Our 20 day trek on our motorcycles took us to 9 states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina) and approximately 3,500 miles. This is the longest vacation I've ever taken, the longest time I've traveled on motorcycle and the most miles I've logged in the saddle. We had a few very minor mishaps along the way, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. We did a lot of planning before the trip on places we wanted to see and what needed to be attended to at home. All that paid off. Our only surprise was that our car battery had died in the three weeks of sitting. Apparently the electronics that listen for the key fob to unlock the doors and trunk use enough juice to drain the battery.
Our first interesting stop was in Pottsville, PA at the Yuengling brewery. It was an interesting tour through the hand dug caves where the beer was stored. It's got interesting history about how they survived prohibition by making ice cream and making porter which could be legally purchased with a doctor's prescription.
Our next stop was the Haines Shoe House in Hallam, PA. This was built by show salesman Mahlon Haines in 1948 as an advertisement. The house still holds tours and sells souvenirs and ice cream on the bottom floor. It was a pleasant place to stop for a rest and a snack.
After that, we traveled on Skyline Drive then the Blue Ridge Parkway for the next 3 days. For motorcycling, these are the prefect roads (in my opinion). There are no stop signs or lights, there is limited access to the roads, the speed limit is 45 or so and the views are spectacular. We found the roads to relatively uncrowded and all the drivers we encountered to be friendly and respectful. One of the things I enjoy about traveling by motorcycle (especially as a couple) is that people feel you are approachable. Folks who would never even take a second look at you at an overlook if you are traveling by car will start a conversation about your trip, the view or whatever. It's all small talk, but it's always nice to know that people aren't afraid of folks on motorcycles.
Music Center, the Moses Cone Memorial Park and the Folk Art Center.
The Music Center had live musicians playing and a terrific museum about the history of local music and musical instruments.
The Moses Cone Memorial Park was a beautiful building with an amazing view and beautiful hand crafted items for sale. I spend quite a bit of time with a very nice woman named Pam Etheredge who makes handmade pine needle baskets in the tradition of her grandmother's tribe of the Choctaw in Mississippi. I wish I lived closer to her because she teaches this beautiful craft and I think she would be a good teacher.
The Folk Art Center was full of hand crafted items - some for sale. It had beautiful jewelry, quilts, furniture, scarves, pottery and all manner of handmade items. It's a good thing we were traveling by bike, or my bank account may have suffered.
After traveling the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway, we settled into Maggie Valley, NC for a few days. We chose to stay at the Smoky Falls Lodge because it's motorcycle friendly, and is in close proximity to The Tail of the Dragon, a twisty road that seems to be on every motorcyclist's bucket list. Upon arrival, we saw other bikes like mine (but a bit newer) and found that we had happened upon an Intruder rally. We met lots of nice folks, chatted about bikes and had a good warm up for the larger rally that would happen later in our trip.
That's the first week of the trip. I'll add the rest later.