Kane continues the ride through Asheville, North Carolina, the northern mountains of Georgia and South Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway, moto-camping in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest (sort-of), and the Back of the Dragon on Virginia State Route 16. The ride turned solo after Gabe’s leg injury in George Washington and Jefferson National Forest put him down for the count (see Appalachian Adventure Part 1 – Who Needs a Tibia Anyway?).
Six hours of sleep later, I am groggily packing and loading the bike. My motel neighbors’ are Harley riders and can’t help but inquire about my wildly different loaded down adventure bike (a 2005 Suzuki V-Strom 650 or as many know it, ‘The Wee’). It’s a cool, overcast morning as I point the bike south on US-220 to head towards Gabe’s broken leg in Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Gabe is still waiting for surgery when I arrive, but is in good spirits (probably due to the pain meds). His bike is on the way to his son’s mother-in-law’s near Nellysford, VA and his kids are on the way from Columbus, OH.
The Sena conveys the pain as I hear my riding partner agonizing and see him writhing on the ground. We are in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains with no one around for miles. His muddied bike is on its side with the back wheel still spinning, the rider might be down but the Beemer is still itching to go. As I pull up to the scene… I’m getting ahead of myself here, let me take you back to the beginning.
My moto-camp loaded bike waited patiently in the garage as I cut loose from work early and sped home in excitement. I swear the Wee gave me a wink as the garage door opened. My work clothes were practically off as I ran in the door and in a fury my riding gear was on and I was ready to go. I shot my riding buddy Gabe a text somewhere in that madness to let him know it was time to hit the road. The Wee fired up like a champ and the engine warmed as I started up the US Topo Maps GPS tracker function on my old cell phone and loaded the route. He texted back his confirmation and we both set off to our rendezvous, a BK Lounge parking lot in Bellaire off the Ohio River. This was an ideal spot because it would take us both an hour and 45 minutes to get there which made for easy timing.
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