Manifest Destiny – Week One, From Appalachia to God’s Waiting Room
Radke and I have started out on a multi-week cross country trip. I’m riding my ’78 KZ1000 and Radke’s on an ’84 Nighthawk. Jake, on his ’16 XSR 900, joined us for most of the first week. So far we have made it to Florida and are taking a couple of days to relax with my family. Being that I have been yelled at for being to wordy on here before I am going to employ the famous Yakovitch Bullet Point Method for Success on these posts.
- Jake and I woke up shaking off our hangovers after a great send off weekend at the Psychedelic Living Room.
- We met Radke on the PA turnpike and jammed out to 81 then headed south to Front Royal.
- Taking Skyline drive was awesome at first but soon the fog became thick.
- Met a Polish rider who shipped his bike here from Poland and was on the last days of a 12k mile USA trip. Inspiration right there.
- Camp was set up 80 miles down Skyline at the Loft Mountain Campground as the day was getting shorter and the fog thicker.
- Rad cliffs on Loft Mountain but the fog obscured the view.
- Went to sleep dry.
- Woke up soaking wet in a cloud. Everything drench to the core. Natures Happy Birthday to me, I guess?
- Got in rain suits and left the mountains to get gas and food in Elkton, VA.
- Back in the mountains the fog was thick and treacherous. Fucking terrifying is more like it, as you could barely see anything.
- Skyline turned into the Blue Ridge Parkway. We did 50 miles and had few small breaks from the fog.
- We left for the lowlands to get gas. I was over the fog at this point.
- Jammed down 81 past Roanoke and got soaked again. This time from rain.
- Left 81 and took back roads eventually back on the Blue Ridge.
- Camped at Willville Motorcycle Campground in Meadows of Dan, VA. Cool place. Biker only campground w/ a giant pavilion that gave us shelter from the rain.
- Splurged for the bunks to dry off and met some cool riders on their own unique trips.
- Drank too many IPA’s and passed out.
- Woke up to more rain but it soon relaxed.
- On the way out we found VA rte 666 and sold our souls.
- By Hillsville, VA the sun came out and the rain gear went away.
- Crossed into NC and took NC rte 16. Great road.
- Soon into Tennessee and through the Smokies.
- Took a detour around Watauga Lake before going into Johnson City, TN.
- Stayed with the most lovely Bonnie Kaye Whitfield and Wythe. Thanks Ben!
- Hung our soaked gear to dry, got gourmet tacos in town and then drank buds in the backyard until it was time to pass out.
- Said our goodbyes to Bonnie an Wythe then got a hearty Waffle House breakfast.
- Rode parallel w/ the Smokies then cut over to Maryville, NC for some damn good BBQ.
- Took the Foothills Parkway to rte 129 and headed south.
- Made it through Deals Gap. 318 turns in 11 miles. Holy Fuck. What a ride. We kept the rubber down. Can’t say that for all the riders we saw.
- Camped at sickest campground ever. Cheoah Point on Lake Santeetlah in the Nantahala National Forrest. Site 17. Right on the waters edge.
- With the sun still high we took a swim. Even found a nice rock to jump off of.
- Watched the sunset then the Milky Way come out.Fells good to see stars again.
- After passing out Radke freaked out b/c he thought something was attacking his tent. Pretty sure nothing was there.
- The perfect morning at the perfect campsite. We considered staying one more night but knew we had to move on.
- More sick roads. The roads here are made for two wheels.
- Stopped at Fontana Dam. Thanks for that tip Tom.
- Rode the Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee, NC all the way to Asheville. Nothing but blue skies and intense views. Best yet, no traffic on the parkway.
- Dropped our shit off at an Air BNB in West Asheville then went downtown for food.
- Wandered around aimlessly being hassled by homeless hippies.
- Randomly found a motorcycle repair shop that has a bar in the back called Moto Vicious. Stop here if you are ever in Asheville. Everyone was fucking awesome.
- Said goodbye to Jake. We really wish he could have came for the whole thing. Miss that dude already.
- Had breakfast then took off through more North Carolina Mountain roads. The best roads.
- Came into Georgia and the roads mellowed out.
- Took a detour to Tallulah Falls.
- Got bored of rte 23 and took back roads into Gainsville, GA. This livened up the ride.
- Stayed w/ a close friends parents that live right on Lake Lanier. Got to garage the bikes for a night.
- Jake made it home safe. We were amazed he did the whole ride from Asheville to PHL in one shot, in the rain none-the-less. Iron Man.
- Got up early had Waffle House (probably will be a common theme) and jammed out I-20 to Birmingham, AL.
- Made great time for the Barber Motorsports Vintage Museum (see my previous post).
- The original plan was to camp in Birmingham but being inspired by Jake’s Iron Ass ride yesterday, we rode all the way to Fort Walton Beach, FL to stay w/ my grandfather.
- Alabama highways suck. In fact the state wasn’t fun one bit until we took 331 south all the way to Florida.
- Brian sprung an oil leak that was getting his back tire wet. Awesome.
- The roads were flat but the scenery was good and barely any cars in sight.
- Rolled in to Florida and set out for a couple of days off. Beach and relaxation before we head to New Orleans.
If you wanna follow the trip in live time, find Radke and I on Instagram:
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Published - Dec 29, 2010
Early summer morning blast to the beach with ricky.