I’ve only been a motorcycle rider since 2009. Before that I had never driven so much as a moped (yeah that just dated me LOL) or even a skateboard. I started out on a 650 Yamaha V-Star then moved up to a 950, which I loved! The only thing was I was riding with people who drove Harley’s. Now I have never been one to succumb to peer pressure; however, I was having a hard time keeping up because they had much more powerful bikes than mine. I really started feeling like the little sister that tagged along because momma said I had too. So for my 50th Birthday and our 30th Wedding Anniversary, I got my 1st Harley Davidson Motorcycle; which is “all that and a bag O’chips!”
Now let me say I LOVE driving my motorcycle it is the best “wind therapy” it just dusts off your soul and makes you put all that crap that is floating around your brain away for the duration of the ride. There is not a good way to describe what you see, smell and feel while riding; ever wonder where they get the ideas for those good smelling plug-ins and air fresheners that we pay dearly for?
So fast forward to June 2017, my Hubs (I have many nicknames for him, but more on that in future posts) of 30+ years has planned a 2 ½ week vacation for us and I am as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. We start out this adventure with a group of friends headed to Gatlinburg TN
with an overnight stop in Milledgeville, GA. I am the only Lady driving her own bike on this trip and this kinda adds to the pressure of not screwing up because everyone is watching. Kind of like when the teacher calls you up to solve one of those dreaded math problems on the board for everyone to see. Anyways, so we make it to Milledgeville with no issues except it was hot as Hades! The next day the caravan heads out for our final leg to Gatlinburg; did I mention it was HOT!
Technically, we stayed in Pigeon Forge but we had not only driven through Gatlinburg but we had a group function that was taking place there that weekend. Nevertheless, on our way we drove part of the Smokey Mountain parkway, OMG that was amazingly beautiful and nerve-wracking! So the twisty turny road is exhilarating at 45mph but when the curves start to tighten and the speed limit decreases to 25-35 mph you get hyper-focused because the thought of screwing up and hurting yourself, someone else or your Bike is breath-taking; literally, you have to remember to breath. We make a stop in Cherokee NC at the Harley Shop, yes, it is a rule you must stop at and buy 1 item from every HD shop, ok not really but I love shopping.
Moving on, we saddle up and head to the gorgeous cabin we rented for our whole group of about 24 people, most of which are on bikes right along with us. Now let me just say this is beautiful country and there is a reason people have written so much about our scenery here; but who and why anyone would take one look at a frickin mountain and say “Hey! Let’s build a house up there and Let’s build a driveway STRAIGHT UP or switchback curves that take you to the edge of said mountain with no guardrails!” is absolutely amazing to me!
We make it through the terrible traffic in G-burg in the 100 degree heat (remember we are sitting on a large engine that gives off immense heat especially in traffic), we finally make it to Pigeon Forge and we start the ascent to the cabin. In my brain at this point, is a grown ass woman who desperately wants off this ride. Until we make that turn into the driveway that takes us UP to the cabin on yet another twisty turny road; this was no ordinary road and this is where my inner woman starts to hyperventilate. Not only did this road go straight UP but it tuned 90 degrees (twice!) while still going UP! Don’t forget there are other people following us so I know I need to “man the heck up” as they say because we are leading this pack. But, as we get to the cabin my hubs not only makes a sharp left turn into the parking area for the cabin, but does so by driving over a CURB or about 3inches. This is where my brain says “Oh! Hell No!!” and I stop before making that turn and my hubs dismounts and starts walking quickly towards me because he knows I am on the edge of a complete meltdown and I dismount shaking not only my head but in my boots as well. My second thought was “Crap! I am going to have to drive back down this thing in a few days!” Of course my first thought was “I need a damn drink!”