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Mike B. and his Brother-in-Law Thom's
Ride through the Smokies

I was privileged to lead my brother in law on a cruise through the Smokies in mid June
of this year. He was reluctant to go by himself.
Mike B.

I rode from my home between Beloit and Monroe to his home in Dumfries, VA.

The next day we headed out to Front Royal and started our trip down the Skyline.
The Skyline is a national park and even though it runs straight onto the
Blue Ridge Parkway, they are separate from each other.

The Skyline is absolutely gorgeous. The road is narrower and more curvy than the
Blue Ridge Parkway. In many places the trees have grown over the roadway and
touch each other creating a canopy overhead.

The road on the Blue Ridge Parkway is wider and more open.

We cruised the full length of the Parkway with occasional side trips to attractions
and hotels, camping.  After leaving the Blue Ridge Parkway, we headed straight to
Deals Gap and the Dragon's tail. We had been rained on at least once every day
before getting to the Gap and I prayed for dry weather at least while we were
up on the tail.

We  lucked out, it didn't rain until we were well on our way to Asheville, NC.
We picked a hotel there to catch up on laundry and dry out. Used their computer
room to check the weather to decide whether to head to Kitty Hawk or go elsewhere.

The weather looked the same no matter which way we went so the next day we
bugged out early and headed for the outer banks, Nags head and Kitty Hawk.
That was a full days ride. With gas and lunch stops it took about 10 hours.

We rode through a stretch of swampland that had warning signs, "Watch for deer, and bears." We saw a crew in the swampy ditch to our right clearing out trees that were blocking the flowage.

I saw one of the men standing with a gun watching for?? Maybe alligators?
The men were not prisoners the guy was protecting them from something.
Either gators or snakes. We saw one bear leaning against the guard rail on the
other side of the road, as if it was waiting for someone to stop and take a picture.
I didn't offer it the opportunity to make lunch of me.

Spent the night at a mom and pop hotel on the beach at Nags head.
Walked on the shore of  the Atlantic ocean. Next day we went to Kitty Hawk.
Got lots of pictures there. I got goose bumps just thinking I was standing in a
place of history that I had read about many times in my life.

After Kitty Hawk we made our way back to Thom's place and his dear wife
had a great meal for us. A big steak with potatoes, and green beans.

The next day I reluctantly left Thom's and ended up running on Hwy 50 for
the second time in two weeks. It took a bit longer but it sure beat the
boring interstate! After paying respects to grampa in Ohio, I headed for home.
It was a fantastic trip, lots of beautiful scenery, great food, and a whole bunch
of history to bring home.

Overlook on the Skyline

My brother-in-law Thom and his gorgeous low rider.

A deer that was taking its lunch by the road. It didn't move even after I and Thom rode past. (Must have been some really sweet grass)

A sign on the skyline of Shenandoah.

A very nice place to stop for lunch or a short rest right on the skyline. It is
called Skyland and I highly recommend it. Beautiful building, friendly wait staff
and great food at reasonable prices. Walking in I was certain we would pay a
fortune for a sandwich. NOT SO!

One of several stone bridges on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A patch of Catawba Rhododendron named after a local Native American Tribe.

One of numerous tunnels on the Blue Ridge.

Thom and I at Deals Gap.

An overlook on the Dragon's tail. An amazing ride. When you get off that road,
you will either love curves or hate them.

Tree of shame at Deals Gap. Notice all the crotch rocket parts!

Scarlet and I at the High Point on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sign for a fantastic restaurant on the outer banks of North Carolina.
Excellent seafood. I chose the trout, I just couldn't imagine myself
      eating "Flipper", that lovable dolphin from the 1960's.

Me standing next to a metal mock up of the original Wright airplane.
It is all metal, must be stainless or aluminum.

This is a sign I noticed when coming back toward home on Hwy 50 between
VA and OHIO. Highway 50 is an incredible curvy, hilly road. I really enjoyed it
and recommend it for anyone wanting a warm up for the Dragon's tail. Come
to think of it Hwy 28 leading up to the dragon's tail was a blast too.

A gorgeous old house I saw along HWY 50. Built in 1790, it was a stage coach stop
and served several uses during the civil war.

An old INN that had been recently purchased for renovation. Supposedly it offered
travelers food and shelter for many years. Hopefully it will once again be open to
feed and refresh those who chose to travel this historic route.
I adore old stone buildings like this.

A magnificent stone church in Aurora, WV along HWY 50.

The resting place of my gggggrampa Henry. Found it in Ohio, he had served with George Washingtons' party during the crossing of the Delaware River!!