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Archive for the ‘South Carolina’ Category

We’ve had a couple of adventurous days here on Geezer Tour 2016.  Yesterday morning we said goodbye to friends in Hartsville, South Carolina.  Many thanks Miss Gwen & Mr. Ron for the two day vacation within a vacation at your beautiful lakefront home.  Yayyyyy for air-conditioning and floating in your pool for hours with cold drinks, laughing and carrying on.  And Gwen, those frozen bottles of water and snacks you packed for us were a godsend.

Not even an hour down the road from Hartsville we developed a wobbly front tire. Good thing we were on a secondary road with very little traffic and Chris quickly pulled over to investigate.  The front wheel bearings failed so it was time to make some phone calls.  For the first time we used our Harley Owner Group membership card and calling the 800 number Chris talked to a very helpful lady named Martha in Miami who after ensuring we weren’t injured, or in need police assistance promised a tow truck.  We got out our lawn chairs, found a patch of shade and waited.

Team effort from Chris and our tow truck driver Dan had the bike and trailer loaded and off we went to the Harley dealer in Charlotte, North Carolina.  We’ve had such interesting chats with total strangers.  We found out Dan makes more money with his tow truck & auto body shop than he did as a policeman.  What a shame because he obviously really enjoyed police work but it didn’t pay enough to support his wife and daughter.

image.jpegThe service department at Harley were absolute rock stars taking the bike right into the shop, promising us we’d be on the road quickly.  We had time to walk across the parking lot to IHOP for a huge plate of strawberry banana pancakes.  By 2:30 we were on the road again and headed north.

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A trip to Boone had been recommended by friends and I’m sorry we weren’t able to stop and visit.  What a beautiful little town and it was bustling with university students returning to school.  Who knew we’d be passing through Daniel Boone country.

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We started seeing kudzu in North Carolina and Tennessee.  An invasive species that someone brought over from Asia, it completely covers everything in its path – buildings, power poles and grows right to the road when left unchecked.

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We finally crossed the Tennessee border just before dark !!

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What a wonderful welcome we had waiting for us. We stayed with a dear friend I’ve know for more than 40 years.  Donna and I met in senior public school back in Welland, Ontario.  We met her husband Tony and children Anthony, Peter & Laurenne.  Bless their hearts they held dinner for us.  It was very European eating a full pasta & roast beef dinner at 10pm.  Donna remembered that Black Forest cake is my favourite and everyone sang happy belated birthday while I blew out the candles (apparently I’m only 51-years-old lol).  One by one everyone else went to bed until Donna and I were left dangling our legs in the pool playing the “remember the time” and “whatever happened to so and so” game until the wee hours.

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I’m a morning person not a night owl so I had a bit of a tired hangover this morning.  Nothing a breakfast of champions couldn’t fix — a chocolate, cream cheese strudel and ice-water.  Our bodies will go into absolute shock when we get home and start eating salads and fruit again 😉

We’ve been cut off by vehicles before but today was the first time we had a house turn right in front of us.  We also passed a federal penitentiary this afternoon with inmates working in the fields picking watermelon.  Made me think of the lyrics “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

The cement angels caught my eye when we stopped for a water break.  And while I was taking the picture a van pulled over to make sure we were okay.  Just one of the many times strangers have checked on us when we’re pulled over.

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The weather channel on the radio started reporting thunderstorms headed our way and after being pelted with rain for about 10 minutes we pulled off the highway for a coffee and put on our raincoats.  The last hour of the trip was very uncomfortable and we were happy to pull into Georgetown, Kentucky for the night.  The wet clothes have been washed and dried in the hotel laundry room and Papa John Pizza delivered our dinner right to the door.

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To recap — we’ve been traveling for almost 2 months, gone 13,267 kilometers, fueled the bike 78 times, passed through 9 provinces & 12 states, stayed in dozens of hotel rooms and with family & friends.  Tomorrow we’re going to have a look at a re-creation of Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Kentucky and after that we’re westward bound and home again to Vancouver Island.

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Love & hugs from the road…

 

 

 

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Fog was a pleasant surprise this morning giving us almost an hour of not so tropical heat.  By the time we stopped for breakfast it was…wait for it…HOT.  First we stopped to investigate the start of a bike rally hosted by Bikers for Kids.  A veteran who served in Iraq and deals with PTSD started the group to help others. All funds from today’s event goes to Special Olympics.  We couldn’t participate in the rally but we bought a few t-shirts to help the cause.

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We enjoyed a huge artery slammer breakfast at The Waffle House where everything is slathered in butter and white is your only bread choice.  And it was the first time I’ve seen someone packing heat.  Plain as day — nothing concealed about it.  A man with a Glock 9mm on his hip with a spare mag.  I want to make a cheeky remark but can’t.  This man was eating breakfast in a restaurant and he was armed.

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Some of the things that make me unhappy traveling on the motorcycle are drivers texting or talking on their cell phones, vehicles that feel the need to pass us and then promptly cut right in front of us.  And how about this driver who thought it was a good idea to travel on a busy road pulling a gigantic load of hay.  Obviously it’s far too small a truck to be pulling such a load.

Just outside of Charlotte, South Carolina we got stuck in traffic that lasted for many miles.  Very difficult for the bike and for us to be stop/start for so long without shade.  What a relief to take the exit onto a secondary road.   And on days like today we are very careful to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen often.

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For the next two nights we’re in Hartsville, SC where our friends Gwen & Ron live on Lake Robinson.  The hottest lake I’ve ever felt — seriously it’s hotter than a hot tub.  Far more refreshing is the pool in the backyard where we took our cold drinks and floated for hours.  We enjoyed a home cooked meal with fresh corn & bbq steak and just like we always do we picked up where we left off last time we saw each other.

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Tomorrow we’ll do a little sightseeing and I’m pretty sure we’ll be back in the pool.  It was another wonderful day riding down the road to see what’s around the next corner.

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Love & hugs from the road…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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