Friday, January 15, 2010
This was a shot from blue ridge parkway. It was one of the best days of riding I've ever had. I think I rode something like 18 hours total this day. I was riding solo down to Georgia to visit some friends & rode the mountains all the way. Not soon after this shot, shit went from pure heaven to near hell. I was literally feeling completely high from how insane the riding was. Between the fact that I was going for hours on end without tapping my brakes or seeing another vehicle & the epic views - I was blown away.
After I took this shot, which does this view no justice whatsoever, it got dark. Real dark. Real fast. Then the fog started creeping in & it got pretty cold. I'm not talking a little fog here, it was so bad, I couldnt even see my front tire. At this point on blue ridge, its very steep & curvy. The only way I could move forward was to just ride directly next to the yellow line. I could only idle along in 1st at around 6mph. On top of this, I was just about out of fuel. Coming from NJ where you can find a gas station every 25 feet, I kept thinking - no sweat, I'll just get off at the next exit & get gas...
Trouble was, riding in the center of the road, I couldnt see the side of the road or any signs or exits or anything. After a long while of idling along in the blinding fog, I finally got down below the clouds I was riding in & lucky me, the fog turned into a downpour. Well, at least I could see - sort of. So I see a sign for Transylvania, NC. Figured I could find some vampires to tell me where the nearest gas station is. No deal - it was another hour of winding mountain roads in the middle of no where. I was almost at 190 miles since the last fill up & I kept thinking I was going to run out of fuel so anytime I was going downhill I just put it in neutral & coasted.
I passed a few trailer homes that had several huge lifted late 70s pickups complete with gun racks & huge rebel flags. Dudes were just chillin' out front in the rain, in pitch black night. I was thinking if I run out of fuel, shit could get real wierd in a hurry, so I keep pushin on. I have yet to see any sort of civilization - no street lights, curbs, fire hydrants - anything. Finally, I come to a somewhat legit road & suburban area & make my way to the only gas station I saw in 210 miles... and its fucking closed! It was completely dark - not one light on in the whole place. I was ready to just sleep right there at the pump under the canopy until they opened but I noticed the pumps were the modern type that took a credit card so I swiped & thank god - the shit worked. I topped my tank off til it was overflowing in case I got in a bind like that again.
A quick check of my map showed me I was finally on a road that was listed & made my way to the highway - found a hotel & finally got to bed by around 3 am. I was so damn strung out from the whole day, I couldnt chill out. I was delerious. So stoked that I rode so many awesome miles, still freaked about the crazy change in weather & almost running out of fuel. I layed there with my eyes pinned open for at least another 2 hours after a hot shower. I think I slept about 2 hours total & was on the road again to my final destination - Acworth, GA.
I'm planning on riding out to CA for the born free show & biltwell 500 in June & I'm wondering how many insane days like that one will happen. At least I know now to get down off the smokey mountains before dark. At least I got to shoot that rad pic of the sun setting over them on that crazy day.
Posted by Zito at 8:49 AM