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Day 3 coming up. Not a lot to write about but we did some SPECTACULAR riding!
 

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Day Three: Mark’s mini-Dragon, Waterfalls, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Mitchell, and a killer sunset.

Another great thing about touring with someone who is local to the area is they know the road less traveled. Mark knows a ride that is probably better than the Tail of the Dragon. Well at least if you are on a cruiser. The curves sweep a bit more so you can ride a bit harder. Mark and I hit it hard while Rick and George enjoy the scenery. What a rush! Now I’ll be damned if I can remember the road number.

Well anyhow my camera is still pointed high so we need to make a stop so that I can get a little hardware so that it sits above the dash. With that done we are off to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mount Mitchell. We stop off at another water fall you can walk under that has a fantastic view.







Every now and then I’m a little thick and don’t get what people are trying to tell me. Rick mentions his wrist is hurting from trying to keep up. He is hitting the throttle hard. I didn’t really think much about it at the time but in retrospect I realize he was asking us to slow down a bit. Sorry about that Rick. A baseball bat works well. Sometimes you just have to pound it in there.












We end our ride at Mount Mitchell and have dinner. As usual, I’m starving – these guys just don’t eat very much.





After Mt Mitchell we race off to another mountain top for the sunset. I’m getting a little concerned about gas because my gauge is banging on empty. Anyhow we enjoy a fantastic sunset.





After enjoying the sunset, I pretty much coast as much as possible down the mountain hoping to make it to the gas station. Shoot, I was worried about nothing. I still had a half gallon! We wind up the day at the gas station and head back to the hotel room. I hear Rick laughing as I watch video from the days ride -
 

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Nice pics Ron.

It was crazy when I went to RNR and Mark showed up!!
I even asked him, didn't I just see you in Florida!!???

Turns out he travels between there and here...
I had a pretty good guide in Shady and Nator when
I was there, but I'll make sure to put Mark down for
the next time!!

Ride safe my friend!!
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Jimysan said:
Nice pics Ron.

It was crazy when I went to RNR and Mark showed up!!
I even asked him, didn't I just see you in Florida!!???

Turns out he travels between there and here...
I had a pretty good guide in Shady and Nator when
I was there, but I'll make sure to put Mark down for
the next time!!

Ride safe my friend!!
Thanks San! Mark is the best - and he rides, man does he ride.
 

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Day four: The Dragon, Glori, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the final ride.

Well I want to ride the Dragon so Rick has arranged to Meet Glori after our Dragon run. I think we are starting to wear Mark out because he asked to meet a little later. We split the difference and meet at 9:30. We take the scenic route to the Dragon and there is a little girl waving as a we go down a road with some twisties on it. Mark later comments she has been out there the last few times he has been down the road. After a nice ride to Deals Gap Resort, we get ready to ROCK.



Man I don't want to end up with parts of my bike here:


Two of the best guys a guy can ever ride with:


We hit the Dragon hard, Mark and I are off. I have some great video of this run but you’re just going to have to take my word for it. I think I make a major mistake going into a turn too hot and run up on Mark, later he comments he made a mistake and missed a shift so I guess it was both of us screwing up. I was positively hot going into that left hand turn. I’m certain most of you have seen video of guys dragging their floorboards going into turns, well let me tell you Mark is into this run because on several curves Mark is dragging his floorboards all the way around the curve and man sparks are flying everywhere. I did catch some of it on video but not as good as I had hoped. Anyhow, I am dragging my floorboards too and when the run is over an inspection reveals I shaved about a quarter inch off the right floorboard. Well Mark, let me just say he is going to be dropping a 175.00 at Harley soon for replacements. Now Rick can say what he wants about us speed demons, but he is running hard on this pass of the Dragon. He was no more than 20 or 30 seconds behind Mark and me. I had barley got off my bike and walked over to Mark when he came down the pass. George was probably another minute behind him.

Mark and I discussing the run:



We are off to meet Glori. Mark has a better description of her than I can ever come up with, so I’ll stick with it: Picture a long red haired women in an army cap pulling up in blue a Manx (Dune Buggy). Man talk about beyond cool. Anyhow, we spend quite a bit of time discussing the Manx and how cool it is before heading over to Marysville for Mexican. We spend a good hour at lunch shooting the breeze.







Glori sends us off with snicker doodles and brownies. Thank you! I have already lost an inch on my waist by this point in the trip - I need food – junk food is good! We snacked on the cookies and brownies the rest of the day.

We head over to Pigeon Forge so that George can go to a knife shop he wants to visit. Traffic was miserable. I spend a half hour watching the world’s worst knife demonstration while George shops. I have no desire to walk on the handles of my folding knife or to cut up my waders with it. You know how we used to have to separate our recyclables; well this demonstration carried it to a new level with old work boots.

Anyhow, done with that and we are off to do more riding. Mark knows a way around town so we take that route. As we go around a bend I hear this horrible squeal coming from my bike! I’m looking around and think I have blown a wheel bearing. Well no, that God awful sound was a blood hound or something like that. Damn that animal can howl!

We take a run through Gatlinburg which is much more tastefully done as a tourist town. We are off to the mountains.

Rick, Me (Ron), George, and Mark pose for a picture.



Enjoying a snicker doodle!



Mark takes us to one of the domes. Really, it seems like there are a lot of domes to me, I can’t keep track of them. Anyhow, the ride up is a great ride, nice sweeping curves. We look around for a bit, Mark points out a few things from the mountaintop, and then we head back. Mark, Rick, and I run down the mountain pretty hard and stop at the end of the road. I think we have lost George because it seems like long time before comes down the road. He squeals to a stop getting ready to head in the wrong direction until he sees us. Mark says he is going to fly going back to Cherokee and I say I’m up for the run. So, we fly down the road and man do we fly. We were doing 70 at some points on the road. We get to the bottom and Rick is a few minutes behind us and George a few minutes behind him. We stop at a Chinese buffet for dinner.

The last ride ends:



After dinner, at my request, we head over to Mark’s souvenir store. I mean the guy spent all week giving us the red carpet treatment. I really want to buy something from him as a memory. Well after looking around a bit, he bashfully shows us a tee shirt he makes. Now this is what I am talking about! A souvenir that is made by Mark! And Mark, Rick and I looked over the shirts really well, we can’t find a single thing wrong. Love the shirt man. Mark won’t take full price for the shirts we are purchasing. I insist and he finally meets me half way. What a good guy! We say our goodbyes at the front of his store and I leave with my head full of great memories from this fantastic week of riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Don't quit reading yet. The ride home is an adventure unto itself :shock:
 

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On the pic of all 4 of you put in the names so I can put them with a face.
Where in Cherokee is Marks' shop, I spent a couple of weeks there last year and would love to go back. Heck if I could find a good paying job I'd move up there. Great reading, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
fletch24990 said:
On the pic of all 4 of you put in the names so I can put them with a face.
Where in Cherokee is Marks' shop, I spent a couple of weeks there last year and would love to go back. Heck if I could find a good paying job I'd move up there. Great reading, thanks.
You got it.
 

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What a great time I had meeting these four... can't wait until y'all are back in the area again. Ron, next time I'll try to provide something more substantial than just sweets for ya.. poor baby was skin and bones.
 

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FX4 said:
fletch24990 said:
On the pic of all 4 of you put in the names so I can put them with a face.
Where in Cherokee is Marks' shop, I spent a couple of weeks there last year and would love to go back. Heck if I could find a good paying job I'd move up there. Great reading, thanks.
You got it.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Damn this trip, I haven't been able to get my mind back on work all week. I keep wondering off into daydream land thinking about what a great time I had. Rick you have put me weeks behind!
 
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