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Sunday, June 30, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Sunday June 30th)

Day 5
Our stay in Robbinsville was very nice.  The motel had towels in the lobby for the bikes.  That was nice because we had a little bit of water to clean off the covers.  I don't think it rained, but just very humid. 

We are parked next to a Harley Trike, and start talking to the people that rode it.  A very nice couple from Georgia I think they said.  They were new to the trike.  Only had it a couple of weeks.  Her husband was telling us about how beautiful the Cherohala Skyway was that we will be riding today.  Excited to see what the road is like, we get a cool morning start on more curves. 

The road didn't disappoint us at all.  The first turn out we come to, we stopped.  The area was breathtaking.  A car pulls up as we are ready to leave, and I  ask if they would mind taking a group picture for us.  The couple didn't mind at all. 

Beautiful covered bridge along the way 

We wind our way through the road just like we knew where we were going.  After awhile we finally come to an open area...Yes, it is a little town.  Time to get off the bike and take a break.  As we stand there, we start talking about eating.  There was a little area next door to the gas station, so we all agree to go over and have something for lunch.  We are in Tellico,Tennessee  It is the Smoky Mountain version of "Mayberry".  They don't even have a traffic light yet.  Local flavors were pretty good, and at least we figured out how we were going to get back on tract and head in the right direction for the day. 

Lunch in Tellico 
We pull out from lunch and ride more of the area.  We hadn't been on the road but about 5 to 10 minutes, and I tell Chuck, that Chris & Diana are not behind us.  Chuck finds an area to make a u-turn and I try to contact Diana via text.  We are in an area where there in no cell phone service.  Our headsets are too far apart, so we ride back towards them, hoping we aren't going to find them crashed on the road.  A couple of curves, and there is their white bike, and Diana is next to it.  Chris is down the road walking.....Chris has lost his left highway peg....Thank God that is all it was. 
By the time Chuck walks down to him, Chris has found most of the pieces except one.  Then he found it.  Great....worked out well.  One nice biker pulled up and wanted to know if we needed help.  That is the way bikers are...They take care of their brothers.

So what do you think this sign means!!!

Chris just leaves the peg off for now, as he really doesn't need it with all the curves and twisties we are riding.  We talk and laugh about our recent stop.  We have passed another strange sign along the way, and I haven't been able to get a picture of it.  Diana tells me she has taken one and we start trying to figure out what it means.   No peeing. Alien. No fishing. You be the judge. (We know what it really means but it is just too funny.)

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We are riding in a more populated area now.  We are on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have always heard so much about this road, and have to say it lives up to all my expectations.   The daylillies are absolutely beautiful as we ride through the town of Marble.   I guess we are in daylilly country.    I can't get over how wonderful they look. 

Peg is back on!  

We stop at the Patton's Run Overlook in the Nantahala National Forest.  The rapids are wonderful and there are a lot of people riding rafts and canoes down the river.  This is a beautiful area of the world.  A couple pulled up in this little old truck that had been totally restored.  They had the cutest little pup with them.  It was part jack russell, and chihuahua...Loved the puppy kisses. 

Chris fixes his missing left highway peg. You won't see very many pictures of our guys working on the bikes this trip. That is such a nice thing!!! 

We make a gas stop in the town of Bryson City.  We discussed if we were ready to stop for the day, or keep going.  We had been watching the
weather and the decision was made to try to cancel our rooms in Myrtle Beach.  Delilah the tropical storm is playing havoc with our plans.  We had booked through, and we called them and even though we were past our cancellation time, due to the bad weather they are able to cancel and get our money back.  That is wonderful news.  Sad that we aren't able to get there, but we all think this is the safest thing to do. 

Day Lillies are beautiful this year. 

As we ride on towards Maggie Valley, NC. we see more beautiful roads.  I don't think we have been on a bad road yet.  We see more daylillies.  We even encounter wildlife.  There was a lone deer on the side of the road.  He just looked at us as we went by.

Big Witch Tunnel

We ride through several tunnels.  One particular one tunnel was very interesting.  It curved as you drove through it.  Now that was a strange feeling.  The curve was actually very noticeable.  I think it was Rattlesnake Mountain tunnel.  I can't say enough about this area.  It is a bikers dream.  The roads are awesome.

I said earlier we were heading to Maggie Valley, NC for the night.  Had no idea that was where we would stop for the night, but it looks like a really nice area, so why not.  We were able to get a room and park the bikes right in front of them.  I love these old time motels.  Not that fancy by any means, but each room has 2 rocking chairs outside for a nice quiet evening just sitting and grinning!!! 
Smokey Mountains at their finest!  

We walked to the local restaurant and attempted to eat...I say attempted because they were out of a lot of food.  The waitress started telling us about what they were out of, and I think it would have been a lot easier to just tell us what they had left.  I got shrimp, and it was really good.  I think we all were happy with our choices to eat.  As we sat and waited on the food, we look outside, and it is raining.  Hope it is just a mountain shower and leaves quickly. 

By the time we leave the restaurant, the showers had stopped.  We get back to the rooms, and sit outside our room and rock for awhile.  I will say it again, we really did ride some awesome roads today. 

The guys were able to dry the bikes off and get the covers on them for the night.  The lock on Chris's trailer was acting up, so the two experts worked on it, and got it fixed.  :)

We have reached that time of the evening that it is time to get some shut off we go, for tomorrow we ride to Greenville.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Saturday June 29th)

Tail Of The Dragon

We head out this morning to find the Tail of the Dragon.  Chuck and I have ridden this stretch of road a couple of times.  Seems like we always have a trailer on the back of the bike when we do, but that is just the way it works out. 

The weather is really nice, and the ride was the same.  We see that same strange sign we saw in Hendersonnville along the road again, only this time, there were words under the little guy...It says grooved highway...Ok, so we aren't water surfing on the bike!!! 

We make it Maryville, and turn towards the Dragon. 

Amazingly we are only about 5 minutes into this highway, and pass a bike wreck.  Not sure what happened, but it really wasn't even a bad area....who knows, but it looks like the girl was able to get back up, so that is a good sign.

As we ride the switchbacks and tight curves, paying attention to each and every piece of the highway, we pass by several of the guys that take pictures of you riding the road.  I am on the phone taking notes on what time we rode what area, and which photographer took the shot.  We will look at the finished pictures online in a day or so. 

You know we are connected via our blue tooth headsets to Diana & Chris.  Chris told us that his little guy on his GPS just puked.  Oh my gosh...where does he come up with this stuff...I laughed so hard I about wet my pants.

We stop at Deals Gap and get our pics taken and buy a t-shirt.  They had some food vendors there, so we go ahead and grab some lunch while we are stopped. 

We get a little chance to do so people watching and bike watching.  Interesting watch people pull out and head towards the curves. 

Diana made note that we rode Hwy. 129 on the 29th....and we all survived as well!!

We have rooms reserved in Robbinsville North Carolina for the night.  Great day of riding some really beautiful roads.  Floorboards are a little scraped from the sharp curves, and YES...that noise scares me to death.  Finally by the time we scraped a couple of times, I was ready for it, and didn't bother me as badly.  Guess like everything, you get used to it.  We "flatlanders" just don't have curves like that around Oklahoma. 

We pull into our home away from home for the night.  We even walk to a local restaurant to eat some of that local food.  There is a wonderful sitting area outside the motel, and the weather is perfect for watching the bikers pull in and either unpack or ride on.  I think we could have sold our rooms quite a few times this evening.    This little sleepy town stays alive because of the bikes that frequent their little town.  The population is only a little over 700, and I bet in the winter it is really a very quiet town.  But today, it is very busy with motorcycles. 

We had a good area to sit and just watch what was going on, and this guy pulls up with a bike on the back of a flatbed truck.  Looks like one of the riders had gone down on his bike.  The bike didn't look very pretty on one side.  The rider was walking but had a limp.  I bet he is going to be sore tomorrow!!!
We overheard that he was riding the Cherohala Skyway.  That is the direction we are heading in the morning. 

Time to get some sleep...goodnight world. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Friday June 28th)

Day 3. Nashville Goodlettsville

We have Breakfast at hotel, and will be meeting up with my sister and brother in law today.  They lived in one of the Ville's and we will be having dinner with them tonight. 

There is a mall across the street from the hotel, so we decide to go ahead and check it out.  We have nothing but time to kill this morning so we took advantage of it.  There is a place that offers massages, and foot massages.  They had tried to pull Diana & I in there as we walked by.  On our return pass by, the caught us.  Diana wanted to have her feet massaged.  I convinced Chuck he needed a back massage.  Then before I knew it, I was sitting in one of their chairs too...Where is Chris!!!!  He says there is NO way anyone would be touching his back ,and for sure not his feet.  About 20 minutes later, Chuck and I manage to get out of the chair
I think we both felt like we had been run over by a Mack truck.  Lordy, lordy what have we done!!!! 
Diana emerges with "happy feet" glad!!!!  I think Chuck and I will never  be the same  :S

It is getting time for us to find a place to eat.  As we walked over this morning I noticed a place called Baily's.  Its a sports's a cool spot to sit and relax...maybe our backs will heal while we sit!!!  LOL  We have a really good burger there, and we didn't feel rushed to leave, so we just took it easy.  We could get used to This vacationing thing.  Of course Diana & I had to use the rest room...As we emerge, all we could talk about was the mouthwash they have in the bathroom.  There were little white cups, and a dispenser with mouthwash on the wall....YUCK!!!!!!  You don't even want to know where our jokes went from this point.  Of course we had to come and share our find with the guys.  Their bathroom didn't have mouthwash....Hmmm, wonder why??!! 

As we walked back to the hotel, we spy a sign that made us laugh.  Will leave it to you to decide what you think it is supposed to mean...LOL

We are meeting Kay & John around 3pm, so we have time to chill at the hotel, and cool down.  It is really warm and humid here in the Ville!  As you can see by the candid pic...."some of us" got a little shut eye....LOL

We are picked up around 3ish.  So wonderful to see these guys.  Amazed that John was able to take off today, and chauffeur this crazy group around.  I guess the Sonic he has will survive without him for a day!!!
First time for Diana & Chris to meet John & Kay, and I have to say from the time they picked us up, until they dropped us back off that evening, we all laughed and carried on.  It was a wonderful visit.  John drove us to Nashville.  Drove us by all the hot spots.  Got to see the original Reiman Theater.  This is all happening around 4:30 and people are all over the place.  We didn't stop, as we had placed to go....The plan is to go to the little town of Franklin.  Supposed to be the town where all the stars have moved to.

We make our way to the main street of Franklin.  Did a couple of drive bys to see where we might want to eat dinner.  There was this little quaint place that caught Johns eyes.  Dotson's Restaurant it is!!!  More local flavor.  The place has been there a very long time.  Looking on their walls, there have been a lot of "famous" people eating here as well.  Sure would be nice to see one of them this evening, but that wasn't going to happen. 

We ate our dinner, and enjoyed all the laughs we got to share with two really awesome people.  So glad that Chuck planned our trip to make this little stop!!!  Making memories can be so much fun.

John gets back behind the wheel, and takes us for more site seeing.  He drives us to the field that he flies his model airplanes at.  The hills, and trees are beautiful in the area.  I for one am very impressed with the lush Tennessee area.  John attempted to find Garth Brooks old house, but wasn't able to find it, but we did get to check out some nice neighborhoods. 

As the final treat of the evening, John drives us to his Sonic.  We place an order.  I think with his thick Chicago accent the girl that takes orders would know him, but I guess she wasn't paying any attention.  The car hop brings out our drinks and ice cream, and about drops it as she looks and realizes she is delivering her tray to her boss.  It was a really funny little moment.  More laughs as we pull out from the Sonic. 

We are dropped back to our hotel about 9:45 all safe and sound.  We had a really fun afternoon to with 2 wonderful people.  We appreciate their hospitality....Thanks again to John & Kay for making our day so much fun! 

Time to get to bed, we have to get back on the road in the morning!!!  Some great ones have our names on them.  Look out Deals Gap....we are coming your way.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Thursday June 27th)

We are up and eating breakfast at the motel.  Diana has made her a blueberry waffle.  She said it wasn't that good...have to say the color would have turned me off!!!

The weather is pretty nice today. The temperature is 76 as we head out.   We ride through an area that has quite a few Amish people on the roads.  Dickens Missouri to be exact.  As we rode by, the kids in the back of the wagons waved.  I wonder if they really have the best world???  Not as much hustle and bustle that is for sure.  I guess that is really what you call "living off the grid"!!! But then, remember the reality show "Amish Mafia" I guess everyone has their own set of problems. 

We continue on down the road.  There are signs of fires all over the place.  Seems the farmers are burning their recently harvest wheat fields.  I guess that is one way to get them cleared.  It was an interesting site to see.  The winds are very light today, so I guess everyone is taking advantage of the good weather.  I have to say we have seen a lot of corn fields, and hay along the way as well.  

We are feeling hungry and I for one feel like I could drink a gallon of tea.  We drive through the town of Dexter.  Decide that we will eat a little local flavor.  We pull into Dexter BBQ, sounds pretty local, don't you think!!! 

The lunch was very good.  Not sure if we looked so good or bad when we drove up, because we sure did get the looks from the people that were sitting by the windows at the restaurant.  You know the feeling !!!!! 

We ate some really good barbecue.  The locals did good!  As we sit there, one of the guys that had been staring as we drove in, told Chuck that he needed to buy his trailer for his bike.  Well buddy, I don't think we would entertain that thought, as it is just too early in this little adventure to do without it. 

We see more corn fields than you can imagine.  The farming must be really good in this area, because that is all you can see.   The burning of the fields continue as we reach the Mississippi River.  We are officially in Tennessee...Look out Nashville, Goodlettsville and any Ville along the way, because here we come. 

We make it to the hotel, unpack, and decide to walk to the local Mexican food restaurant for dinner.  I would love to say something like "its the best we have ever had"....but you will not hear that.  In was OK, even though Diana didn't get what she ordered....and our waiter really could have cared less that he was actually waiting on us.  So with that said, it was OK...Just OK...

Back in our rooms, we decide it is time to get some rest.  Tomorrow we see John & have to get some rest!!! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Wednesday June 26th)

Sooo, we are packed, and ready to go.  Has been a little more difficult to get things all lined up so we are able to take this vacation.  Sometimes it just takes a little more planning and effort to get out of town.  You know the old saying....the best made plans of mice and men oft times go astray.  Well, not sure how astray these plans will go, but we are on the bikes and ready to get out of town.  These Flatlanders are heading for the hills.  In fact the mountains!!!

It is a hot day, and we are starting out around 3 in the afternoon.  At least we are heading east, so we will have the wind to our backs.  Chuck and I have on our hydration vest, and we are all wearing our mesh jackets.  Not sure that I have mentioned this, but it is HOT!!!! 

By the time we make Tulsa, the evening rush hour has called down, and it was pretty much a breeze going through the town.  We stop on the outskirts to get some food and something to drink.  We are really trying to make some miles today, so we make a quick stop in the Wendy's over by the Hard Rock, Tulsa.  The tea tasted so good.  I was really thirsty.  I also look like a drown rat, as my bottom and back are quite wet.  Oh well, that's what you get when you ride a bike in Oklahoma. 

The one nice thing about riding later in the day is that it cools off.  Actually was a nice ride.  We made a gas stop at the same spot we bought gas a couple of years ago, when we ran Diana & Chris out of gas on their spider....Yes, we did!!!!  

We continue through Joplin.  Amazing how a town can recover from such a terrible tornado!   The new hospital has moved to the other part of town, and it looks like it is about ready to open.  I know we will see this same progress in Moore, OK. in the coming months, and even years.  We are an amazing bunch of people. 

We stop for the night in Springfield, MO.  The guys clean off the bugs that have hit the bikes.  Chuck says it was time to stop, as his windshield was so speckled with bugs and it made looking through it a little rough. 
Sounds good to me...I am ready to get some rest. 

How to wash your IPhone. Yep, you read it right...

Start with a crazy day!  Ad a rush to get a load of laundry washing.   Then about 20 minutes in a 30 minute cycle, wonder where in the world your phone is. 
I did all the above.  I had also heard a thud going on in the washer as well, but dismissed it to a zipper on a sweat jacket.  I get a bit crazy when I can't find my phone, so I ask my husband to dial my number.  

I think I hear it, but not quite sure where yet...he calls a second time and my ears perked up.  Mad dash to the washer. Noooo, surely's spinning.   Oh my gosh get this thing stopped. My phone is in there. Sure enough. There it is.  

I pull it out and look it over pretty good.  My Lifeproof case has just saved my life.  Yep, it got washed. You know the case I am talking about.  It is waterproof.  Thank God!!!!

Of course I shared my dingbat moment with my Facebook friends.  I text Diana and she ask if Siri had a headache.  Cracked me up.  Poor Siri. I bet she was dizzy.  

Good gosh, when am I going to learn to check my pockets?  I have washed my Fitbit way too many times and now I have washed my iPhone. I think I need to slow down just a bit.  Maybe this multi tasking is getting to me.  :)

Glad there was a happy ending to my latest dingbat moment.  I can always blame in on the Full know the one...Super Moon!!!! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hi Wave or Low Wave

The last few weeks have been so crazy and this blog post will probably be all over the place.  Tornados ripping apart Oklahoma..Mother breaking her hip, our friends struggling with their own life threatening hospital and life changing events. You can read our friends blog here. Joel and Sarahs Journey
I think we need a little time out from all this.  A good bike ride is what is in order.  :) 

As we rode one evening, I just chuckeled to myself.  I love to see how the oncoming bike is going to wave. 
Most all bikers know that bikers wave at each other as they pass by.  Sometimes there is too many things going on to do this, but a nice head nod works well also.  Chuck has always waved the low know what it is, that cool down low wave.   I even googled about waves.  There is a blog explaining the 5 different waves that motorcyclist use.  I had no idea.  You can read about it here.  Motorcycle Etiquette How Not To Wave Like A Dork  What type of "waver" are you??!!!  Are you a dork??  Better watch out, cause I have my eye on you.  :)  Just kidding! 

Sometimes when we are rally's like Sturgis, and Red River Memorial Rally and others that are large in size, you can either leave your hand out all the time, or just say to heck with it and not wave. I don't think it is snobbish not to wave....Do you? 

The temperatures have gotten into the high 90's this week, so I think we are in for a HOT one!!!!  The evening rides have been really nice.  Our humidity levels are so high due to all the rain, you feel poached by the time you get to your destination. 

We rode Sunday afternoon down Rt. 66 towards El Reno.  You know, living here all my life, and knowing what tornadoes can do is so overwhelming, but when you really see the destruction up close and personal, it just brings you to tears.  The Vo-tech is totally gone.  Metal and bricks and papers are everywhere.  But just like always, there is that army of little ants (people) busy trying to make a dent in the recovery effort.  What wonderful people we have in this state.  Source of picture

We head south on Hwy 81, and you are able to see the path the tornado took.  Sadly it almost destroyed a 100 yr. old house that some people just bought and were starting to restore.  As we rode, I notice a whole lot of cars parked in front of this wheat field.  There were all those worker ants out in the field.  They were cleaning it of debris.  You see it is time to harvest that wheat.  You can't let a combine go into the fields with all the stuff that is out there.  I don't think anyone has any idea the violence and total destruction that  a tornado can leave behind. 

Enjoyed getting out on the bike and seeing first hand what was left behind.  Feel so sorry for so many people that have lost everything they own.  And the 21 lives that were lost in the last tornado is just so very sad.  Stuff can be replace, but people cant.  Storms like these are not be taken lightely, as they are deadly.  Thanksfully the weather has calmed down here for a while, and we can settle into out HOT summer.  :)  Wave at someone today!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tornado's & Broken Hips 5-3-13

Wow, amazing how just a few minutes can change the lives and the homescapes of a state.  We in Oklahoma are really getting hit hard with mother nature this year.  Wasn't bad enough that she destroys Moore again, but 5 days later she takes another route and messes with El Reno, Yukon, and Oklahoma City.  They have officially said that the tornado was an EF5 and it was  2.6 miles and reported to be the largest in the United States history.  Geez mother nature....Simmer down!!! 

As we ride out the tornado that was about 7 miles from our home, my mother and step- dad were taking refuge in their next door neighbors storm shelter.  As mother has told the story several times today, with 7 dogs, one cat and 8 people.

The reason she has told this story several times is she is in the hospital.  Seems she did a little tumble in the storm shelter and then had to sit on a little chair for 2 hours as the storms moved through their area. She wasn't able to get out of the shelter without help, and when she got to the top, she and my wonderful step-dad walked back to their house.  She said she didn't know if she was going to make it.  OK, so then she calls me and I make sure they are OK...well, yes, but she my husband and I take off to their house.  Getting to their home that is only about 7 miles from our house was a nightmare.  The river is rising and the main roads into Yukon are closed.  We actually make it through one of the roads before they close it down.  We get there and she insist she will be fine, and there is no need to go to the hospital.  Have to agree at this point, and the hospitals are very busy right now.  We actually have 20 people die from all this horrible weather which includes the flood waters. 

Fast forward to Sunday.  We have been trapped on the north side of Yukon, because the river has come out of its banks, and the 2 main roads that lead into Yukon are closed due to water.  We have had over 10" of rain, and there is so much flooding in so many areas.  We can't go west, because just down the road is where the tornado hit on Rt. 66. We will have to take another indirect route to get there if the water doesn't go down pretty quickly. 

We finally see the water has receded around 3pm, and go to mothers.  We get her to agree to go to the ER and have an xray and find out what is wrong, if anything. She is in quite a bit of pain, but handled the ride there very well. 

After the xray the attending Emergency room Dr. comes in and says that mother has a broken hip.  Shock is all I can say!!!  They inform us that she is going to be admitted.  Ask if we have an orthopedic Dr.  NO!!!  Guess we do now!  This is all happening around 8pm, and we are all starving.  Mother is in pain, and we are waiting for her to get a room.

She is finally in a room by about 9pm.  She has had some morphine and she isn't hungry any longer.  What an evening!!   I decide to go ahead and stay with her, I drive my step-dad home, and run and pick up some stuff at my house.  Back at the hospital by about 10:15.  Time to rest...well, you know that just doesn't happen in a hospital.  My head is about to split.

The nurse at the ER said the Dr. usually makes his rounds around 7am...We are up and waiting....and waiting....and waiting.....till a little after 9.  So much for 7am.  He is a very nice, and explains mother has a little more difficult break, in that it really isn't something that he feels needs to be operated on at this time.  We had a sigh of relief...NO SURGERY!!!!!  You have to admit that sounds pretty good, since she is 84 yrs. young, and even though she is in good health, surgery is so hard on the elderly. They says she has a impacted femoral neck fracture on the left hip. 

So, we have a plan.  She is going to have Home Health Care and we can probably go home today.  Great!!!  At this time of the day, she is doing great.  Not having any pain or anything.  The physical therapist comes in and works with her a bit and she passes with flying colors.  Wonderful news. 

It's now almost 4pm, and mother is complaining that she is hurting, and hurting bad.  She hasn't had any pain meds, and the nurse comes in and gives her morphine.  After an hour, she is still in pain, and my step-dad has gone and gotten her pain meds filled during this time.  The nurse says for her to go ahead and take one.  She does...Not thinking that she hasn't eaten anything since lunch.  Glad the pain meds kicked in, and the ride home was painless.  But, remember the empty stomach.  Well, she is really not feeling well.  Sick to her stomach...I feel so sorry for her.  She is out of it.  Was able to get her back to her bed and we leave it with my step dad and her for the night.

I called and checked on her about 8pm, and she said she was feeling sooooo much better.  Heck yes, it is time for more pain meds.  But she is going to eat something before she takes them.

If you are reading this blog, please take a minute and say a little prayer for my awesome mom.  She is going to need all she can get.  She is a tough gal, and I am sure she can pull out of this, but it is going to be a slow process.

As I write this, we are in for more bad weather.  They aren't calling for really bad like they said last week, but still not good...We are going to have chances of tornadoes...Mother nature really needs to take a chill pill...She is just way to hormonal this year.  LOL

Thanks for all your prayers in advance.  Appreciate it very much  :)