6-10-03 old warehouse in Bartow GA


6-10-03 water tower and old warehouse in Bartow GA


6-10-03 gourd farm in Wrenn GA


6/10/03 - We left home at 11:45 AM. We took Ryno, our dog, to Mystic Lake Pet Resort near Monticello where he will enjoy being pampered while we're gone. We then took Hwy 19 to Thomasville and got on 319. Today we saw the beautiful part of Georgia. Instead of looking at it from an interstate, we took the back roads. Although the weather was very hot, as long as we were moving, it was comfortable. We had lunch in Moultrie. We stopped near Fitzgerald, parked under a tree, and had a 30 minute nap. There are no rest stops on the back roads, so you have to find your own. We stopped in Bartow and took some pictures. What a pretty town! All through the countryside and towns we saw many beautiful old homes dating back to the mid 1800's. It was a feast for the eyes. We had supper in Wrenn, GA. Met a nice young man named Fernandiaz Many times we were the only people on the road. Traffic was sparce except near the towns. The largest city we went through today was Augusta. We spent the night at a motel in Trenton, SC.

We traveled 340 miles today.


6-11-03 Bed & Breakfast near Sylva NC


6-11-03 Tom on Blue Ridge Pkwy


6/11/03 - We left the motel at 10:00 and traveled through more beautiful country roads and small towns. We had lunch in Clemson and headed for Cherokee. Although the weather was very hot, we were still comfortable riding. We got on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Cherokee and started  

our journey through the mountains. It was 87 mi to the Asheville exit. We exited there, spent the night with family. We will be staying here for another day and then continuing on the Blue Ridge Parkway into Virginia.

We traveled 340 miles today


6-12-03 Black Bear at Nature Center


6-12-03 Peacock at Nature Center


6-12-03 White Tail Deer at Nature Center


6-12-03 Vet poised with dart gun - Nature Center


6-12-03 Darted deer being carried away for treatment of injury


6-12-03 - Today we went to the Nature Center in Asheville, NC. We saw black bears, grey wolves, red wolves, foxes, river otters, peacocks, white tail deer, cougars, bob cats, skunks, raccoons and more. We watched a deer being darted for treatment of an injury. It was very interesting. John, the vet, darted the animal with his blow gun. Tony, who works at the center, gave us the grand tour of the facility. Please put this on your list of places to see when you visit Asheville. It was a real treat.

It rained here off and on today. We had lunch in Asheville and just relaxed.


6-13-03- A view from John & Kerry’s front porch


6-13-03- Tom at a look out point on the parkway


6-13-03- Another beautiful view on parkway

6-13-03 - We left Asheville around 11:00.  We appreciate John and Kerry's gracious hospitality.  After a breakfast at the Buckhorn Restaurant, we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed North. After a few miles we stopped at a craft center.  There were many beautiful pieces for sale and on display such as wooden bowls, figurines, hand made furniture, quilts, glass blown figurines, etc.  It was very impressive.  We went a few miles further and had lunch on the parkway at a very nice restaurant.  The weather was cloudy, and we were in and out of spotty rain most of the afternoon.  The mountains are lush and green and there are cascades of blooming mountain laurel, flaming azaleas, and rhodadendren.  We saw some wild turkeys along the edge of the highway.

About 4:00 we stopped at Little Switzerland.  This quaint picturesque village is a must for those touring the parkway.  We bought some home made soap from the Soap Shed and had it shipped home. We spent over an hour at that shop trying to decide which soaps to purchase. We met the owner just before we left and decided to start carrying these soaps in our shop.


From there we went on, stopping every once in a while just to look and take in the scenery.  Around 7:00 we came to Blowing Rock, a beautiful little mountain town just off the parkway.  We were looking for a motel, but it began to pour rain, so we got back on the parkway and continued north.  About 20 miles further we came to Parke Vista Restaurant and motel located at Benge Gap.  It's made up of the motel, restaurant and a country store.  The motel & restaurant are tucked into the side of a mountain and are surrounded by blooming mountain laurel.  We stayed here for the night.  It's very quiet.  No traffic sound, only the sound of the crikets and song birds.  What a paradise.  We traveled 149 miles today. 



6-14-03 - We awoke to a beautiful sunny day.  After breakfast at the local restaurant, we took a hike on the property accompanied by two delightful resident chocolate labs, who seemed to know the trail so well, they were like guides.  It was such a lovely day we decided to stay here another night and go back to Blowing Rock and see Grandfather Mountain.  We left about 1:00 for the 20 plus mile ride.  However, we soon hit some light sprinkles of rain.  By the time we got to Blowing Rock, it was a torrential downpour.  We took shelter at a local market that had some tables under the front entrance.  There were several other bikers stranded there also.  We met some folks who were also riding Beemers and swapped stories for over an hour while the rain continued.  When it finally stopped, we were so wet we opted to return to the motel and get warm and dry. 


Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will continue North on the parkway.

6-15-03 Split rail fence along parkway in VA


6-15-03 another split rail view


6-15-03 still another split rail view


6-15-03 - Today we got the earliest start so far.  We left the restaurant at 9:00 am and headed north on the parkway.  We came to an outlook and visited with a ham operator and a fellow BMW biker from Greensboro.  After an entertaining visit we went on.  Stopped  at a picnic/recreation area.   It turned out to be the first area of constructed buildings that had been built on the parkway back in 1937 by conservative public labor.  A few miles later we were in Virginia.  All along the parkway we many split rail fences.  There were times we could see across the valleys.  It was like a patchwork quilt with the fields and farms and houses and barns.  It began to rain and we rode in the rain to Roanoke where we had a late lunch and then got a motel room.  We will try to reach the end of the parkway in the morning.



6-16-03 - We awoke to rain, rain and more rain.  We had breakfast and left in the rain.  The parkway was still beautiful, even in the rain.  We saw turkeys, a doe and a tiny fawn and lots of blooming flowers.  The rain got worse and so did the fog. We finally got to the end of the parkway at Waynesboro around 2:00. We were very soggy, wet, and cold.  Got a motel room just behind the visitor center and that's where we are now.  Tomorrow, weather permitting, we want to see Jefferson's home at Monticello.



6-17-30 - We awoke to more fog and a good steady downpour this morning.  This motel is on the top of Anton Mountain.  It was so foggy you could not see beyond the parking lot.  There is a restaurant in the building, but it was closed today so we felt stranded without any food.  They did have free coffee in the lobby, however.  We met Will and his son, Ron, who are traveling around the country on their motorcycles.  We had a great time visiting with them.  Will, a software technician, helped me solve some computer problems I've been having. 


We all left the motel around 2:00 PM, together, in the rain and in the fog and headed toward Charlottesville.  We found a motorcycle shop and Tom and I bought some more rain gear.  Tom got a jacket and I got some rain pants and a jacket liner to keep warm.  We said our goodbyes to Will and Ron and went our separate ways.  We hope to see this pair again during their travels.  We had our one meal for the day around 4:00 and got another motel in Charlottesville.  Tomorrow we will see Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  Also, James Monroe's home is near here and we will want to see it also.  Charlottesville is the home of the University of Virginia.  It's a beautiful town surrounded by mountains. We spent the night at a Ramada Inn in Charlottesville.


6-18-03-Flower garden at Ashlawn


6-18-03-Backyard at Ashlawn


6-18-03-Statue of James Monroe


6-18-03-Mountain view from Ashlawn flower garden


6-18-03-Blue Ridge view from Ashlawn porch


6-18-03-Driveway leaving Ashlawn


6-18-03Today is the first rain-freeday we have experienced since starting this trip.  We went to the visitors center near Monticello and purchased tickets to visit Monticello (Jefferson’s home), Michie’s Tavern, and Ashlawn (James Monroe’s Home).  We did not get any good pictures at Monticello.  However, it was so beautiful.  The gardens were in full bloom.  The vegetable garden was ready to harvest.  It was quite an experience. There were so many people there. We parked in a special area and then took a shuttle bus up the mountain. Once up there, we had to stand in line for nearly 30 minutes in order to take the tour of the house. 


From there we went to James Monroe’s home and then to Michie’s Tavern.  They were both quite interesting, and we felt like we’d traveled back through time to the 1700’s.  We traveled on to Fredericksburg and spent the night.  Tomorrow we’ll have the bike serviced as well as the computer. 



6/19/03We awoke to the usual rain.  Took the bike to Morton’s BMW for service and then on to downtown Fredericksburg where we got a different motel with a laundry and good phone service.  I’ve been having trouble with the computer and had to have it serviced also.  We spent the day just taking care of those types of essentials.  Tomorrow we’ll go to Washington DC for a tour.


6-20-03 – Spirit of St. Louis in A&S Museum


6-20-03 – DC3 Eastern Airlines – A&S Museum


6-20-03 – Bldg. in downtown DC


6-20-03 – Supreme Court Bldg - DC


6-20-03 – House Office Bldg. - DC


6-20-03 – Union Station in Background


6-20-03 – Jefferson Memorial


6-20-03 – Inspiring words by Jefferson

6/20/03We were up bright and early.  Took a taxi to downtown Fredericksburg train station and then rode the train for 1 ˝ hr into Washington DC.  The train came into Union Station, downtown DC.  That was quite an experience.  We purchased tour tickets with a shuttle bus service which allowed us to disembark at key places, see what we wanted, then get back on the bus and go to the next attraction.  The first place we got off was the Air and Space Museum.  It was very very impressive, and we took plenty of pictures.  When we got ready to leave the museum, it was pouring rain outside so we had to purchase plastic rain coats and an umbrella.  We sloshed around the rest of the day viewing various attractions including the Jefferson Monument, which I really liked, the Lincoln Monumet, Arlington Cemetery. 


We returned to Union Station wet, cold, and tired, and took the 3:38 PM train back to Fredericksburg.  By the time we got back the sun was peeping through.  We took a taxi back to the motel, had supper at a nearby restaurant, and crashed for the night.  Tomorrow we will see some of the historical sites around Fredericksburg.



6/21/03Today we did nothing but rest and do laundry.  Tomorrow we’ll check out the local historical sites.  The weather was cool, cloudy, and periods of rain.


6-22-03 – Brig. Gen. Hugh Mercer died in Fredericksburg from wounds rec’d in Rev. War


6-22-03 – Street entrance to Kenmore


6-22-03 – 3-D model of Kenmore Plant. In 1777


6-22-03 – More of 3-d model of Kenmore Plant.


6-22-03 – Intricate plaster artwork ceiling at Kenmore


6-22-03 – hand-carved mantle at Kenmore with plaster artwork on wall


6-22-03 – More plaster artwork on ceiling at Kenmore


6-22-03 – Riverside entrance at Kenmore


6-22-03 – Garden at Kenmore


6-22-03- View on Skylne Drive – Shenandoah Park, VA


6-22-03 – Tom on Skyline Drive


6-22-03 – Beautiful Blue Ridge View on Skyline Dr.


6-22-03-Sunset on Skyline Drive


6/22/03We left the motel at 11:00 and went downtown and toured Kenmore, a plantation home located in the historical part of Fredericksburg and built by Fielding Lewis and his wife Mary Washington Lewis, sister of George Washington.  The home was completed in 1777.  It took 5 years to build and has some of the most intricate and artistic plasterwork in the country.  Some photos are included.  We had lunch and got on the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.  This was a spectacular drive.  The mountain views were incredible.  We saw so many deer.  Even saw a black bear.  Everytime we would round a curve, there would be one, two, or three deer grazing along the highway.  They just watched us go by.  We traveled the whole drive of 109 miles and spent the night in Waynesboro, VA.  Tomorrow we will be back on the Blue Ridge Parkway.



6/23/03We left Waynesboro around 10:00 and headed for Roanoke.  We realized we were making very poor time, so got back on the Blue Ridge Parkway just outside of Roanoke.  The drive was so beautiful.  Once again we saw deer and turkey.  It was a wonderful peaceful drive.  We saw so much we had missed before because this time the sun was shining.  The weather was cool – nature’s own air conditioning.  It was a great ride with all of the twisties motorcyclists love.  We spent the night at the Park Vista Motel on the Parkway where we had stayed last week.


6-24-03 – Tom resting on Blue Ridge Parkway


6-24-03 – Peak of Mt. Mitchel, highest mountain in Eastern US.


6-24-03 – View from parking lot on top of Mt. Mitchel


6-24-03 – Fork Ridge Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway

6/24/03After a quick breakfast we were back on the parkway enjoying the great scenery.  We went to Mt. Mitchel and then continued on.  At 5:00 PM we excited the Parkway at Cherokee and started South on 441.  We spent the night at Commerce, GA.  We traveled 348 miles today.



6/25/03We left Commerce at 9:00 AM and headed South on 441.  We stayed on 441 until it intersected 319.  At Tifton, we took 319 on to Thomasville, and then home.  Today the weather was close to 97 degrees.  It was very hot.  However, as long as we were moving, it was tolerable.  We did have to stop a lot and drink water.  We arrived home at 5:30 PM.  We traveled 350 miles today.


AFTERTHOUGHTS – We started this trip with the intention of going to Eastern Canada and then to Labrador.  However, everytime we checked out the weather map it was either raining where we were or where we were going.  Out of the 15 days we were gone, we had only 5 rain-free days.  We’ll save that trip for another time.  It was a great trip, and we do know that we can’t wait until we can once again ride the Blue Ridge Parkway.