Monday, July 7, 2008

Fathers Day Trip

Due to some nasty weather on Mother's Day we were unable to get out on the bikes, however Father's Day weekend was looking rather nice so we were able to get out for the day for a nice ride.
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Now I don't want to talk about this kinda stuff much on here, but the week before Father's Day was a bit rough for the motorcycle riders in Lexington, NC. Within three days, three riders were killed within a few square miles of each other. The last being a guy that I went to high school with and played on the tennis team with, Noah Cox. He was not at fault in the incident and later died in the hospital on Saturday. So when I left out of Charlotte, heading to Statesville to meet up with the parents, I was little bit uncomfortable to say the least. Once I got going a bit and got 100 miles under me I was OK.
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We headed west into Hickory down Hwy 70 and then to 181 through Hickory. This road goes past a riding park that my father and I used to ride at alot, Brown Mtn. It also winds past a campground area where a GNCC is held each year, Steel Creek. Once you get past that area the road becomes nice and curvy. Dad came over the radio and asked if I wanted to get in front of him since I was all over him in the corners. This was the first time that my parents had seen me corner the bike since I got it. It didn't take long before I had checked out from them, however on the straights I would slow up to let them catch up. Hwy 181 eventually runs into the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once we reached the parkway I pulled over under one of the stone bridges so that we could check the map and figure out where we wanted to go.
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My parents haven't spent much time on the southern side of the Blue Ridge so we headed that way towards Asheville, NC. The Parkway was a bit more rough on this side and the road surface was different than the Parkway up towards Boone, NC. However the view was still amazing as always.
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After a few miles I wishing I had packed up a long sleeve shirt, because it got down right chilly up there on the Parkway. We continued on anyway since it was still early in the morning and the sun still was not at it's zenith.
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A few miles later we passed a turn off for Linville Falls. However we continued on but a few miles later we decided to turn around and go check it out and I am glad we did.
It turned out to be a nice place with many trails for hiking and several large water falls.

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We headed down one of the shorter trails to get some pictures of the falls. I had heard about using a slow shutter speed when taking pictures of water falls to get a neat effect with the water. However the sun had made its way out and the glare on the rocks was harsh, but with a little work I got it work out.








We left the park and continued south down the parkway for a while till we came up on an area called Little Switzerland. We pulled off at a little corner restaurant and store where many bikes were parked out front. The inside had a cabin like feel to it and the food was amazing. I ordered a french dip and it was unreal good. They had the windows open in the place and there was nice breeze that kept the inside nice and cool.
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On the menu there was a little note that said parties of 8 or more required at least 24 hours notification so that they could have enough staff on hand! Over all it was well worth the stop. They also have a small store on the other side of the building that has lots of wine and some various crafts and soaps for sale.
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Once we left Little Switzerland, we continued down the parkway, however there is a section of it that is closed due to bad road conditions. So we turned off the parkway on Hwy 80 that runs through Marion, NC. Which happens to be where one of buddies from school lives. He had told me stories about flying down that road in firetrucks. (He is a volunteer fireman for Marion) I have no idea how those trucks even get down that road, nor would I want to ride along with his crazy ass in those ladder trucks. At one point on the road I even drug my kickstand! That road was a hoot and I am looking forward to going back up it a time or two.
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At the end of 80 where it dumps into Marion, we started to make a trail back towards the house. However I wanted to take my parents down Hwy 9 to show them a road that Josh and I had found on our last trip. We got a bit turned around and lost trying to get to it but we eventually found it.
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This time when we went down Hwy 9 there wasn't any construction traffic like Josh and I got behind. However we did mange to get behind a couple Florida natives towards the end, and we all know that corners do not exist in that state. So this guy was going 20 mph in corners marked at 35 and breaking double yellow! Needless to say I got a bit frustrated with all of this.
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Hwy 9 runs down into Bat Cave if I remember correctly and this time we didn't have any trouble with the cops... however we did get stuck behind another Fla native! However we decided to pull over at wide spot to take some more pictures of the river rocks and "Chimney Rock" as well.
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It was pretty neat area. Made for a nice swimming hole and from the looks of it, you just picked a rock and stay for the day. There was even some more people about my age that took a grill and some burgers as well as a cooler down there and were hanging out for the afternoon it appeared.
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We took a few pictures and then headed home.







We all went back to my apartment for a bit so we could all exchange pictures. (The digital age is amazing.) Then Mom and Dad went on home. We made about 333 miles that day and even though the first 100 went exactly the most enjoyable miles ever I am glad I got things figured out in my head. I guess I just needed a bit of a reality check to remind me what I am doing and why I do it. I just wish it wasn't at the expense of 3 men, two of which here newly married and starting families...

RIP
-Gary Lamont Bellamy
-Dwayne Kenneth McMahan
-Noah Jay Cox (1986-2008)

1 comment:

FZ1_Boone said...

Man... Love the Blog!!! I wish I would have found this a while ago... If you're ever up in the Boone area again, drop me a line.. I'll be a tour guide for you.. show you some GREAT roads...