Blue Ridge Parkway by motorcycle

Riding the Tail of the Dragon

Riding the Tail of the Dragon

In May 2008 I set out on a new kind of travel adventure. I didn’t need a passport, and my husband stayed home. I did need a helmet, and quite a bit of leather. My travel companion? My dad.

We rode his Honda GoldWing along the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway and capped it off with the “Tail Of The Dragon.”

I blogged during the trip and have collected those posts here.

A travel adventure of a new sort, with much leather, a roaring engine — and my Dad

Come spring I’m setting out on an entirely new type of travel endeavor. No passport required, no visits to ancient cathedrals or behemoth chateaus will take place (unless we hit Biltmore), and no dining will involve escargots or coquille St. Jacques. I’ll see (and hear and smell and taste) nearly 600 miles of a blue []

My dad is a good sport

My dad and I have decidedly different approaches to many things — travel styles and food preferences just a couple. His cheese and crackers is a packet — mine is brie and warm baguette slices. He’s meat and potatoes, I’m 10 course tasting menu. He’s sleep anywhere, I’m the front desk nightmare (can I []

Meet my travel partner and mode of transport

I begin my motorcycle adventures with my dad next week (7 sleeps and a wakeup, as he says). He’ll pick me up Thursday afternoon in Louisville to take me back to my hometown of Somerset, Ky. That ride will be the longest I’ve ever taken on the bike.
The next morning – -barring []

Yellow lines

Winding road

The best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome

So I hear.

But then again a case of monkey brain in the middle of the night is pretty effective too. I wish they made a version of anti monkey butt powder for the brain, to help you turn it off in the wee hours. I have a lot to do in the morning and tomorrow before I leave on a motorcycle adventure and I can’t turn my mind off. []

Ride like the wind

I had my induction to motorcycling yesterday with 40 mile-an-hour wind gusts and Derby traffic leaving Louisville as I rode down to my parents’ with my dad and my cousin. []

I’m saddle sore but I made it – Blue Ridge Parkway trip day 1

I woke up at 4:30 this morning, ready for the motorcycle trip, but stayed in bed another two hours. I thought it prudent to lie prone as long as I could. And good thinking that was!
My dad and I set out at 8:30 this morning for Staunton, Va. It was funny to be on []

Blue Ridge Parkway trip day two – the day in numbers and pictures

I’m going to cheat a bit. Here’s our second day in numbers and pictures:
$0 – amount charged at the Staunton farmer’s market for some fresh mixed greens for my picnic lunch. (”I can’t charge you for that little bit,” the lady said)
1 – number of abandoned former “Lunatic Asylums” I saw (it’s a creepy place []

Reruns and new motorcycle friends – Blue Ridge Parkway trip day 3

We left Bedford early (I wasn’t in any hurry to linger at the affordable but grubby Bedford Days Inn) and took Big Island Highway back up to 501 to rerun a few miles of the Parkway. It was so rainy and cold []

So I can beat my dad at poker – Blue Ridge Parkway trip day 4

I’m cozied up on a lovely soft bed with a down blanket, I’ve just had a delicious dinner followed by hot cocoa and there are mountains outside my window. I can’t see them but I have the curtain open anyway because I like knowing they’re there. I’ve decided I was supposed to live in the []

I see mountains when I close my eyes – Blue Ridge Parkway trip day 5

When Brian and I visited St. Petersburg, I’d see onion domes when I closed my eyes. In Istanbul, I saw minarets. On this trip I see mountains. Now that we’re in North Carolina, the ridges look less like really big hills and more like actual mountains. And today was a mountain day!
After another late breakfast []

The grand finale — the last day of the Blue Ridge Parkway trip

The final leg of the parkway yesterday proved to be some of the most beautiful scenery of the trip. We left Asheville under cloudy skies but as we rode south the sun came out and shone on us from blue skies as we climbed to the highest elevation on the parkway.
The most dramatic view yet []

More photos

17 responses to “Blue Ridge Parkway by motorcycle

  1. Pingback: Like father like daughter « The Traveling McMahans·

  2. Pingback: Up next? Up north « The Traveling McMahans·

  3. We also made the GL1800 Blue Ridge on a 20 day trip this 08 summer. You can see our trips on our website I put togeather for our kids to see where and what we were doing on the bike, but found out they were to busy to look at it. I would be very pleased if you take a look at

    On the 20 day trip we made we went from Midland Tx. up to Ohio (Daton Air M.) then over to PA. to visit Sydni’s sons then =
    1. Skyline Park Way
    2. Blue Ridge P.W.
    3. Hell Bender 28(in a downpour,outerband or Huricane Fay
    4. Tail of Dragon ( 11 hrs in the rain.)
    5. Nashville TN
    6. Natchez Trace Parkway.
    7. back to Midland, Tx 5897 miles total trip.

  4. Pingback: A travel adventure of a new sort, with much leather, a roaring engine — and my Dad « The Traveling McMahans·

  5. Pingback: My dad is a good sport « The Traveling McMahans·

  6. Pingback: Meet my travel partner and mode of transport « The Traveling McMahans·

  7. Pingback: The best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome « The Traveling McMahans·

  8. Pingback: Ride like the wind « The Traveling McMahans·

  9. Pingback: I’m saddle sore but I made it - Blue Ridge Parkway trip day 1 « The Traveling McMahans·

  10. Pingback: Blue Ridge Parkway trip day two - the day in numbers and pictures « The Traveling McMahans·

  11. Nice, I love the parkway… my grandparents actually live on it in mt. Pisgah, NC we love going up and riding the trail. Definitely an adventure! I love looking glass falls the best.

  12. hi there, my wife and i are planning on a cross country to the west coast and back to maine.on the way out the upper states like michigan, to the dokata’s, nevada, grand canyon, and the way back nm, ar, texas,tennesse,and of course the dragon tail, last but not least the parkway back home. i will take in all your photo to memeory to see if i can catch them’s good that took this ride with your dad. my daughter was a rider, now with one child and another just about to be born it’s hard for her to get time to ride.ride safe blacky in maine

  13. Last summer (south american summer) I went to Chile and decided to do a rental of a motorcycle but with a tour. We were a just a few guys and being guided is better than renting on your own. Best experience ever. Check out the video on their main page:

  14. Some people find the initial snug feel a bit uncomfortable.

    There are chin, forehead and cheek vents where the volume of air
    can be adjusted to your comfort and sometimes even assist you with
    defogging efforts. Tim was in a rehabilitation facility
    for over a year and will live with the consequences of that
    careless driver.

  15. You post very interesting articles here. Your page deserves much
    bigger audience. It can go viral if you give it initial boost, i know
    very useful tool that can help you, simply search in google:
    svetsern traffic tips

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s