Wish I could make it, but duty calls. Last time I was up there Turner's Corner was closed. Drag a peg for us poor saps at work.
Right there, it was closed. I did not know that. Lent a sad note to the day's outing, but a bad day riding still beats a good day at work!
First, I remembered that there's a 2009 mileage contest, and I hadn't registered my odo yet! Believe it or not, this is the clearest of the three photos I tried, and it still sucks. I'll definitely update RidgeRunner's thread, but on 01/09/09 I had 26,349mi on Big Red.
The air was a crisp 32F when I left Atlanta. I made my way up to The Foot Of The Mountain, as it's called, the Chevron/Waffle House intersection is so affectionately known.
... amber waves of grain. The crispness had moved from the vegetable drawer to the meat cooler by the time I got to my buddy's house west of Suches. It was 24F there at 9:30am!
So this friend of mine up in Suches is a great guy named Bob, and this is his new little girl, Lucy. Lucy helped me warm up from 24 to 98.6, while Bob offered coffee and conversation.
Bob was a neighbor who introduced us to the north GA mountains. He was also the first person to reach me after my hellacious crash in May '08. I know we're "not supposed to" move people or take off helmets and whatever; I've got five medical professionals in my family, so I know the drill. I know the ABCs of emergency response are airway, breathing, and cardiac; THEN you worry about things like playing the violin again. Bob got me breathing again. He deserves all the love a puppy can give and at least an occasional visit up at the cabin.
Suches has a trout farm, a couple different creeks, and these valleys that fill up with low-hanging clouds when the weather's just right. It's amazing. Today's feature was this.
Just up the road from this, I had to U-turn the bike. On an incline. Dirt, grass and wet leaves. I admit, I'm green off the pavement. I almost dumped the bike on my rebuilt leg. I stuck it out far enough to be out from under the bike, and it found solid ground. I actually bumped that falling bike back up with my bad leg, a first for me. Got rolling again, got back on pavement, turned off my heated gear and started hyperventilating that 24-degree air until I could see straight again. Get the hell out of dodge, boy!
So this is what they did to Dale's.
By this time, it was about 11:30. I was west of Suches and needed to be at Turner's Corner by noon. On Blood Mountain, I re-enacted a picture from last February known to most of my acquaintances as "damn, where WERE you!.JPG".
First time I had the visor closed and a different jacket. I like this tradition. I took pictures of this one overlook on Richard Russell every six weeks through three full seasons, kind of a National Geographic flipbook. I think next year I'll get a picture of a stuffed animal in front of the icicles. Maybe the next year, me in just the helmet.
So I rolled into Turner's Corner after weeks and weeks of on-call at work with no access to the mountains. My stomach was growling. My heart was giddy about meeting some other Troopers. I had to pee like a frog, and it was barely 50F now.
Turner's Corner Cafe is closed and up for sale. No Troopers waiting for me. The TC gas station up the road doesn't have a kitchen yet. TWO is closed for the winter. No way I'm eating at the "electronics store".
I remembered a "Lenny's Grill" back on -- where was that? -- Wolf Pen Gap, so I ran back up the mountain and through the woods. (wait for it...) Lenny's was closed. (ba-dum!) By now I look like Nanook of Buckhead and I sound like Yosemite Sam. I'm so hungry and fuzzy that I think I made it all the way back to Bob's in a straight line.
See, just down the road from Bob's is Dixie Corner. Nice folks. Interesting place. I read the walls for a good half-hour. General store and gas station with your basic short-order breakfast and lunch kitchen. Good Southern food, rich in bacon and other food groups. That BLT was just right.
At the tail end of my day, I went by Rider's Hill for the first time. Nice little cafe. Wi-fi
. Who knew! I can't get a cell signal for half the day, but they've got wi-fi. The place has more Moto Guzzi and Aprilia bikes than I've seen in one location since the Cycle World show.
Ran into an extremely experienced motorcycle enthusiast on a funeral escort bike, complete with lights and basic police colors. See, I have another friend who's a motorcycle cop on weekdays and a funeral escort on weekends, so I spotted this right away and struck up a conversation. There was also this orange Strom that showed up alongside a big GS. I saw three different Stroms today. Granted, I must've seen a dozen GSes, but three other Stroms on a workday is something in itself.
I need to take a day off more often.