Saturday, December 20, 2008

Savannah, Georgia

Steven and I pulled the Harley into Savannah for his 50th birthday. He was going crazy watching that blue beauty sit in the garage for a month because the weather has been too cold to ride. Finally, he said, "Let's just chance it." A good idea; it was 78 degrees there.

It is hard not to fall in love with the charm and beauty of Savannah. The cobbled street grids were laid out in the 1700s, the architecture rivals Charleston with it's timeless elegance, everywhere you look is a memorial or statue, and the hugh live oaks with clumps of Spanish Moss canopy the entire city with Nature's magic.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Lights, Aiken, South Carolina

On the road south from Asheville, about 160 miles, we stumbled on a delightful town in South Carolina, just west of Augusta…Aiken. We rode in on Hwy 19 where the rural scent of magnolia enhanced our ride. We found an inexpensive ($37) and clean Days Inn. We road through the Richland Avenue Christmas lights to downtown’s Pizza Joint and dined on the patio while listening to Christmas music from the nearby church.

I learned that in the quaint town of Aiken, Native American developed the earliest known pottery in North America. With a rich cultural heritage, Aiken was also one of the first railroad towns to emerge in the 1830s and played a major stratigical role in the Civil War. In the late 1800s, the town grew into a "grand health resort"--a fashionable winter and equine resort for the wealthy.

Bad to the Bone

Yes, I am bad to the bone... Now get on the bike.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Leicester Poker Run

On an absolutely perfect day, we rode in the 8th Annual Leicester Fire Department Christmas for Children Toy/ Poker Run to raise money for poor children. The roundtrip route was about 100 miles, through Clyde, Waynesville, Hot Springs, and Marshall. Winding curves through farmlands of corn and cattle

The township of Leicester (pronounced Les-ter), originally known as Turkey Creek, was named for Leicester Chapman, a mercantile businessman who was Postmaster of the township until 1856. Leicester is about 10 miles northwest of Asheville, with an elevation of about 2,100 feet and population of 12,514 in 2007, a growth of 16.26% since 2000.

Leicester, North Carolina in October

Here we are, going through the Leicester farm land backroads... The sky was clear blue, clean, crisp, with mild weather, the leaves are just beginning to turn. GORGEOUS!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ocoee River

Ocoee River, Tennessee

We took the Harley west to the NC-Tennessee border. Wow... The Ocoee River hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics Whitewater Slalom competition. It was pretty dramatic with the water and bolders, framed by the trees of the Cherokee National Forest. Blue sky. We ended up in Chattanooga. So I'll add that to my list of cities visited. So much beauty to see!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls, Pisgah National Forest

Just an easy, short ride from our house, to the parkway, down U.S. Highway 276 to Brevard's Looking Glass Falls, named for its wintertime mirror of sunlight.

About five miles past the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, the waterfall is 30 feet wide and over 60 feet high.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bald River Falls, Tennessee

Tellico Plains, TN

With the graceful Tellico River at our right, we rode to the beautiful Bald River Falls. The rocks were covered with moss, the air breathed refreshing mist, and the water cascaded over 100 feet below.

Directions: From I-75 take Highway 68 South to Tellico Plains. Turn East on Cherohala Skyway, right on Tellico River Rd.go appx. five miles, FS Rd. 210.

Bryson City, North Carolina

We stopped for lunch at Na-Bers Drive In along the river in Bryson City. Memorable!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Reeves Cove, Candler, NC

Just down the hill and around the corner, every one of our adventures begins on Reeves Cove. A beautiful, shaded, winding road adjacent to a creek, so near to our home. We've just passed our cell's "dead zone" and are headed to the straightaway-- and again, all the possibilities of the road.

Pink Beds Overlook, Elevation 4,822

We took an evening ride up the Parkway, past Mt. Pisgah and stopped at the Pink Beds Overlook where this butterfly posed patiently for its closeup photograph. Over and over again I am amazed at all the natural beauty that surround us so close to home, too beautiful to do justice with just a photograph.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tellico River, Tennessee

The Tellico River, about 900 feet above sea level, is a site to see parrelleling the Tennessee side of the Cherohala Skyway (TN 165 ).

Hiwassee Wildlife, Tennessee

While most people traveled to Asheville for the 30th Belle Chere celebration, we hit the road and explored the Cherohala Skyway and the area around Tennessee's Hiwassee Wildlife, with the water so calm, the blue sky is reflected.

Naturalist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, explored this region in the 1860s and fell in love with its wilderness beauty.

Majestic Beauty

The Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge covers 1,000 acres and is near Georgetown, Tennessee at the confluence of the Hiwassee and Tennessee Rivers. Known for migrating sandhill cranes in the fall, the refuge was the past home to Cherokee and is a celebration of majestic beauty.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Horse Cave, Kentucky

After a day of exploring Kentucky backroads, we stopped at the cozy Country Hearth Inn in Horse Cave, Kentucky. Home-cooked dinner, hot breakfast, and a whirlpool bath were part of the $60 room.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Corn Fields

We passed acres of corn fields in Illinois and Kentucky. Lush green stalks reaching up proudly to the crisp, blue sky.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gateway Arch

"(I wanted to) to create a monument which would have lasting significance and would be a landmark of our the edge of the Mississippi River, a great arch did seem right." ~ Eero Saarinen (Arch designer)

Oh, soaring beauty of lasting significance! The St. Louis Gateway Arch was something to see! I took this photo from my perch on the bike.
At a cost of more than $13 million, the engineering marvel took over two years to build. Its 142-welded triangular pieces and 60-foot foundations were constructed to withstand high winds and earthquakes. The Arch has become the internationally recognizable symbol of St. Louis.

St. Louis, Missouri

St.Louis, Missouri

Here we are on the banks of the great Mississippi River. It took us three days to get here and we arrived on St. Louis' HOTTEST day of the year.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shawn Blanton Rally

We participated in a spectacular bike rally for fallen state trooper Shawn Blanton. Over 4,000 bikers participated and we made the trek from Kearfott plant in Black Mountain to the Eaglenest entertainment center in Maggie Valley amid cheers and waves from folks along the way. Organizers say they raised $40,000 for Blanton’s young widow and infant son; who remains in a critical care unit after being born premature.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independence Weekend

Happy Independence Weekend! Here we are at the 151 rest area... what a spectacular rode this is. Winding, green, and spiritual.

Another great day of riding through rain and sunshine with Joseph, Christine, and James Wolf.

I never tire of the beautiful trip up and down HWY 151.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Well Founded Hope

"Green is the fresh emblem of well founded hopes. In blue the spirit can wander, but in green it can rest." ~ Mary Webb

Another Sunday, another ride... another 200 miles through Weaverville, Hot Springs, NC 276, and the parkway. Here is Steven surrounded by sunshine and parkway green.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sumter National Forest

Our Memorial Day Picnic Feast

We had a great 200-mile ride today to South Carolina, down HWY 107 through the Sumter National Forest. We picked up lunch at Ingles grocer and feasted alongside a lovely river near the Foothills Trail.

Foothills Trail

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mt. Pisgah

Steven, with Mt. Pisgah behind him...

In the fourth chapter of the Bible's Deuteronomy, God told Moses to climb to the top of the mountain Pisgah and look in all directions to see Israel's "Promised Land." Once a part of George Vanderbilt’s 125,000-acre Biltmore Estate, Mt Pisgah is located about 20 miles west of Asheville at the Parkway's milepost 407.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Many Beautiful Scenes

Steven Along NC Hwy 151
"Live your life each day, as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point." ~ Harold B. Melchart

Nature Brings Solace

"I firmly believe that nature
brings solace in all troubles."
Anne Frank

The trees along upper Pisgah Hwy 151

Here are the magnificent trees I see from my perch on back of our Harley, riding on the upper Pisgah Hwy 151, near the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway ... A secluded ride, every way you look, a touch of heaven. The leaves are just coming in at this higher elevation...

As we travel down the mountain, the leaves are all filled in, florescent green, vibrancy, hanging low, a canopy of natural beauty....

Hominy Valley

Hominy Valley, Candler, NC
I had Lasik surgery on Wednesday. I couldn’t help it… we had to take a ride on the motorcycle. The colors are so beautiful, clean, and clear. What a wonderful thing I have done with my eyes.

Here I am overlooking Hominy Valley, Candler, NC... This valley is near our house and where we do our evening rides up to NC HWY 151 and the Blue Ridge Parkway. So much beauty in our back yard.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Vein Mountain Tunnel

Tunnel Near Vein Mountain, NC
We found a great one-lane-tunnel near Vein Mountain just south of Glenwood on NC 221 in McDowell County. A creek of the Second Broad River flows inside the tunnel. Nearby you can pan for gold and gems in the quaint rural town. In 1788, a 17-pound nugget was discovered in Cabarras County, about 90 miles away. That discovery touched off the first true gold rush in the United States.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lake James & Bill Clinton

We drove down to the foothills near the base of Linville Gorge and saw Lake James for the first time. With 6,510-acres of water and 150 miles of shoreline, the lake is fed by three mountain rivers.

After a nice lunch at the Lake James Bar & Grill, we were getting ready to ride off when a couple pulled over to admire our Harley. While talking, the woman mentioned that Bill Clinton was scheduled to give a speech at nearby Morganton, so we headed there. Ahh, spontaneity!

The first President I’ve ever seen in person! Close enough with the zoom. Clinton’s front-porch rallies throughout North Carolina have been successful. “President Rock Star,” I said. His visit to Morganton also marks the first time in over two decades that a president has visited the county.

Clinton said, “In every place I did a front-porch rally, on Election Day, Hillary got more than 60 percent of the vote in those counties.”

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring... Immortality

"Spring-- An experience in immortality."
Henry David Thoreau

The colors of spring are kicking in. Here we are along the Broad River, near Lake Lure, NC. Another made-to-order day, just perfect for riding.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gorgeous Motorcycle

We got a new back tire. Steven changed the oil, primary, and transmission fluid. He polished up the bike to perfection. What a gorgeous motorcycle!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Best Photo Ever Taken

Steven says this is the best photo ever taken. He likes his smile, his posture of confidence, his bald head mirrored by the bald rocks behind him. He likes the size and power of the Harley that he controls and he likes his “beautiful wife” behind him.

Sylva, NC

Mill & Main Restaurant, Sylva, NC

A full day on the Harley. Steven and I went on a magnificent ride with Cathy and Dana through Brevard, up 215 to NC-1756 past a dried out Balsam Lake near the Tuskegee River. The weather was warm and I know spring is right around the corner. We stopped at Mill & Main Restaurant in downtown Sylva and I felt great stretching out in the sun.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hwy 215, North Carolina

Great day of riding back through country road treasures of Dupont Forest to Caesars Head back via Rosman, and up HWY 215. Of course, The Parkway is closed for winter, but that means the highway was almost empty, so the ride was spectacular.

On the other side, going North on 215 (Lake Logan Road) to Canton, we were shaded and there was ice on the road. Not my favorite. But the recent rain made the Pigeon River swell and the waterfalls along the side of the road were magnificent. There is so much comfort in the feel of the rocking Harley, the clean air, speed, passing scenery, music in my ears, and Steven pressed against my chest.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Me & Steven in Greenville, SC

"To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven." ~ Karen Sunde

Falls Park on the Reedy River

Downtown Greenville is beautiful. Falls Park on the Reedy River features the acclaimed $4.5 million Liberty Bridge, a new 355 ft pedestrian walkway overlooking the historic waterfall is the only curved, cantilevered pedestrian suspension bridge in the United States.

Caesars Head, SC

Caesars Head
We road from Brevard to Greenville, going south for the sunshine. We road through Dupont Forest, past Hooker Falls and took US 276 to Caesars Head State Park feet above sea level; Caesars Head provides a panoramic view of the mountain country. It is really breathtaking there, looking down at the valley at Table Rock Mountain.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lake Lure

It was chilly and windy here, in the low 50s, but the sky was blue and clear so we had a nice ride to Lake Lure to Highway 18 and Rutherfordton. Here's Steven and Dana enjoying the river next to the Tiki Bar near Chimney Rock.

Sunday, February 03, 2008