Wednesday, August 21, 2019


 Today started out like most here in Maggie Valley,  with maps out and weather apps rolling.
  We decided to ride to Chimney Rock and do lunch. It really doesn't matter which way you point the camera, there's great scenery everywhere.
  Part of the ride included the Blue Ridge Parkway and we stopped at a traditional photo spot. I took a selfie of a selfie. When I get our group pic from J.T. I'll post it.
  While on the parkway  we spotted some heavy rain and were able to keep ahead of it. It was a pretty decent day for riding and except for two slugs putting along on the parkway we had light traffic. Big thanks to BillT for his great job of navigating and leading the ride.
 We're discussing dinner plans now. Last night was the Chinese buffet. Not sure where we may end up tonight.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Photo Dump

 Years past I was using the Blogger app to write this blog and was only able to upload one pic at a time.  Now I can add multiple pics from my phone so I'll do just that.

 First of all, Ed showed up pulling an enclosed trailer. Inside was an '89 HD Ultra classic. With only 30 miles drive time since he bought it, he was to have an exiting day learning his new to him bike.

 Frank made the ride up from Georgia and we had a nice dinner and visit with him. We even managed to get in a few hours of poker.

Today we rode to Hot Springs  for lunch at Iron Horse Station restaurant.  The food was good as usual and afterwards we walked the Appalachian trail.  Well just one block of it but sometimes it's all about quality and not quantity.
When we got back to Maggie Valley we decided to take the Elevated Mountain distillery tour.
Afterwards we went to the grocery store and had some tough decisions to make.
 When dinner time rolls around we'll all pile into Ed's truck and find some grub.


Monday, August 19, 2019


Yesterday I made a quick post mostly just to check in. I suppose a vacation means different things to each of us. Some jam as much into the time available and others lay on a beach and chill.  I'm somewhere in the middle. There's riding and dining to be done but I also like the quiet time when I don't do Jack shit. I have a very loose schedule with enough voids in it to make it a vacation.
 Today J.T. and I played tourist in Cherokee for a short time then got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed to the Pisgah Inn. We made a few stops and enjoyed the scenery that the area offers.

We then rode on to the Inn and met Dan and BillT for lunch. The Pisgah Inn offers a beautiful view while dining and we noticed a storm rolling in. The decision was made to get on the bikes and stay in front of it. We failed miserably.  The hour ride was almost all rain and also some fog. The limited visibility slowed us down but we never stopped. Upon arrival in Maggie Valley we found Frank waiting for us at the motel. We'll make a beer run then park the bikes for the night. The rest of the evening will be old friends cat thing up.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Day Two

I'm sitting here in Cherokee  taking crap from my buddy JT because my tech skills are lacking. He showed me a faster way to write this blog in a web browser now that the blogger app is gone. Problem is I cant think of what I want to say fast enough to speak it so I'll just keep hunting and pecking.
 Had good weather for my four hundred mile ride. Almost too good. It was 99 degrees in bumper to bumper traffic in Pigeon Forge and while sitting there I remembered that last year I had the same problem and said I'd never do it again.  Oops.
 That's it. The ride was uneventful otherwise. Gonna get cleaned up and find some grub.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Check List

Before leaving on a bike trip I always go through a checklist to ensure I have everything I need to make it as trouble free as possible.  One item on the list is checking the weather radar.
Traveling the length of illinois sucks on it's own. Throw in some craptastic weather and you have the makings of a disaster vacation. The leading edge of that rain looks nasty so my plan was to drag my feet a bit, meaning riding close to the speed limit, and let the worst pass by. I hit heavy rain near Rockford and was soaked to the bone. Water was running down my leg and into my boots and I was sitting in a puddle of water. None of this would have happened if I had stopped to put on my rain gear but I'm on vacation and if I want to be a stubborn idiot then who's gonna stop me? Once past the wet stuff I turned my seat heater on to "slow roast" and dried my nuts. The rest of the ride was great weather and even too hot at 94 degrees in Paducah.  I didnt check the odometer yet but I think it was about a 550 mile day. Surprisingly I don't feel too bad and I stopped to pick up a couple friends to make me feel better.
We cant get this stuff at home. I don't know if it's good beer or on the same level as Schlitz or Black Label but I enjoy it.
 Next on the list is dinner at Rafferty's.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Test post 2

Three more work days before I leave on vacation. I like the sound of that. Of course no more work days sounds better but sometimes you just take what you can get.
I plan to make a short post each day on vacation but in the past I've had problems doing that from my phone. This a test of that ability.
The pic is of a property where we did an automower install yesterday. Its blocks from Lambeau Field and 70 miles one way from the shop. Normally we look at a job, discuss options and bring any extra materials or tools for the install. We know what to expect when we arrive to do the work. This unit was an internet purchase so due to the distance, we kinda went in blind. Luckily the owner was willing to commit to some changes that have to be made to allow our machine to pass along side the house. We have mixed feelings whether or not to continue with these types of installs where a customer just makes a purchase online without being able to discuss with a dealer if it will work or not. In the end it boils down to us doing all the labor at a fixed rate while someone else makes the profits from the sale. If the purchaser has a problem or just a question,  guess who's time they're gonna eat up.
So far these are just concerns and not issues. We have a pretty good system in place and the machines work well if properly installed. This one needs to work. Installed yesterday and today the owner leaves for six weeks. Not the ideal situation for sure.
 So I tried to make this post from the Blogger app. Apparently that doesn't work. I'm stumbling through this from a web page on my phone. This is gonna be a shit show. Oh, no pic?

Sunday, August 11, 2019


 In less than a week I'll be on my annual bike trip to the Smoky Mountains. While the amount of planning has gone down each year there is still a certain amount of preparation. You'd think the most important thing would be prepping the bike. Yes thats necessary but more important is to make sure I'm physically ready. No I haven't been working out. These days being physically ready means not tripping and breaking a leg or not cutting myself open during a chainsaw test run at work. It also means going down a different aisle in the grocery store if I hear some little snot nose brat has a cough or the sniffles. I try to avoid anyone that looks like a walking germ factory.
 Other preparations do include bike maintenance and yesterday I serviced the air cleaner. The KandN filter is washed and then reoiled. I run the rain sock most of the time and the old one was wearing out so I bought a new sock. Lots of loc-tite used here during reassembly. Theres 12 screws total holding this thing together and on the bike. Harleys vibrate like a dog shaking water off itself and I just envision parts hitting the hiway if I don't use thread locker on the bolts.

 Another little task I wanted to get done was to update the radio on the bike. I have no idea what little fixes this update includes but it was a big file that I downloaded on a thumb drive then uploaded to the stereo. I walked away while it was updating and the package "image installer" shown in the pic is the only update I noticed. I don't always listen to tunes when riding but might as well have the radio working right for when I do.

 Another pre-vacation preparation is deciding what to pack. Wadding up a bunch of nice Harley shirts in a saddlebag is kinda a drag. They always come out more wrinkled than an elephants nut sack. I have a favorite shirt and I guess its made of rayon. It seems to pack pretty good and doesn't wrinkle too bad till after you wash it. I don't do laundry on vacation so I'm set. My wife bought me four more.

 Those are some serious vacation shirts. Another packing task is selecting socks for the trip. I like socks. If my feet are jacked up I get grumpy. The trick is choosing socks that are comfortable but near the end of their useful life. Why? Because I ain't haulin stinky socks back and forth across the middle of the country. Once removed from the feet they will be tossed into a motel garbage can. I have enough smell issues without contaminating all my laundry with foot odor, and having my bike smell like a rendering truck on a hot summer day is not my idea of a vacation.