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 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**)
....to 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..)
LIFE is GOOD!