I already wrote quite a bit about my day yesterday so I don’t have too much more to follow up on.
I do want to mention that yesterday seemed like a singular day for me to meet people.
I’m not sure what it was. Maybe I was looking forward to the day and so I had a happier, more approachable face. That seems funny now that I write it but it’s true.
While driving past Fontana lake I stopped to take pictures and talked with a couple there from Florida.
As I was wandering around the shops at the beginning of the dragon, I talked with a couple of guys, also from Florida. I was then stopped by a woman who thanked me for my service (I get that a lot while wearing my CVMA vest). We chatted for a bit. Her son is a Seabee in the Navy.
After two laps of the dragon I stopped for lunch in a little place in Robbinsville. There were quite a few empty seats but a nice couple asked me to sit at their table and talk with them. After the food was brought out, the owner of the place sat down near by and we all had a good long talk. The owners husband is also a Seabee. What are the odds? Anyway, that was enjoyable and it was hard to pull myself away to get back on the road.
Later that evening at dinner, I was sitting in a crowded patio area with loud music. I had just finished when a couple about my age sat down behind me. They saw my vest and introduced themselves as Army Reservists. It was good talking with them. He is possibly going to medically retire soon and so we discussed the joke that is the Army bureaucracy. I gave them some bad pointers on some things to look out for (I wish I was more of an expert but my memory sucks). I wished them luck and headed out again.
All of these conversations really made me feel like more of a human being for the day. Like I was actually interacting with the world.
I’ll have to work on keeping that up.
I finally found a camping spot in a National Park near Cosby Tennessee at around 7:20pm. I’d stopped at three other places. Two were full and one wanted $45 for the night. I reiterated that I was on a motorcycle and using a tent. She confirmed the price. I asked her how they could charge that much and say it with a straight face. She wasn’t amused. Neither was I. I was just glad to finally get my tent up. No showers though so I reverted back to my first combat tour in Iraq and took a baby wipe “bath”. I’d like to think it works.
As I was laying there in my tent, I heard a few raindrops hit the roof. So I hopped up and went to put the rain cover on my clothing bag and to bring in a few items. Just as I was zipping up the rain fly a torrential downpour ensued. I’m talking thunder, lightning and enough rain to make Noah shake his head. It was insane and it lasted over an hour. Any longer and I would have floated away. A few things were wet this morning but not too bad.
I’m writing this while sitting in the Cumberland gap National Park visitors center in Kentucky. A bit of interesting history.
Off to get some miles in. A small loop in Kentucky and then I’ll head east again to link up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.