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-   -   Eclipse (http://rideohio.org/showthread.php?t=22173)

Tank 09-14-2017 11:24 AM

It seems like nobody put a ride report on here for the Eclipse, so I guess I will do it!

I will say that for me it was a very different trip than usual. I spent three days on the road to get there and put some time in on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The threat of rain was constant all three days, but somehow I managed to avoid it. I did have to lay low for a while on the Parkway while it rained a bit, but I do a lot of laying low on the Parkway anyway when it is nice, so it really did not affect me in any way. Everyone I talked to was on the way to see the eclipse, but traffic was not bad at all so I had a very nice ride across the Parkway.

On Saturday I think I was the first to arrive at the Gap, and over the next few days lots of others began arriving. It was a little bit hot, but I don't think there was ever any threat of rain the whole time we were there. We decided to watch the eclipse from the parking lot of the Gap. The day had a strange feel to it because most of the traffic on the Gap was minivans and SUV's. The day had been perfectly clear all day, and once the eclipse started clouds started rolling in. That had me a bit worried, but in the end it was fine and if anything made it look even better.

The eclipse itself was absolutely phenomenal. Every single person I talked to said it was way more awesome than they ever expected it would be. It did look exactly like the pictures, but seeing it in person somehow was much more amazing. It did get as dark as night and the crickets started chirping. Everybody was smiling when it was over. Almost instantly after it was over the road filled with minivans and SUV's bumper to bumper both ways! Seems everyone in Tennessee went to NC, and vice versa.

The next big news is my daughter finally got it. She went out for a trip to the Overlook and came back super excited. She kept saying "I finally understand why you do this!", and then that was the last we saw of her for a few days, until the oil pump when out in her car. We worked on it a bit in the parking lot, but concluded that there was nothing that could be done for it, so she rented a car so she could keep going back and forth. Problem was all they had was a Jeep. It really did not matter because for the next couple of days she just rode the Jeep back and forth. I have a friend that works at a Hyundai dealership in Alcoa, so we went up there to talk to her. My daughter ended up leaving with a Velocitor and she really loves the car, so she got to spend the last two or three days wearing down the tires on it. I have to give her props: I was getting a little worried because of her excitement level that something bad would happen, but I followed her on Friday and she made a nice paced pass that was one of the cleanest passes I have ever seen. Her excitement did get to her on the last day, on her last pass, when she chose to ignore one of the primary rules of not getting a ticket and on her very last pass of the week in the last three miles of the pass got a ticket for 51mph.

I spend another three days getting home. I went through Cherokee on the way there, so on the way home I went across Foothills Parkway and across the Smokeys to get back on the Blue Ridge Parkway for the trip home. I usually don't like to go home the same way I arrive, but I enjoyed the Parkway so much and have spent so little time on it this year I decided to do it twice. Day on going home was the only time I ended up riding in the rain. I stopped on top of the Smokeys and called the wife. While we talked I saw that rain was approaching, so I got on the road hoping to get ahead of it but this time it did not work out. Ended up riding for about 30 minutes in a pretty good rain.

Anyway, it really was a terrific week for many different reasons. It was so nice to see so many people and get to just hang out and relax for a while. We had the most awesome group of people I could ever imagine, people who I am honored to be able to call my friends. It was the best week I have ever spent on my motorcycle, and I doubt that I will ever have a week as good again.

Anyway, we have another eclipse coming on April 8, 2024 so I am going to start planning for that one now and hopefully we can get a good group together again for that one. I have a few ideas.

Tank 09-14-2017 12:13 PM

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Tank 09-14-2017 12:15 PM

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Tank 09-14-2017 12:20 PM

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the ferret 09-14-2017 03:24 PM

Nice report and pics Tank. You flying a drone? Riding the BRP by yourself is a great experience. You feel so small.

wahoo 09-14-2017 04:53 PM

Nice write-up Boss. I had a great time too. [ok]

Warlock and I left from his house near C-bus Saturday morning and had a nice (although a little warm) ride down into Kentucky. Rt 23 to Louisa and then southwest over to Corbin. Sunday we headed southeast over to Big Stone Gap VA, then southwest into TN. Sunday night were stayed in Kodak, TN near Bass Pro Shops.

Monday morning we departed for Deals Gap around 8. We took some nice back roads to avoid Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, and ended up on 321 to Foothills Parkway. As we were turning onto the Parkway, we happened to meet HG and Mrs. HG who were coming in from Gatlinburg headed to the Gap. Couldn't have planned a closer arrival time if we tried. :smt047

We headed south on the Foothills Parkway. Even at 9 a.m., every pull-off and overlook was jammed packed with cars, trucks and motor homes. Everyone was having a good time, but it was really crowded. We continued on to 129 and headed south down the Dragon to DG.

The eclipse was awesome. Hard to put it into words better than Tank already did. Definitely one of the coolest things (nature wise) that I've ever done. After the traffic died down Monday afternoon, HG, Mrs. HG, Warlock and I did a nice loop from DG to Robbinsville (with a stop for Mexican food), then over 143 to 28, a stop at Fontana Dam, and back to DG.

Tuesday we ran west on the Cherahola Skyway, south down into North GA, and eventually over to Helen GA for a late lunch at the German Hofbrauhaus. We got a spritz of rain drops for a few miles heading north from Helen, but it only lasted a few minutes and we never really got wet.

Warlock and the HGs took off Wednesday morning after breakfast. I took a ride up and back on the Dragon mid morning. It was practically deserted. Afterwards, I took off for a solo run across the Cherahola Skyway with a stop at Bald River Falls. Coming back, I never was behind a car the entire way from Tellico Plains all the way to DG. I had what could only be described as a perfect run across the Cherahola and up 129. It was zen-like. Really....

Thursday I took a ride down to Highlands and back with a stop in Bryson City. Weather was perfect and roads were great. Light traffic except for Highlands itself, which is ALWAYS crowded.

Although the weather looked good for a multi-day ride home via the BRP, I decided to slab it home on Friday. Family matters to take care of, etc. I did 560 miles and was home before 4 p.m. (Which included a stop at the Iron Pony)

I don't have many photos from this trip other than what I've already posted in the from the Road section. This entire week was very therapeutic for me.

Thanks to all in attendance for a great time. Special thanks to Tank and Skid for great company and a lot of laughs. [ok].

(Please excuse any typos. I'm typing this on my iPad)

Tank 09-14-2017 04:54 PM

Yes I have been playing around a bit with a drone. I am kind of amazed at how well it works for what it cost. It is on sale again for the next couple of days, so anyone thinking of playing around with one should take a look at it. It does everything I want it to do.


The BRP really is best when you are by yourself and don't have a schedule to keep. It really is the best way to unwind on a street bike. No traffic lights, stop signs, billboards.... Just roll along and enjoy the sights. Every once in a while stop and set up the folding chair and just sit and stare at the mountains. If all the fuckers on Harleys would put mufflers on their bikes it would be perfect.

It is also a real plus to have somebody in a van meet you at the end with fresh underwear. And it is nice to put your stinky underwear in the van when it is time to head home.

The only thing that could have made it better would have been if more people could have made it. Dave and Christy have been a big part of these group rides over the years and it was really sad for me that they could not make it. Also some have passed away that were often a part of our trips. I really hope we are all around when the next eclipse comes through.

wahoo 09-14-2017 05:10 PM

Man.... I just looked at the photos again. Who is that old man with the gray mustache on the White Wing? :smt118

And based on the eclipse-watching photos, I really need to lose 10 pounds ! :smt077

Tank 09-14-2017 05:58 PM

One of the grey mustache guys has no hair at all on his head so at least you have that going for you.

Tank 09-14-2017 06:06 PM

No offense to any of the bald guys.

I have hair but I am fat.

But still damn good looking.

Because I still have hair.

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