They said it was supposed to start raining at 1:00 PM. Apparently, they said that yesterday but the rain didn't start until after 4:00. It was overcast but not threatening so we decided to go for a ride. I checked the bike tire pressures and let some air out (higher altitude will do that) and we got suited up.
Brandon and Sheila are from Kansas. They regularly attend the Eureka Springs rally in Arkansas, but this was their first trip to the Smoky Mountains and I wanted to show them our warm-up loop. We left Maggie Valley on US 19 up through Soco Gap and down the winding road to Cherokee, where we stopped at Dairy Queen. Then we rode out to the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Parkway, took it up to Soco Gap and then followed US 19 back to Maggie. Sheila was getting used to her new Touring Spyder, so I kept the pace moderate. Or maybe I was just going easy through the turns because I haven't hardly ridden since last September. Doesn't matter, we enjoyed the ride.
We got back to the motel at 12:30. At 1:10, it spit a few drops of rain and then stopped. The WiFi was being obnoxious from our room, so I spent some time down by the middle of the motel where the access point seemed to be located. More and more people started to roll in so the afternoon was mostly visiting and catching up.
Sandy took a walk next door to Fuzzy's Bait & Tackle, which was officially closed, but they were good business people and invited her in. Then she came and got me to check out a leather vest because she didn't like the one she had for years. The new one was half price and looked good, so she bought it. This will keep The Lovely Carlene gainfully employed sewing patches when she gets here. Then there was a nylon riding jacket that was also 50% off, so she got that as well.
In discussion with Billy Bob and Linda before we got here, we had decided that we would have supper tonight at the Sagebrush Steakhouse in Waynesville. Linda's Facebook memories a couple of days ago posted a picture of a group of us there last year. We numbered an even dozen when we got to the door, and they gave us the same long table as last year. It had extra chairs, which was good because the Georgia gang wandered in soon after and joined us.
As we were enjoying supper, it started to rain. Heavily. Some of us were here in cages, but others were on bikes. It let up a bit before we left but still kept coming down until we went to bed.
Back at the motel, Zeke and Hang had arrived from Illinois. While everyone was hanging out, I got a call from Lealand. He and Nicky were the Freedom Riders who were supposed to join us at Two Rivers Lodge next week. They had looked at the severely pessimistic weather forecast and, understandably, decided to cancel the trip. After talking to Sandy, I called Blain at two Rivers and, with many apologies, cancelled as well. Then I called our friend Murph from Ottawa, who was also coming down, and told him the bad news. We will head home on Sunday and have a bit more time to get ready for the trip out west. Maybe play some golf. Wash the bike?
It was about 9:30 PM when the last of the party animals decided to head back to their rooms. The WiFi was, strangely, working very well so I managed to get all the photos in this post uploaded. Then it crapped out again. It was still raining and forecast to continue all through tomorrow. Oh well, we come for the people anyway.
Today's Route (38 motorcycle miles):