Traveling from rally to rally sometimes requires me to cross the country in five days or less, but this time, I had the luxury of three weeks to get from Myrtle Beach to Laconia.
I bee-lined it straight to western North Carolina for some of the best motorcycle roads east of the Mississippi River. The plan was to camp at my favorite campground for two nights while waiting for the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum to open in nearby Maggie Vally, visit with my old friend Dale the owner, and be on my way.
Well after five visits and two weeks later, I was finally on my way.
Jumping on the Blue Ridge Parkway and continuing on Skyline Drive provided me 569 miles of nothing but gentle roller coaster type tarmac. Commercial vehicles are not allowed and any type of advertising signs are forbidden—truly a motorcyclist’s road that I highly recommend.
Making it to Laconia a few days early, I made time to visit the American Motorcycle Police Museum and enjoy a few of my favorite eateries before we set up the mobile showroom and the real work begins.
The Road to Laconia as seen by Joe Sparrow
Waking up in the Smoky Mountains
Heading out of the Smoky Mountains
Interesting people I meet while camping
Hitting up the Smoky Mountains
There’s nothing better than a new vehicle
Nothing like a nice warm fire after riding some of the best motorcycle roads east of the Mississippi
Wash Day in the mountains
The “Tail of the Dragon” is a mountain pass that’s 11 miles long and has 318 curves. This is the only guardrail.
The Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge and Campground. I was only going to camp here for two nights and stayed for over two weeks. I love this place.
I met these folks a few years ago at a motorcycle campground and went riding with them. I’ve just run into them again for the second time at the same campground and went riding with them again.
Not really the direct path to Laconia but well worth the diversion
I tried my hand at this and realized that I’m a biker and not a hiker
Top fuel motorcycle drag racing legend Pete Hill
Mother Nature at work in the Great Smoky Mountains
Blue Ridge Parkway
Orelena Hawks Puckett lived in this log cabin the later part of her 102 years and became a midwife after 50 years old. She helped in over 1,000 births and never lost a child or mother to childbirth. Sadly her 24 children never survived infancy.
Mabry Mill is my favorite place to take a break on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Typical view on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Friends with a common passion
Sitting on top of the world
Life on the road requires total concentration.
People I’ve become instant friends with
These folks know how to do it. They ride their street bikes for several days on some of the best roads east of the Mississippi then hit the trails for an overnighter near the Smoky Mountains.
People I meet in my travels: The Bear Claw Riders
The southern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 469 miles of 45 miles per hour sweeping curves along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains.
Back in the hills
People I meet on the road
Fontana Dam is the tallest dam east of the Rockies and is just one of things to see in the Great Smoky Mountains.
What ya say we blow this popsicle stand?
Enjoying a little solitude in the Smoky Mountains
It matters not what you ride as long as you ride it
The agony of Da-Feet…Hey, a little help here, please.
The family that plays together
Sometimes I have to rub my eyes and say “Did I just see what I thought I saw?”
As seen on the Road to Laconia
Break time with a view on the Cherohala Skyway
My own little slice of motorcycle paradise for a couple weeks
I met this Road Warrior today. Roy has a mounted a 5 gallon reserve tank to his back seat and will run 400 miles between gas stops. Next month Roy will be doing a Coast to Coast run in 50 hours.
Packing it in…Not your weekend warrior
Cool stuff at Wheels Through Time
Jewels of the Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, N.C.
Memorial Day at Wheels Through Time
American made at Wheels Through Time
The sights of Wheels Through Time “The Museum That Runs”
Who remembers these?
Evolution of hillclimbing
Road Warriors can never have enough Geegaws and Farkles
Sights along the Cheoah lake in the Great Smoky Mountains
The 50 mile long Cherohala Skyway took over 30 years to build at a cost of 1 million dollars and worth every penny of it.
The beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains abounds
The Tail of the Dragon
How to win friends and influence people
At 30 cents a foot this is the most expensive toll bridge I’ve ever crossed. It’s the 14 lane George Washington bridge that connects New Jersey to Manhattan.
My first order of business when pulling into the Laconia area was a visit to the American Police Motorcycle Museum.
A peek into the American Police Motorcycle Museum
Cool stuff at the American Police Motorcycle Museum
Bikes from around the world can be seen at the American Police Motorcycle Museum
Please support the local businesses that support the Rally
My favorite place to eat in Laconia is the Union Diner
The motel that I stayed at was once owned by Grace Metalious that penned the widely acclaimed novel “Peyton Place” that later became the first ever prime-time soap style TV serial. Peyton Place as it was then named was chain sawed into 3 sections and moved to its current location in Weirs Beach and renamed Bay Top Motel.
My travels through Western North Carolina on my way from Myrtle Beach Bike Week to Laconia Motorcycle Week
I guess you could say I didn’t take the direct route from Myrtle Beach to Laconia
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