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BRP Day two.

Frank Cloud

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Frank Cloud

BRP Day Two: June 13.


Our day started at 7:00 a.m. The weather forecast stated that there would be a very good possibility of rain, “oh well I said out loud, I came to ride.”


Destination for the day was to be Stuart VA. So after a brief breakfast at Mickey D’s, we were off. Jumping on the Parkway near Asheville, on the part of this road, which I was familiar. Two years ago, we did a short trek up the Parkway while attending the Honda Hoot. Had I known it was such an awesome road I would have spent my time riding.


Off we go and it isn’t long before we began climbing in elevation. I can tell from the popping in my Hearos plugged ears and more importantly by the temperature change. When leaving Asheville heading north, you are literally riding on the side of the mountain range. Big sweepers, beautiful scenery and today, and lots of wind. (A quick side note, if you ever ride this road, do it during the week. You will not regret it)


As we continue north, I notice once again that there is virtually no traffic. We continue until we reach the BRP welcome center. As we ride into the parking lot I take note of a new generation Yamaha Venture and Goldwing 1500. Both are pulling trailers and both are from Canada. When I get inside, there are two couples that have been on the road for several weeks. They were heading north towards Ontario. Very nice folks.


There is an older gentleman working the register and I tell him he’s got a great job. “So great” he says, “that I do it for free!”


I grab a book called “Guide to the Parkway” and once again we are heading north. Stopping for an occasional camera shot and abiding by the speed limit. We continue on, sweeper after sweeper, taking our time and enjoying the ride. We eventually rode up on a gift/ sandwich shop and stopped for lunch. Grabbed a quick burger and tooled around for a bit. We also saw our new found friends from Ontario.


As we were saying our good byes a large group of motorcyclist pulled in. All type of bikes. Several cruisers, one Ducati and one BMW K75. A red version of the one I used to own. They were admiring our loaded bikes. The BMW owner asked, “What color is your bike” as the got a big dip of tobacco. I told him that it was Boston Green and was only produced for two years that I knew. They asked several questions about the ST and RT and gave us some travel advice. They were local guys who were real friendly.


Around 1:00 p.m. we were on our way, continuing the slow pace and stopping for an occasional picture. We continue north until we get to Linville falls. Here we decide to go into the park for some shots. We bump into our Ontario friends once again and exchange pleasantries. The tour only takes about an hour and we were off once again.


By my estimation at the current pace we should reach Stuart VA around 7:00. We head across the long viaduct (Linn Cove) wishing that I had a camera that would mount to the bike. The scenery here is breathtaking to a newbie like myself.


As we continue north we catch up with an RT riding two up. They are clipping along rather quickly and I speed up for the ride. We part ways somewhere north of the Viaduct and after a friendly wave they disappear.


After another brief break, we continue north once again. Finally we get to our second detour and stop for a break. Here we bump into the couple on the RT. I stroll up to chat and notice that they are from California. Asked if I could take a picture of the bike (too bad I can’t post them) and tell him about our beloved BMWRT site of which he is not familiar. They have been on the road for five weeks and five thousand miles. Been as far south as Orlando and are now heading to Canada. From there they have four weeks to make it back to Northern California. (I gotta get a new job) Very nice couple.


As we are getting ready to leave, a gentleman pulls up on a late model Kawasaki Concourse. (1998 to be exact) He asks each about our bikes and tells us how he spends his summers on the Parkway. (I gotta get a new job) He has accumulated 69,000 miles on his trusted bike and plans on putting even more. Very nice guy!


As the time approaches to move on we say our goodbye’s and hit the road. This is detour number two, but is marked substantially better. We wind our way back around and pull into Stuart VA around 6:30 right at the tail end of a big Thunder Storm. I consider bagging it for the night but unless we ride 20 miles to the interstate our choice is a small motel with restaurant. We pull up to the motel and a very elderly gentleman comes out.


“Sir, how much for a room?” Forty seven, he says. “Do you take credit cards?” Nope, can’t see the machine but I will take Forty. I look over and see the machine in working order. “Can anyone help us use the card?” “Yes we have a roll up bed” he says. This is not going good. Reggie tells the elderly gentleman that we will come back after dinner.


We go into the restaurant and have two of their hot dogs. Actually they were pretty good. I find out that Roanoke is only 65 miles away so reluctantly we decide to push on. Immediately after entering the Parkway I almost destroy a ground hog. I still don’t know how I missed him. We stop for a quick photo op. at Mabry Mill and continue on.


I am nervous because of the quickly approaching darkness and wildlife. Sure enough as we approach an overlook a small doe darts out in front of me. Luckily, I see her before hand and hit the brakes hard. I love abs brakes because if functioning properly I don’t worry about an uncontrolled skid. The ground is still saturated with water as we continue toward Roanoke. Suddenly, I see another deer. Instinctively I stop and the deer is running straight at me. It’s a spotted fawn and very small. I see movement out of the conrner of my eye and the mother and twin are standing in the woods. They disappear into the cover but the lone fawn stands and looks. I bleat at the fawn and it looks at me like I am an idiot. He/she finally moves on and so do we.


Now I am extremely nervous but we continue at a slower pace. Finally we start the descent into Roanoke. We stop and take a picture of a place that overlooks the city.


We get off the parkway and quickly find a Hampton Inn. We settle in at 10:00 a.m. and I am exhausted. All in all it was a great day. Say several turkeys, numerous ground hogs, and seven deer. We bump into a couple on a Harley from Ohio heading south. They are looking forward to their trip and I told them that they would not be disappointed. So far we have not camped, because of poor planning we had not found a campground with a shower. Oh well, guess we will just rough it in a motel.


Day three comes soon enough.


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Here I was all set to call you a weany for stoping at 10:00 a.m. and you go and ruin it. tongue.gif Great read. If I read enough stories about the BRP just maybe I'll make the trip.

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