This post is dedicated to my wife… Ah HaHaHa. Meg is really my best friend but we had this goofy thing years ago that we were going to marry if we weren’t both attached when she reached 50. You know, so we could have benefits in taxes, insurance, and the like there of which married folks share. On her 50th birthday her daughter and I had a little party for her and I found a napkin ring that was like a huge diamond ring. I got down on one knee and asked her if she would always be my friend, never lose my number, etc. so on. She said, “YES” and we have been pretending since then. I love to tease her and she teases me, but I know that this woman is the one human in the world that I can ask or tell anything and she will still love me, even if she has to slap some sense into me. We are able to share and talk to each other giving truthful and non-hurtful feedback. I can’t imagine my life without this one friend that is perfect for me.
05-30-13 It was rather early when I arrived at the cabin Meg had booked and I was on point to fetch drinks and steaks (her demand for payment since I was staying for free). I was much obliged to fill her request. Since I’m in Asheville, I might as well take a ride. I consulted my Motorcycle-Maps-US app and found a route that would be short but scenic. I only wanted to spent a little time out because I had client work that needed to be done and I had to get out my 2 invoices so I could make some cash.
I took a little cruise into Big Ivy, NC and along the way found a fresh meat market. I got the steaks on order as well as a Buffalo steak for my own dinner that night. I also picked up thin sliced ham for breakfast. I took the items to the bike and then ran next door to the convenience store for a bag of ice, as I was a ways from the cabin and still had to stop at a regular grocer for other items. As I was walking back towards my bike, a man called out, “Are you The BROAD?” Now I am in God’s country, NC; who the heck knows me here? I turned around to see a tall biker looking dude standing with the meat store folks outside. I walked back in their direction and extended my hand, “Yep, that’s me.” He introduced himself as Adrian and said that he had seen me on FB earlier that day at Wheels Through Time. Now that was Cool! We chatted a little while because it’s always the case that people have questions about my journey. I was tickled to have met this stranger that recognized me from online. He wished me safe travels and said that he’d follow me on FB; true to his word, he did later join The BROAD on FB. Thanks Adrian!
I made my way back to Weaverville, where the cabin was located. I hit the grocery store and now this really blew my mind… As I was exiting the parking lot, trying to turn left; I was behind a pickup and had arrived before any other drivers. I was on an angle from his right rear was I was definitely sitting there several moments before a lady on a cell phone pulled up – very very tight to the pickup, as if to snub me out of my spot to exit. This lady (I deleted the other word), was talking on the phone, but a poignantly obvious gesture towards me, waging her finger and shaking her head no… Like, “Oh No Ms. Biker, you are not about to exit here.” I kid you not, I think my mouth fell to the gas tank in shock! I wasn’t sure if I should laugh my ass off at her ignorance and arrogance or if I should beat the snot out of her. By this time, several other cars had pulled to exit behind her. In a flash I said screw this nasty witch and I back up just enough, just enough so that I could turn hard towards her car and I stuck my tongue out at her. (Childish I know, I couldn’t flip her off and still drive at the moment.) I made my way over the other exit where nobody was pulling out and zoom, I was out and gone. I had really hoped the nasty creature would pull behind me so I could use my universal hand gesture, but I suppose it wasn’t needed. From where I pulled out and with the safety yellow bright Rider’s Claw t-shirt I was wearing, I know for a fact the ingrate saw that I had over come her ignorance. And as luck would have it, I made the green light and she was still waiting to exit the lot.
I got back to the cabin, did some work, ate my dinner and waited for my friend. Her flight had been delayed about a half hour and then she got a little turned around on the drive in, but she made it just fine and I was so ecstatic to see her. We had two beverages and caught up a bit, but by then it was 2AM and we were both tired and wanted to start having fun in the morning.
05-31-13 I didn’t really care where we went or what we did, I was just happy to spend some time with somebody that knows me deeply, somebody I could talk to about my thoughts, and she need to relax and decompress as well. We are not fancy pants kind of girls typically speaking and we get along pretty easy with whatever comes about. I have been out here experiencing different towns and seeing different things for 4.5 months; my friend needed a “vacation”. I offered to drive so that she could relax and take in the sites. She had found a route that piqued here interest so it was off to the Blue Ridge Parkway we went. I can’t tell you that anything in particular was all that exciting, but just being girls together in our normal silly and serious states was all the excitement I needed. We enjoyed magnificent views, fresh air, great conversations, and an overall peace with relaxation.
Oh wait, there was that one piece of excitement. We were in Little Switzerland after taking a lunch break. I was sitting outside and Meg was browsing inside. A bunch of bikers pulled up and one had a canine passenger. He was parked right in front of my seat, not a foot away. I had the pleasure of meeting Chewy. He has ridden over 80,000 miles and made two cross country trips, among many many others. Another local canine was wandering around and he seemed to have been a mastiff of some breed though I stink at that identification; all the same Meg and I agreed earlier that he was big and he looked very strong. The two dogs inspected each other and for some unknown reason, the mastiff was suddenly ticked off and went after Chewy by the side of his face. There was not much I could do as Chewy’s owner and a friend used great effort to separate the two dogs. I felt terrible for Chewy as he had a bit of a wound on his snout and he had been tied to his motorcycle and was not infringing on the other dog. The other dog was left to roam the area free which didn’t seem cool to us given it was a hot tourist stop. But anyway, Chewy was fine all in all and he gave me his business card and I gave him a BROAD sticker. I got to take my picture this that handsome beast of a biker and he later sent me well wishes on FB. Hugs Chewy and I hope to see ya out on the road again some day.
We made our way to Grand Father Mountain and the Mile High Singing Swinging Bridge. This ride would have been phenomenal on a motorcycle, though it would have taken time and a half. Grand Father Mountain is in simple human terms, “Amazingly Beautiful”. At the beginning of the park you get a CD that guides you through the mountain and tells you the history and points of interest. The record high at the peak of the mountain has ever only reached 84 degrees. And the mile high bridge is in fact 1 mile above sea level and winds of over 200 mph have been recorded up there. We made a few stops along the ride up and took some lovely photos, but nothing like what we were about to experience. We were fortunate to have a mild wind blowing, enough that we were comfortable but also enough that we could hear the bridge sing as the wind cut through the cables and supports. The only way that place could have been any more serene is if we were there alone, without the hustle of other humans.
06-01-13 Meg and I had talked about trying to find the hot springs that we had both read about online. The town of Hot Springs boasted of a spa using the mineral waters from the springs but we couldn’t find a public access anywhere on the web. It was a rainy day, so no better adventure that to find a warm place to sit and relax; if you’re gonna be wet you might as well enjoy it right? We took a long leisurely ride to Hot Springs and inquired at the spa we found online. As it turned out, you cannot enjoy natures wonder freely; you had to pay to sit in a hot tub where they pipe the water down from the mountain – commercialism and it’s not even Christmas. We did learn that during the civil war, soldiers used that property as their bath area and the foundation to the former baths are still there for viewing. The prior hotel on the property had been burned down 3 times in history and as such, when the most recent baths were built, the #13 was eliminated due to superstition. Well, that was about the history we needed for the day and since we were not able to get an appointment for a massage, we were off again.
We were not quite ready to return to our cabin but the rain was really putting a damper on the day. Several miles down the road Meg saw a sign for a boat launch, and although the car behind was not thrill with our exit maneuver, she zipped off road to a new adventure. Only partly paved and twisty, we came upon a canoe launch that had to be the most beautiful scenic stop I have seen thus far. Hidden in the forest and likely only used by the locals, this spot had several canoes, kayakes, and fishermen (even for a rainy day). We had brought along a couple of cold beverages for just such opportunity to sit and relax a bit. The rain slowed on the approach to the spot and had even stopped during our time there.
The waters were flowing pretty darn quick but in most areas it did not appear to be very deep on the edge where we were. Naturally, I thought I could get to the most beautiful set of rocks just 30-40 feet away. Now you may be able to load a crap ton of gear on a motorcycle and drive it all over the country, but a super hero that does not make you. This I learned quickly. I removed my boots and rolled up my britches above my knees; I was going to find a way to get to those rocks for just one picture. YEAH – RIGHT!! Note to self: Do not give your wife the camera if there is any chance at all that you could make an ass of yourself. And when you do, don’t think she will save you, but be assured it will be documented. I’ll let the photos tell the story…
Just about the time my little wandering excursion came to a schreeching halt, the rain really kicked in, as if to say, “Leave before you hurt your dumb self.” Wet, a little cold, out of beer and getting hungry, we loaded back in the car and decided to head to Asheville for dinner. This was my first time in Asheville and even though a lot of things were closed because it was Sunday, the town was very lovely and had a boat load of offerings for bars, restaurants, and shopping. We had one beer while checking out our resources for dinner. I had found a few interesting places on the Around Me app and so we decided to walk and see which ones looked or smelled the best. We landed at a place that specializes in vegan and gluten free foods, neither of us are either of these, but the food sounded great and since Meg’s daughter is vegan and Meg and I love to experiment we gave it a shot. Honestly we were not disappointed at all. The service was most excellent and the food was delicious. After dinner we walked and talked, we made fun of the crazy wig place and Meg was evil and made me enter the fudge shop – evil, just evil that woman is. I just did escape the shop and was only harmed by one sample of fudge, one sample of caramel pop corn, one turtle and one praline. It was a terrible challenge, but I made it out safely and still had money in my pocket – WHEW, that was close!
Full bellies and a long day, we returned to the cabin to enjoy cold beverages and a little peace time. I have always enjoyed that about Meg; we can sit and talk just great or we can sit in silence just great; no entertaining each other, no need to constantly be yapping, just knowing that if you have something to share, the other is there.
06-02-13 Monday was Meg’s last full day and it was lovely weather. She wanted to find water falls and North Carolina is full of them. She plotted a route to Triple Falls and it did not disappoint. The mountain roads themselves are spectacular, but when you come across some of nature’s wonders, it’s just all the more breath-taking. We hiked about 1.5 miles I think it was and spent quite a while just relaxing, exploring, climbing, talking, and of course, taking pictures.
Like I said before, we are not fancy pants girls; we just love to escape the hustle of life and breath a little fresh air. I know that I enjoyed this great weekend with my dear friend and I sure hope the stress of everyday life escaped Meg for a short while. Next stop… the Rockies; see you there baby!!
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