2007 Asheville motorcycle trip
Day 3

June 17

I awoke about 3:30 this morning with my stomach feeling like a washing machine with lava inside. I spent the next few hours climbing up and down the ladder to make nasty deposits in Mike & Lisa's bathroom. I'm surprised they lived through the smell. We were supposed to visit the Biltmore Mansion this morning but as time went on I knew I wasn't going to make it. I left the others a note to continue on without me, and went back to bed.

I awoke a little before noon and felt like I might live another day. On the note I had left there was a counter-note. They had put off the Biltmore until tomorrow and were going to explore the Saluda area. I got dressed and drank about a gallon of water to hopefully counteract any hot death left inside of me. I left a voicemail on John's phone and set out to find them. I got gas at our normal Exit 59 gas station then made a lap around Saluda a few miles down the road. While I was riding around I heard my phone ring. I tried to answer it but kept banging my helmet so I put it on speaker. The guys were a few miles outside of Saluda and were headed my way.

A future biker.

While I lay hoping for death the others had did some exploring in Saluda. Afterwards they had headed out of town to find a local waterfall.

We met up in downtown Saluda and headed north on US176 to Hendersonville. It was lunch time so we found a Subway. I had water and a very basic sandwich with NO CHEESE. After eating I went outside and took advantage of the cell signal to call and wish my dad a happy Father's Day. While I was on the phone a panhandler came up to Mike asking for a handout. Mike, being the generous soul he is, gave the guy a few bucks. Later the guy came back for seconds and Mike gave him a verbal ass-chewing and sent him packing.

Northbound on I-26 from Hendersonville to Asheville enroute to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Our destination for this afternoon was to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway north from Asheville. We took our normal I-26 to US25 route to the Parkway. We passed the US74A turnoff we took yesterday and started covering new ground.

A few miles up the road we stopped at the Folk Art Center. They had some expensive folk art pieces for sale and the most important things...pins and stickers! We also picked up some free Parkway maps. The most interesting attraction was a guy making things on a lathe. We watched him for 15-20 minutes. In the background is another nice thing...large, clean bathrooms. A very good thing when you have rumbling bowels.

We stopped at many of the pulloffs and took pictures. Above is the Craggy Gardens visitor center. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a great place to ride and is highly recommended. It is maintained by the Nation Park Service and is in great condition. The road is mostly sweeping curves and there is the occasional tunnel. There is a 45 mph speed limit so there is no one using it like a race track.

Parkway pictures

Mount Mitchell pull off. The highest point east of the Mississippi River.

Initially we had considered riding all the way to Grandfather Mountain. There's so much to see and do on the Parkway the hours disappear. As time ticked by we decided that Spruce Pine would be a more realistic goal. We could get gas there and something to eat. We rolled into Spruce Pine around 6:30 pm, gassed up, and went to Western Sizzlin. I was feeling much better now so I pigged out.

We rolled south out of Spruce Pine fat and happy. Shortly after passing under the Blue Ridge Parkway we discovered the wildest road we encountered on our trip...NC226. Not only does the road have tons of 15mph switchbacks, but it is STEEP. John said it was like being flushed down a toilet. When we finally reached the bottom the road became a nice country road.

Eventually we arrived at I-40 which led us back to Asheville. We stopped in Asheville for a 'butt break' and smokes. We reminded Mike his butt wouldn't be sore if he had a Goldwing...one of many Goldwing teases made on the trip. We rode back to Saluda, gassed up, and went back to the cabin. The girls went to bed and we watched 'Ghost Rider'. I fell asleep if that tells you anything about the movie.

190 scenic miles.

Click here for our next day's adventure.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Epilogue

E-mail me