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Old 09-14-2017
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Location: McDonald, OH
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Default Eclipse

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.
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