easier. Thought I would be on a scenic road following the lake but for the 1st hour rough old working towns round Chicago and very industrial saw very little of the lake later in the day turned into corn fields which was pleasant riding if not a tad warm today. Not very photogenic scenery, so very few pictures taken today but all in all a nice day in the saddle.

Come quitting time started to look for somewhere to stay but there where very few cheap motels around only the standard mainstream chains so ended up in a motel 6 slightly over my usual budget but I was tired. Tonight for my haute cuisine I decided to try an Arby’s, which was nice change, roast beef sandwiches then back to the motel to chill.

Later that evening as I was doing my expenses I noticed my credit card was missing! PANIC empty wallet not there look all over room not their MORE PANIC where did I have it last Arby’s so hop on the bike and quickly ride down to Arby’s with all sorts of thing going through my mind on how complicated it going to be if I have lost me card as I use for everything at the moment. Got to Arby’s but it was shut PANIC luckily they where cleaning up and the drive through part was still operating so got their attention and what a stroke of luck I had left on the counter when paying and they had put it to one side so a happy reunion with my credit card that was a close call need to take more care getting a bit lapsydasickle in me old age cannot afford the hassle of a major upset of loosing my credit card. PANIC officially over relax.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #94
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Flint to Niagara Falls, Friday, 24 August 2012, Day 81

Niagara Falls at night[/caption]

Looks like my forgetfulness is getting worse. Packed the bike checked the room to see if I had everything then went to hand in my key when I realised I had forgotten my helmet even after checking the room missed that key bit of kit! So my rituals to ensure I have everything are no longer working note to me must focus more or I am going to lose something important. I blame the heat my poor little brain is frazzled. Now you are going to think I am a seriously sad git when I tell you the following. I heard that there are Tim Horton’s in the North East of the US so last night I had Googled to find the nearest one and joy of joys there was one just down the road so had my first destination already sorted now the sad thing is not only did I have breakfast at Tim Horton’s I had afternoon tea and later a late supper so that is 3 times in one day so new record had been set. In my defence I have not been there since I left Canada nearly a month ago but even I have to admit this is quite a sad little addiction I have developed but I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. After breakfast and my joyful reunion with Tim (Not as good as I remember it yet I still went back twice that day!!) hit the road did not do as many mile yesterday as I wanted well I did but not all of them in the right direction so still had quite a tough day in the saddle today adding on my little diversion as I either got lost or todays case in search of a petrol stations. Still hot on the thirties centigrade still but other than the heat another nice days riding again not many photos taken or stops for photos as it is quite pretty and nice country side but not very photogenic or may be I have been spoilt rotten by gorgeous scenery of the last months of over did it on the photo front in Chicago but I was struggling to find things to that I thought would make a good photos so grand total of 3 compared to about 100 I took in Chicago and 100 I took in Niagara Falls. That’s does not mean it not nice just not photogenic with my mediocre camera skills. Highlight today other than nearly running out of petrol and been unable to find a petrol station when I needed was that a bee stung me! Riding along in sort of rush hour traffic because it so hot I have my jacket partly loose and my sleeves are also opens allowing air to flow though keeping me sort of cool. Today a felt something go up my sleeve and was buzzing around my arm. Instead of just relaxing and letting it find it way out I panicked and pulled of the road ASAP into some kind of parking lot and started flapping my arms trying to get whatever it was out. Well you guessed it was bee and did not like my flapping so it stung me. Ouch but guess it was my own fault.

Got to Niagara Falls at 7 first hostel I tried was full but knew of another one round the corner which had a space. The plan was to try to get this up to date and go to the falls tomorrow but the strange little old French chap Charlie running the hostel mentioned that tonight there will be a fire work display over the falls tonight so change of plans grabbed a late dinner at you know where and walked down to the fall. It was getting dark and to be honest as I was not to impressed with what I saw but my view change on this changed later.

Niagara Falls inhabitants[/caption]

Fireworks where good this time looking up at them rather than looking down at them better that way me thinks. Walked back to the hostel tried to do some work on this but the internet was not working not sure it ever had a Chinese/Canadian bloke and me tried to get it working well mostly him but we were unsuccessful so-called it a night at is was late a hot night in the dorm tonight.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:51 PM   #95
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Niagara Falls, Saturday, 25 August 2012, Day 82

Niagara Falls[/caption]

Had my free breakfast and headed down to the falls and they are a bit more impressive in daylight also as it was Saturday it was very busy. Plan was just to wonder around soak up the atmosphere of the falls (More an atmospheres of tourism rather than of nature which was a shame:-( ) I was going to do one token gesture to tourism and take the Maid in the Mist tour when in a moment of madness I brought an adventure ticket that included the Maid of the Mist tour plus Journey behind the falls, Niagara’s Fury, and White water walk. This ticket gave you free use of the buses around the area, which was the clinch as I did not fancy walking too much today (As usual I did miles again)



So first attraction was Niagara’s Fury described as



Experience the Creation of Niagara falls in 4-D! The temperature will drop 20 degrees. Water will bubble and spray while snow falls all around. Standing in the mist on a massive platform you will feel the full wrath of Mother Nature as the floor tilts and trembles beneath you. You'll never look at the Falls the same way again.

What bollocks stood on a platform and a bloke chucked a bucket of water at you well that what it felt like very disappointing.

Next tourist bit

Journey Behind the Falls



The sound is like thunder; the sight is awe-inspiring! Take a journey deep below and behind the heart of Niagara, and stand in the mist where the mighty Horseshoe Falls tumbles from 13 storeys above! At Journey Behind the Falls, you'll experience the awesome spectacle of one-fifth of the world’s fresh water crashing down to the basin below. During summer daylight hours, over 2,800 cubic meters of water thunders over the brink every second, traveling 65 kilometers per hour



Bollocks again not as bad as the first event but took an elevator to a tunnel which had to small holes which 2 to 3 people max could stand and all you see is a wall of water could be anywhere. Saving grace of this tour was you where allowed outside quite close to the fall so here you could get an impression of the power and the magnitude of the fall up till now was pretty nonplussed about the falls but this bit changed that view so now I was impressed and also wet :-)

Had to queue for ages on the Maid of the Mist tour but this was also quite enjoyable also giving you a feel of the power and the magnitude of the falls unfortunately long wait and you had to share this experience with thousands of other tourists not my cup of tea at all but if you ignored them a great little boat ride.



The final excursion also a bit of a disappointment a elevator ride down to the river and a short walk alongside it. Class 6 rapids seemingly and you could see and feel the force of the river but would not have bothered if this was not part of the package..



So that all me tourist bits done the plan was to find a supermarket and get something for my tea and then headed back to the hostel with big ambitions to do the American side of the falls after tea. Only managed the first part and once back at the hostel was too knackered to go out again made my tea (nuked a shepherds pie) and tried to get this up to date which I also failed miserably on as to many people around and busy chatting to them.

Comment on Niagara Falls Canada. This was very un Canadian which was strange seeing as I was in Canada they can do these thing very well but for some reason they have decided to go the American mass tourism route someone described this as Las Vegas puked up onto Canada. Do not get me wrong I get mass tourism and even like it some of it a perverse kind of way and I like the way the Americans do some of the big brash theme towns and parks but this is Canada and I would have preferred there own stuff rather than trying to mimic there neighbours and in my view failing. Did I like it not sure did I enjoy myself yes I did.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:53 PM   #96
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Niagara Falls to Lock Haven, Sunday, 26 August 2012, Day 83

Kinzua National Park[/caption]

On the road again it’s hot again last drive past the fall’s and heading for the USA again. Big queues at the border but no problem getting back in except that the custom guy did not have available box to tick for the Netherlands for where the bike had come from so it went down as Mexican and other. Plan is to try to get to Washington DC in 2 day riding even with all my going of in the wrong directions it should be doable. I could not do a road trip of the US without picking up the nation capital. So first hurdle was to get it into my GPS.

Washington, D.C., formerly the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the Residence Act approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. As permitted by the U.S. Constitution, the District is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States Congress and is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.

What state is Washington DC in as that what the GPS needs to know but try telling it the above and it will not have it final figured out how to put it in :-)

So Butch :-)[/caption]

Quite an uneventful put pleasant day stopped at the Zippo factory in Bradford Pennsylvania which was interesting and there I picked up a map which had some scenic routes in the State so decided to follow the as long as I was heading in a South easterly direction I was moving closer to Washington DC.



Zippo Factory Bradford PN[/caption]

That is the theory but in reality probably added loads of extra miles but who cares when the miles are interesting. Found an interesting State park called Kinzua where there used to be a huge steel railway bridge across a valley but this was blown over by a tornado in 2003 so what left they have turned into a walkway where you can walk out over the valley really cool and great views. Not for vertigo sufferers.

Kinzua Bridge State Park[/caption]

 





Later following one of the scenic routes it started to cool down and the wind picked up which was nice as it had been hot all day but when this happens it normal means its going to rain. It was late so I was going to call it a day and was already looking for cheap motels of which there where not many around. Just checked out one but to expensive for my budget so said no thanks and hit the road again just then it began to spit oops regretting my decision already then the skies opened and it absolutely chucked it down before I knew could not see a thing water everywhere soaked to the skin finally was able to pull of the road (not easy in the US) into a lay by and took shelter in a smelly invalid porter loo. It was dry and only shelter I could find to pull on my waterproof's which was pointless really as I was already soaked but it was still pissing down hard. So after a nice day riding last hours in the wet finally found a motel not many around here and it was more expensive than the one I had declined earlier but I was wet and knackered so bollocks to the budget. Dinner tonight something nuked (Microwaved) from Wal-Mart and because I was wet I decided a treat was needed so a whole chocolate Swiss Roll and again trying and failing to get this blog up to date keep finding other things more interesting to do.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:55 PM   #97
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Lock Haven to Washington DC, Monday, 27 August 2012, Day 84

Maryland Bridge[/caption]

Its was dry the next morning and hot but my bike gear was still soaking so the best way to dry this was to wear it and as it was more than 30 degrees centigrade it was dry in no time. Today decided to head straight to Washington DC no detours (well no really big ones) nice ride scenery pleasant lots of small towns with nice houses with porches. I do like houses with porches no idea why but like the idea of sitting in a comfortable chair on porch watching the world go by very appealing.

Did not see any![/caption]

Americana[/caption]

 

Harrisburg[/caption]

Country turned to stop start city driving but surprisingly unlike other American cities Washington DC has no skyscrapers and very little high-rise seemingly they did not want it to be like Chicago and New York so had rules around the height they wanted to keep that the country feel and vistas which if you are around the Mall area I think they have succeeded.

Found the place I was staying no problem as I had booked something the night before as can be difficult to find cheap digs on the fly in large city. Usual problem in big cities that being parking. They had parking at the hostel but they want too much as usual and all I want is a small space, which they had, loads not a full parking place but it all about the money. So I parked it on the street where there was 2 hour parking whatever that meant usual non understandable signs not for parking. Later I tried to Google and find out about the Parking for Motorcycle in DC found a few addresses which I checked out but no parking in the evening as it was now being used for valet parking and or parking meters for motorcycle that needed topping up every 4 hours so I gave up and decided to risk getting a ticket. Why are these towns so Motorcycle unfriendly they expect a bike to pay the same as a car when they take up hardly any room and if encouraged would solve a lot of the traffic congestion issues. Loads of space to lose bikes but not allowed dumb dumb and dumber me thinks.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:57 PM   #98
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Washington DC, Tuesday, 28 August 2012, Day 85

Washington DC[/caption]

My poor little legs I have walked for miles today. Left the hostel at 9 and got back at 9 so that 12 hours and I have been on my feet walking all day think I did about 20 odd km. But it was worth it I did all the sights in Washington

  • White House


  • Vietnam Memorial


  • Lincoln Memorial



  • Korea Memorial


  • WW2 Memorial


  • Martin Luther King Memorial


  • Roosevelt Memorial



  • Jefferson Memorial


  • Capitol Hill


  • Union Station

  • Smithsonian Space and Aircraft Museum


And loads more. Very reflective day probably due to the recurring theme in the above list that being Memorial. *It was also another scorcher so my poor little nose got burnt yet again. The many Memorials I saw where all different and all fascinating in their own right and what struck me where the number of dead and as was stated on a few of the monuments that is the price of freedom. At the Lincoln memorial there where school children who were allowed to stand where MLK had stood and did I have a dream speech and they gave a couple of minutes of their hopes and dreams. The ones that appealed to me most where not of Peace and to stop world hunger and curing cancer of which there where loads but the simple one like be a nicer person or make lots of friends or have a good school year or get better at math’s that what kids should be thinking about having fun and leaving the biggies for the grown ups to try to figure out.











Pretty damned good day liked Washington and even had ambitions after I got back to the hostel to go again and see the sights when lit up at night but like all my over ambitious plan scuppered by the fact I am only human and there is only so much I can do it one day so once in I did not go out again but got chatting to folks at the hostel and again still have not worked on updating this really behind now.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:59 PM   #99
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Washington DC to Waynesboro, Wednesday, 29 August 2012, Day 86

Hot tired and Happy[/caption]

Wow I think I have caught up with my blog thought it would never happen. Got up and went round the corner where I had parked the bike I had been ignoring it all yesterday as did not want to know if I had a parking ticket had left it in a 2 hour parking place and that was about 36 hours ago so a tad over 2 hours. No ticket :-) packed my bike and set of in the direction to the Skyline Drive in Virginia. Still hot in a funny mood must be the heat but had a ruck in Safeway’s where I went for my breakfast after waiting for about 10 minutes for someone to actually appear behind the counter after having to find someone to page someone to serve me.I would like a breakfast sandwich please. We do not do sandwiches was the response. I look up at huge sign advertising all sorts of sandwiches so I point at that no they do have the facility to make sandwich yet there are huge signs saying sandwiches and if not ready in 3 minutes you get them free. So I am pissed of as I want me breakfast and being hanging around like a prick for while so I have a Philly rant about signs saying one thing and not being able to live up to what’s on the sign and insisting they take the sign down and generally cussing everybody and everything. (Same happened tonight at the motel walked in for a room how much $X I have a voucher for $Y about 20 bucks between X and Y okay you have it $Y prices plus tax plus other sundries!!!. Why can’t they just be honest upfront and quit all the lies and the false advertising bullshit it is really starting to piss me off the lies and the bollock and the false claims. Rant over!

Skyline Drive Virginia[/caption]

After I got out of the city and managed to get a coffee and sandwich at Subway the rest of the day was again hot but lovely ride on the Skyline Drive through the Shenandoah National Park. Called in at the tourist info place at Front Royal and a really helpful chap there gave me maps for the next 3 states I am passing through info on todays ride and more info the Blue Ridge Parkway which is my plan for the next coming days plus a discount coupon book for hotels in Virginia. So loads of paperwork but all useful so thank mate your great service just cancelled out the earlier rant and have wetted my appetite for the coming days.

Blue Ridge Parkway VA[/caption]



The other weird thing about today is that on the Skyline drive the speed limit is 35mph which very hard to stick to seeing as the roads are empty and good and this speed just to slow to keep in top gear especially on inclines so who would thought it actually harder to go slow than a normal pace. Tomorrow the speed limit is 45mph so a bit faster but will not be getting anywhere in a hurry so a nice enforced change of pace lets see how that works.

I think I am now up to date with this probably a load of tosh and probably missed out loads like the great little curry I had in Washington DC at Union Station Food Court, Chatting to a Sri-lanken Olympic female speed walker, amount of dead wildlife on the roads in US miss the live wildlife I saw in Canada, Have seen some wildlife such as dear and some other furry animals that I have no idea what it is, Trying to see as much as possible in the Smithsonian in hour before they close, 15 minute glimpse inside of the Rotunda at the United States Capitol, Chatting to the Park Ranger at the Korean War Memorial and getting a private tour and description of the design and layout of the place and so much more. Life on the road is hot and tiring but as yet never boring still having a blast
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:00 PM   #100
dean10 OP
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Waynesboro to Roanoke, Thursday, 30 August 2012, Day 87

Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfall[/caption]

Today I start the infamous Blue Ridge Parkway ride decided I needed a sleep in and today was going to be a short day in the saddle. Sort of slept then decided to get up and fettle with the bike as it was about time I adjusted the chain as it was getting a bit sloppy and as I am being forced to go at quite slow speeds for the next couple of days the chain needed adjusting. This took a while as the person who had tightened the bolt the last time this was done must have been a gorilla I was practically jumping up and down on the spanner with all my weight and the thing still would not loosen. Finally loosened the nut and adjusted the chain well I think it's adjusted I never know how tight or how loose to do the chain so probably did not change it that much quite inept at these sort of things. Talking of inept and gorillas well you never guess what I found whilst fettling on bike. Remember a couple of weeks ago I noticed a bolt missing that held on the petrol tank and was not sure if it had worked itself loose or was just forgotten to be put back after the last service well the answer was it was omitted to be put back after the last service as I found it in the tray under the seat. Bad Show Aurora Motorcycles Seattle I take back some of the praises I gave you a month ago.

After sorting the bike took a shower as it was already hot and then hit the road at about 11 stopping at subway for some breakfast before hitting the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nice day in the saddle very pretty and picturesque cooler up in the mountains than in the valleys heading for a place called Roanoke which is the one of the more populated areas around the parkway and I have a voucher for a motel there. Got there about 4 ish and boy was it hot down out of the hills checked in but could not be bothered to do much eventually decided to head in town on the bike regretted this as soon as I started was 7 o clock and it was still above 30 degrees centigrade to hot to do anything comfortably so change of plan supermarket for me dinner and back to the motel to veg in an ac room. Sounds easy but the GPS started playing up and I had no idea where I was or where there was a supermarket and god it was so damned hot.

Finally found one and my way back to the motel went and locked myself in the room with me dinner and did not reappear till the following day spent all evening watching the goggle box which was a nice change that all I could be bothered to do that evening.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:01 PM   #101
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Roanoke to Asheville, Friday, 31 August 2012, Day 88

Blue Ridge Parkway[/caption]

Day 2 on the Parkway well had to find my way back on it first. Crap breakfast at the motel first and then to the Parkway. Cross a bridge and see that the view is very pretty so do a U turn pull up and start taking photos. Look in my mirrors and what do I see. Red and blue lights unmarked police car ooops you just been nicked my son. Good morning officer (best English accent) license please sir not looking good. Confused him with me being English and having Dutch license and after admitting that U turn was not such a good idea but I thought I could stop anywhere on the Parkway to take pictures seemingly not on bridges. He seemed to warm to me after a while and got all chatty telling me that 25 people had commit suicide of this bridge this year alone! I assured him I was not suicidal (Just a bit grumpy) and then he started talking about a paranormal show on the television that said that there was an entity wandering around below the bridge. By now I am guessing I getting of with a warning as he handed the license back to me and is giving me the tourist low down on the Parkway. Next problem I had is how do I turn around and go in the direction I want to so he says just go of the bridge and do a U turn there also across a solid line again but that’s OK. Say Tata do another illegal U turn in front of him and head of into the distance. Whilst all this had being going on only one other car had passed so it not as if there was a lot of traffic that I was putting at risk but it was a fair cop I was wrong to do the U turn and stopping on bridge a bit naughty as well so lucky to get of with a warning so Thank You officer and you have a good day :-)







Another excellent day in the saddle, which got better as the day went on. Speed limit today 45mph which is better than yesterday 35mph and after my run in with the copper stuck to it quite religiously for most of the day meaning I was not covering a lot of distance quickly but pleasant enough at these speeds load of corners and gorgeous vista and very little traffic. Later in the day it tried to rain on me and did very briefly but stopped as quickly as it had started the roads where wet so it had been raining and this made the ride a bit more challenging as the road was a mixture of wet then dry and then wet again so not sure how hard to push it in the corners but jolly good fun none the same. Yesterday I decided to have a break in the afternoon high up it the hills, as it was cooler and just enjoy the scenery with a drink and a chocolate bar but problem with pretty places there is always something that spoils them and this time it was mosquitoes and black flies so that break was short lived. Tried again today and this was more successful and while enjoying the silence in the middle of nowhere (Jumped every time I heard a twig snap) I put the word hostel into my GPS which was now working again and it threw out a hostel 160 miles away but on the Parkway so I decided that was going to be my new destination further than I was planning to go but doable it I got a move on difficult when there is a 45mph speed limited and the scenery just keeps getting better and better with rain and rainbows thrown in for good measure. Reached the hostel at about 7.30 ish and I was on the road pretty early this morning so long ride today yes they had a bunk for me so glad I pushed on through before it started to rain I was falling asleep at the wheel so should have stopped much earlier but I am here now short walk to the supermarket to get some tea and then back to the hostel and working on this again. Its is now 11.30 and I am cross eyed so beddy byes methinks.







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Old 02-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #102
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Joined: Jun 2012
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Oddometer: 258
Asheville to Robbinsville, Saturday, 1 September 2012, Day 89

Old and New at Wheels through Time[/caption]

Skyline Park was a nice ride

Blue Ridge Parkway first 300 miles pleasant ride

Blue Ridge Parkway last 150 mile just got better

(British Understatement)

Blue Ridge Parkway NC[/caption]





A bloody good day in the saddle did not too many miles today but they certainly where good ones. Stopped of at a great little museum called wheels through time was not sure what to expect but turned out to be an excellent and fascinating place. I have a confession to make that to be honest I am not a big fan of Harley Davidson and this museum was all American motorcycle so I was expecting another Harley shop type experience fortunately this was nothing like this and I am going to revise the above statements as I actually do like Harley Davidson but the old ones and this place certainly had a great collection of these. So spent an enjoyable hour or so hanging around this place https://www.facebook.com/wheelsthroughtime







Even got an honorable mention on their Facebook Space. The policeman I nearly got nicked by at the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway was certainly right about the last 80 odd miles being the best lovely scenery if I have not already mentioned this. I made tracks to a place I had seen on the Horizon Hubb website where they was going to be a rally the following week and saw it was a motorcycle only resort with camping, cabins, hotels and what appealed to me was that they had a bunk house so I made tracks to there.

Great Ride[/caption]

http://www.ironhorsenc.com and yes they had a place in the bunkhouse so in celebration I sign myself up for a steak dinner as well mmm lekker.

Motorcycles only lodgings[/caption]

Interesting place on a little stream large area that was a restaurant and all the cliental all bikers. Pleasant evening round a campfire shooting the breeze with some southern folks passing the jam jar with moonshine in (yes I had a little sip as it would be rude not to so that is yet another month without a drink so not only is Philly dry but the county we are in is also dry so no booze for sale at the resort so everything brought in from the county down the road which I found very strange) Also this place had a large porch with loads of rocking chairs so spent some there trying to understand a conversation about fishing in a southern drawl so not much comprehension of what they taking about not sure if was the topic or the accent I did not get so hit the sack debating should I come next week for the following rally http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/meetings/USAEast2012.php

But probably not as I am not one for doing U turn or coming back to places straight away I do like keep rolling forward.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:20 PM   #103
dean10 OP
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Robbinsville to Atlanta, Sunday, 2 September 2012, Day 90

Bikers Nirvana[/caption]

Todays the bikers Holy Grail I am going to do the tail of the Dragon

So that is a bit of road that is 11 miles long and has 318 curves crammed into that distance so bring it on.

http://www.tailofthedragonmaps.com/maps_ridemeposter.html

Left Iron horse with the intention of getting some breakfast before doing the above route but after a pleasant ride to get to the start I pulled up in the meeting spot at Deals Gap and said bollocks I am going for it and so I did.



Jeepers talk about hard work corner after corner some banked some very tight. There is a speed limit of 30mph on the road but at certain points you can even get close to that, as the road is so tight and twisty. Having fun slower cars pulling over to let you through and sometimes you wish they did not as they helped in keeping your speed down and stop you getting to carried away then I hit more traffic that would not pull over and wished they would pull over and let the faster traffic through so you can say I am never happy. And there where photographers on a couple of the bends which you try and pose for but all this does is put you out of your rhythm so instead of looking cool you look like a bit of prick. But off course I am going to order some of these prints

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0QAK019P0D0299&po=14&pc=1148&sf= 1

So get to the end of the road going a bit slower as the bikers coming the other way are giving me the universal tap on the helmet sign meaning slow down coppers down the road as the road was being patrolled by 3 cop cars and cop bike that I saw to keep the idiots in check. So quick rest then I do a U turn (legal one this time) find a gap in the traffic and go for it. Arms are doing overtime with the continued change of direction hard on the brakes then back hard on the throttle using the engine and the gears and trying to pick the perfect lines. The trick is to be as smooth as silk. Meanwhile in the real world I was probably lurching all over the road (my part of the road) either overcooking it or under cooking each bend in the wrong gear and looking like a right twat but I did not give a fig as in my head I was Valentino Rossi. Lot faster run on the way back concentration ruined and knickers soiled this time by prats coming the opposite direction on my side of the road as they where using both lanes because either they had no clue what danger and risks they where adding to all concerned or where out of control going to fast or just selfish twats and they really pissed me off as I am okay in hurting myself through my own incompetence but not by someone else’s.



Got back to Deals Gap the place where everyone congregated and it was already 12 and I still not got round to breakfast so grabbed a pulled pork sandwich (local delicacy) and a coffee and took a look at the Tree of Shame which had all the debris of the many crashes that happen on this fun but treacherous piece of road.

Tree of Shame[/caption]



After a quick breakfast/lunch still pumped full of adrenaline I was keen to get back on the road this time the Cherohala Highway another road similar to the Blue Ridge and the Skyline Parkway which also had a 45mph speed limit but todays it was more difficult to adhere to this as I was all pumped up and all I wanted to do was race.

Cherohala Skyway[/caption]





Managed to contain myself and completed the route in one piece :-) and then put my head down as I wanted to be in Atlanta that evening.

Its not all sunshine![/caption]

I was heading for a Hostel, which I sort of already knew, had no place but then again you never no. Got there and rang on the bell and yes there where no places. Bugger hot and tired after a seriously physical day in the saddle did he know of any other place nope but he would ask Suzie. Suzie heard my accent and suddenly there was a spot as she was also a Brit from South Kensington and it got better as the room had no AC she would do me deal and then she changed her mind and found a bed in a room with AC but I could have it at the special rate. Result next issue in large cities is parking no problem could park round the side even though it said no hostel guest but belonged to the place so not only did I have a bed in a full hostel and a safe place for the bike the piece de resistance was that WIFI was normally 5 bucks a night I could have for free. Cor Blimey guv never has my accent been as useful as it was tonight and thank you Suzie at the Woodruff B&B Atlanta International Hostel for treating me like a prince much appreciated and great end to a pretty excellent day.

It got better just round the corner was a decent supermarket so a chicken tika masala for me tea to crown a good day. Its days like this that make me get why I am out here on the road as at times I do wonder why I am doing this.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:22 PM   #104
dean10 OP
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Atlanta, Monday, 3 September 2012, Day 91

Atlanta[/caption]

Oops nearly a week behind with this naughty boy must have been a very busy boy. Hot night last night the AC was sort of working however there was a window open that could not be shut! , So in the end the AC is a complete waste of time. Bit of a slow day cannot say that I was too impressed with Atlanta. The reason why I was here was that I liked the sound of it and I had an image in my head from Gone with the Wind film that I have seen a nearly a million times (not really).

Today was Labour Day and in town was Dragon-con an event similar to Comic-con so the town was full a geeks and nerds all dressed up in silly costumes. Which was entertaining as there where so many of them they where the norm and I probably looked like the geek and nerd as I did not have a comic figure costume on. (Geeks and nerds in a positive sense not negative I am probably could be classified as a geek or a nerd when it comes to motorcycling I guess these folks feel the same about their comics dragons and wizard vive le difference is what I say)* Interspersed amongst the geeks and nerds occasionally was a seriously hot babe dressed up in some sexy outfits so from a people watching perspective highly entertaining but the town itself was nothing special. First thing I did was wander around the lobbies of the Dragon-con trying to see if I could blag my way in as it was the last day did not manage it till much later in the day when I went back and I walked straight into one of the location feeling very proud of myself thinking I done something very clever found out later that they stopped checking tickets at 3pm so could have got in a lot earlier and was not as cool as I thought I was. They where charging 30 bucks for a ticket today and as I was not that interested only curious I was not going to shell out that kind of money and as you probably have guessed reading this blog the real reason is I am just a tight bastard always looking for freebies!

Atlanta is home of CNN so had a quick look there but they where also charging for tours so decided to head to the Coke Cola exhibition as Atlanta is also the home of Coke and I thought I can treat myself to one tour today it would be the Coke Tour. I used to be a Diet Coke addict for years I used to drink about a 1.5 liters a day 7 days a week for about 10 years so thought I would go back to the source of my addiction. I had heard thing about the Coke exhibition so was expecting a lot more so let say it was also a bit of a disappointment nothing spectacular. Maybe I need to adjust my expectations or lower them a bit to avoid this disappointment but that is easy said than done and its these place fault as they are the once hyping themselves up into something they are not so maybe they should do something about that. So the Coke tour ended up with in a room with loads of drink fountains with about 60 Coke drink products which you can sample so it was like being a kid being let loose in a sweet shop or a scene from Charlie and the chocolate factory must say this was probably my favourite bit as an ex addict probably not my wisest move but enjoyable none the less burp. My favourite was a vanilla flavour and soda melt tasting one did like one called Beverly bigger Burp.



"Me To"[/caption]



Wondered around Atlanta a bit more and as mentioned back to Dragon-con and then back to the Hostel and just spent the evening hanging there ended up talking to some of the folks who were there for Dragon-con trying to get a better understanding what it's all about as from the bit I saw it was just a place selling load of merchandise so I am still not sure what it all about. One of the folks I was chatting to was worked in a Zoo looking after penguins, which for me was very fascinating.

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Old 02-26-2013, 12:23 PM   #105
dean10 OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
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Atlanta to Nashville, Tuesday, 4 September 2012, Day 92

Lynchburg Jack Daniels Factory[/caption]

Found out last night that Atlanta was not only the birthplace of coke but also of Martin Luther King and that there was a state park and memorial in town so feeling that I should have done this yesterday (should really do more research god knows what other things I may have missed in the last 4 months :-)) this was my first port of call. I need to add the chap who told me about it was also mugged by a large dark fella and relieved of his camera.



So with some trepidation I made my way to the rough side of town fortunately it was early and not too many folk around but when I got there it did not seem the safest place to leave a fully loaded motorcycle with all my current worldly possession on it so took a photograph from the outside punched in Supriya address into the GPS and started of towards Nashville.



Pretty dull day weather dull and overcast scenery nothing special so was a bit bored when I saw a sign to the Jack Daniels Distillery so change of plan quick detour to there. Just as I started to head for the new destinations the heavens opened and it was pissing down I was only a couple of miles away from JD so decided to push on as these rain storms end as quick as they start so when I arrived it had stopped raining but I was sopping wet. There was a tour starting as I walked in so rushed onto that as it was free! Rammed my wet gear in a locker and spent the next hour or so being shown around the distillery. Very interesting strangest fact is that Lynchburg where the distillery is located is in a dry county so they are not allowed to sell their own product there and we could not sample the goods either because of this all they could offer us was a lemonade (Good for me as I am still on the wagon so that a month since I have had a drink promised myself a beer when I get to Houston with John to celebrate the successful completion of the first part of my trip!)



Pulled my wet gear out of the locker and headed for Nashville drying myself as I went along roads and scenery more pleasant than earlier that day and I finally pulled into Supriya driveway not sure at what time as I had lost or gained an hour between Georgia and Tennessee. I had not seen Supriya since I was about 16 so that more than 30 years ago fortunately she had not changed so was able to recognise her :-). Met the family so that was Neal, Rajiv, Maja and the 2 dogs Max and Riley. Straight to dinner table so guessing my timing was out as usual and a pleasant evening getting to know the Patel family :-)
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