Tbone, Al and Lanny joined us for a ride to Joey's Pancake House about 8:00 AM. Other than the short shakedown ride, this was our first time on the bike since last October. The pancakes were light and airy as usual. Mine were complemented with scrambled eggs and country ham. The staff was exceptionally friendly.
The weatherman was calling for 80% chance of rain today but it looked very nice after we ate. We had a discussion about possible rides to show Lanny some of the countryside since it was his first time here. We agreed on a rough route and decided he would lead. Five bikes pulled out with Tbone and Lucky Al joining us.
We followed US 276 through Waynesville and up over the Blue Ridge. I was riding very tentatively, not in the flow. I used a lot of brake into the corners. Remember, though, that Cheap B and Lanny are very fast riders. On the way down the other side, we stopped at Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls.
We stopped for gas in Brevard and then rode west on US 64.
It was good except for the parts where we got behind slower traffic. One truckload of concrete blocks held us up for over ten miles before pulling off. We did stop at Bridal Veil Falls where the road around back of the falls was closed off. There were two other couples there. One rider turned out to be Ron Keys, a writer for Motorcycle Mojo magazine.
We stopped again at Dry Falls where I chose not to walk to the bottom. A 1976 Kawasaki 500 two stroke triple pulled in. The rider, from Indiana, told me there was a two stroke gathering at Deal's Gap. A group of Ontario riders wanted me to surrender my rider card after finding I had trailered a GoldWing.
We moved on to Franklin where CB took us to the Motor Company Grill for lunch. We met Ron Keys and company again. Our server, Maddy, was a vivacious young lady who took good care of us. The half ham sandwich and chicken rice soup hit the spot.
We left Franklin and headed north on Moonshiner 28 to Bryson City. When we stopped for fuel I found I was missing my credit card. A call to the grill confirmed they still had it, so we rode the thirty miles back down 28 to retrieve it. On the way back down, I slowed down and worked on smoothing out the curves. At some point, I started to regain my groove and enjoyed the rest of the ride.
For a change of pace, CB now led us up the narrow, winding Ellijay Road to 107 and Silva. Then we took 74 to Balsam and caught the Blue Ridge Parkway to Soco Gap and back down into Maggie Valley. Despite the 80% chance of rain, we got one drop on my nose in the last couple of miles.
We got back to the motel just after 6:00 PM. More had arrived while we were gone.
A few of us walked over to Country Vittles for supper. Sandy and I had chef salads which were very good. The server dumped some of the juice from Al's green beans down my neck, continuing the trend set the night before with the sopapillas.
I spent the evening visiting and working on blog posts. Sandy, Butch and Teresa watched the Survivor finale next door. We went to bed long before some of the others after deciding it had been a good day.
Today's Route (209 motorcycle miles):