Monday, May 14, 2012

Maggie Valley - Wheels Through Time and DQ in Cherokee

We could hear rain on the roof off and on when we woke up so we weren't in a hurry to get out of bed.  Then, although the rain had finally stopped, it looked very wet out as we finally got up and made coffee.  Eventually, it started to dry and we ventured outside.  Imagine our surprise when we found we weren't alone.  Tracy (T-Bone) had arrived last night, riding in from Georgia through the steady rain, but he hadn't wanted to disturb us.  He didn't know we would have welcomed being disturbed.

T-Bone and his Mean Streak

After greetings and bike drying, we rode down to the infamous Country Vittles for breakfast.  We skipped the All You Can Eat Family Style Breakfast and ordered a la carte.  As I was settling our cheque, I saw two Phil Bowie books on the counter.  A couple of years ago, I bought an autographed copy of Diamondback here on friend Chunk's recommendation.  The novel was set in and around Maggie Valley.  In the same series, Killers pre-dates Diamondback and Guns comes after.  These were also autographed so now I have the full set.

Sitting in Country Vittles

My western omelette

Sandy's bacon and eggs

Tracy's biscuits, gravy and eggs

The Smoky Mountains

Next on the agenda was Wheels Through Time.  This museum features American cars, motorcycles and memorabilia and most of the vehicles are operational.

Wheels Through Time

Aerial view of the main floor

Another angle

Board racer on top with ACE below

Indian Service Car

Police and motorcycles

Patches (for Bob)

Indian powered Eliason motor toboggan

Hillclimber with artificial leg

Harley racing trio

Future projects

I'd take 80 MPG

Military corner

Open wheel racing the old way

Sandy with Coke chopper

On Any Sunday (for Doug)

All this vintage hardware and Sandy took a picture of a cat

And a toy many of us would recognize

On the way out of the museum, we talked to one of the volunteers who was in a wheelchair.  He messed up his leg on his Harley Ultra as he was slowing to make a left turn into his driveway.  Unfortunately, a well known local drunk came over the centre line, hit him head on and tried to escape.  The flight was foiled because the bike was heavy enough to damage the truck's steering.  The gentleman hopes to be up and riding again soon.

Back at the motel, we suggested to Tracy that we ride over to Cherokee for Dairy Queen.  The ride over US 19 was pleasant and not overly challenging due to the SUV we were following, who couldn't go any faster because of a bike ahead of him.  The DQ Blizzard was nice and we talked to an older couple from Texas who seem to spend most of their time on the road in their car.

Harrah's Casino - Cherokee NC

More Cherokee bears

The ride back over the Parkway was likewise fairly mellow.  We did pass a few slower bikes and then found another silver GoldWing at a pullout.  He was from Oklahoma and was waiting for his buddies, the bikes we passed.  One rule is that everyone should ride their own ride.  Know your limits and stay in your comfort zone.   These fellows were doing just that.

We arrived back at Applecover and sat out by the office swapping tales and having meaningful conversation.  Proprietor Derrick joined us periodically.  We saw on Facebook that Jim (Wrong Turn) and KT were on their way and expected to be in about 6:00 PM.

Thunderstorms finally rolled in by the late afternoon.  The rain was quite intense at times and the lighting close by. The radar showed it wasn't a large storm but it seemed to be favouring our valley.

Sandy, Derrick and Tracy at the Applecover office

Rain pouring down

Mary Poppins?

Tracy drys off after the rain

The rain finally let up.  Jim and KT weren't in by 6:30 so the three of us went to Garlic Knots for supper.  Sandy and I shared a Hawaiian pizza while Tracy had ravioli for the second consecutive day.  While we were waiting for the food, we saw Jim and KT roll past.

Back at the motel again, we found the anniversary couple (it was their wedding here on the BRP last year) unwinding from a wet ride with a bit of tequila.  The five of us (plus Derrick) ended up hanging out until eleven having a great time.

Jim, KT and Sandy

Today's Route (39 motorcycle miles):

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