Join the club Crusty, yesterday, with a helper, I started stripping the roof on the front of the house. It went fairly well until near the bottom when we hit the weather shield. That was stuck tight to the deck and the shingles to it. Tarped it for the night and started again this morning. Found out that the shingles will come off with relative ease after the sun has been on them for a while. Still spent most of today removing five courses from forty feet of roof. Also found some parts of the deck that need fixing, and this is only the easy half of the main house. This is going to take forever.
John, I know you're an optimist. Shit will happen, you and I know when to flush or polish that turd.
I've had an uncommon day. Woke up after my honey, had coffee and breakfast, started some baby back ribs. Ran errands, back to complete dinner with my honey- she did achiote salad, fried green tomatoes. I finished the ribs, quad smoked about 5 hours, plus braised/browned new potatoes.
We also canned 4 jars of salsa, 4 jars of pickled green tomatoes. My best friend spent the day riding out to Bobarosa, and dang if I wan't jealous. However, I do know who ate a better dinner.
Iíve just spent a couple of hours pleasantly fighting Google Maps while trying to plot out a route both to and from Buelltoberfest, and I think Iíve got a pretty sweet ride lined up.
For some stupid reason that I canít fathom, I cannot include a ferry crossing when I plan my route on Google. So my starting point is at the Anderson Ferry landing in Kentucky. Still, itís going to be a route with almost no Interstate highway.
Iíll take KY Rts.8 and 9 to US 27 and take that to the Cumberland Falls Campground for the first night, where I hope to see a Moonbow. The next day will be a ride into Tellico Plains and onto the Cherohala Skyway to Robbinsville where I pick up US 19 and take that to GA 180 over Wolf Pen Gap into Suches. Iíll probably do a little riding in Georgia while Iím there; Blood Mountain, the Richard B Russell Hwy, Rt. 60 into Dahlonega, etc.
When I leave Suches on Sunday, Iím going to head up toward Maggie Valley, North Carolina and get on the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Iím going to ride the Parkway for its entire length, then continue onto Skyline Drive. At the Northern end of Skyline Drive, Iíll head north and pick up US Rt. 50 and head west until I make it back home. I donít know if Iíll stay on 50 all the way, or if Iíll take some other routes. It all depends on my mood at the time.
For that matter; itís all subject to change if I feel like it. Who knows; I might get struck by an insane urge to ride to Key West for a slice of Key Lime Pie. Now that I think of it, it has been a while since Iíve had the real thingÖ
No; I really want to get a half rack of Jimís ribs with a side of BBQ Beans.
Back to the route; I donít know how far Iíll ride each day. Iím planning to ride short mileage on the first day on the Blue Ridge, but Iím thinking that I might do more on the second. As I said, itís all flexible.
Itíll make for a nice circular route; well, not really when you consider the roads Iíll be on, but if wonít be a straight shot down and back. Right now, it looks like Iíll be on the road for about a week and a half.
When I hit the road in 2015, I traveled from Buffalo, New York, where I had been visiting with Don, down to Buelltoberfest on both Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge. It was the first time Iíd ridden both roads in their entirety and I went from North to South. This time, Iíll be heading from South to North. I bet I like the roads every bit as much heading North as I did coming South.
When I camped on Skyline Drive that first trip, a Doe walked up to my tent and stuck her head inside. I was sitting at a picnic table and just watched her. She had no fear of me, which I thought was pretty neat. I wonder if that will happen again. I doubt it; but you never know.
Google doesnít like the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even when I start at a campground on the parkway and have another campground on the parkway as a destination, it tries to route me on damn near any other roads. Itís a pain in the ass having to continuously move the route over. Still; Iím nothing if not persistent. Kind of like the Pacleds.
Anyhow; thatís the state of my plans at present. But now the Tramp in me is whispering that I never did get back to Albuquerque for some good MexicanÖ
The Blue Ridge Parkway isnít that far away I drove that Parkway years ago in my low rider, convertible truck. It was a nice road. The next day will be a ride into Tellico Plains and I think Brad owns stock in a bakery there. He made me stop there. Key West for a slice of Key Lime Now you are talking. Have you thought about packing a book to read? a Doe walked up to my tent and stuck her head inside I kissed a moose a few days ago:
The campgrounds on the Parkway don't have showers unless they changed in the last 8 years or so. Big Meadows campground, on Skyline Drive,does have showers at a buck per 10 minutes. After three days on the Parkway that was the best 2 bucks I ever spent!
It starts off of US441 just outside of Cherokee. Good road conditions in this area. Some cautions are in order.
There are various tunnels in this area. The roadway is usually wet inside - no sunlight - so the road surface is slick. And they are poorly lit.
Lots and lots of pullouts and overlooks, but Very Few have restrooms. And pay close attention to fuel. Parkway access points may be some distance apart, and when you get off the parkway it may be 10-20 miles from there to a to town or service station.
Nice, flowing roadway, with a 45MPH speed limit. Some curves may be tighter than they first appear.
I live about 5mi from Maggie Valley. Feel free to stop in for coffee, or 2 or 3 days . . .
Speaking of Maggie Valley, the Wheels through Time Museum is really cool. Dale Walksler is an interesting guy. He sold me a Harley in 1991. When I took it in for the 1000 mile service he saw me looking at a Buell RR1000. He asked me if I wanted to ride it while I waited. Sure! So that was my first Buell ride and boy was it strange! The first time I went into a corner at speed I swear as soon as I looked at the corner the bike started leaning. Considering the power source it was very impressive. Ten years ago I went to the museum and Dale recognized me. He grabbed a gas can and we went out and started some antiques! Great place if you have time!
Dale regularly does burnouts on the Crocker in the museum. You can see the strips of rubber on the floor. Last year, when I was there during the XL Forum's Meet & Greet, an employee started a Henderson 4 with one kick; which really impressed me. All the bikes in the museum run and are started on a regular basis.
Yeah. Tuesdays. I guess if you're the coolest dude in Maggie Valley, you can decide what day to be closed. Maggie Valley is an original tourist trap- when Dale relocated there, he wasn't exactly welcomed. He operates WWT as a 501C3, IIRC.
I have no idea why. Apply some KY, return on a different day. It'll be worth your while.
This morning, I got a wild hair and decided to let the oven clean itself. Now, Iím not the neatest housekeeper, but Iím not a slob, either and lately Iíve noticed that the oven was looking a bit rough. Iím not real big on oven cleaning, as a general rule, but the stove has an automatic oven cleaning feature. So when I went into the kitchen to get my second cup of Kenya, I hit the Clean button and set the time for 4 hours. I think that should be enough time. I donít have to do anything else except to wipe the oven out with a wet sponge after it cools back down this afternoon.
However; as the oven cleans itself, Iím getting some nice odors. Smoky smells of beef, pork and chicken and that makes me want Barbecue. I didnít really notice the smell until after I had the urge to head up to Velvet Smoke and get some burnt ends for lunch. That got me thinking about Jimís Smokiní Que and the fact that Iím really looking forward to getting some ribs there. I had to tell myself quite firmly that Iím trying to conserve money for my little run next week, but still the desire is there. So I shut off the A/C and opened up windows in the kitchen, dining room and bedroom and Iíve got the ceiling fan in the bedroom on and a pedestal fan blowing here in the living room.
I guess the good news is that Velvet Smoke doesnít open until 11:00 AM. The oven will be cleaning itself until 11:30 so Iím here in the house until then. I wonít leave the house unattended while the oven is on. If I can still smell the oven when it stops cleaning, then maybe I will go over to Velvet Smoke for Lunch. I expect that by then, the source of the smells will have burned off. I hope so.
I think that this afternoon will be a good time to take my sleeping bag to the Laundromat. I want to get it clean for my trip. I know it got pretty sweat soaked while I was at the West Virginia Buell Revival. Between the high temperatures and the even higher levels of humidity, my body was pouring out sweat. While today is supposed to be in the 90s again, the cool front is moving in and tomorrowís high is supposed to be in the 70s, as are the highs for the next 10 days. That means cooler nights, so I should sleep like a baby.
Iím really looking forward to spending some time on the road, but at the same time thereís the contrary voice in my head telling me that if I donít go, I could use the money Iíd spend and buy some things that Iíd like. I could buy that POR 15 kit and clean & seal the Injection gas tank. I could also get that weed whacker. And I need a new pair of house slippersÖ
The answer is a resounding NO! All those things may be true, but I also need to get back out on the road for a short while. It wouldnít be a good thing to be sitting around the house in new slippers if I was caught in a heavy depression. And I doubt Iíll be whacking any weeds before next spring. Also, I donít have the money for the paint job and wonít for another two or three months, so the POR 15 can also wait a bit.
I really donít think that anybody whoís on his deathbed says, ďGee; I wish Iíd plodded along, going to work and being bland and stable instead of going on that adventure and living and enjoying Life!Ē
Dylan Thomas was right when he wrote this:
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
First, the Moonbow, then the Cherohala, then a few days at TWoS then a ride up the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drive. Iíll buy slippers next month.
Iíve had a sucky kind of day. I woke up with a Migraine and it pretty much has had me vegetating all day long. I slept for a few hours this afternoon, and when I woke up, I fixed a pot of coffee to both help ease the pain which had diminished and to help me wake up. One of the Migraine Specialists Iíve seen over the years told me it would help. Iím not sure if it does help with the pain, but it does help wake me up and I enjoy the taste. While drinking it, I looked at my route to and from Buelltoberfest a bit closer. I worked out mileage for the trip, which is going to be around 1,600 miles. Add in the miles Iíll put in while in Georgia and whatever other side trips I do, itíll probably be close to 2,000 by the time Iím back in Cheviot.
Thatís not a lot of mileage considering the amount of time Iíll be traveling. However, it will give me time to ďstop & smell the rosesĒ if I get the itch to. Iíll probably be fighting the old, deep planted urge to ďPoint & ShootĒ the whole way, but Iím really hoping to get back into a 300 to 400 mile maximum per day. Thereís a high in doing a thousand mile day, but thereís a very different, but equally satisfying high in doing more laid back traveling. I felt it when I was tramping and itís a high Iíd really like to feel again. Iím hoping that I can get back into that zone. Itís a zone where I get a refill on my Senior coffee and sit at a McDonalds for a couple of hours and just enjoy being alive. Or maybe I will go look at that waterfall a few miles off my route. Itís a tough mindset for me to get into, but I really love it when I do.
Of course, I was going to do that on my way back to Cheviot from Massachusetts in July and I couldnít. I let little things annoy and frustrate me until I just said, ďScrew it!Ē and jumped on the Interstate and did an 800 mile day. I really hope that I can get into the right frame of mind. Both the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drive are worth enjoying.
Another parkway that Iíd like to ride the length of is the Natchez Trace Parkway. I rode a portion of it on my way south to New Orleans, but I havenít ridden the whole length of it. The part that I rode was beautiful, and the campground that I stayed in was the first place where I ever saw a live armadillo walking beside the road. Anyway; I only rode a part of the Natchez Trace and only in one direction. One of these days, Iíd like to ride the entire Parkway. That will have to sit on the back burner for now.
If this little run is successful, then Iíll be able to say that Iíve ridden the entire length of both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in both directions. I think that would be neat.
I drove the car today. Went to a town down south. I set the cruise to the speed limit and grabbed the right hand lane. I have to remind myself to open the windows and enjoy the scenery. I tell myself, "You're retired, where you need to be?"
When you're ready for the Natchez start in Nashville. Right before you get to it there's a restaurant called The Loveless cafe. We had a great breakfast there. Go another 100 yards after filling your belly and you're on the Trace! 444 miles, no stop signs!
I donít listen to music when Iím traveling. Well, thatís not true; I listen to the music thatís playing in my head and I listen to my voice as I sing in my helmet. But I donít have any kind of sound system on the bike. No stereo, CD player, MP3, Ipod or even phone. I do have a phone; itís a flip phone and the only music it plays is the ring tone.
I donít want music on my bike; it detracts from the riding experience. It can also annoy people around me. I know that I get annoyed when I am forced to listen to Billy Bob Budwizer belting out, ďYou broke my heart, so I busted your jaw!Ē or Sixpack Shaker rhyming monotonously , ďIím gonna f*** you up, mo****er!Ē Usually at a sound level somewhere near 120 decibels.
Last July, when I went to the Weedsport Short Track, I was in my tent after the races ended and some jamoke rode by with very loud pipes and his stereo cranked up to obnoxious levels. Iím certain that he could have been heard downtown. He had to have the music turned up so he could hear it over his exhaust. Maybe he was trying to impress everybody with his ability to make noise.
I mean; if you want to listen to music, why donít you get helmet speakers or even just a set of earbuds? Youíll hear the music better and it wonít annoy everybody around you. For that matter, if you really like loud exhaust, why donít you bend the pipes so that the outlets are aimed at your own ears? That way, you can enjoy the sound without disturbing everybody around you. I guaranty that if more loud pipe lovers did that, the volume of the pipes would go down.
Did you ever see the South Park episode, ďThe F WordĒ? I donít usually watch South Park, but this episode was about bikers. The kids redefined the word Fag to mean bikers who ride annoying loud motorcycles; usually Harley Davidsons. It was actually funny. And it had a real base in reality.
I understand why people want to change their exhaust to one that lets their bike breathe better and thus perform better, but how many people want, ďthe loudest pipes I can get; I donít care about performance.Ē I actually read that here on Badweb a while back. And Iíve known a number of people who feel that way about their bikes.
Loud pipes never bothered me until I put a set of loud mufflers on my í86 XLH1100. I rode from Massachusetts down to Hagerstown, Maryland to see a race and I stopped at a truckstop in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for lunch. All sounds were at the same volume when I went inside and I couldnít distinguish one from another. The music playing over the speakers in the ceiling, the clattering of the dishes, the conversations of the people, were all one big ball of sound. When the waitress came over to me, I couldnít understand a word she said. I just said I wanted a cup of coffee in response to whatever it was she had said. After that trip, I put the stock mufflers back on.
Anyhow; back to music. If you all had to listen to my singing like I do in my helmet at, say, 110 Db. I have no doubt youíd all be scrambling to get your representatives to pass anti-noise laws or at least a muzzle law for bikers who canít carry a tune in a paper sack.
In one week, Iím hitting the road for a couple of weeks. Iíll cover around two thousand miles and Iíll hit seven or eight states. And Iíll probably be singing to myself in every one of them.