Saturday, 7 June 2014

Day 34: Robbinsville to Little Switzerland NC via Tallassee TN 240miles/388km

There be dragons in those hills.


First we must have breakfast.

We stop at Bojangles and meet a special group of men.

The Romeo group." Retired Old Men Eating Out." They meet here most mornings at around 7.45am for breakfast- coffee and a sweet bun- and to shoot the breeze.

We invited them all to have a Romeo breakfast in New Zealand.

The trees are glorious in the early morning sun.
We stop by the Dragon's lair and take a look at the Tree of Shame which is festooned with motorcycle parts that have fallen off bikes doing this route. Some are memorial pieces.
Out into the hills where we meet some dragons and prepare to ride the Tail of the Dragon, route 129.
The Tail of the Dragon is arguably the most famous iconic motorcycling road. There are 318 bends in 11 miles.
We are glad we set off early. There was very little traffic. The road was a little damp with early morning dew.
We stop at Tallassee, Tennessee - the end of the Tail of the Dragon. We hoped for a coffee.
The Harley Davidson shop stocks only Harley Davidson stuff. Cheap round for us.
These two Harleys got a head start on us for our return trip.
My driver is waiting to see what I report about this in the blog.
Some of you will guess.
There were lots of bikes coming toward us. Some with plumed helmets.

We set off on a back road route 28 to Cherokee.

There are several Tenessee river valley hydro project dams on the Little Tennessee river which the road follows.

We are heading north by South.
Christian books and sayings are commonplace in the local cafés that we have visited lately.
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
This is possible on the motorcycle - each day on the road is like a retreat for me.
There is a simple rhythm to each day. I put in my earplugs, pop on my helmet and gloves, mount the bike and am wherever my mind takes me. Quite purposefully I pray for safety for us and for other drivers on the road.
Scenes, smells, thought bring to mind people. And I pray.
Sometimes I listen to music. Today it was some 60's music. Angels are in many of the lyrics. Some of the people I meet each day are angels.
In the Bryson cafe we had a snack and I looked at the notice board...

Instead of a church service on 8 June the First Baptist church offers US Army free medical and vet services to anyone.

The Bryson City Church of God is inviting people to a block party.
Back on the road.
Timber fences are common. Maybe someone can explain the style of this one.
There is plenty of timber around for wooden fences.
Pawn shop signs- gold wanted, we sell guns and ammo are also common. Most towns seem to have a pawn shop,

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a lure for motorcyclists.

We enter the Parkway near Cherokee township in North Carolina.

Our ride today includes many Tunnels - all with elegant stonework

We took a break at the highest point.

This couple have come on their motorcycle prepared for a picnic. Sheepskins,too. Mine is back in New Zealand on Mella.

Note the tray on the back of the Honda Goldwing- perfect for carrying a table and chairs.

I'd like one too, please.

The Smokey Mountains roll away into the distance.

Pink rhododendrons along stretches of the Parkway surprise us.
Did someone plant them or are they native to this alpine region?

A few more corners and we arrive at Little Switzerland.

We decide to stay here tonight.
Birthday flowers....
There are several birthdays for families and friends this weekend.
Happy birthday Brian, Bob, Steph and my cousins Paul and Jude who are celebrating their super NZ birthday.



Ken said...

We'll I certainly hope that Orlanda showed those Harleys what the back of a GSA looks like.

Diana said...

....and they weren't even two-up!