Maggie Valley, NC

by 

Jane Kern

Once again this year Walt and I rode to Maggie Valley, NC to attend the BuRP Rally. The BuRP rally was formed two years ago when members of Walt's About.com motorcycle site wanted to get together to have a ride. A guy from Ohio suggested that they all get together to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway. They met in Wytheville, VA and everyone has such a great time that they wanted to do it again the next year. This year was our 3rd time together. BuRP stands for Blue (& You) Ridge Parkway.

Our first two days of riding there went smoothly. We rode the Skyline Drive through the Shenandoah National Park again this year. This year Walt and I got Life Time Passes to this park so next year we will not have to pay again. This is a wonderful 105 mile long ride. If you ever get a chance to ride it please do. I know you will love it as much as I do.

On our third day a gal from Virginia met us at our motel in Wytheville. The three of us took off for Maggie Valley. Everything went great until we left route 81 in Tennesee and rode route 40 south towards Maggie Valley. We ran into rain. It's a great road to ride with lots of twisty turns and beautiful scenery if it isn't raining. This road doesn't drain well when it rains and pools of water form on the surface. Our trikes would hydroplane when they hit water because of those big back tires we have on the trikes. The back end was slipping and sliding (fish tailing). A truck passed me just as he hit one of those pools of water. I did not get a little splash but a whole waterfall of water on me. I was completely covered. It was like the trike went into a lake and sunk. I was just hoping that when the water was gone I was still on the road and no one behind me would hit me. Walt said I had disappeared from the road that he could not see me anymore. We got off the road at the next exit to wait out the rain. Finally we arrived in Maggie Valley safely.

The weather this week was 50/50. We had two great days of riding. One day we rode to the Chimney Rock area and Lake Lure. That was a beautiful ride. One time I felt I was back on Deal's Gap when a truck came around a curve and his back end was across my lane of traffic. I was yelling over the CB that there was a truck in the road so no one behind me would come around the curve and hit me or the truck. We all made it safely back to the motel.

The next day it rained hard all day. Almost no one left the motel until dinner when we rode to a restaurant. This day we all just sat around and had great conversations and lots of laughs.

On Saturday the weather cleared and all of us rode to Looking Glass Falls which is located on route 276 just south of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

After lunch we rode back to the highest elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway, 6053 feet. Saturday ended with a cook out where awards were given out. Walt was given a plaque thanking him for starting the motorcycle site on About.com where all of us first met. This year approximately 40 people attend from 13 states.

While we were in Maggie Valley we once again went to the Wheels Through Time Museum. This is a must see if you ever get to that area. The owner has gotten to know some of us and he even stopped by our motel on Sat night on an antique Harley Davidson. Also one of our friends, John, was at the museum on Sat when another couple said they were from NJ and members of the Polar Bear club. John over heard this and asked them if they knew us, they said they did, that we were good friends. John told them we were just up the road at the motel and brought them to see us. We had a wonderful visit with Lynn and Bob Preston from the Polar Bear club. Bob and Lynn were on their way to Grapevine, TX to attend the Gold Wing, Wing Ding.

I think everyone who came to the BuRP rally had a rain story to tell because almost no one escaped rain on this trip. Even Bob and Lynn's Gold Wing died on the BRP and had to be towed to the Honda dealer in Asheville, NC

Walt and I had planned to start back home on Monday but when we heard the weather report for rain on Monday I sort of freaked out and we decided to leave Maggie Valley on Sunday. We rode home in two days with no rain or heat.

Other than the rain this was a great trip and a great time with wonderful friends. We are looking forward to doing it again next year.

[Newsletter][2004 Arcives]


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