It happens sometimes when you just can’t find the words, even though you have lots to talk about. I think after the series of articles I wrote from my Sturgis trip, I was just a bit burned out on the written word.
With the arrival of Fall, we’ve entered into one of my favorite times of the year to ride a motorcycle. After suffering through a brutally hot summer, it’s refreshing to throttle up into cooler temperatures, and in Middle Tennessee, we can have some fresh mornings, and cool evenings to ride.
Three years ago I made friends with another biker who is a firefighter. Because of his years of service, and seniority, he can basically pick the time of year that he vacations. October was his time frame and he always spent several weekends in the Great Smoky Mountains. One year, he invited me to go and we’ve been making it an annual tradition ever since.
I absolutely love it!
I had ridden the Tail of the Dragon with some friends from Texas the first year I started riding. We had met in Mobile Alabama, and ventured over to Florida to visit his brother, then we made our way back through Georgia, then to East Tennessee. I will always remember my first time on the Dragon, and quite honestly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to ride it.
But I did, and it was one of the most exciting experiences in my short time on a motorcycle. I guess it was because “I did it” as opposed to actually being on the “Dragon.” I can’t say I remember much about it except I didn’t ride off the cliff.
When this tradition began, I discovered the Foothills Parkway, the Cherohala Skyway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Devil’s Triangle and Wayah Road among others. And while they’re great roads to ride a motorcycle, it’s the beauty of the changing colors that makes this experience so amazing.
Thousands of people converge on the Smokies this time of the year as the colors change into a kaleidoscope of beauty that gives you a sense of God’s great handiwork. There’s just something about the mountains that makes everything “ok” and you just forget about your problems.
Fall is also a good time to just get away for a couple of hours and just feel the open road, breath in the fresh air, and just appreciate all that you have in this world and be thankful for it. There’s nothing like “saddling up” early in the morning when it’s about sixty degrees, throw on your leathers, grab a cup of coffee and just ride. No particular place to go, just RIDE!
I’ve said many times, that I never expected to be doing this at this stage of my life, never in my wildest dreams, but it’s been an incredible journey so far. These annual trips to the Smokies are something I look forward to and the friendships that have resulted from it are special.
Here’s to many more annual trips to the mountains with good friends, and great destinations. Grab life by the handlebars and find your Fall!
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