The crew minus a few nomads

The crew minus a few nomads

Monday, April 30, 2012

The ShovelFest run


Long story but i think its worth it. HELL i lived it.

First off pretty much all i a can say is WOW ! I don't think i have ever been on a adventure like this. First off Me and Kevin had bike problems and didn't know about going all week he with brake problems and me with a primary chain that was screaming and worn out. But after a few events of asking for parts and cussing out the local stealership we final got our shit together at 1135 pm on WED i get the text. That said we roll at 1000 in the am. So after some quick packing and to the shed for tent and sleeping bag and oil and tools, etc. etc. etc. Ya ll get the idea. This is what i looked like. Not to bad only a four day trip.  
So after a quick call and quick plans we were to meet up at Durham HD and get a cup of coffee and head out. Well that's were it all started. I can see Kevin hanging out by his bike from the highway as i go by to catch the service road to get there and i am thinking wow hes on time and waiting on me. So as i down shift to the off ramp to third my shifter comes off. And i milk it in third to get to the dealership. So after a quick break and a quick fix on the shifter and a quick call to the ol lady just to say we are rolling she asks are y'all wet yet.  
Cool old Marine vet. we meet at the shop.
Kevin only had to kick about 5 times and it fired. way cool.

Cool hes telling me come on lets roll.

So we hit the road and the bikes are hitting hard and loud in the cool morning air. Man was that cool. Then all good things must come to a end. Fifteen min down the road i found out what the ol lady meant about getting wet.

No big deal just get wet enough to find a bridge and but on the rain gear. Well we were prepared for such and did just that. But the Rain was off and on (more on than off ) all the way to Greensboro. There was a quick gas and a honey bun and a smoke stop.
 Ok now we had minor bike issues and rained on for 75 miles no big deal. We choke down the donuts and hit the road heading west on 40. Highway 40 is not a very cool road and not much to look at so you have the attitude of just lay back and enjoy the ride. We rode about a 100 miles to Hickory and hit another gas stop for a break and gas and another smoke. And man the weather was great for that 100 miles and very  uneventful just a good relaxing ride. 

                                                       OK, Now we hit the road and the next stop is ashville to check bikes and to get a sit down meal and gas. This is were the ride kinda really begins. It rained on us pretty much all the way to ashville and Kevin pulls in to this waffle house to eat and get out of the rain a bit. As we sit in there the sky cleared and sun came out then it poured and then sun. And as we ate we were asking folks about how much further we had to go. Everyone was saying about a hour to a hour and a half. Right how many times you been told that. As i got my camera out and saw that it was dead and no pictures to be had. Kevin done a few at the waffle house and we said or goodbyes and hit the road again.

 NOW this is were it really gets on the adventure side of things, As we rolled through ashville and did the enjoyment of looking at things in a new city as we rolled down the highway the rain started again and didn't let up, Only one time did we bale out and got off the road it was just to fucking bad to be riding a bike, Hell we couldn't see shit. As we got the the top of the ramp Kevin saw a park and ride with a bus stop so we pulled in and parked in the bus stop Kevin has pictures. The rain cleared and we saw that there were all kinds of barns and other places to get out of the weather but we could not see them in the storm. OK hit the road again and things get kinda fuzzy from there we were being kinda on the watch for our exits and watching the road.

   We hit the Mountains pretty hard and just strolling up and down them with caution and the mindset of just enjoy it all. Somehow we missed our turn somewhere, HELL i don't know and we just ain't got that figured out. If anyone knows hwy 19 in the mountains you will understand this, It has got dark by now and we were on 19 going up the mountain O did i mention it is still FUCKING RAINING !!!

    As we got to the top you can tell cuz your  bike smooths out Hell we couldn't see if there was a hill or not. As we descend this FUCKING Mountain and the animals were lined up two by two and the rain was pouring buckets Noah was by his boat and waved us to keep going. Well there was no were to turn off and no store or no nothing up there and hell we had no idea where we were. So rolling down the mountain the ditches were full and overflowing and coming out onto the road with all the sticks and rocks and mud they could throw at us. Folks driveways were washing out gravel in the road and the rain just couldn't be more harder or faster. All the preparation in the world couldn't get you ready for this. Our clear glasses were just not helping and i pulled mine down and used my hand to shield off the rain. We were going about 10 to 15 mph going down the mountain in a blinding rain dodging the rocks and mud and fucking tree limps the storm was throwing at us o and the leaves them things are slick when wet and all over the road.

  OK getting long now and moving on we see light glowing ahead and the road leads us towards the glow as we hit bottom of the mountain and finally get out of second gear we hit the first gas station and kinda laugh at the convoy of cars we had backed up. As i sat at the gas pump i looked over at Kevin and asked if he was OK and he said yea are you i said yea but i need a break and i think we should pray now we made it. So after i finally got off my bike and tried to move my sore and stiff body from being so tense from the ride from hell. This lady walks up to me and says son i don't see how you two boys made that i just smiled and said, hell me neither.

  So Kevin's in the store and i am shortly after him we flood the floor with our drippings we are soaked to the bone. My boots and socks and underwear all of it as if i jumped in the river. The lady was real cool about it all and gave us directions for a better way. And we hit the door to leave. Standing outside Kevin is finishing his coffee and me another smoke we are talking about the ride we just took and our day so far. There is a hotel across the street not just any hotel it was HARASS CHEROKEE CASINO and it was looking pretty good and Kevin says hey ill spring for the room you want to? After a few seconds of thought i said no we started this adventure and now it has turned into a quest lets roll. He asked again and i said that would be a suckey way to end this story.

  So we figured we had about forty miles left and to be honest that was all i about had in me, long day already. We hit the road and came to the first red light Kevin's is kinda questioning to turn left or go straight my bust i said straight. Well that put about 15 more miles to the last leg of the trip. We finally get on the highway we needed to be on and it said our town was 28 miles more and that just sucked all the energy i had left in me out of my body. But the camp ground was only 15 or so miles down the road.

  As the road went from 4 lane to two we knew we were close O did i say its still FUCKING RAINING on us. As we are riding this two lane stretch in the rain and looking for deer i am reflecting on the day and man what a day. So just as i am kinda regretting on taking Kevin up on that room at the casino we see a sign KICKSTAND LODGE And we start checking up and down shifting and trying not to lose it on the slick roads you could hear the back pressure of the pipes echo off the mountain next to us Man that was a sound that cant be duplicated no were.

  As we pull in, all i could see was a shelter and a bunch of people walking our way and staring at us like WOW what the hell. As we come to a stop and pull our bandannas down off our faces We both were looking like poor old worn out scooter tramps that just rolled in from a 400 mile trip in the pouring down rain. These people are saying COOL y'all made it we been expecting you two gator posted on the computer that y'all were on the way and we were starting to worry a little. We both were a little taken by this and didn't really know what to say, so i just said well think you and what you got to do for a cold beer and a shot of whiskey around here, the owner told me to park our bikes over there and come get it, By the time we parked our bikes on the second row of nothing but cool ass shovelheads and got off our bikes there were people all over us with that beer and whiskey we were wanting.

   As we drank and met people that we didn't know but one or two and the whole crowd about 40 people that were concerned that we were still out there on the road in the storms. We both got a felling of the brotherhood we all strive to find doing all this stuff we do. And after all the cold beers and handshakes and introductions things winded down and as i reflected on the night i said cool we made it all the way and glad i didn't take Kevin up on that room at the casino while rolling out my sleeping bag on a picnic table under that shelter to sleep. Because it was still FUCKING RAINING. We slept there for the nite.  Now if you read all this  chapter two is to come as soon as we get the pictures figured out.