Friday, June 03, 2005

Stecoah North Carolina - Around Kickstand Lodge

So much for all the stars. Rain started in the early morning and continued sporadically after we had gotten up. A group of us went up the road to Tootie’s Café for a breakfast that COULD be beat and then came back to the Lodge. Every time it looked like it was clearing, it started raining again.

Shortly after we got back from breakfast, Fred got some sad news. One of our members, an outspoken and colourful character named Greg Karle, was overdue. An Email arrived from Greg’s girlfriend telling us that, while he was on his way down to KSL, he had suffered a heart attack and passed away. Life is, as always, unpredictable. RIP, Greg.

With the rain coming down, we abandoned any plans to ride the challenging roads although others did set out for either The Dragon or the Cherohala Skyway. Wompus solved my electrical connection problem by finding an adaptor in his trailer and giving it to me. Thanks, Mike, we’ll make good use of it.

Eventually, during a lull in the rain, we set out for Bryson City to grab some lunch with Gunslinger and CC Rider. We stopped at the Smokey Mountain Restaurant. This proved to be yet another mistake in our culinary tour of the Smokey Mountains. It’s hard to describe the meal precisely, but suffice to say you won’t find the place in any Michelin Guide. After eating, we hit a Dollar General store to get a Frisbee for Erman’s dog Brina. Brina is a German shepherd that had ridded in from Virginia in a stake trailer pulled behind Erman's bike. A truly amazing dog, although she did demolish a Frisbee in short order. We made a stop at the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) store and then headed back to KSL.

After a lazy afternoon, the dinner bell rang and we were treated to more of the fine KSL repast. This was followed by more sitting around the campfire swapping tall tales. I had a chance to spend some time talking twins to Highside and his lovely wife, Julie. They are from Alabama and are expecting twins, conceived in vitro, in the fall. The only exciting moment was when SOMEONE put an empty bottle of Gentleman Jack, complete with cork, in the fire. I noticed when there was a pop and something whizzed by my ear striking Fred in the shoulder and then hitting Julie’s arm on the ricochet, leaving plastic residue in both cases.

Cargo, as usual, pulled in and set up late. We went to watch and, where possible, help. When we got back to the fire, people had started to turn in. The last few of us finally gave up after midnight and wandered away to our respective beds. BTW, the sky was clear again but I was not hopeful this time.

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