Arrived at Winterset for the Bridges of Madison County - we did the self guided tour. Most of the bridges are situated down miles of dusty gravel tracks.
|John Wayne was born here|
We popped into Ottumwa - its where Radar O'Reilly of MASH fame comes from, I went shopping, got yarn and patchwork fabric. The yarn is long gone but the fabric I am ashamed to say is still in the drawer. We over-nighted at Burlington just 2 miles short of the Iowa border.
11 July - we rode clear across Illinois into Indiana, nothing to see but CORN, bottom hurting, bored, ran into a major rainstorm. Now on Eastern Time so another hour lost.
12 July (My Dad's birthday) - Week 11- another long day on the bike. Left Indiana, into Ohio, back into Indiana, then into Kentucky all within 15 minutes!!
13 July - took a Kentucky scenic route, through lots of small towns, at least it was more interesting than the interstate. We arrived in Tennessee, helmets back on. Decided to head for Pigeon Forge - we had stayed there in a lovely cabin a few years previous and thought that maybe they would have room for us. The Country Pines Resort was where we had stayed and I am happy to report they did daily bookings and we were able to book 3 nights just chill out. It was more expensive than hotels but oh so good to be on our own, quiet and able to cook for ourselves. We did nothing but read, watch the fire flies, sit in the hot tub
16th July - Back on the road our route took us firstly through the Foothills Parkway, which was great no lorries. Lots of twists and turns, knee brakes in use again. Following this Peter took us through Deals Gap, North Carolina or as its known locally, The Dragons Back - 318 bends in 11 miles. It was permanent knee brakes for me but oh the smile on his face.
Late lunch then we drove until we reached the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway - 460 miles and no commercial traffic. Just popping off now and again for fuel or lodging. Lots of twists, turns and tunnels. Over night in Asheville at the Best Western, we stumbled on a free live music festival in town which was great lots of food concessions and beer, the music was good too
17 July - Grey day, wet day - stopped at Blowing Rock and looked round an Arts fayre, lots of lovely things but I think Peter was happy we had no room. Back on the parkway the visibility was so bad we were actually riding through the clouds they were that low. We ended the day at a little motel in Benge Gap, the only place we could get to with the weather as it was. Food was very basic, no alcohol, the waitress was also the receptionist and drove up and down the drive when anyone checked in! She had not been any further than a 35 mile radius of the motel. The motel was very basic, the TV had one of those V aerials on top of it and it had bits of tin foil stuck on the ends!!!! The waitress was amazed that we had come all the way from the UK. We had a good chat as we were the only people in the diner, other than a couple who were just finishing as we arrived. I actually wonder how people can stay so close to home, aren't they curious about whats out there?