Saturday, June 17, 2006


Journey to the ST.N National Meet
Day 5 - Boone, NC to Canaan Valley, WV
~400 miles

After so many relatively short mileage days, I felt a little overwhelmed this morning when the GPS flashed “400 miles” at me. There was really no time to stop and have breakfast, so I bought some bottled Bux and donuts at my morning gas stop and packed it away to enjoy once I started feeling hungry.

I was entertaining romantic thoughts of the old “100 miles before breakfast,” but it was colder than I’d expected this morning. After only 30 miles, I pulled off into a observation point and put the liner into my jacket before enjoying the sugar rush of a chocolate glazed icing filled Krispy Kreme.

I was on the Blue Ridge Parkway for almost 100 miles of very cold air and misty twisties before expressing through Virginia on an interstate to reach US219 (?) through Pocahontas National Forest.

With the amount of miles to do and the slow pace of the BRP and the Arkansas backroads, I felt that I couldn’t stop much. Lunch was fast food quickly consumed before getting back on the bike. I didn’t want to stop only 60 miles away from the resort, but was sneezing like crazy (into the helmet -yuk!) and the GPS said that I still had 2 hours of traveling. I purchased some Claritin and allergy eye drops for my itchy eyes and then spent another 5 minutes trying to fight my flinch reflexes and actually get some of the eye drops into my eyes.

The road was pretty twisty with a lot of traffic but many of the turns had gravel in the apex. I’d charge in ready for fun and then back off while my rear tire squirmed. It was very tiring, so when I overtook an older couple on a Goldwing, I settled behind them and enjoyed the putting.

I finally rolled up to the resort only half an hour before the scheduled dinner time and saw a big crowd of bikes in a parking lot below the main road. I was really fried after all the curves so it helped when the recognizable figure of Colleen emerged from the crew and pointed at an open space for me to park the ST.

As people gathered round to welcome the newcomer, suddenly my energy reappeared. I easily fell into the excitement of meeting people in the flesh that I had only known through posts on the forum. I was also excited to find Andrew and Gary, people I’d known in California, already there.

After dinner we mingled in the bike parking area late into the night, swapping lies and tales of adventure. It was so wonderful to be around people who don’t think I’m weird for enjoying packing up my bike and heading out for thousands of miles of riding through the most beautiful parts of this great country.

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