New York to Memphis
Trip Start May 26, 2015
15Trip End Oct 07, 2015
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Day 1: York. Pennsylvania
47 Bikes, (4 BMW'S 1 Honda Gold Wing, 1 Victory and 42 Harley's, 70 people, 3 and sometimes 4 support vehicles (depending on weather or not we have a camera crew with us) and a big yellow truck which carries the suitcases and provisions.All in all a very manageable set up!!!.
To start with there is a Black Dog Ride across America You Tube thingy that explains leaving New York, it was about 34 degrees that day and about 35 of the Harley's had riders that had never been on a Harley very nervous times for all.Over all the lift off went well and once out of the city the countryside was lush and green with lots of corn and soy been crops and very little stock that was visible and many piggeries that were "smell-able".
Day 2: Destination Front Royal.Virginia
We started the day with a tour of the Harley-Davidson Factory a huge big industrial place which has adopted "lean processing methods" which allows it to run 10 hr shifts for 4 days a week and then it's all over not a bad concept. It was highly mechanised / robotic in some areas and very hands on in other areas.From there we moved on to Gettysburg another outstanding reminder of the uselessness of war. The countryside was fairly rural the towns are much larger than rural Australia. We saw geese, sheep lots of dairies and then into cattle country.Also saw a couple of deer.There were a few mishaps within the group along the way today apparently Harley's have trouble staying upright in seemingly simple situations and some of the new Harley's have had a few teething problems (many of the Harley hire bikes were brand new with only 6 miles on the clock factory tested). But it is only day 2 so things will get better.
Day 3: Destination Roanoke.West Virginia
Today we travel led through the famous Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive. At the highest point of to days ride we were 3,500 ft above sea level. It was amazing to be riding along sweeping winding roads with extraordinary scenery all day long and apparently we have another 2 days of this to go. We saw deer and one rider saw a bear on the edge of the road.Very little farming just lots of mountains. Many of the group seemed to have John Denver songs going around in their heads, as we passed through the area with its related names to famous songs.
Day 4: Blowing Rock. North Carolina
Another long day with a few of the group lost then found again seems to be a daily occurrence and when it means every one else has to sit and wait it becomes a bit tedious. Like yesterday we were in the mountains this time on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it meanders for 469 miles. There was more variety to look at as in towns and villages to pass through but very little stopping.You don't seem to travel a lot of miles but it is quite slow so not a lot of stops.The weather has been spectacular cool in the mornings and warming up as the days go on to may be 80 Deg.
Day 5: Gatlinburg.Tennessee
Another long and hard day mostly in the mountains again and most people seem to be over it. Gatlinburg appears to be a time warp they all talk like Dolly and have very strange liquor laws if you cannot prove how old you are e.g: show your license or you cannot be caught with a drink or it is an offense. A bottle shop cannot sell beer but the supermarket next door can but again show your licensee. We witnessed some of the oddest garish tourist attractions you have ever seen, and the biggest employer for the town is tourism. Very odd place indeed.
Day 6: Chattanooga. Tennessee
Today we went through the town of Pigeon Forge home to "Dollywood". They were preparing for a 3 day Fair - the streets were lined with deck chairs, bomb cars, hay bales and pumpkins and people - it was amazing. We were back up in the mountains today (Smokey Mountains) and did 2 of the iconic motor bike rides. The first one the "Tail of the Dragon" has 318 curves in 11 miles have a look at it on utube (by motorbike of course). The 2nd ride, and to our mind the better ride was the Cherohala Skyway.
Day 7: Memphis Tennessee
Home to Elvis and Gracelands. What a Place. We arrived on Saturday after a very long day in 30 odd Degree temps, showered then took a stroll down the famous Beale Street. Closed to traffic at night as it is wall to wall people, bars, and blues clubs. Fabulous music, great food, very interesting. Today we had a well earned sleep in, than wandered about to stretch the legs. Some great old buildings and history to this place including: the beginning of the civil rights movement, the assination of Martin Luther King, and a list of famous singers who all got there start in Memphis.