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Helmut's coast to coast trip....kind of....Part7 (The End)

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Helmut's coast to coast trip....kind of....Part7 (The End)

Postby helmut » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:51 pm

Oct-7th

From Florence I took more back roads hitting towards Atlanta to visit my old ridding buddy Vern. Huge cotton fileds started to manifest and I randomly changed directions as I drifting East. Eventually I hit Gunterville, a nice little city at a lake of the dammed Tennessee river. In the harbor they had replicas of Columbus' Nina and Pinto, and later on I found a nice overlook on a hill. In this area the farming fields had substantially decreased in size and the little communities I passed thru looked nice and showed all kinds of micro business activity.

After getting stuck a tad in Atlanta rush hour I made it to Vern's place.. In wise foresight Vern had assembled a nice selection of cold ones. So we sat, drank some beer and chatted and were later joined by his neighbor Mark, a Chef who also has succumbed to the motorcycle "disease", and beer drinking.

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Oct-8th thru Oct-12th

Drinking beer with Vern, lot's of it, and consequently only got one riding day in. At least I got the oil changed and new front brake pads on. Vern's recycling bins were finally filled to capacity and it was time to say good-bye and move on.

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Oct-12th
Leaving Atlanta I hit north and after about 60 miles of city and suburbia traffic on straight slab I was rewarded with some mountains and windy roads. Noteworthy for sustained tight turns, was a road called "Warwoman Road" leading to Rt28, which featured more tight turns. Soon after, some severe rain set in, and accompanied me for the rest of the ride. I was hitting towards Asheville, where Sam had kindly offered me place to stay. The last hour of the ride went over tightly winding mountain roads. It was pitch-black, raining and windy, leaves on the road, and various invisible ruts or stones upset the bike at times. So I was glad when I finally made it to Sam's place, where I was greeted with licking, not by Sam, but the dogs. Needless to say that Sam and Sarah were very accommodating. Unfortunately Sam had to leave a while later to work night shift.



Oct-13th
Following Sam's recommendation I rode to the Barbarossa biker bar, taking various rewarding detours. I was the only guest and after having some sodas and a burger I hit into Asheville and hooked up with Alan at the "Wedge Brewery". This place also has artist studios attached to it. The visiting crowd, and a flock of frolicking dogs, reflected the artsy connection in a most pleasant way. I did meet some good folks and phone numbers were exchanged.
As for the days ride: The roads around Asheville are twisty heaven. And the autumn leaves were making for a stunning display in these rolling, almost mountain like hills.


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Oct-14th
I got up fairly early to print, review and file my 2009 tax return one day before the final extension deadline. After that, I rode some random back roads, and as night set in I ended up in downtown Asheville, at "Jack in the Woods". There I supplemented two superb India Pale Ales with a tasty Irish stew, whilst talking to a young fellow being in town for construction business. Afterwards, I took a walk thru downtown finding that Asheville strikes me as one of the few cities in the U.S. which truly displays what I consider a good old-fashioned European feel. People are walking on the street, there are shops, and beware and behold: Strangers will greet you as you walk along. I love it.

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Oct-15th
Well, I've been on the road 6 weeks now, and it was a great time, but I did feel ready to go home. Sam had put this very nicely the day before: " Not sure what I like better: To see my house disappear in the rear view mirrors. Or its view over the handle bars, as I get home."
I packed up and after some chat with Sarah I left and rode two hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway, soaking in the views and cursing the inept car drivers, which there were plenty of. I finally abandoned the Parkway for some fun back roads and after a day of exquisite riding I ended up in Marion , VA in a cheap and well kept motel (Virginia Inn), with a family eatery right across the road. Bingo.

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Oct-16th
It was my grandmother's 99th birthday today. She is a miracle woman, still tending her own house and garden, plus being more mentally alert than most younger folks. It took me a while to get a phone connection to Germany, and I finally got on the road by 10am. It was another stunning sunny day, and I thought I make my way back to Baltimore by day's end. Alas, the roads and the bike had a mind on their own. After 220 miles of mostly twisties I ended up in Franklin, WV.

Oct-17th


Another glorious sunny day. Taking some back roads I scooted towards Baltimore and made it home by 4pm. That is, I made it to the Daniels biker bar. After a beer and a chicken wrap I pulled in my garage by 6pm. It was a strange, yet good feeling to be home again after 6 weeks on the road.

In 12900 miles I went thru 4 oil filters, 2 oil changes, 1 rear tire, front brake pads, numerous gallons of beer and a front tire. It will probably take a while to process the numerous and marvelous sights along the way, and it will also take a couple of days to settle in again at home. Today I will start this process with getting a new front tire on. The gear and final drive oils need to be changed and the valves need adjusting. Hi, alright! Looks like I'm getting ready for the next trip!\


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helmut
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