Just a heads-up for those who are used to my flawless ;~ and exciting posts, these will be a little less polished than usual because this is a travel log of our end-of-school-year trip and I want to get the thoughts down as quickly as possible.
There was no work for me today. Truth is I had to clean up a mess from yesterday and that took a little time. Though even when I got back into town there still was no work, so I used the freedom I had just gained to pack and ready the bike for the impending ride. Boy it was nice to have the luxury of free moments to do the packing!
I finally got to a place where I felt almost everything was ready to go and it was time to get my little Runtyun and save her from school. I wanted to try out the load on the bike too—just to make sure it rode OK. She was waiting for me and we got on the bike and went home to get changed and be gone for the weekend. O by the way, she passed and is going onto the next grade. As a dad who almost did not make it through all of his grades, her being passed on to the next grade gives me a great sense of accomplishment and happiness.
The bike, Grinner we call it, roared into life trembling with controlled power. The Parkway is a work of genius for so many reasons. The craftsmanship used to build a road through the terrain is incredible. The tunnels are beautiful, especially when they open to the searing light of a hot summer day. The vistas opening up around a sharp corner are breathtaking. We see Mountains, green and lush with vapor draping over them like a shawl on a curvy figure. And this is even before we got to the really beautiful part of the Parkway. Right now my neck is sore from turning and trying to see everything and still avoiding road hazards.
At an early point in the ride we got off the Parkway and took the highway to an exit that would bring us to Rt. 80. Now this is a little road having access to the Parkway after Mount Mitchell. This road is one of those incredible mountain highways snaking its way up the sides of otherwise impassable mountains. Switchbacks, short straights, banking sharp turns make up this joy of manmade trail. There is a lake about halfway up that is dammed. We stopped there for a minute. Here are a couple of pictures from there.
I could ride this kind of road all day long and though my body may be physically tired, my mind will be in a state of tranquillity matched only by a Zen Master. The machine I rode and my Runtyun went through this part of the ride like we had done this kind of thing forever. I would charge into a sharp curve going way too fast and sliding the rear just enough to get a clean and quick exit, feeling Lauren slide into my back.
“O! Hi!” I would hear in my ear. The first time it startled me, but then I smiled the next. We talked a little while riding this road. Not much really, but I could hear the excitement in her voice.
The road ended, as all things will and we explored a little. There was a gem mine we stopped at. It was interesting and we may go back tomorrow. I am not really sure what we will do–but I know it will be fun!