Published: October 8th 2012October 7th 2012
Yesterday, when we stopped at a rest stop outside of Memphis, I checked my tires and wondered how much further we had to go. So I plugged my home address into the navigation app on my phone and found out we were around 800 miles form home. While we rode to Lebanon, I mulled the possibility of doing two 400 mile days and getting home on Monday instead of Tuesday. I suggested that to Bill and Rick and they both thought it was a great idea.
When I got to the room and mapped a route, I discovered that going to the Tail of the Dragon would add almost 200 miles to our trip. The Tail of the Dragon is a 12 mile stretch of route 129 between Tennessee and North Carolina. It is a twisty, curvy mountain road that is very popular with motorcyclists and sport car drivers. Rick has talked about going there since we started planning this trip. He has his heart set on riding this road, I understood before we took this trip why he wanted to ride this road, but some of the roads we have been on make the Tail of the Dragon look like it was designed for 18 wheelers. It even has guardrails, for goodness sake. But Rick had his heart set on it so I mapped a route that took us to the Tail of the Dragon and along part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and up Interstate 81 to Christiansburg, VA, a distance of 540 miles. That would leave 440 miles to ride Monday to get home.
We gassed up after dinner to save time tomorrow, and planned on getting an early start. When we woke Sunday morning we saw that is was raining and looked online and discovered that is was raining at the tail Tail of the Dragon as well. That cancelled our plans to ride the Tail of the Dragon and Blue Ridge Parkway (and another stamp for my burgeoning collection), leaving us with a 375 mile ride to Christiansburg. Bill suggested that I find a different motel closer to home and cancel the reservation for the motel in Christiansburg (yes, Annalou, your brother does have an idea now and again, contrary to popular belief).
It took me about a half an hour to change the reservations to Lexington VA 450 miles from where we were and 340 from home.
We left the motel around 8 am, the rain had stopped, but the skies were cloudy and threatening and it was very cold.
We made real good time for the first 200 miles, averaging 65 mph, including breaks. At our first rest stop Bill informed us that the heater for his gloves wasn’t working and his hands were cold.
Around noon, it started to rain, so we stopped for lunch at Perkins, hoping that if we waited long enough, the rain would pass us by. We hoped in vain. It rainesd the rest of the day.
Bill told us his hands were freezing and his feet were soaked. When we left the restaurant, it was drizzling, and before very long, it turned into a full fledged rain. It took all afternoon for us to reach the motel – we arrived 5:30. Bill was freezing – he said he had no feeling in his feet. I told him to go hop into the shower and get warm. He and Rick stayed in the room and ordered pizza, while I went across the way to Applebee’s to write my blog.
When I returned to the motel room, Rick told me that when Bill tried to use the hair dryer to dry his boots, it was broken. Bill can’t seem to get a break.
It’s weird knowing that this is the last night of the trip. It has been a great trip, but I am anxious to get home. I know Rick is too, and of course Bill has been anxious to get home since we started.