Our trips are always early, before the school year wraps up for the year, and are therefore unpredictable. Weather was atrocious on the way home and on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The rest of the trip was pretty cool for distance riding, but tolerable. This was not the worst weather we'd had for our trip, but not the best either.
High Point (Life): Re connecting with old friends
High Point (Motorcycle): Hwy 52, North, out of Wytheville, VA
Scariest Point: Blue Ridge Parkway @ 40° and raining fogged up my visor so I could not see the road under my own tire
Low Point: 212 miles of non-stop rain which fried my cell phone under two jackets (Mooresville, NC to mile marker 136 in Georgia)
Still, I count this among the best weekends of my life.
This trip was memorable for the rain and cold in combination. We've had a rainy weekend before. We've had cool temperatures before, but this was the first that combined the two in such abundance. Overcast and cool 90% of the time, rain was a significant event, especially for me on my way home.
Left Atlanta, GA for Mauldin, SC on Thursday night after my daughter's school orchestra concert (which was GREAT!). Stayed with a college buddy I hadn't seen in 20 years and caught up. My five kids are ages 18 to 8, with one graduating this year. His six kids are ages 18 to 8, with one graduating this year. We each have one boy and they are one-year apart. I loved their kids, although one would not talk to me, the other 5 made up for it. I left after breakfast for VA.
My bike was wet from rain at both departures (Atlanta and Mauldin), but I did not get any rain while riding.
Rode a chilly ride to the Virginia Welcome Center (Northbound) on I-77. I didn't need to stop, but did anyway. This is my favorite Welcome Center in the United States. (Granted I have not been in them all, but I've been in them in about 2/3 of the continental United States, and this is the best I've encountered.) I stop here every time, just to be greeted nicely and made to feel welcome! The folks staffing this one are AMAZING!
Met in Fort Chiswell, VA at the same exit we met at last time. This gave me some worry: I'm not superstitious, but on our last trip both of us wrecked and I broke ribs. I was nervous before this ride, and meeting up at this exit did not help. I'm not superstitious, but sometimes I am.
We camped at A and C Campground outside of Sparta, NC on Friday night. Temperatures dropped to 37° and we tried to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway next morning. Got about 20 miles in and I could literally no longer see the lines in front of my tire or the brake lights of the bike in front of me. We had to dismantle my helmet so I could ride with no eye protection in the rain in order to get back off the parkway and into decent weather.
The rest of the day was decent, but cloudy. While we eventually dried out, partially because of the constant cross-winds, we never really warmed up. Bought some t-shirts at the Black Bear HD store in Wytheville in an attempt to warm up. This was when we stumbled on the best riding of this weekend: Highway 52 North out of Wytheville up to I-77. Such a great ride, that we returned to Wytheville the same way.
We camped at the Wytheville KOA on Saturday night and left from there. This was another repeat occurrence: we had stayed at this KOA before. This night was warmer; it stayed way up at 42°! The morning ride was fine: windy and cool. I got out of VA before the rain hit (my big goal). I did not want to negotiate the 7 mile-long, quite steep, stretch of I-77 leaving VA in the rain!
So, it rained from Charlotte, NC to Suwanee, GA. My cell phone fried, under two jackets and a liner; it was still soaked. I put 950+ miles on my bike this weekend and had a blast with old friends! That is what life is all about