Last night we received a text message from MikeBike4 telling us to come on over, but we had already set up our tent and was ready for bed, so we opted to go over to his place first thing the next morning.
|The stable with all the bells and whistles|
When we got to MikeBike4’s place in Albemarle, North Carolina, Amanda and I chipped in to help prepare breakfast and got to know one another while chomping down on bacon and eggs. We learned that MikeBike4 ran his own business (here comes the plug-in), so the next time any of you ADV’ers are in town; drop by to Mr. Hainey’s Variety and say hi. I’m sure you’ll find something useful for your trip. Shortly after introductions and getting the tour around the place, MikeBike4 asks us a question: “What do you guys wanna do?” Our response: “Whatever you normally do on this particular day, we’ll just tag along and help out whenever we can if that’s cool.” MikeBike4 replies: “Well, we can ride out to the store and take a look around and then we can go hang out with my buddy Richard.” Cool.
|Checking out each other's ride in the back of the store|
Later on that afternoon we rode out to MikeBike4’s good friend Richard. As we’re riding up to his driveway, which was in the middle of nowhere, we noticed bear sculptures carved out of wood. The only thing was…their heads were chopped off. Ok, we’re out in the middle of nowhere…headless bear sculptures…interesting. As we approached the house, we see a man wielding a chainsaw and making short work out of a chunk of wood. It turns out that Richard is an artist and makes a living by carving sculptures. Bears are his specialty; the ones we saw leading up to his driveway were the ones he messed up on. The 4 of us spent the rest of the afternoon kicking it back, ate southern barbeque chicken for the first time and had a blast. I remember laughing a lot. One of many hilarious moments that stick out in my memory was what Richard had told us: “The amount of travelling you guys are doing…you’re bound to see some sh*t!” Isn’t that the truth! I just hope it’s the sh*t that doesn’t get us into trouble.
|Riding MikeBike4's steed to pick up some chicken at the grocers|
|Bear sculptures with heads intact|
|Cooking up a feast! Thanks Richard!|
|Teddy...you're my only friend.|
|Finger lickin' gooooood!|
We got back to MikeBike4’s place later on in the evening and ended the day with some pulled pork sandwiches and some really nice deserts from Mikebike4s’ sons’ girlfriends’ dad. It was home-made fudge and it really hit the spot. Too bad I forgot to take pictures; my brain must’ve been wandering. It was a loooooooooooong day.
It was calling for rain the next couple of days in Albemarle, so we spent the days hanging out and doing some maintenance work on the bikes, but first; another visit at Richards.
|I was having so much fun I couldn't hold myself together|
|It's nice that I have the ability to sleep anywhere|
|Adjusting the rear brake with MikeBike4's son|
R1100Rick graciously invited us all over to his cabin for Thanksgiving. He also threw out an open invitation to all ADV’ers in the area to come hang out with us. They don’t call R1100Rick the “Party Boss” for nothing. We were a little apprehensive at first because there was a post by Canuman that read something like this: “Who’s gonna fork out the bill for rehab when the trip is over for Will & Amanda?” R100Rick’s response was: “I don’t fix’em, I only corrupt’em. That’s somebody else’s job.” Wow. This trip is getting more interesting the further south we go.
With everything packed, Mikebike4, Amanda, and I rode out to R1100Rick’s cabin in Hot Springs, North Carolina. The game plan was to ride out as far as we can and camp somewhere in between. It was really nice knowing that we were going back on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We felt like we had a score to settle after being chewed up and spat out the last time we were on it.
|Mmmm Mmmm good! I can feel the arteries clogging already!|
With the sun going down fast and the cold setting in, MikeBike4 decided it was best to rent out a teepee at a place called Betsy’s Ole Country Store & Trout Pond. It was located in a tiny town called Mortimer. Population: 3.
The cost of renting a cabin was not much more than the cost of renting the teepee, so MikeBike4 opted for the cabin instead.
|It was here that we had our first Sun Drop experience|
|Stoking up the fire for dessert|
|Amanda living in luxury|
|Watching the owner Bruce Gray feeding the trout in his pond|
|Packed and ready for Hot Springs|
|Nice bike we saw on the way|
|YOU SHALL NOT PASS!|
|Back on the BRP in all its glory|
Headless Teddy Bears.
Solace on the BRP.
Party Boss awaits.