We departed Maggie Valley, NC at 6:30 am on Sunday, May 17th. We arrived home 13 hours later. It was the first time we had made that trip in one day. The drive home was uneventful. Our first stop was in Newport, TN for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We ate there last year on the way home from the SEVROC motorcycle rally. We made several fuel stops. The second longest stop was at the travel center in Beckley, WV, where we fueled up and ate a picnic lunch. We rode through a few downpours, none of which lasted very long.
On our way back home from Maggie Valley, NC. I don’t know where we were, but this picture was taken after one of a few downpours.
Our trip home is for the record books. 13 hours is a record for Bob on a motorcycle. He rode 12 hours once, when he first started riding. Bob rode 675 miles, which beats his previously logged 600 miles in a day. I drove more hours and more miles than I ever did in one day. My new motto? No more 13-hour days! I logged 2,041.8 miles on the Buick during our WV / NC vacation.
I was overtired by the time we arrived home. As soon as we arrived home, I went to bed. I napped for about an hour and felt somewhat better afterward. We hadn’t eaten any dinner. I didn’t feel like making anything to eat or going out to dinner. Bob took me to Dairy Queen, where we ate peanut butter parfaits for dinner. (Yeah, I know …. Healthy right?). I was back in bed at 9:00 pm and slept through the night.
If you have read my previous blog posts about our West Virginia and North Carolina vacation, you will recall that we traveled to Maggie Valley, NC to attend the South East Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally. On Saturday, May 16th, we awakened at 6:30 am, showered and got dressed. Bob rode the motorcycle to a fuel station to fill up, in preparation for the day’s group ride. We ate breakfast at Pop’s Grits & Eggs, located on the motel’s premises.
At 9:00 am we departed A Holiday Motel en route Asheville via the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Sandy and ‘Skid’ say goodbye.
I drove the car, with Sandy as a passenger. Bob rode the motorcycle, along with many others. ‘Skid’ led the ride. We made one stop along the BRP at the highest elevation.
SEVROC 2015 BRP Highest Elevation
Our final destination was MR Motorcycle in Asheville, where we were treated to a free BBQ lunch.
I obtained this photograph from MR Motorcycle’s Facebook page.
Complimentary BBQ at MR Motorcycle Asheville
The BBQ was very good. Thank you, MR Motorcycle for the free lunch!
MR Motorcycle provided a discount coupon for store purchases. Motorcycles were looked at, but I don’t believe anyone purchased a motorcycle that day. ‘Jax” of VROC and Mike of MR Motorcycle (top left photograph in the collage displayed above) set up the free BBQ lunch. ‘Jax” also organizes the SEVROC rally. He does an excellent job! ‘Skid’ in the top right and lower right photographs was the lead for the motorcycle rides that Bob and I participated in. ‘Skid’ did an excellent job leading the rides!
It was a beautiful morning/afternoon for a drive/ride. Bob, ‘Skid”, Sandy and I returned to A Holiday Motel at approximately 1:15 pm.
At 3:00 pm several of us girls went to the Seven Silver Seas, or what is popularly called the Purple Store by VROC ladies.
VROC ladies at the Purple Store
(Photo obtained from Susan, who is standing in the first row at the far right.)
The Purple Store has been a popular destination for VROC ladies, while at SEVROC. This was my first visit. I went to browse, not intending to purchase anything. As you can see from the photograph displayed above, I made a purchase.
I purchased this wind chime.
The wind chime is hanging on our front porch presently. I am thinking about moving it out to our picnic pavilion, where I can enjoy its melody more often.
After shopping at Seven Silver Seas, we stopped and got ice cream.
Bob and I didn’t eat dinner out on Saturday evening, opting to have a picnic lunch inside our room.
Later in the evening was the raffle and 50/50 for D.A.R.E. Bob won five chocolate chip cookies baked by Wanda, a knife and a VROC buff. We shared the cookies (Wanda is an excellent baker!); Bob gets the knife; and the buff belongs to me. Our raffle raised $600.00 for the local D.A.R.E. organization.
“Jax” and the local D.A.R.E. representative
“Skid” and Sandy with the local D.A.R.E. representative
I heard that the person who won the 50/50 contributed another $100.00 to the D.A.R.E. organization.
‘Jax’ arranged live entertainment for the evening. Ginny McAfee plays the guitar and has a lovely voice. One of our VROC friends shared the following video with the VROC FAcebook group.
Ginny performing “Ode to Popcorn Sutton”
With Ginny performing in the background, we said goodbye to our friends. Since Tuesday we had been visiting with friends, friends who are like family to us. I can’t believe our time together is ending. It seems like we just got here! The SEVROC motorcycle rally was a great time!
After saying our goodbyes, we finished packing and went to bed. We were in bed by 10:00 pm. I was awakened at least one time during the night. I don’t know what time it was. I heard Bill “Southern Draw” belting out a couple heartfelt tunes about SEVROC, which made me smile.
As I wrote in the two previous vacation blog posts, we spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th.
I shared photographs and videos from Cullasaja Falls, Quarry Falls, Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in the blog post dated June 5th. In the blog post dated June 7th, I shared photographs and videos from Silver Run Falls, Toxaway Falls, Batson Creek Falls and Looking Glass Falls, as well as a few photographs from a lunch stop in Brevard.
Soon after leaving Looking Glass Falls, it started to rain. The rain came down hard during some of our driving along U.S. Route 276 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, en route Maggie Valley. I am happy that we took the car, not the motorcycle, on our waterfall tour!
When the rain ceased, we stopped at a few overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views were incredible after the stormy weather!
Graveyard Fields Waterfall
From the Blue Ridge Parkway we took U.S. Route 23/74 to Waynesville and U.S. Route 19 to Maggie Valley.
If you have read my previous blog posts about our West Virginia and North Carolina vacation, you will recall that we traveled to Maggie Valley to attend the South East Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally. The SEVROC Meet & Greet, held on Friday nights, was at the Maggie Valley Inn & Conference Center’s Rendezvous Tiki Bar from 6:00 until 7:30 pm. The location was the same as last year’s Meet & Greet. We missed this year’s Meet & Greet, as we didn’t get back to A Holiday Motel until 6:50 pm. I heard that this year’s meal, the food as well as the service, was an improvement over last year’s meal. The dinner was served family style this year. Last year the dinner was served buffet style. I am sorry that we missed the Meet & Greet. “Jax”, the rally organizer, said 45 people signed up, and 60 people went to the Meet & Greet. Bob and I would have made the total 62. I didn’t hear any complaints about not enough food, so plenty of food was provided.
I took several photographs, after everyone returned to A Holiday Motel from the Meet & Greet.
It rained in Maggie Valley for the first time since we arrived. It was very nice to have the use of a large party tent this year. The main activity inside the party tent was the sale of tickets for the next day’s raffle, which benefits the local D.A.R.E. program.
As I wrote in my previous vacation blog post, we spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th.
We saw seven waterfalls before lunch. I shared photographs and videos from Cullasaja Falls, Quarry Falls, Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in my previous post.
The last three waterfalls that we saw before lunch were:
Silver Run Falls
Batson Creek Falls
Silver Run Falls is located on North Carolina Route 107, approximately 4 miles south of Cashiers.
Silver Run Falls is a 25-foot high waterfall.
Located on U.S. Route 64 near Lake Toxaway is the 150-foot Toxaway Falls. Many travelers drive across the top of Toxaway Falls without realizing it is there! We crossed the bridge and parked in a pull-off area on the left side. Bob stayed in the car, while I crossed US 64 to see the falls on the south side.
The last waterfall that we saw before lunch was located in Connestee Falls Park, about 6 miles from Brevard along U.S. Route 276. A very short stroll to the viewing area begins at the right rear of the parking area. From the viewing area you are actually at the top of Connestee Falls, which I couldn’t see, and are looking over at Batson Creek Falls.
Batson Creek Falls
If you look closely at this photograph, you may see what appears to be steps on the right of the falls, near the middle. Through an Internet search I determined that these are, in fact, steps. Residents of the private, gated Connestee Falls residential community can hike a trail that ends in this set of steps. From there, there is a view of Connestee Falls. The trail is not open to the public.
From Connestee Falls Park, we drove into Brevard and found parking near the Transylvania County Courthouse.
Transylvania County Courthouse
Transylvania County Courthouse
We ate lunch (pizza) at Jaime’s Creole Brasserie.
We were seated on an outside verandah.
Our wood-fired pizza had a thin crust and was covered with marina sauce, cheeses, pepperoni and banana peppers. The pizza was very tasty. The host and waitress were very friendly and served us well.
From Brevard we drove a short distance along U.S. Route 276 to Looking Glass Falls, which is located in the Pisgah National Forest.
Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls is 60 feet tall.
In my next vacation blog post I will continue sharing details and photographs from our 7th day of vacation.
We spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th. After a delicious breakfast at Joey’s Pancake House in Maggie Valley, we began our tour of waterfalls. This blog post shares photographs and videos of the first four waterfalls that we saw.
U.S. Route 64 tightly twists and turns its way along the Cullasaja River Gorge, which is part of the Nantahala National Forest. We stopped at four Cullasaja River Gorge waterfalls:
Bridal Veil Falls
Cullasaja Falls is located along a very dangerous stretch of Hwy 64. The 250′ waterfall is viewable from the road, but there is only a small pull off area. Make sure that you pull completely off the road! Tractor trailers use this section of road and they need both lanes to get around these curves. You will have the view of the waterfall in the still image and video seen below from the pull off area.
Quarry Falls (also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls) is another roadside waterfall. Quarry Falls is a 20-foot high, multi-tiered waterfall.
Looking downstream from Quarry Falls
The 75-foot high Dry Falls earned its name because you can take a trail to walk behind the falls and not get wet (well, not too wet).
We didn’t walk behind the waterfall on this trip, although we did so last year when we visited this waterfall.
Bob and I at Dry Falls
Bridal Veil Falls is a 45-foot waterfall that has the distinction of being the only waterfall in North Carolina that one can drive a vehicle under.
We spent a long time at Bridal Falls waiting for the cars in the first photograph to continue on their way! As a result, after taking the second photograph, I forgot to take a video of the falling water!
In my next vacation blog post, I will share photographs of additional waterfalls that we saw during the day.
On the morning of Thursday, May 13, we awakened at 6:15 am and were showered and dressed by 7:00 am.
We ate breakfast at Pop’s Grits & Eggs, which is located next door to A Holiday Motel. At the time, the restaurant had been opened for only a week. Laura F. and “Bassman” joined us for breakfast. The food and service were great, even though the waitress had called in to say she would be a no show that day.
Ready to Roll
We departed A Holiday Motel at 9:00 am en route Townsend, TN. I drove; Bob rode the motorcycle. Sandy R. accompanied me. Sandy and I were at the end of a line of motorcycles, led by “Skid”. We took U.S. Route 19 to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we followed to U.S Route 441. Sandy and I got left behind when we made a bathroom stop at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, located about 16 miles from Newfound Gap. We caught up with everyone at Newfound Gap.
on the North Carolina-Tennesee Border
Bob and Mike
From Newfound Gap we followed Rt. 441 and Rt. 73 to Townsend, TN. We ate lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ.
“Skid” and Sandy at Smokin Joe’s BBQ
Jaime and Phillip and their son, Caleb, met us at Smokin Joe’s BBQ. “Skid” says hello.
Lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ
Lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ
Lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ
Lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ
Our lunch group took over a room inside Smokin Joe’s BBQ.
Lunch was very good. I ordered ½ chicken with hush puppies, coleslaw and macaroni salad. Bob had a meat salad (and some of my chicken).
After lunch, Sandy and I parted ways with the motorcyclists. The motorcyclists left to ride The Tail of the Dragon. Sandy and I returned to Maggie Valley via Pigeon Forge and U.S. Route 441. We stopped at a couple overlooks and at a waterfall on our way back to A Holiday Motel.
Sandy at the Chimney Tops Overlook Newfound Gap Road (U.S. Route 441-TN)
We made a second stop at Newfound Gap because I wanted to take additional pictures.
Sandy and I on the North Carolina-Tennessee Border
Newfound Gap view
Newfound Gap Rockefeller Memorial and The Appalachian Trail
Sandy and I at Newfound Gap
About 20 minutes after leaving Newfound Gap, we saw water rushing down a hill on the side of the road.
Waterfall along U.S. Route 411-NC
Sandy and I returned to A Holiday Motel around 3:50 pm. Bob returned to the motel about 1 1/2 hours later. He enjoyed riding The Tail of the Dragon but said he would not have enjoyed it as much 2-up. Bob said that I would not have liked it.
Bob “goin’ mad on the Dragon” (Bob purchased this high-resolution digital image from killboy.com.)
We ate dinner at Guayabitos Mexican Restaurant with Candy and Karl R. This restaurant is located within walking distance of A Holiday Motel. Bob and I each ordered a taco salad with beef tips. The taco salads were delicious, and the service was good. We were sorry to hear that Karl has not been feeling well. He spent the day at the hospital…diagnosis: pneumonia in the lower part, I believe, of his lung.
We spent the evening of our 6th day of vacation, as we do so at every VROC rally … at the “kaw pasture”, sitting around a roaring campfire, listening to music and talking with our friends.
On Wednesday, May 13, we went to Bryson City with “Skid” and Sandy and “Lucky Al” for breakfast. “Skid”, “Lucky Al” and Bob traveled by motorcycle, with “Skid” in the lead. Sandy rode with me in the car. There were three other motorcyclists who left A Holiday Motel with us. I thought they were going to Bryson City as well, but they turned off at Country Vittles located within walking distance from our motel.
Byson City, NC is located a little less than 30 miles west from A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley, NC. It was a nice drive to Bryson City. It was the first time that Bob and I had ridden to Bryson City. Shortly before reaching Bryson City, we stopped at Two Rivers Lodge, where another rider was supposed to join us for breakfast. “Skid” knocked on one of the hotel doors. A man stuck his head out and said that his alarm had not gone off and that he would catch up to us later (but he never did). By the way, Two Rivers Lodge looked like a very nice hotel. It is located alongside a river. What I saw from the parking lot looked quiet and peaceful.
In Bryson City we ate breakfast at the Everett Street Diner. We ordered the special–2 eggs, bacon, potatoes and toast for $4.25. The food, service and company were excellent.
After breakfast, I turned my car around and waited while “Skid”, “Lucky Al” and Bob got on their motorcycles and backed out of their parking spaces. I was watching the backing up through my rear view mirror. I saw “Skid’s” motorcycle fall over, as he was backing out! “Lucky Al” and Bob hurried over to help, but “Skid” had the motorcycle upright before they reached him. All this happened within a few seconds. When I found my voice, I told Sandy, who had been looking straight ahead, that “Skid’s” bike had gone down. She was out of the car faster than lightning! Thankfully, neither “Skid” nor the motorcycle were hurt. We returned to Maggie Valley without incident.
Jim “Skid” Robinson also writes a blog about his and Sandy’s travels. Please visit “Skid’s” blog post about our ride to Bryson City. In “Skid’s” blog post (the first six paragraphs) you will find more details about our ride, along with photographs. At the end of his blog post is a map showing our route.
Soon after returning to A Holiday Motel from Bryson City, Bob and I went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway to its highest elevation.
En route the Richland Balsam Overlook, we stopped at the Woodfin Cascades Overlook (Elevation 4535 ft.).
Richland Balsam Overlook (Elev 6053 ft)
We departed the Blue Ridge Parkway via North Carolina Route 215, along which we saw a couple waterfalls.
North Carolina Route 215
We took U.S. Route 276 into Waynesville and ate lunch at the Sagebrush Steakhouse. Bob ordered fish and chips. I ordered chicken tenders and French fries. We ordered dessert too. Bob had a peach cobbler with ice cream. I had an apple cobbler with ice cream. Our lunch was good. The service was a BIG improvement from the previous night!
We returned to A Holiday Motel after lunch and spent rest of the afternoon and evening hanging out with our VROC friends.
We went to bed at 10:00 pm. As happened the night before, I was lulled to sleep by the talk and laughter of our friends.