Aug 4th. I rise with the rest of the house and enjoy some fantastic coffee. Ah, coffee, I would be a zombie without you! How I love those amazing little beans. Before I head out the door I get the most spectacular hug from besty I have ever received in my life! Now that’s how to hit the road. I shall see you folks again soon, hopefully next time in my part of the country. I can’t wait. All cheer and fear I find Front Royal 50 minutes after leaving the house and Skyline drive not 10 minutes after that.
Right, right on schedule I think to myself. By 11pm I’m done with the Skyline and it turns into the Blueridge Parkway. As I’m taking a picture of the Blueridge sign as proof of having been there, a group of 3 BMW’s come hauling past, this will be very important tomorrow. Cool, making great time, I’ll be in North Carolina tonight no sweat!
The Blueridge is gorgeous! Being that it traces the spine of the Appalachian Mountains the weather is fantastic! Driving under a leaf canopy for the second time in my life I remember the amazing feeling it gives one – that of completeness with the world, and all the mishaps unto now disappear in a fog at the very back of my head. Life is sweet and worth every bit of struggle. I drive through some fog as well, and it’s surreal. In Colorado it’s a once per season occurrence, if I’m lucky. It feels fantastic! I come upon a group of riders but get passed by a ZX-14 and decide I will follow in his footsteps to get past the leather train. Away we go for 15min when he pulls off. The time I spent behind him gave me plenty of time to see the ADV, and FYYFF sticker on his bike. Ah, a fellow board member, and I have yet to meet a mean adventure rider! So I pull off behind him, and as I stop very close to him, flip him the bird as he stares at me in his mirrors. He throws his hands up in the air like “WTF DUDE!” and before stopping the motion realizes what I’m after and points at the back of the bike, denoting the stickers. I nod my head up and down vigorously and 45 second later with helmets off we’re laughing and yabbering.
Note: The Middle finger is typically taken as a call to arms between 2 human beings, denoting a serious insult and dislike of immediately past actions. In the advrider.com crowd however it is lovingly referred to as “the salute”, and an inside joke of sorts. Some adv’ers don’t subscribe to it however, but I felt confident this guy would know what it means due to the second sticker, FYYFF, which is an acronym for Fuck You You Fucking Fucks…. Rough crowd I know, but good people in their hearts, and always ready with a helping hand and an open bottle.
He takes me on a jaunt of a spectacular side road of the Blueridge and waives me on as he heads home from his half-day hookey from work. I turn around and get back on the Blueridge.
I laugh every time I see an elevation sign posted sometimes 3,600 feet, sometimes just over 4,100. I chuckle even more when I see other tourists huffing and puffing, and notice the license plate on the car which they walk to being from FL, NC or some surrounding state…. Flat landers. They have no idea! Anyways, onwards. A stop for lunch at 3pm and still feeling fantastic!
5pm, ok, we have to be getting close the end… … … 8pm and dusk is at hand. 1 deer missed. Gotta keep going, can’t be far now. Second deer missed. By the time I steer clear of the 4th possible impact with venison I decide to call it quits irrespective of how far down the Blueridge I am. I pull into the next Motel sign I see. No phones though so at their recommendation I find the Woodberry Inn and check in. They have a room, and I get a very good feeling about this place. Tragically though the owner informs me I’m about 1/3 done with the Blueridge. WHAT? OK, I’ll have to move tomorrow.
Again, people stare, but this time I can’t blame the “yokel” attitude, for these are all tourists. I guess people just aren’t used to a power ranger walking among their mists… Just so you know folks, you shouldn’t never ever look a power ranger in the eyes unless it’s with absolute adoration, we might just snap at any point and rip your head off with a fancy kung-fu-ara-jitsu maneuver leaving your heart gulping for blood….
WAHAHAHA, not really, but the fact that my brain is making jokes about the stares let’s me know I’m starting to get over it and just being myself. Underneath the condescending stares of the German honeymooners next door I slide into my room and enjoy a fantastic shower. The towels feel expensive, and I’m not paying that much. The bed is just as comfortable and the slumber is like silk on a cloud next to an angel!