Saturday, 5 October 2013

I have now ridden through all 49 land locked States .... What next ?

Thursday 12 and Friday 13th Sep 2013 Clarksville to Forrest City
It was another scorching hot day, so I decided I would find a motel early in the afternoon. The first one was a bit run down and I had about 7 others to choose, however they were all stupidly priced! I was about to eat humble pie and go back to the first motel when I went to a Super 8 and got a good deal on 2 nights. The reason I didn’t want to ride on Friday because it was the 13th, I am not superstitious but it was a good excuse to just chill!

Saturday 14th Sep 2013 Forrest City to Lebanon State Park
The temperature had dropped and it was lovely to ride in cool weather, in fact it got so cool I ended up putting on my fleece top, the first time in many weeks since I last wore it.
I headed for the state park or city camping as my good friend Tom calls it. However I all the pitches were taken. I was lucky to spot a guy called Tommy with a motorbike and asked if I could share his pitch.  We spent the night chatting about riding bikes and travelling.

Tommy and his cooking set up !

Sunday 15th Sep 2013 Lebanon State Park to Maryville
Lovely days ride, weather was nice and cool and I just enjoyed the views as I rode towards Maryville, I had decided to spend the night there in preparation for “Riding the Dragon” a famous road.
Again I struggled to find a decent motel and once again the light was fading so I settled for a rundown motel. It was filthy! And I struggled to get a decent sleep.

Monday 16th Sep 2013 Maryville to Maryville !
Well I got up and headed for the “Tail of the Dragon” road at Deals Gap. To be honest this road is really hyped up but I struggled to find why people think it’s so good? When I finished the 11 miles and 318 curves I thought, what's the big deal? To be honest I think the “Beartooth pass” was way better!
So just to make sure I didn’t miss anything I decided to ride it in reverse, hence ending back up in Maryville but at a nicer cleaner motel.

Posing with the Dragon :-)

Tuesday 17th Sep 2013 Maryville to Hendersonville North Carolina
Well after a really good sleep, in fact I slept till almost 9 and nearly missed the breakfast! I set off once more to do the Dragon, this time with a bit more pace. It was enjoyable but then I took 28 South and that just blew me away. A speed limit of 55, I was able to really get some decent riding in. It was also twisty and the trees are just starting to shred their leaves so it was a spectacular ride.
Found a decent motel as it looked like it was going to rain, anyway I got the price down from $75 to $48 all because I had a coupon for another motel (which had no smoking rooms available) however the lady on the desk honoured it. I am just thinking about booking another night here and chilling as my shoulder problem has not gone away (I think I am just becoming used to it!).

Wednesday 18th Sep 2013 Hendersonville North Carolina
Managed to get another good deal on this motel so decided to stop for another night and just chill for the day. Had a short ride around town and a look at the mall, then remembered I don’t have any room on the bike to buy anything!

Thursday 19th and Friday 20th Sep 2013 Hendersonville to Charleston South Carolina
Again with the motel coupon book I managed to get a great deal on a room for 2 nights as I intended to visit the naval museum. I was lucky at the museum as they car park guy let me in for free, saving me $5 and the museum gave me a military discount. I have to say, this was one of the most interesting places I have been. I spent hours just wandering around looking at all the exhibits on display.
My last 49th State of the USA :-)

Saturday 21st Sep 2013 Charleston to Lake City Florida
Well this was the day that I rode through my 49th state... Georgia. As I stopped to take a picture at the state line I realised that this trip had taken almost 21,000 miles and 4 months to complete and what a journey it had been!
I rode quickly through Georgia as the weather was starting to look a bit stormy and ended up in Lake City, where I had stayed last year. When Doug came to the rescue with a second hand rear tyre as mine had lost a huge chunk out of it!

Sunday 22nd Sep 2013 Lake City to Punta Gorda

Well I awoke to big black storm clouds but it was really hot so I put off wearing my waterproofs until I found myself on the hard shoulder putting them on before hitting a torrential rain storm, complete with lots of thunder and lightning.
I was lucky and south of Tampa the weather started to clear for my final leg back to Doug’s house in Punta Gorda, where I am currently putting up my feet and resting J

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