Archive for May 20th, 2016

Asheville NC to Roanoke Va

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Tues May 17th and Weds 18th

 

Our stays in Asheville and Roanoke amounted to nothing more than dinners and sleep, with not much time for sightseeing as our days left are down to two. We spend both nights just catching up on much needed sleep as the last two days rides have been long with cold wet weather. It takes a lot out of us and we still have one last long ride to get to Lorton Va and the train that takes one of us back home.

The trip has been amazing! It has been full of long rides in both great and terrible weather. The first day out we were frozen before we put 20 miles on the bike but we were so happy to be doing this that we laughed off the cold and pushed forward until we reached the train that would take us and our bikes to Florida to begin the long journey.

Along the way and each night we would plan our next days ride, the route we would take and the place we would spend our nights. We didn’t use a GPS but only for one time when we were clueless where the heck we were. Most days we would ride between 200- 250 miles with the longest ride being 475 miles and the shortest trip 185 miles. We averaged 200 miles a day for  a total of 3700 miles. We often traveled back roads and avoided highways unless we needed to make up time or if bad weather was nearby. Riding thru old towns and back roads were often both rewarding and risky and more often than not they weren’t clearly marked by road signs designating the direction in which we needed to go.

We ate sparingly while we were riding with mainly just Peanut Butter sandwiches for a mid day snack so as to save money and not overeat, which would drag us down if we did. Only twice did we eat lunch, the first day in Florida and once again in Arkansas during a gas up. In fact the station had some great BBQ Brisket, but not quite as awesome as Rich’s homemade brisket we shared in Seafood at his home. Eating light for lunch was probably the only reason I gained only three pounds on this trip because we made up for it with the dinners we had in all the great towns we visited.

Sharing the highways out west is challenging for motorcyclists due to all the tractor trailers that move goods cross country on these routes. All in all they were very courteous and aware of us and it seemed as if they made an effort to make it easier for us to navigate around them. The roads through Texas were the worst both highway and city but the back roads were great both wide open and lightly traveled. The best roads by far were in Tennessee as they are paved, curvy, long straights, high speed limits and most times extremely scenic. At one point we passed a body of water that was the bluest green I have ever seen. It looked crystal clear from the seat of my bike and all of us commented on it when we stopped for gas. The waters in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and even along the coast in Texas, are horrible and I can’t believe anything can survive in them. Nothing but murky muddy waters which surprised me.

Crazy huh?

The best scenery had to be between Tennessee and North Carolina with all the mountain vistas and overlooks. They were at times breathtaking and must look beautiful during the fall months. I have to say that the open roads in southern Texas were pretty cool too. Grassy fields as far as you can see off the sides of the roads, many filled with cattle grazing. It reminded me of the movie Twister especially when we rode thru some stormy skies. I kept waiting for a funnel cloud to move in front of us.

With only one more days ride ahead, things begin to feel strange. Our time together is coming to an end and we share mixed feelings about it.

Tomorrow Lorton Va, the Amtrak Auto train and our farewells!

Just One Man’s Opinion

The Regular Guy

 

 

Mt Airy NC and Floyd the Barber

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Tuesday  May  17

Mt Airy North Carolina

The roads from Robbinsville start out like the Dragons Tail as they are filled with twists and turns but we handle them well until we run into a tractor trailer hauling logs down the mountain right in front of us! We move at a snails pace but know we must be cautious just in case those logs cut loose. There isn’t any way to pass the truck so we lay back and wait until he reaches a shoulder and allows us to move on. We have dealt with hundreds of semi’s along our way and everyone of them were very aware of our presence and most went out of the way to allow us the road. Unlike a lot of motorists who sometimes made us feel like they were trying to hit us.

Coming out of this mountain the road opened up and we made up for the lost time quickly. Mt Airy is the birthplace of Andy Griffith and we planned to spend some time in the town that is known as Mayberry in honor of the television show. We arrive and strip off our rain gear and head to the first place we find for some hot soup and lunch. Our waitress Samantha greets us and answers all our questions about the town and what we should see while there. Her husband, who also works there, cooked up our lunch and also filled us in on some town tidbits. Both went out of there way to accommodate us and make us feel at home, with good ‘ol southern hospitality. Make it a point to stop in, have lunch, chat it up with them both and mention we sent you. Thanks again Sammie (:

Floyd’s Barber Shop Mt Airy NC

One of the favorite characters in the show, anyone and everyone who watched the Andy Griffith Show knows very well who Floyd is. In this town, Russell Hiatt had manned the barber shop until just recently when he passed away but everyone who comes to visit can meet his son Bill, who will tell you the story of Russell and the shop. Bill spent an hour with us talking about the shop, his dad and then about where we come from and our thoughts on 911, being that we had ties to NYC and what happened. Bill posts pictures of visitors to a FB page “Floyd the Barber” everyday in honor of the people who take time out of their life to visit and share their memories of the town of  Mayberry. Our time spent with Bill was one of the highlights of our trip and I appreciate the time he spent with us.

 

 

There are buildings in Mt Airy that are replicas of the show. The sheriffs office and jail, the garage where Gomer Pyle worked and others. There are tours given by police cars from the 50’s and everyone in the town seems to enjoy all the attention the town receives because of it once well known inhabitant, Andy Griffith. One thing we found a little upsetting was we were told that Andy Griffith made the town pay him to come home for the naming of a highway in his honor. I hope that wasn’t true.

Sheriffs office

Jailhouse. Wheres Barney?

Prepare to spend a least full one day to take in all the town has to offer especially its inhabitants and all they have to offer in the way of stories about the town and all that has happened over the years. Visiting here was like taking a time capsule back to when I was younger to find myself walking the streets of Mayberry. I couldn’t help but feel that Barney Fife was going to stroll by me at the next corner.

Time to hit the road again as we are only about halfway to our destination so we are off to Asheville NC for dinner and a nites stay.

 

Just one man’s opinion

The Regular Guy