Great Alaska Adventure: On to Tennessee
For the first time since leaving Florida I got to lean the big Ultra over in some nice curves as we rode north and west through the Georgia hills. After we left Parthenonless Athens, we rode for 130 miles on backroads that neither Garmin nor Google would have recommended as the most expeditious route to Tennessee. Sometimes in life–maybe most of the time–you have to map out your own fun.
We didn’t ride the twisties too aggressively, but at the Tennessee Welcome Center Marilyn said she had one Georgia-road butt-clenching moment when she scraped her floorboard on a tight left-hander and visions of unpleasantness danced in her head. I wondered why she slowed down, but, still, we maintained a pace that was slightly above the speed limit through the curves and that gave the tread on the sides of the tires a taste of the road.
We are now four for five on riding days in the rain. All three Key West days involved rain suits and today followed suit as well. The skies had been overcast since we left this morning and I used weather radar on the iPad to keep track of menacing storms in front of us. We stopped at a restaurant 20 miles west of Chattanooga and the angry black clouds rolling over the mountain looming in front of us convinced us to wait it out. I suspect several inches of rain fell during the frog strangler that roared through the area (complete with lightening pyrotechnics) while we sipped bad coffee and compared notes with other bikers who had waited until they were soaked to stop. It was still raining lightly when we pulled out, but at least we could see the road. Seeing two 18-wheelers in the ditch on the east-bound side of the highway confirmed my conviction that our extended stop was warranted. After about 40 miles of rain and wet highway, we finally emerged under occasionally blue skies, though the flooded farmers’ fields around us spoke volumes about the volume of water recently released from the clouds.
Our Murfreesboro stop was planned so we could see Marilyn’s brother Bill, whom she hadn’t seen in nearly two years. We had a good visit and caught up on his family while he caught up on ours. There will be several family stops this trip as we try to get the most bang for our travel bucks.
Tomorrow looks like rain again, though we’re hopeful we’ll ride out of it about the time we ride into Jasper, Indiana, to have lunch with some great motorcycle riders I was honored to ride with last summer. (See blog posts for August 2012) Tomorrow’s final destination will be Danville, Illinois, where, even as I write this, some sick SOB is probably doing a rain dance.
“I can’t wait to get on the road again.”