Sunday, May 28, 2023

2023 (2) US 15 best

While staying in Branson we do some sightseeing.
Patriotism is alive and doing very well in Branson!
The veterans museum was a nice stop.

We then worked our way downtown for some shopping in a few of the plentiful trinket outlets.

While Bev wandered through some stores I relaxed on a bench outside and met Steve who like me was also passing time on the bench while his wife was shopping. We talked and laughed and found out we had an amazing number of things in common! 
From where we grew up to military experience and on and on. Then when our wives joined the party we found even more commonalities.
L to R
Bev, Kim, Debbie and Steve
Debbie is Steve's sister.
Its always fun to meet someone from 'home' but even more so when traveling. Then add the joy of reliving childhood antics - good and bad...and it can be a downright pleasurable way to spend an afternoon!

I felt very fortunate to meet and reminisce for a time with such good people!

The next day I was able to ride another of the 15 best, The Pig Trail in Arkansas.
The paperwork...

The midway stops..

Starting in Eureka Springs Arkansas I rode to the other end, Ozark Arkansas, got a receipt then turned around and rode it again the other direction. Time well spent!
One more beautiful road checked off.

We need to get some miles behind us so we concentrate on traveling the next two days. 
We are heading to Ooltewah Tennessee to visit some friends.

But we're still able to take a pic or two as we motor along.
Annnnd while snapping a few pics I make another friend.. 
What a good dog!

A church named after me??
I wonder why I've not been invited to speak there....
(Mountain Grove, Mo)

The obligatory Cache pic. ;)

We arrived in Ooltewah Tennessee to see our friends Sean and Kris.

Sean and Bev downtown Chattanooga.
The famous choo choo...
Sean gave us an excellent tour of their beautiful city!
Sean and Kris rolled out the red carpet for us...but...the purpose of this trip was to "bag roads" not to laze around being treated like Royalty. So reluctantly we had to move on...
(I was so busy enjoying being pampered that I neglected to snap a photo of Kris and their son Jack (**sighhhh**) Sylva, North Carolina.

A nights rest and 19 miles later we ride the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, actually only about a third of it (155miles). To complete this road one only needs to ride 150 miles. (Over the years I've ridden on the Blue Ridge a few times and by now I think I've probably covered the entire Parkway). Riding the Blue Ridge is a completely different experience.

In a world where riding (or driving) is often a frenetic and harried experience, the Blue Ridge is 469 miles of breathtaking Appalachian Mountain beauty wrapped in a warm blanket of laid back calmness and serenity. A middling wide tree lined, two lane road with relaxed sweepers and plenty of pullouts for documenting one's good fortune of being in this time and place, the Blue Ridge Parkway should be on everyone's list.

But caveat rider, the park police have a well deserved reputation of speed limit enforcement. 
Hooning can be costly. 

At the south entrance Bev makes a new friend..

Then we're on the (foggy!) Parkway

See what I mean?
I should have said 'chilly' too!!!
But it is still an incredible ride!

As we were motoring along, a car in front of me stopped and blocked the lane. So rather than pass on a blind corner I stopped about 50 ft back from them and turning off the engine just waited for them to finish whatever they were doing and then move. But then the lady in the car turned and while looking back yelled something to me which raised my spidey-hairs just a little bit. Although I couldn't understand exactly what she said I did understand it was a warning of some sort. 

So I looked around and to my left on the other side of the road a little bit above eye level was a mama bear looking at me. She was a little upset and I could soon see why, her two cubs were scrambling up the hill behind her. Luckily for me they were on the opposite side of mama than I was. Since she was already upset and my bike was turned off I decided I should just hold still until she calms down. Which she did as soon as her cubs were high enough on the hill. She then gave me that disdainful look that only mama bears can give and turning around scooted up the hill after her kids. 

I breathed a big sigh of relief, started the bike and motored on.
Luckily Bev was behind me and got these photos!

A little farther down the road we pulled into a visitor center looking for a table to have a snack. This is what passes for a snack in Beverly's book.
I'm a lucky guy!

And the next day we rode the Back of the Dragon.
Starting out in Marion, VA.

An intersection part way through...

The end of the BOTD

Well...thats part 2
Tomorrow will be another road, the 555 in Ohio.
Thanks for stopping in, check out part three (in a few days..)

Saturday, May 27, 2023

2023 (3) US 15 Best

 We overnight in Charleston, WV.

Monday morning we make the 110 Mi ride north-ish to Little Hocking, Ohio in order to ride the Triple Nickel of Ohio. 

On the way..

Bob, Indian rider and the chairman over the 15 best meets us at the Marathon gas station and rode the Triple Nickel with us. It was a great pleasure both riding and having lunch with Bob.

First the paperwork

Bob and yours truly

We had the dieters special at this Diner (they are closed on Monday haha) but we thought their sign was a good photo op.
More mid-ride photos

We take a nice rest and then leave the next day riding north -  our plan is to ride the Great River Road from Prairie du Chien Wisconsin to La Crosse Wisconsin.
On our way there we passed through Peoria Illinois and see this beautiful cathedral.

Then we enjoy a superb lunch in this church converted to a restaurant.

We end up in Rock Island Illinois to spend the night. We leave early the next morning and enjoy a nice ride up to Prairie du Chien Wisconsin.
The paper work..

The Great River Road was a very nice, very relaxed ride with beautiful views of the Mississippi River. 
We finished the road- stopped to eat then got a room in Winona Wisconsin to get some shut eye.

So we have completed 7 roads  now it's time to go home. 

Riding South and West into South Dakota we stop at the Porter Sculpture Park.

 Wayne the proprietor/artist and I talked for a good long while and solved most of the world's problems.... 
But the day was fading fast so we took our leave and went to Mitchel SD 45 minutes away and found a hotel.
We see numerous weather alerts and storm and flood warnings for the local area that we're in - South Dakota - but when we leave the next morning there's no precipitation where we're at but the winds were horrendous!
360 miles of brutal sidewinds  finally gets us to Alliance Nebraska where we go and see the carhenge.

On the way to carhenge I see a car pulled off the road. A mom and teen aged daughter. 'Do you need help?' I ask.
They have run out of gas the nearest tiny town is 5 miles away.
No prob.. I have a spare gallon on the bike. As I'm pouring the last drops in the tank mom hops into the car and starts it up.... I got the gas cap on mere seconds before she moved a few feet forward then stopped.
The teen girl got out approached me and asked, "can I offer you anything?"
I wanted to ask her what "anything" meant but instead I just said, "no thanks" she said a quick "thanks" got back in the car and they were gone!

We spend the restful night in Alliance then in the morning we head for home. I met a couple fun guys near Brush Colorado we had a fun conversation and then its back to the road. 

This is Mikey and Isaiah is behind the camera
Mikey and Isaiah work hard in the agricultural industry  keeping Farms productive.

And then 100 miles away from home I see this guy (Kurt) on the side of the road I pull over to see if he needs help and he does not but we chat and trade motorcycle stories for a while.

Kurt has one of the best stories I've ever heard and he tells me it's on video as well. Kurt and friends were riding down one of California's beautiful Motorcycle Roads in the dark of night when they had a deer encounter. Just when he thought he was clear a fawn ran in the road and somehow jumped up and landed in Kurt's lap, I believe he told me it was about 20 ft or so before the fawn was able to jump and get out of his lap and run off into the woods.

Then back on the road and I finally make it home.
This was a great trip 5,730 MI. We saw so many awesome things and had a great time everyday! 

I asked Bev what are we going to do next year to top this trip? Well we'll just have to wait and see.
Life is GOOD, but its even GOODER when your Honey goes on the trip with you!