Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas, 2007

We Bought a Road Glide in January...
17,ooo miracle miles
Rising mountains, leaning curves, rumbling fun
Breathing in colors green red purple gold
Hearts wide open,
Balance freedom... inspiration...light.
Alive... so alive.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Feelilng of Exhilaration

Steven polished the bike until you needed sunglasses to look at it...We had a fabulous ride through Black Mountain, Lake Lure, and Old Fort with our friends Dana and Cathy. I don't quite know how to describe what it feels like to find and do a good ride. The exhilaration must rival what surfers experience when they find and ride their large wave...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Layers and Leather

Bundled up in layers and leather, we rode to the parkway and caught this magnificent late afternoon sky near Mt. Pisgah just before the rain gods shed some tears... How can there be so much beauty in the world?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Riding Through the Colors

With James and Christine up from Florida to celebrate James' birthday, we joined Joe and had a glorious, golden ride through the fall colors near Lake Lure, NC.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Autumn Asks

Steven rides through the last of the fall colors in Hominy Valley, North Carolina.
"Autumn asks that we prepare for the future—that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go—to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness."
~ Bonaro W. Overstreet

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Blue Ridge Parkway Shut-in Trail

Stoney Bald Overlook (401.7 )
Along the Blue Ridge Parkway Shut-In Trail
The leaves are turning... The ride is remarkable...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Balsam Lake, off SR 1756

We found Balsam Lake tucked away near Mallonee Trail in the Nantahala National Forest near NC 215, on SR 1756 --Charlie’s Creek Road. The spot featured a really nice hiking trail, benches, public restrooms, and privacy. The road leading to it was curved, empty, and perfect for a memorable trek on our Harley.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Graveyard Fields

Graveyard Fields

The fall colors are emerging at the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

North of Mt. Mitchell

Joe, Christine, James, & Steven
Another nice ride on the parkway north of Mt. Mitchell. Jim & Christine are up from Tampa for a week... Weather made to order!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Groundhog Mountain, Mile Post 188.8

Green is the color for this BRP stop.
Late evening, just before dusk. With a nice picnic area, I took this photo from the top of an observation tower constructed to look like an old tobacco barn. Steven and I were amazed at the old-time wood rail fences that enclose the park. It felt like we stepped out of time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Asheville to Galax, VA

Blue skies, light hearts...

Just back from an overnighter, roundtrip from Asheville, NC to Galax, VA. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way up. It was a spectacular ride! Ending our trip just before dusk, we were just about the only ones on the road from Boone, NC to the stateline.

Each corner was a new surprise.

Lots of small deer & wild turkeys, almost close enough to touch. Rolling meadows and farms with bulls and cows. Rhododendron and wildflowers are in full bloom. The air is cool, crisp, clean.

I try to capture it all with my digital camera, but can't. Overlooking the timeless countryside, we decide that the path of American history still resonates and that sweet Virginia recalls Steven's childhood memories.

Coming back we dodged the rain and caught the rolling mist through Mt. Mitchell. The golden sun radiated the clouds with the surreal glow of life, love, God... and my spirit chants: I'm alive, I'm alive...

Red & Blue Boys

Joseph & Steven are loving it...

Beauty, Everywhere You Look

Every tree is a miracle...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hominy Valley

The weather has not been cooperating with our desire to ride. We can't complain about the T-showers because we need the rain. Yesterday evening we did take an hour ride through the backroads of our Candler neighborhood, nearby Hominy Valley.

So much beauty. With lilies a-bloom and queen anne's lace at every turn, we rode through meadow and farm land, along a winding creek with the blue sky and clouds glowing with the sun's last light. The gentle sway of the tall corn stalks tickled my heart.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Early Morning Ride

On the way to Hot Springs, NC...
So many different greens.
Another beautiful ride.

"All you need is a mustard seed of riding in you. The rest will take care of itself." ~ Shephen Rhino Williams

We got up with the sun again and drove 80 miles without having a car in front of us. We took HWY 74 through Canton then explored Crabtree Road, Route 209.

I love this time of day. Everything is so beautiful. We had breakfast in Hot Springs and were back home before noon.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sheltering Tree

"Friendship is a sheltering tree;
Oh, the joys that come down shower-like!"
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Today we headed for Concord/Charlotte, over 300 miles roundtrip. We got there driving backroads from Fairview, past Lake Lure. The country roads on 27 to Lincolnton were pretty and rustic. Once out of that cute town, the heat sizzled in. The ride turned miserable as we caught Charlotte traffic congestion, construction dust, and 96 degree temperatures. We are so lucky to live in the cooler mountains!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Waterrock Knob (Mile 451)

Here is our panoramic view from the parking area at Waterrock Knob where you can see North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. Mountains and mountains and endless blue sky....

Bear Pen Gap (Milepost 427.6)

The afternoon was absolutely gorgeous and we rode south through Steven's favorite part of the parkway, the Shining Rock Wilderness area. He said he likes the rugged, natural terrain. This overlook celebrates the area's large population of black bears.

We rode through ridge after ridge of beauty.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Looking Glass Rock

Carved by water and weather, Looking Glass Rock is Pisgah National Forest's striking landmark. The 3,969-foot granite dome rises magestically. Named for how the sun reflects and shimmers its surface, the sculpted monolith is part of the Whiteside Granite body of igneous rock formed 390 million years ago.

On Top

We made the 6.2 mile (round trip) hike up to the top of Looking Glass a couple of years ago. Through forests and laurel up to the spectacular view of Davidson River Valley.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mighty Oak

"Storms make the oak grow deeper roots." ~ George Herbert

Our last stop of the day, the Folk Art Center, east of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 382.

We relaxed under a gigantic white oak tree. Lying on our backs, we looked up at the rich green branches that reached toward the sky. Steven remarked on the beauty of the tree and said, "This is over 100 years old. Look at it... Hard to believe it began with an acorn."

Rhododendron A-Bloom...

"You do not photograph with your brain, but rather with your heart." ~ Ernst Haas

We traveled through the sunshine and fresh mountain air. We had a drizzle of rain in Burnsville, enough to cool us down.

On the parkway, Mt. Mitchell (at 6,684 feet, the highest peak east of the Mississippi) and Craggy Gardens were covered with pink, white, and purple rhododendron. A spectacular firework display of flowers!

Mt. Mitchell was named after University of North Carolina science professor Elisha Mitchell who climbed the rugged Black Mountain range.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Taming the Dragon

"The substance, the essence, the Spirit is freedom."
~ G.W.F. Hegel

Yes, from the Foothills Parkway we headed over to "tame" the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap. The road on Route 129 has 318 curves in 11 miles at the Tennessee/North Carolina state line. Many consider the Dragon the No. 1 road in America for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Little Tennessee River

"To get to heaven, turn right and keep straight."
~ Wesleyan Methodist
Secret spots, we discover by accident reveal that in life we have to keep searching for beauty and goodness.

On the Rocks

"A picture is like a prayer; you’re offering a prayer to get something, and in a sense it’s like a gift of God because you have practically no control—at least I don’t." ~ Harry Callahan

We grabbed US 441 through Clingmans Dome (6643 feet), winding through the Great Smoky Mountains. We were treated to breathtaking mountain panoramas, but there was way too much traffic for me.

Here I am on the rocks, near a quiet, crystal-clear mountain stream.

Heading For Cherokee

Steven and I headed toward Cherokee first thing this morning, riding up HWY 441. We stopped at a roadside market and picked up fresh and hot boiled peanuts, authentic pork rinds, and the most delicious tomato.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

View From Craggy Gardens

"I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains." ~ Anne Frank

With all the beauty around us, we rode a 220-mile day together.

We started by heading North on the Blue Ridge Parkway, toward Mt. Mitchell. We stopped at the Craggy Gardens overlook and Steven had a voicemail from Dana, his friend from work. We met Dana and his wife Eva and rode more.

North to Erwin, Tennessee, road 107 took us along the Nolichucky River, which drains the WNC Blue Ridge and East Tennessee. Just a gorgeous drive. Give me a ride next to water and I’m in heaven.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


"Whoever is happy will make others happy, too."
~ Mark Twain

I am very happy.

We took a great ride to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure this afternoon. Beautiful back roads. We stopped for a snack at Malarkies, just across from the lake.

Lake Lure, North Carolina

Always nice to visit this shimmering lake and quaint town, just southwest of Asheville. Chimney Rock towers nearby. Scenes for the film Dirty Dancing were shot here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Blooming Mountain Laurel

We had a great ride yesterday evening.

We stopped at the Cradle of Forestry Overlook where there were beautiful, thick bursts of pink laurel bloom. I am amazed at all the beauty.

Best View

On the back of the motorcycle, I have the best view.

While riding home on 151 I looked up and watched the sunset dance through the canopy of leaves. I was mesmerized. Looking at the trees, some lying low enough to touch, others rising higher to the sky. There was a celebration of white light and kaleidoscope of greens. The rocking of the bike around the curves added to the experience. It was exhilarating.

Peace Resonates

"With that wild open country in our eyes
And those romantic dreams in my head..."
~ Bruce Springsteen

On the parkway, we rest for a bit. There is poetry all around. Peace resonates.

Can the sky be any more beautiful?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Caesars Head, South Carolina

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. "
~ Glenn Clark
Fresh air, the excitement of the ride, shared together. So many beautiful spots to discover.

Suzuki Riders

James and Christine on their Suzukis. They look sharp together.

(I am still partial to our Harley...)

James & Christine Visit

The day after we said "aloha" to Dan, James and Christine rode up from Tampa. We spent Memorial Day weekend exploring the backroads of WNC and South Carolina.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dan at the NC Border

Riding back through Tennessee backroads and the Cherohala Skyway.... We saw so much beauty together and I think Dan and Steven are really making precious memories.

Amazing for us, we did the 300 miles from Nashville to Asheville in one day, no problem.

Tellico River

"Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears." ~ Edgar Allen Poe

Riding Tennessee Route 165 , we stopped and enjoyed the Tellico River, one of the largest natural trout streams in the Southeast.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Meeting Dan in Nashville

"A man's friendships
are one of the best measures of his worth."
~Charles Darwin

Meeting Dan in Nashville was the great reward at the journey's end. He and his lady Karen were special people.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Steven and Nathan gave me a Sansa MP3 player for Mother’s Day. Here I am adjusting my new toy.

Nathan knew this would be a great gift for me. With his help, I downloaded 92 songs for the trip to Nashville. It was great having the music in my head as I traveled on the motorcycle. The music complimented the beautiful scenery and ride.

Heaven: Cherohala Skyway

"I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.”
~ Joyce Kilmer
We experienced the Cherohala Skyway! What Heaven!

Traveling through Nantahala National Forest on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, with the Smoky Mountains to the northwest and the Blue Ridge Mountains southeast. Nantahala is Cherokee for "land of the midday sun."

Poet and WWI Soldier Joyce Kilmer is honored with a 3,800 acre forest. Lone Bald at 5,800 feet is the highest point in the forest. We almost had the road to ourselves.

The area is rich in the history of the Cherokee who identified themselves as Ani Yunwiwa, "The Principal People."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

At Dawn, We Begin

At Dawn, We Begin

Today we spent 10 hours on our bike. It was a stunning trip.
We started at 7:30, traveled up US 151 to the world renowned Pisgah Inn and had coffee and biscuits at the restaurant there. We had a window view of the Southern sky for miles and miles. Just an unforgettable experience.

I love the early morning rides! And I have a bird's eye view of North Carolina splendor. This is really a beautiful place to live.

Pisgah Inn View

"Every tree and plant in the meadow seemed to be dancing, those which average eyes would see as fixed and still."
~ Jalaluddin Rumi
I am amazed at the magnificence of it all. And how insignificant I am amid all this natural beauty.

Darryl, Joseph, and Steven

Darryl, Joseph, and Steven

We doubled back and met Joseph and his friend Darryl in Canton and took the most beautiful ride to Cherokee, past Lake Logan. It was some sort of hidden secret that was a joy to discover.

Joe and Darryl went to a car show in Cherokee and Steven and I proceeded on our own, celebrating the day and each other.

Our butts might have been a little sore by the time we got home, but our spirits were high.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter in Florida

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
~ Albert Einstein

With unseasonable freezing weather in North Carolina, we headed south and spent Easter visiting Margaret in Indialantic, Florida. It is 630 miles from our house to there.

We may be a little nuts.

What a fast trip... We stayed there less than two days. It took us two days down, two days back. It rained and was cold in Florida, too.

Our trek through Georgia was miserable on I-95. Riding the Interstate is like being in a wind tunnel. A wind tunnel with lousy drivers and big trucks all around. Give me my back roads!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gift of a Morning

"What happiness there is
when I awake to find near me
gift of a Morning!
~ Abbie Graham

Dawn and a Harley. Who could ask for more?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Evening Ride

"Western North Carolina history and culture cannot be separated from its forests."
~ Lynda McDaniel
With Daylight Savings time in effect, we took a sixty-mile evening ride, leaving at 6 pm, odometer 4581, (great surprise!) going through the newly-opened-for-spring section of the parkway to the Cradle of Forestry (O-4608). We had the road and view to ourselves.

The Cradle of Forestry is the National Historic site is where Gifford Pinchot and Carl Schenck developed the sound management program to preserve the area forest. Their legacy lives on.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hot Springs

French Broad River, Hot Springs, North Carolina
The French Broad was first settled by the Cherokee Nation and visited in 1540 by Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto. The river was named because it flowed west toward the Mississippi Valley, land claimed by French explorers.

Leicester HWY 63

View from Leicester HWY 63
We had a lovely drive through Leicester (HWY 63) heading north to Pisgah National Forest and on to Hot Springs (209), in the heart of Madison County. We had lunch at a cute little dinner. I loved my cheese fries!

We drove back along the scenic French Broad River, through Marshall and Woodfin Park to home. A total of 106 miles. Not bad.