In a few hours I will be rolling north out of Lake Wales once again fro the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. I leave about 2 am tomorrow morning (Oct. 4) to allow me plenty of time to make the 630 plus miles to Maggie Valley, just south of the Smoky Mountains National Park. My longest day in the saddle upon Old Faithful so far is 580, so I know from experience this ride will be a stretch.
Loaded and Ready for the Road
The CB is in as good a shape as I possibly could have gotten her. Looks like cold weather in the mountains, with lows in the 40s, so I am having to pack a bit more than usual, with stuff for the cold and stuff for the possibly hot days in Leeds at the Barber Festival. In addition to all the clothes I am lugging along my netbook with my new WiFi hotspot, so I will try to keep this blog going each night. I also have just about any tool and spares one might need; I am prepared. The tires have been checked and inflated properly, oil checked, chain lubed, and tank filled.
Now it is time to sign off here and get some sleep. The alarm will be set for 1:30. I hope to be out of the drive before 2. All is aboard the bike, with the exception of the clothes for tomorrow's ride, so all I will have to do is hop out of bed, throw on the clothes already laid out, and take off.
I've done much of this ride before, running up through the Ocala National Forest and into Georgia, east of the Okeefenokee Swamp, and into Georgia on US 1. I will depart from the old route in Wrens, GA, up US 78 to US 123, to US 441, which will take me into North Carolina and to Franklin. From there it will be US 74 to the Blue Ridge Parkway, to US 19 into Maggie Valley. I figure 16 hours, with my frequent need to stop for fuel, as the CB350 has about a 100 mile range between full and reserve, along with a quick breakfast and lunch stop. Arrival about 6 pm perhaps.
On the 5th is open house at Wheels Through Time Museum and a time to get to know all the riders gearing up for the Kickstart Classic. On the 6th we leave for Rome, Georgia, the first night stopping at Pan Head City, and from there on to Leeds and the Barber Festival on the 7th.
I'll check in again from Maggie Valley if at all possible. Hope to see ya'll at Barbers Vintage Festival. If you see me at the H-E-L USA booth at the swap meet stop and say hello.
"Ride Your Own Ride."