Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rallies 2011 – Day 21

This morning I was slow to get moving, I didn’t sleep very well. I think it had something to do with all the beer although I didn’t feel sick. Breakfast was ‘light’, as in a bowl of Rice Crispies. But it was a breakfast none the less. We finished our work  this morning just before 10:30, loaded the bikes and headed out.

The first order of business was to go get some gas. There was a Wal-Mart just down the hill so I decided to fill up there. Bad idea, their gas is lousy and we could tell it throughout the day. With our tanks topped off we went back by the hotel and headed down 226A a.k.a “Diamondback”. It was definitely a twisty road. It started off slow but 4 miles into it things got really technical. Maybe it’s because I started the day tired but I found myself worn out before I reached the bottom of the mountain. I originally planned to turn around and go back up it but when we got down to 226, we took that back up the mountain to the BRP.

The ride south on the BRP started out nicely with a clear road ahead. As we got closer to Ashville more and more traffic started showing up. We stopped in Ashville for some snacks and Reagan topped off her tank to get some better gas.

After the gas stop, I wanted to eat lunch at the highest elevation overlook which was at mile post 431. We were still in the 380s and it was already after 1pm. Breakfast was a distant memory. I finally stopped a few miles short of my goal at an overlook with a picnic table. The view wasn’t great but the cool breeze made it nice none the less. We cut lunch a little short when rain drops started coming down.

When we got to mile post 431 we were rain free so we pulled into the overlook and sat there for a little while just taking in the scenery. Then it was time to head down the mountain and finish the BRP. It turned out that we had more miles left than I expected.

When we rolled into Cherokee, TN. The air was significantly warmer than we were accustomed to for the past 4 days. We kept moving, got to 74, then 28, then 143 into Robbinsville. We rolled into town a little after 4pm. Checked into our hotel, received a free upgrade to a suite and unloaded our bikes. Dinner was had at a local diner up the hill from the hotel.

day 21

Today’s trip was 200 miles long and kept us on the road for 5 1/2 hours.

Tomorrow morning we’ll go ride the Dragon, get Reagan a patch and depending on how we sleep tonight we might do HellBender, then head to the Cherohala Skyway and start our ride home.

It’s been fun to play for the last 3 weeks. But as the trip is winding down I have to say I’m looking forward to my routine and diet at home. At least until we knock out a SaddleSore 2000 in September so I can tag Ohio and Michigan thus completing my map to the right and allowing me to retire my well worn AST jacket.

UPDATE: Reagan’s been keeping track of the wildlife seen on the BRP. Her totals are: 3 does, 2 fawns, 2 turkeys, 2 wood chucks, a suicidal squirrel and a field mouse. Today she made a huge dent in the butterfly population, they may now be considered an endangered species (ha ha ha).

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