Right now, a very nice hotel (Homewood Suites, if you must know) on the western edge of St. Louis. Still a full day-and-a-half’s ride from home, but making progress.
So far, so good – yesterday’s ride was definitely the nicest, for reasons I’ll outline tomorrow. But, in lieu of a real diary, some pictures!
Firstly, me and B.S., who I was visiting in Portsmouth, VA. All I can say about the pose is that it has to do with B’s position as a gynecologist. You figure it out.
Next up, B’s extremely fat cat. At first, I was worried that he had actually swallowed her other cat, but I’m told that this wasn’t the case. He’s just very, very fat.
Next up, at the house of Occasional Faithful Reader M.S. M celebrates her victory in a game of Settlers of Catan. All hail Queen S., ruler of all deserts, mountains, and sheep harbors she surveys!
Next up, the gas prices at a gas station in western North Carolina.
What’s that? Don’t notice anything particularly odd about the prices? I’ll give you a closeup of the left side:
You know you’re in NASCAR country when they’re selling 100 octane ‘Racing Gasoline’ at the gas station. $6.99 a gallon, in case you were wondering. Yikes!
The reason yesterday was such a great day was because I looped around the south end of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. A really beautiful area, some absolutely wonderful riding. The featured attraction is a section of U.S. 129 called ‘The Tail of the Dragon’, which supposedly has 318 curves in 11 miles. I didn’t try to count, but I think they used a pretty liberal definition of ‘curve’ to get to that total. Still, a pretty twisty road nonetheless. Here’s me at the base of the run:
Here’s the so-called ‘Tree of Shame’, featuring the remains of the many, many motorcycles which did not successfully make the run in one piece:
Here’s the dam at the far end of the run, surely some wonderful TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority, for the non-Great Depression trivia junkies out there) project from the 30’s.
And here’s your intrepid hero over said dam.
The sunset as I was riding out of the Smokeys was too beautiful not to stop and snap a pic, although the pic hardly does it justice.
And finally, a very odd rest stop, a place called Whitehaven, on the Tennessee/Kentucky border today. Oddly, there was a woman in a wedding dress taking photos there today. I mean, it’s a nice-looking house, but do you really want your wedding photos taken at a rest stop???
Well, that’s it so far. Oh, I thought I would mention all the states that I’ve hit so far on this trip. In chronological order: New Hampshire, Massachutsetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Tomorrow will be Kansas (god-damn Kansas and its interminable length! That is what I will be saying to myself this time tomorrow, I am sure.) And then Sunday, I should be getting home to Colorado in the early afternoon, assuming my ass hasn’t fallen off by then. In all, 16 states, plus one territory, or district, or however one describes D.C. Not a bad haul for just over two weeks!