Monday, we left later than I expected, but it gave the fog time to clear off. Of course, leaving later means getting home later. And since we rode the Parkway most of the way back…well, I’m sure you can see where that’s going.
There were plenty of tunnels on the way home. Wikipedia says there are 26 tunnels on the Parkway and we hit most (if not all) of them on Monday. This one was cool because as soon as you got out you went into another. The triple tunnel that Wikipedia mentions isn’t as closely spaced as this one.
We pulled off the Parkway at Laurel Springs, NC for a rest stop and we saw this across the road. “Say what??”
I don’t remember where this was, but I thought this was cool too. I think the second hump went over a creek or something, but I forget exactly what it was.
The animals on the Parkway are crazy. Most animals around home will move if I crack my throttle. This deer (along with the other animals I saw) just kind of stood there and looked at me. Fortunately, we didn’t hit anything big enough to be painful.
The last leg of the trip was truly a grind. We had dinner in Bedford at 10:00 and we still had a couple of hours before we got home. Dinner was pretty good, but the decor was really amazing. It’s worth the trip down there just to see it once.
I didn’t get home until well after midnight and that was after a terrifying trip up 29. Just as we were coming into the curves in/near Nelson, it started misting. I was annoyed, but it wasn’t a big deal, so I slowed down and wiped at my helmet with my gloves and my jacket. Then, I saw headlights in my mirrors…a tractor trailer truck. He was going faster than I was, but I was close enough to Dad that he didn’t pull in front of me. He left some nice spray on my visor, but once he passed, I could see again. Then, the second or third truck that passed meandered past and then, he pulled into my lane. If I were a car, no big deal. Windshield wipers can take care of the water you can’t see through. Not so on a bike. I had zero visibility through my visor because of the mist he was throwing up as well as the stuff falling out of the sky. I must have been down to about 30 and I was still wondering if I was going to fall off the road. I would have been happy to stop at that point and take a break, but there was nowhere to pull off the road and regroup, so I kept going. I wiped futilely at my visor, hoping that it would become productive, but the truck finally moved on and the weather (and my visor) cleared. I finally made it home well after midnight. But I have to say, riding in the mist at night…don’t do it if you can help it.
I guess the point of telling that story is to beg you to leave space if you see a bike in the rain. It’s hard enough to see without the water from your tires on our visor too.
I suppose I should also stress that, in spite of the less fun things about the trip, I loved going and would do it again if I had the chance. It’s hard to explain what it was that made it fun. It was the wandering and riding and learning and generally having a good time with people who enjoy doing the same. We weren’t worried about time or rushing or schedules or going to certain places. We just did whatever seemed like the thing to do at the time. It was exhausting to be out that long on the bikes, but we did so many cool things….
Route and more pictures.