The sky was blue and the forecast was mostly promising. Flip, Lanny and some others were going to go north of I-40 to finish the ride that had been cut short when Lanny's throttle cable broke. We chose not to go. Willie Wonka, Phillip and I had talked about going for a ride together. Huffy, Butch and Teresa, Scooter and Jan plus Bass Man and Laura joined Willie and Carlene; Phillip, Jaime and Caleb; and Sandy and I for the run. For some reason, I was nominated to lead.
I led the assembled multitude over Soco Gap and down into Cherokee on US 19. WE stopped there for a minute at the tourist place to discuss options. By the way, Cherokee remains overrun with bears.
We left Cherokee via the tip of the Blue Ridge Parkway and rode to its highest point. A lady in a car actually pulled into the left lane to let us by, a really nice gesture. As we got up to 6,000 feet, we started to flirt with the clouds.
Continuing on the BRP, we encountered some fog and then some sunshine before getting sprinkles as we turned off on NC 215 northbound. This road is coarse enough that the wet didn't bother us while we wound our way down off the ridge. Blue skies returned by the time we reached Waynesville, where we took a break at Bogart's for lunch.
I always like the food at Bogart's but the service is sometimes hit or miss. Today it was a hit as a young man named Coleman took excellent care of us.
After lunch, we discovered that while the sky behind us was blue, there were dark clouds over Maggie Valley and the wind was whipping through the trees. We caught rain for about five miles but, for a change, every traffic light we encountered on 276 and 19 was green. It stopped raining before we got back to the motel about 3:20.
Have you ever seen a sugar glider? I hadn't. What an engaging little pet. Scooter's son and daughter-in-law brought Sebastian with them. After we explored the marsupial connection, we spent the rest of the afternoon mingling until the pizza arrived right on time.
As everyone was digging into the pizza, four police vehicles pulled into the lot. No, it wasn't a raid. Sgt. Heidi of the Haywood County Sheriff's Department, one of her K9 officers plus an extra and a sergeant from the Waynesville PD were here to accept a cash donation from our raffle, show us a couple of their K9 partners and explain how our donation would be supporting their program.
The drawing was odd tonight. Some people cleaned up and others of us struck out. Still, it was for a good cause. Thanks to Riders of Kawasaki and others for the donated goods. Thumper won the 50% portion of the cash (along with a whole lot of other stuff).
After the drawing, the music started up, we said some goodbyes and we headed back to the room to pack up a bit. I ended up watching some of the NASCAR All Star race from Charlotte before dozing off.
Today's Route (99 motorcycle miles):