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Thread: Labor Day Trip

  1. #1
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    Labor Day Trip

    For the last 2 weeks Iíve been growing restless, needing a vacation. A real vacation - not a family trip, not a group event - a get the fuck out of here trip to clear my head and get out of the area. Since I am trying to save vacation for next year, I worked 10 hours over the next 8 days so I could take Thursday and Friday off before the holiday weekend. Luckily, the boss is one of the rare ones that allows that kind of flexibility and our company policy encourages it for moral and health.

    THURSDAY
    So, before understanding just how much of a terror Harvey was going to be down south, I headed out bright and early Thursday morning. On the road by 6, my plan was to drive along Route 58 to Meadows of Dan, where I would hop on the BRP and just drive south until I got tired. Hereís the thing about me, though: once I have a goal in sight, I tend to be a marathon driver. I reached Meadows of Dan a little before noon, stopped for lunch, then took a look at the map to see where Maggie Valley was from there... Only a little under 4 hours away? No Problem. So back in the car I went, and I drove and drove and drove and drove and realized at the 10th hour mark I was ready to be done with driving and where the heck was Maggie Valley why werenít we there yet?????
    20170831_133052_resized.jpg
    Finally in North Caronlina

    When I actually reached Maggie Valley, I ended up stopping at a Scottish Inn. Nice little place. Great room! Huge. Open floor plan with vinyl floors that look like wood but are probably a ton easier to clean and better than nasty hotel carpet in my book! Anyway, the room was fantastic. The parking, not so much. At least with a trailer it was difficult. They need to pave an extension into their little patch of grass to allow cars to pull-through with trailers. Other than that, the spaces in front of each room is as wide as the room, so 3 big baggers or 4 cruisers could fit in front of each room easily. So thatís my plug for a nice little hotel.

    FRIDAY
    ANYWAYÖ Friday I rode all day. I went from Maggie Valley to Gatlinburg. Rode a Ďmountain coasterí, which was expensive, but a blast. Ate some lunch. Rode over to the Tail of the Dragon and went up to buy my obligatory sticker for the bike (each of my 3 bikes Iíve ridden the Dragon on have stickers to mark the occasion). Got lost a bit. Again. Finally turned my phone back on and navigated back over to Cherokee, then back to the hotel room in Maggie Valley. Even though it was wet and miserable on the mountains, I wish Iíd stayed one more day in the area.
    labor day vacation Thursday-Friday.jpg
    Excellent route even for a crappy, rainy day.

    SATURDAY
    My body is on a perpetual work week time schedule, so I woke at 5:00 a.m. as usual. While I tried to roll over and go back to sleep the result was just getting achy, so instead I rolled out of bed and started packing. Left the bike for last so I could go up the road to the Buttered Biscuit (YUM). After loading the bike, I headed back north to Rocky Mount, VA along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or tried to do so. The fog and weather up there was still awful, making the drive very slow and nerve wracking. I didnít want to take interstate, but it was still raining and miserable and I just wanted to get somewhere to sleep. So after a bit more of trying to be a purist and drive the BRP even if it was just in a car, I allowed better judgement to take over and got off the mountain where weather was still crap, but visibility 100% better. After arriving in Rocky Mount and finding an overpriced hotel, I got something to eat, then fell asleep fairly early.

    SUNDAY
    I didnít want to waste Sunday - it was finally PRETTY OUT. I wanted to ride. But I knew I couldnít keep the car and trailer in the hotel parking lot or they would have it towed. So I found the local Walmart and parked there. Pulling the bike off the trailer, I geared up, fought back paranoia about leaving anything in a Walmart parking lot longer than 30 minutes, and went down 221 to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance. Rode back and forth a while, still not happy with leaving the car and trailer, then remembered I wanted to ride a dirt track I found at the Peaks of Otter camp store. There was a campground there too! I had my camping gear! Might as well go ahead and get a spot for the night. So around I turned and headed back to Walmart. Packed the bike and rode the parkway up to the Peaks of Otter and set up camp. At the camp store, there is a little dirt road Iíve always wanted to go down. If you ever have a chance to do this, TAKE IT! Itís amazing. Route 614 > 680 > 681 goes all the way down into Thraxton. WOW. Now thatís a twisty road! I found a nice place to eat up the road called ďFoot of the MountainĒ - good food and nice people with a fantastic view. After eating I took 43 back to the camp site, bought some fire wood, and settled in for the evening. It is a pretty little campground, though a bit cramped. And full of kids that didnít want to sleep. I laid down when the sun went down, but even with ear plugs, I couldnít sleep at all. Iíd forgotten to bring a pillow so couldnít get comfortable. Between that and some kind of invisible bugs that must have come with the blanket I bought from Walmart, it was a miserable night.

    MONDAY
    Finally, after a very fitful sleep, I got up at 5:00 a.m., did a quick take down of the camp, threw everything in the car and headed home. Traffic was great (non existent) until the other side of Richmond when it became stupid. I finally made it home around noon, was swamped by my lovely puppy dog and cats, and promptly took a nap in my own bed, dog on my left, cat on my right, and pillow comfortably under my head.

    I'll fill in a few more details tomorrow, but for now... Itís good to be home.
    Hidden Content Midlife Crisis Mode - Activated! Hidden Content
    My 2-Wheel Babies: 2017 Versys X 300 - 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 - 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 - 2014 Honda Ruckus
    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

  2. #2
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    labor day vacation Sunday.jpg
    Great ride, even on a crappy day.

    20170901_142936_1504564390823_resized.jpg 20170901_143008_1504564391078_resized.jpg 20170901_143926_1504564391793_resized.jpg
    The TW handled the Dragon like a champ! He might not like the fast parts or the uphill climbs, but he loved him some twisty roads!

    20170903_161841_1504564445551_resized.jpg
    Excellent burger and home made mac-n-cheese
    Hidden Content Midlife Crisis Mode - Activated! Hidden Content
    My 2-Wheel Babies: 2017 Versys X 300 - 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 - 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 - 2014 Honda Ruckus
    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

  3. #3
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    Hidden Content Midlife Crisis Mode - Activated! Hidden Content
    My 2-Wheel Babies: 2017 Versys X 300 - 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 - 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 - 2014 Honda Ruckus
    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

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  5. #4
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    Hidden Content Midlife Crisis Mode - Activated! Hidden Content
    My 2-Wheel Babies: 2017 Versys X 300 - 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 - 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 - 2014 Honda Ruckus
    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

  6. #5
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    Hidden Content Midlife Crisis Mode - Activated! Hidden Content
    My 2-Wheel Babies: 2017 Versys X 300 - 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 - 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 - 2014 Honda Ruckus
    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

  7. #6
    Senior Member Bobo413's Avatar
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    Sounds like you had a blast & great pictures too. Thank you for posting : )))
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  8. #7
    Senior Member jtomelliott49's Avatar
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    Breathtaking views. Lucky you. And, I like the cafe fairing on your TW. I didn't at first, but it's grown on me.
    Tom in Wichita

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  9. #8
    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
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    way to go girl!! take the bull by the horns and get out of town!! a change is as good as a rest even if it wasn't perfect
    Last edited by grewen; 09-04-2017 at 11:10 PM.
    Fred, littletommy, ejfranz and 3 others like this.
    Greg

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  10. #9
    Senior Member mountain yawp's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting. I've? always wanted to ride the Dragon, but that's a long way from Oregon.

  11. #10
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Gee dang I love your storytelling. You had me in tears a couple of times. "invisible bugs"...I know right! You were worried about parking at a Walmart parking lot, hell, we've camped as some. Talk about eerie. Actually, some are very nice to stay at overnight but I think they have "invisible bugs" at Walmart too!

    At campgrounds, which me & Mrs. Admiral generally hate, if they's gonna be kids we wish...

    parents can keep their kids on a leash

    parents can keep their kids quiet...especially at night during the sleepy time (though all day is nice too)

    parents get a babysitter and leave their kids at home


    We have kids and we kept them well behaved at campgrounds when they (and us) were young...except when son #2 threw a dead snake on my chest when I was taking a nap! If only I could have caught him while I was still mad. Thankfully for him, I found the incident funny...just this one time.


    Again, great ride with a great story.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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