Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Riding Asheville in Autumn

Asheville in Autumn is so beautiful.
We are so dazzled by the colors, we do not even notice the slight chill.

 Around every corner, I catch my breath.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

El Quixote Restaurant, Brevard, NC

We stopped for a delicious lunch at El Quixote Restaurant in Brevard, North Carolina. Delicious fine dining Mexican food, prepared as the owner said, "like my wife cooked in Mexico."

Delightful flavors, wonderful surprise. I don't think I have ever eaten such delicious Mexican food.

Their website said, "You’ll enjoy our fresh ingredients and elegant atmosphere."  We did.

Together We Explore

Open Road, All Possibilities

Friday, November 01, 2013

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Greenbank, West Virginia

National Radio Astronomy Observatory,  Greenbank, WV

Heading south on Route 92/28, we spotted the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's white gleaming telescope from afar and tried to figure out what it was. Of course, we stopped to look see. Unfortunately, the place was closed because of the Federal government shutdown, so no tour, but we did get this photograph of both of us in front of it.

Named after Senator Robert Byrd, the telescope is 485 feet (148 m) tall and costs $10 million a year to operate. It is the largest completely steerable radio telescope on Earth.

Route 220 Autumn Colors

The friendly woman at the Virginia Visitor Center was right. The ride north on Route 220 should not be missed, especially today when autumn colors are blooming, falling, and dazzling us.

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” 
~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Bath County, Virginia

Falling Springs Waterfall

Falling Springs Waterfall 
Here we are, exploring the southern region of the Allegheny Mountains.

Driving north on Route 220, just past Covington, Virginia, we were delighted to find this beautiful waterfall just off the road, waiting for us to visit.

The water from the falls flows into the Jackson River. Thomas Jefferson in his book, Notes on Virginia, described the Falling Spring Falls as a "remarkable cascade...falling over a rock about 200 feet to the valley below."

We are west of the Blue Ridge Parkway at the southern tip of the Shenandoah Valley.

Butler Mountain, West Virginia

Riding through early morning fog
Beautiful new morning and we are anxious to hit the road. We ride down the mountain through a pretty thick fog, but not thick enough to stop the autumn colors from popping through. Surreal delight.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

VA 611, Fork River Road

Getting read to head down Fork River

Turning right off of Route 80, north of Abingdon, Virginia, we explored VA 611, Fork River Road.

A winding, beautiful ride with mountains on our left and a snaking river to our right, the road turned to gravel about half way in.

We lost Internet coverage, too, braved ahead as all good explorers do.

We continued on east, toward Saltville, until we intersected Allison Gap Road.

What we saw, heard, and felt were worth the road's uncertainties. Serenity, the sounds of the flowing river, and absolute delight!

We never know what delight a new road holds

Beautiful Fork River

Boone Lake, Tennessee

Yummy Sandwiches
Today we rode the scenic back roads from Johnson City to Wytheville, Virginia. 

We explored new roads and rode through the heart of Appalachia...

Riding down winding roads, we passed homes along Austin Springs Road, then stopped at a roadside picnic table for a simple sandwich snack near Boone Lake/Reservoir just before reaching Piney Flats.

Created in 1952, the reservoir was formed by the impoundment of the South Fork Holston River behind Boone Dam.

Boone Lake, Tennessee
Foot bridge over Boone Lake

Johnson City, TN Dawn

We found a good rate on my iPad at the Red Roof Inn in Johnson City and called it an early night as we always do. Waking early, Steven went to the lobby to get us coffee, came back saying, “Look at your sky.”

Johnson City dawn
Extraordinary colors, beautiful new day!

Parked and ready to go

“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” 
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Route 352, Tennessee-North Carolina Border

And so we leave on another adventure. This time we are riding up to "our" special cabin in West Virginia. We have not had enough hours on the Harley this year and are looking forward to visiting old favorites and finding new experiences.
Enjoying the new blacktop on Route 352 Tennessee
Fall colors are coming in, with inspiring colors of red, orange, and yellow. We are heading north, so the leaves are more vibrant the further we go. Here near the Tennessee and North Carolina border, the road snakes around Interstate 26. The late afternoon sun shines on us, the mountains, trees, and new blacktop. The beauty is indescribable.

Firehouse Restaurant ribs
We were stopped at a light in Johnson City, Tennessee and a woman pulled up next to us in a pickup truck and said, "I wish I had me a boyfriend who rode a motorcycle." That gave us a chuckle.

Dinner at Firehouse Restaurant, Johnson City, we shared ribs and sliced BBQ pork. Nice casual family restaurant with tasty food. Nice vacation start.

It's hard not to feel on top of the world.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Old Fort, North Carolina

Lunch-- Shrimp Cocktail and a Big Smile

We stopped for a late afternoon lunch at a roadside park in Old Fort. The sky was beautiful, rimmed by these gigantic trees.
Shade and Wonder

Our feast? Jumbo shrimp cocktail from Ingles. Million dollar meal.

North Carolina Pine... Stunning!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Highway 80, Lake Tahoma

Lake Tahoma, Marion, NC
Just a stunning North Carolina day. The sun and clouds were magnificent and I shot hundreds of photographs while listening to music on my mp3 player. With all the record-breaking rain we have had these past weeks, everything is green and the streams are swelled with rushing water.

I love this ride up to the parkway because Lake Tahoma is so beautiful along the way.

Hemlock Grove, Highway 80
The fertile hemlock forest that hugged and twisted with Buck Creek was green and glorious.

Love how the sun glints off of Steven's helmet

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stream Beauty

Peace, always.
In our travels, we are always thrilled to find a stream tucked away somewhere. The discovery feels like the unexpected delight of finding another present on Christmas morning.

Yesterday we found this gift near Lake Lure, North Carolina. Tucked away close, out of sight. A perfect spot to pause, reflect, and soak in the cool, relaxing sounds of a running stream. And to capture this special moment together.

I said, "Hold on a sec, let me tweet this photo of the stream."

"All great discoveries are made by people whose feelings run ahead of their thinking." 
~ Charles H. Parkhurst

"Smile, sweetheart."

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Backbone Rock Tunnel, Virginia

We rode for over ten hours through Virginia and back with Ge and his family. I shot with my Nikon camera this time and the day was perfect.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Caesars Head

Always looking up!
From downtown Greenville, we headed home, up Highway 276, a beautiful ride with little traffic through Caesars Head. We stopped and I caught the sun through the bare trees.

A glittering jewel. A lucky star. A talisman. A creative spark.

Beautiful trees against the blue sky.
What an opportunity to see and feel the inexplicable...

Take a second to snap before mounting bike.

Hurry, Spring

We made a sweet ride to downtown Greenville, South Carolina today. Off our cold mountains, down to the foothills of the Appalachians. The ride was a bit windy, but not too bad. The sun shone brightly on us. Lots of sunshine and warmth, temperature in the high 70s.

And here is the joyous proof that Spring, thank God, is on the way...

Hurry... Hooray... Spring!

"Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment." 
~ Ellis Peters


Here are the cows on the farm at the bottom of our mountain. They stop eating to look at us.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Brevard Trailblazers

Highway 276 near Brevard, NC
A trailblazer eats at Trailblazers
My first time on the bike since September. That's a long six months of cold weather and commitments. There is still ice out there, but the road calls.

We picked a good day to ride our 100 miles. With the temps kissing 60, we rode to Brevard and had a nice lunch at Trailblazers.

"Let's eat here," I said. "We are two trailblazers." Steven laughed.
Waiting for lunch

It sure felt good to be out on the road, with the sun shining brightly and the clean air in our face. The Harley really frees the spirit and cleans out the emotional cobwebs.

Spring has never felt closer.

We rode home on Highway 276 through Waynesville and Canton and it was stunning to see all the bare trees and higher streams following all the rain we've had.

The Parkway, of course, was closed. But my trailblazer camera... and heart... are back in business.

Sun and ice
"Remember this, that very little is needed to make a happy life."
~ Marcus Aurelius

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Downtown Asheville

Antsy to be on the bike, with sunshine on our faces, we took a quick late afternoon ride through downtown Asheville, a truly lovely city to visit any time of the year.
Aston Park, Asheville
In the middle of Battery Park, it is always great to ride past Pritchard Park. Something is always happening there, even if it is just the glowing light of the sun against the blue land of the sky...
Pritchard Park