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So it's only a week and a half away and I'm getting really excited. My wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year by going on our longest bike trip to date. While away we'll be meeting up with friends and family all along the way. More importantly will be the alone time with my wife in some of America's greatest scenery.

On the morning of August 31st we'll be leaving the Detroit area and riding straight through to the D.C. area. I'm really looking forward to seeing Arlington Cemetery and the changing of the guard for the first time. As an Army vet that served during the Gulf War I feel this is a trip that I absolutely must make. Other sites that interest me are seeing the White House, The Wall, The Capitol Building, etc. While in the D.C. area we will stop an my cousins house in Hagerstown and visit for a bit. Hopefully he will be able to join us for a portion of the ride.

September 2nd we leave Hagerstown and head south to ride the first portion of Skyline Drive to the Luray Caverns in Virginia. My wife went here on a high school trip and has been trying to get me to go for over 25 years. (maybe she'll stop nagging now-LOL) on the 3rd we continue south to complete the Skyline and stop in Stauton, Va where I meet up with an Army buddy that I haven't seen since the mid 90's.

From here we journey south on the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to Fancy Gap. It'll be September 4th and we should have been on the road long enough to cleanse the city smell from us and start to smell like the locals. Yes, I'll take the smell of the road of the city 7 days a week. While at Fancy Gap I'm hoping to sit around a campfire, enjoy a beverage or three, and share stories with other riders who have the same passion as the rest of us here.

On September 5th, reeking of campfire and open road we head back towards the city. This time we head to Charlotte. My sole surviving Aunt on my fathers side lives here as well as an online friend that I haven't had the opportunity to meet yet. So we will spend the day with the old and the new. before moving on. On to the west.

On September 6th and 7th will be the relaxing portion of our trip. We will spend a day in Asheville and Murphy, NC see the sites and just checking out the towns. Just the two of us. Relaxing is we choose, or riding if we're so inclined. We are going to need calm because the storm is about to hit.

We ride the short 15 mile ride north to Andrews on the 8th and meet up with our good friend Mike. He has ridden nearly straight through from Detroit and with caffeine coarsing through his veins he can be a lot to handle. He's a bit of a wild card but a great friend. The storm has hit. There will not be any more quiet time for the remainder of the trip. LOL. The three of us will hand out in Andrews and catch-up while waiting for my Father-in-Law who should show up the morning of the 9th.

On September 9th we plan on hitting Dry Falls, Devils Courthouse, the Highest Point on the BRP before finally stopping in Maggie Valley for the night. I'd like to ride past Popcorn Sutton's place if possible but time will be the deciding factor. From Maggie Valley we ride out on the 10th to see Big Witch Tunnel, Fontana Dam, and a there and back trip of the Tail of the Dragon. We'll spend the night at Deal's Gap and rest up.

September 11th the four of us will ride the Cherohala Skyway before heading north and starting our venture home. We'll also ride the Devil's Triangle (2/3's) before stopping in Corbin, KY for the night.

On the 12th we will head north back to Detroit, back to our own bed, back to some much need and earned rest.


I plan to post pictures here along the way and maybe a video clip or two. Who know maybe I'll see one or two of you on the road as we're rolling by.

:choppersm
 

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On your ride south on the BR parkway to Fancy Gap... take the short 5 minute ride off the parkway to Nancy's Candy Company in "Meadows of Dan" Va.
Where are you staying in Fancy Gap? I might be able to arrange to join you for an adult beverage or 3. There are also several VTX riders in this area.

This is my usual riding area- so I know many good roads, and some sightseeing you could do in the area.

Mt Airy- is the hometown of Andy Griffith, and the town has alot of "Mayberry"- themed touristy things to do.
Hanging Rock State Park- is a nice bike ride to get to (rt 89), and then a short trip to over Pilot Mountain, NC.
From there- RT 268 west is a great bike-road... all the way to the Elkin NC area.
If you are not in a hurry- Rt 21 is more scenic and leisurely than the slab (I-77). on your way south to Charlotte.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tips Ray. We're staying at the Fancy Gap Cabins. We'll probably take you up on the RT-21 suggestion. I'll have to look the others up. I'm not much into the touristy stuff usually. LOL
 

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Sounds like you have planned a great trip- please, pix. I know what a tight itinerary means, no time for extra's, no time for glitches so I won't suggest Flt. 93 Memorial in Pa. on your way to Hagerstown. Skyline Drive is a VERY SLOW GO- mostly 25 mph speed limit. BOOOOOORRING! SUX in the cage, even more on a bike. Be safe above all. Congrats on your anniversary- my wife and I will celebrate, quietly, our 40th this Sunday. We recently took an anniversary vacation in the cage to Newfoundland, 4400 mi. in 11 days. Talk about tight schedules!
 

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Gotta chime in on Skyline Drive, most boring road I've ever been on, 25 mile speed limit and a speeding ticket is Federal, not state, so it's a pricey one.

As I have lived in the Charlotte area since 89 I can tell you that you MUST avoid I-77 South of Statesville at all costs. If you can give me a general area where you are headed in Charlotte I can give you preferred routes to get y'all where you be going.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If we get bored on the Skyline we'll choose an alternate. We're not in any hurry and we did do a part of it last year so It's doubtful that we'll get bored. Still, thanks for the heads up. Also, I had no idea it was a federal ticket, that's crazy.
 

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I just spent the weekend with some Canucks in Maggie Valley. You're going to love the area. Keep us posted. I may want to tag along for one of the weekend day rides if that a possibility for y'all. I'm about 1 1/2 hrs. from Murphy.
 

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I echo the criticism of Skyline Drive. It is terribly slow and has very poor scenic views. Mostly you are trapped in a tree tunnel behind some grandma with her 4 grandkids in the car and they are going 25 mph even though the speed limit is 35 mph. Then, every time they see a squirrel, they stop in the road and take pictures. It also costs money to ride this road. Bypass Skyline with extreme prejudice and get to the Blue Ride Parkway ASAP. It is 1000 times better. Speed limit is 45 mph but you can go 55 mph with impunity. Plenty of places to pass the occasional slow car if you are willing to be aggressive.

Let me know if you will be riding in/around the Asheville area. Depending on the date, I might be able to ride with you. I live just south of Asheville near Hendersonville, NC.
 

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Oh, one other strong recommendation. While in Maggie Valley, go to the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum.
 

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Oh, one other strong recommendation. While in Maggie Valley, go to the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum.
That along with the Salty Dog Bar & Grill. Pretty good oysters and shrimp.
 

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So I am the odd old man who rode the entire Skyline dr. after getting my lifetime Senior pass last week. It is 35 as stated and I saw several officers but oddly not much wildlife or anything else. I like many of the overlooks but they are much different than being further south on the BRP. I could possibly hook up on the 1st if you want some company, Frans suggestion of the flight 93 memorial is great especially considering your timing. Have a safe and fun trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Outstanding feedback guys, thanks. I will definitely send out some PMs of the wife and I are up for company.
 

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Update!

We're in Charlotte now and finally have the time to post an update.

Day one was from home to falls church (near DC). It took us about 11 hours to go 565 miles. Not many pics as this was simply a "let's get there" leg.

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Day 2 was all touristy stuff in DC. The only post worthy pics are of Arlington. Whether you served or not you should experience the changing of the guard.

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And full length video.

https://youtu.be/ReZA7_Nn5nQ
 

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No idea if we were anywhere near one another in the gulf, but you are driving all the way around me now. Have a great ride. I need to make that trip myself.
 
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