Clarksville, Tn– I just returned from spending a couple of days in East Tennessee, and riding through the beautiful Smoky Mountains. There were four of us, and like me, we were like kids in a candy store with the prospects of what laid ahead of us.
The Tail of the Dragon, the Devil’s Triangle, the Foothills Parkway, the Cherohala Skyway and more were ahead of us and we couldn’t get there fast enough.
After meeting for a quick coffee and introductions, (there were a couple of newbies in the bunch) we took off.
We survived the Nashville morning traffic and pointed ourselves down I-40 to Knoxville. It was a beautiful morning, not too much traffic, but lots of law enforcement. Tennessee was putting an emphasis on speeding last week, so they were everywhere.
Our first ride of the day was the Devil’s Triangle. It’s a 44 mile loop that features twisties, sweepers, steep drop offs and lazy runs through rural East Tennessee. We exited at the Brushy Mountain State Prison.
The Devil’s Triangle has always been described as a “technical” ride by other bikers I know. I just don’t know what “technical” means.
We stopped for some lunch then started to make our way to the Tail of the Dragon. There was a chance of “pop up” showers in the area, but so far, so good. Nothing on the radar.
After rolling through the Foothills Parkway, (my personal favorite) it was off to the Dragon.
I enjoy riding the Tail of the Dragon. It’s more of a sense of accomplishment than anything. A lot of bikers let their ego overload their common sense and get hurt or killed on the Dragon. I would like to think I’ve reached the age where my common sense is my best feature, so I don’t act like a fool through here.
It’s the other “fools” I worry about.
We continued riding for most of the afternoon, and decided that we should head back to the hotel. We still didn’t have any internet service so we couldn’t check for those “pop up” showers.
But, we could hear them.
As we were taking a break along the side of the road, we hear some thunder in the distance. We all had our rain gear, but didn’t think that we were headed in the direction of the storms.
So off we went. Back through the Foothills Parkway. The deeper we got into the Parkway, the darker the clouds were getting. All I could keep saying was, “please Lord Jesus, let me get home, let me get home, cut us some slack, we’ve been good boys, let us get home.”
As we were rolling down a long stretch of highway I could see the downpour ahead of us. There was nothing we could do. There was nowhere to go. There was NO shelter.
We were screwed.
We rode in a driving rain for about thirty minutes and I can tell you that I have NEVER been so soaked in all of my life. We all looked like wet dogs when we finally made it to a convenience store and some much needed shelter.
My jeans weighed 100 lbs. My cell phone was in my back pocket and I immediately took it apart and dried it off. The last thing I needed was to lose my phone.
All of us were drenched, but I can honestly say, as miserable as I was, I was pretty damn excited about what I had just survived. I could barely see anything in front of me. If it weren’t for the biker in front of me, I wouldn’t have been able so see “squat.”
Just another chapter in the journey I’m on. Memories.
Bikers can prepare for everything and still find themselves in a predicament. That’s part of the adventure. This adventure is loaded with memories I will never forget.
I rode with two guys I had never ridden with, and made friends with people I would have never met had it not been for this motorcycle. I cherish these memories and live for these adventures.
But again, I can honestly say, I have NEVER been this soaked IN MY LIFE!
I wrote about my trip to the Smokies last year here, and here.
Ride safe my friends and thanks for following my journey.