Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quest III, The Final Chapter: Chainsaw Wielding Vampire Werewolves on Motorcycles

The morning was quiet.  There were only five of us left in the cabin and everybody's attention was focused on going home.  Tikk got up and immediately hit the road to start his journey back home.  I couldn't blame him because he was riding alone and wanted to put as many miles in as he could during the daylight hours.  HillBilly and TXgalnTN were a bit more relaxed in getting up and moving but you could sense purpose in their movements.  My son and I were planning to take one more ride before we hit the road home.  I wanted to go back up to Deal's Gap one last time and was considering a run across the Cherohala Skyway.

My son and I packed up and had our bags ready to go, but we did not take him with us because we didn't want to haul the extra weight while riding.  After taking a few moments to say goodbye to HillBilly and getting the kind of a hug only a Southern woman can give from TXgalnTN, we hit the road up the Tail of the Dragon one last time.  This time I had the camera mounted on the back of my bike and was able to get this video of my son doing the ride.

I think he did a very good job technically.  At two locations, he ran over the line, but you can see that there were no issues with other vehicles.  I'm very proud of him; over the past two years, he has turned into an excellent rider with not only good skills but also good judgment.  On a side note, before she left HBC took time to tell me what a great person my son was and that I had every right to be proud of the human that he had become.  I could not agree more.

We stopped at the state line so we could take some pictures in both Tennessee and North Carolina.

Once we got to Deal's Gap, we went into the restaurant and had a very expensive but very good breakfast.  It was nice to take some time, relax, and just enjoy the company.  The ceiling of the restaurant was covered with T-shirts including quite a few from Michigan.  My son was already talking about our next trip to the Tail.

After getting some directions, we jumped back on our bikes and headed towards the Cherohala Skyway.  As we rode there, it occurred to both of us that we had been here before.  Without really intending to, we had ridden portions of this on our rides with Tikk. 

As we started down the road, we stopped to get gas and at that point had a quick discussion with the owners of the store.  Based on what they were telling us we were going to spend the next 3 to 4 hours riding the Skyway and then we would have to come back.  After a quick discussion with my son, we decided to stop this expedition and start heading back to prevent us from having too long of a day.

So, we mounted up and went back towards Deal's Gap. 

As we were riding back to the cabin, we stopped at the gas station that was located just before the road that led up the hill to where we were staying.  While we were fueling our bikes a guy came over and asked if we were father and son.  When I said yes, he asked if we would come over to his stand after we were done fueling because he had something he wanted to give us.  He apparently was running a small stand that was selling patches and doing sewing.

Introduced himself as Stitch and said that he wanted to give us a pair of patches he designed for the Tail of the Dragon ride and offered to sew them on for free.  He said that it was admirable that my son and I were riding together and enjoying motorcycling as a father and son activity.  We handed over our vests and he sewed the patch on to the same location on both.  While he was doing the sewing, he talked about learning to make moonshine and how an Arizona native came to be in Tennessee.  Just one of the many interesting people we met along the way.  We thanked him and then went back to the cabin to finish packing out.

We loaded up our bikes in short order and then went back to Stitch's stand on the way out.  Not wanting to receive a gift without a proper thank you, I paid him to sew our patches from Moonshiner's 28 on both of our vests.   With that bit of business done, my son and I hit the road for Michigan.

The ride itself was excellent.  When we got close to the border between Tennessee and Kentucky, we were warned of incoming bad weather by some other bikers we met at a McDonald's.  We decided to push on and rode for another 50 miles or so before the sky ahead was covered with what my son calls  "ominous clouds of doom" at that point we pulled over and parked our bikes under the awning of a gas station.  I talked to the manager and she allowed us to leave our bikes there while we walked over to a nearby Waffle House.  Just as we entered the restaurant, the downpour began. 

When my son was little boy, I used to have him make up stories about people that were sitting around us on the bus or in a park to help exercises imagination.  We would make up stories about what they were doing and what they were talking about – – it is amazing the number of undercover aliens, spies, and pirates that you run into in everyday life.  The crowd at the Waffle House was ripe pickings for such an exercise. 

There were two old men sitting at the counter, a hard-core biker couple sitting in the corner, us, two older waitresses, and a tattoo covered cook.  We had all the makings of a great slasher movie.  While we ate our hash browns, we worked on various plot lines to kill the time.

When the rain stopped, we headed back over mounted up and left.  Amazingly enough, the chainsaw wielding vampire werewolves on motorcycles never showed.

As we rode through Kentucky, we slowed, honk our horns, and waved for KYChick as we passed exit 95. 

We eventually stopped for the night at Batesville. Indiana.  The next day we took off, stopped again just north of Indianapolis, and had lunch with one of my other sons.  From there it was a quick ride back home.  After pulling the bikes in the garage, I turned to my son and we gave each other a high five.

6 days, 7 states, 8 cabin mates, 1875 miles, and one helluva good time.


1 comment:

  1. Again you have captured everything the way only you could. I look forward to our next adventure my friend