Bob from Ohio rolled out today. He gave me his contact information so we could stay in touch.
We had planned to meet Phillip in Hot Springs, NC about 1:00 PM. It was still early, so I looked at the map and thought we might rendezvous earlier in Newport, Tennessee. I texted him and we set a time. We rolled out at 10:00 AM on I-40 West. That was one gnarly piece of superslab, winding its way ever downwards and populated by big trucks, a few with smoking brakes.
We got off in Newport and found a gas station where I figured Highway 25 entered town. They had ice cream and gas for $1.95. One sign led me to believe there was no methanol, but the official decal on the pump said otherwise. Sandy sat in the shade eating a Nutty Buddy while I fueled up. Phillip arrived driving his GL1500 sidecar outfit about 20 minutes after we got there.
I got to lead as we rode across Highway 25E to Hot Springs. The road was nice with sweeping curves. None of us felt like eating, so we turned south on NC 209 aka The Rattler. This was more twisty (twistier?) and my vertigo was causing me a bit of grief. We even let a couple of Harley's go by. Still, it was a fun ride.
We got back to the motel and found some folks relaxing in the shade. Southern Draw soon rolled in on his very pretty new Vaquero. His brother Thumper was close behind towing two Vulcans on a trailer. It was odd to tow from Bryson City, but they had a second bike for Phillip (a nice Nomad with a For Sale sign on it) and he could not ride both. As we stood there, all the air escaped from the left trailer tire. I got my compressor and we filled it. Plugging was out of the question because there was a split in one of the sipes over an inch long. The trailer got parked until a spare could be found.
A very svelte Blondy showed up, as did Daley, Stockbridge Richard (who doesn't live in Stockbridge any more) and Rainman. I had been worried about Zeke and Hang but, when I phoned them, I learned they had arrived last night and said hi to Sandy. She neglected to tell me. Flip brought the Connie from South Carolina, Cheap B and Wanda arrived all the way from Otto, North Carolina and Tbone moved in a day early. And don't forget Mikey from Ringgold, Georgia. The family was assembling.
Suppertime was approaching when everyone started looking to me to see where we would eat. I don't know why this happens and I am not that creative, so I suggested we go back to the Sagebrush. Everyone who had been there last night agreed so off we went.
The restaurant set a table for us in the back room in short order. I had a ribeye steak this time, done medium rare just the way I like it, with sauteed mushrooms. Sandy had another harvest salad with fruit in it and chicken on top. Again, it was very good. There was a lot of good natured banter around the table. Again, the bills took some time to sort out at the end. This seemed to be a pattern, so I will drop a note to the manager.
Back at the motel, we found Laura had arrived in her (six cylinder) Equinox with her new friend Bill. Moon traveled from Arkansas with them. It was a quiet evening visiting with friends.
We finally headed off to bed about 11:00. While Sandy got between the sheets, I took some time to sort and load the day's photos. Unfortunately, the stories did not get addressed again.
Today's Route (123 motorcycle miles):