Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gettin' Our Kicks: Judith’s Diary Entries #5

July 13 to July 22

Highlight for each State:
California   Bluest sky
Arizona   nicest clouds
New Mexico   pass with care
Texas   I can see for miles or bugs eat you
Louisiana   Bridges and bayous
Mississippi   ? Many trees, less Dodge Rams
Alabama   They are cheating - the liberty statue should not be here
Georgia   Tar snakes
Tennessee   Beat-up cars
North Carolina   Great roads
Virginia.  Wonderful riding
Maryland.  Red traffic lights

July 13, Vonore to Waynesville
This was a great riding day going Cherohala Highway first with basically no traffic and nice turns, then connecting to Blue Ridge Parkway (here even the major highways are not all straight) and then cruising along Blue Ridge Parkway with a little more traffic, but not bad. The turns there are mostly not super narrow, but long - great riding.
In Waynesville we stay at an old motel, owned by very nice people. In the evening we had a spontaneous jam session in the yard, one of the guests playing guitar and another one playing the harmonica and a shrunk guitar. Great end of the day. The fireflies liked it, too.


July 14, Waynesville
There was rain predicted for nearly the whole day and this was what happened, this meant stay in. There were actually 2 sunny hours in the afternoon we used to wander through town and get some supplies. I could watch a chipmunk (I love them) in the yard and in the evening there were some fireflies again.

July 15, Waynesville
We went to Maggie Valley to go to the Wheels through time museum, which was, unfortunately, closed. Got some lunch and went back to the motel in a loop. Saw the chipmunk again.


July 16, Waynesville to Boone
A great riding day, mostly on Blue Ridge Parkway, which changed over time: the turns got a little wider (not shorter, though), and there were a couple of nearly straights. We went of to see the Biltmore, but only got to the ticket sales. We decided to not do it, as they wanted $ 60 to get in. Instead we watched the movie about it.


July 17, Boone to Floyd
After having breakfast with a school football team, we headed of for the next piece of the parkway in perfect weather. Again great riding. For lunch we stopped in Mt. Airy, a nice little town which was used as a basis for a TV series.
In Floyd we met with Jim Ford, Treavor, and Paul, who we are going to ride with tomorrow.


July 18 & 19, Floyd
These were 2 great riding days with Jim. He does know the roads so well here, and we had everything during these rides, as Paul put it: roads, no roads, big ones and small ones, turns, no turns, big ones and wide ones, great surface and gravel, rain, no rain. It was great fun.
In the evenings, we sat in the red chairs, together with David, the owner of the hotel and talked. There were fireflies again. It certainly was a great stay. Treavor invited us to spend a night at his house, which we are going to do.


July 20, Floyd to Peaks of Otter
Jim gave us a wonderful route back to the Parkway. Riding was great, and we didn't have any rain today. The lodge, where we spend the night is directly on the Parkway with wildlife without any fear. I got very close to an unknown bird, saw the blue butterflies again, and two ducks came to inspect our patio and Dennis' shoes.

July 21, Peaks of Otter to Middleburg
The route Treavor gave us to get to his house was again a very nice one, basically on local roads getting us from the end of the Parkway (sniff) through the horse and wine country to his house. We spend a very nice evening on his porch talking and drinking wine.


July 22, Middleburg to Gathersburg
We had a snort ride including an old ferry to Dennis' cousin's, who he hadn't met since he was little. The afternoon was a lot of catching up, later we had a great dinner in a brewery restaurant and concluded the evening on their magnificent deck.


Best things
Best place we stayed at: Oak Park Inn, Waynesville & Pine Tavern Lodge, Floyd
Best road: Angeles Crest Highway, Cherohala Skyway, Blue Ridge Parkway
Most spectacular/memorable people: performers of the jam session at Oak Park Inn, redneck Steward
Most interesting place: Barber Motorsports Museum
Most spectacular location: Monument Valley
Best dinner: Bess Bistro, Austin
Best hotel: La Posada, Winslow
Most inspiring person: Sam at El Trocadero, Kingman
Most impressive views: Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Blue Ridge Parkway
Most boring stretch: Amarillo to Plainview, TX
Biggest cockroach: Fredericksburg, Texas
Greatest cultural experience: Library in Austin
Best thing: wine GLASSES instead of plastic cups
Biggest lie: free WiFi at various hotels
Most true saying: it's all about the people
Most relaxing: rocking chairs on the porch

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