After splitting up with JR and Vern, Terry and I found our way to a great little KOA in Manchester, TN where we bedded down for the night in one of their "Kamper Kabins". It's a great KOA if you happen to be in the area. The owner has a friend that rides, and when he knows some scooters are coming in, he stops by to jaw a while. Nice folks that welcome motorcycles.

The next morning we got up and out early and headed for some back roads, on our way to Cherokee, NC. The ride had been rain free since we left home, but just as we hit Tennessee 129 on the north side of Deal's Gap, the sky opened up. We pulled into a nice little diner and waited it out for about an hour and then we were on our way again. It wasn't really our intentions to run the Gap on this day, since we had been planning to do it with the WOTI group the following morning, but as long as we were there ...... and on wet roads no less! I'll save those pics for the Deal's Gap installment, and move on to the BRP and the Pisgah Inn. Let's boogy .............

There's something special about riding in the early morning. You can smell the freshness of everything around you. It was very early morning, and we found ourselves practically riding alone on the Parkway, in a bit of fog and above the clouds.

Although we didn't know it at the time, we had gotten on the Parkway at the very southern end, and had ridden through the highest elevations it offers. Talk about a natural high!

We had about 70 miles to cover before we would meet the gang at the Piscah, so we pretty much dead-headed on down the Parkway. When we pulled into the Inn, we were greeted by the site of the parking lot full of scooters ... and one lonely sole digging around in the trunk of his White, 98 SE. Low and behold, my first introduction to HJ (Honest John) Spick from Brisbane, Australia. As he approached us, the first words out of his mouth were "G'day Mate". Here's John, with me and Terry.

Once inside, the fun began as we met both old and new friends. Some we had met before along the way and some were friends from the Internet. It was really great to put some faces to names we knew all to well. Here's a few of the faces, starting off with Wild Bill Allison (L) and Dane McKitrick (R), in conversation with Bill Haynes.

Here's Harry Hilderman on the left, with Bill Jermyn. Seems Bill can't find "Scrapple" on the menu! Hey Bill, just grab a bowl of grits ....

HJ in the background, trying to find Vegemite on the menu. That's Jack Life on the right with the black hat, and Jim Lehr (Swagman) and his wife Jan (JungleJan) on the left.

HJ trying to convince Jermyn that he really would enjoy an almost new, white, SE.

Here's Swagman trying to explain to me the finer technique of horizontal bungee jumping. Seems he and JJ have it down pat, which Swaggy demonstrated later in the day!

While everyone enjoyed chatting, it was time to ride the Parkway, so away we went with Bill Haynes leading the pack. We made several stops along the way ... blue skies with low hanging clouds. The only thing better was just a short ride away .... Deal's Gap!