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Old 09-08-2011, 10:44 AM   #91
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene"

After I de-MacGyver'ed myself from no man's land...

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Old 09-08-2011, 10:52 AM   #92
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene"

...I still had some daylight to burn, so I took a leisurely spin down ***** Valley Road, a little-used connector between the Parkway and Sparta, always a two-wheeled treat, and stuck my nose down a beckoning side road I'd not noticed before. Short, but Blue Ridge-sweet, and ended at this old-timey little church and cemetery hollowed out of a shady forest glen:

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:24 PM   #93
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene"

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:25 PM   #94
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene"

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Old 09-14-2011, 04:43 AM   #95
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene"

Then home to a simple backyard BBQ...

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Old 09-14-2011, 04:45 AM   #96
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene"

...and campfire...

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Old 09-14-2011, 04:47 AM   #97
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene

...under the watchful supervision of our daughter Snickers (the small 'burger patty on the grill is hers)...

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Old 09-14-2011, 04:50 AM   #98
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene

...and a 'hopper with a defiant aggressiveness way out of proportion for its diminutive size.

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Old 09-14-2011, 04:52 AM   #99
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene

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Old 09-14-2011, 09:30 AM   #100
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene"

It somehow didn't seem right that I should be enjoying myself today, footloose and fancy free, while our friends a mere hundred miles to the east were hunkered down and saying their prayers:

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Old 09-14-2011, 09:32 AM   #101
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Coloring Outside The Lines Ride, or "Goodnight Irene" -- The End

Goodnight, Irene.

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Old 09-14-2011, 11:01 AM   #102
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RoadRUNNER Ride

This ride was inspired, in part, by a piece in the October 2011 issue of RoadRUNNER magazine entitled "Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee - Double Trouble Times Three" by Chris Myers and Florian Neuhauser, wherein they ply some of our favorite Appalachian highways and byways via a pair of sporty Can-Am Spyders. I didn't have the time budget they did, but still managed to replicate a portion of their tour today.

The opening photos were taken at sunrise, headed southbound on the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Virginia/North Carolina border. Late in the day I got chased out of the mountains at Laurel Springs, North Carolina by an immense thunderstorm, and reluctantly did much of the homestretch on Interstate 77 northbound. The last photo of the day is up on the Parkway again, nearly home, looking back at the weather I just (mostly) eluded.

We hope you enjoy.

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Old 09-14-2011, 11:02 AM   #103
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RoadRUNNER Ride

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Old 09-14-2011, 11:05 AM   #104
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RoadRUNNER Ride


Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 213, just around the corner from the Blue Ridge Music Center (http://www.blueridgemusiccenter.org/).
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:58 PM   #105
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RoadRUNNER Ride

This is just a bit off Virginia Highway 58, aka "The Crooked Road," not far from Grayson Highlands State Park:


It's a little road I've always wanted to point the front wheel down, if only to see where the "Daylilies For Sale" sign would take me. This tiny ribbon of tarmac didn't go far, but I had it to mostly to myself, and very much enjoyed trying to capture the feeling of mountain solitude, and dramatic early morning sky, with my camera.
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