Nestled in the beauty of the mountains along the Cumberland Plateau you will find Pall Mall Tennessee. The ride along U.S. 127 is very relaxing. On this fall day it was simply beautiful. I honestly didn’t mind the clouds or cool temperatures. Even the mist and light rain set the mood for this journey. I can’t help but remember days such as this from my youth. I loved when the weather was like it is on this day. You see these conditions were perfect for coon hunting. Oh how I loved traipsing through the woods behind those Bluetick coon hounds.
Pall Mall is the home of World War One hero Alvin C. York. The York home sits along U.S. 127. The home is open for visitors on a daily basis. You can see the Minneapolis Moline tractor that York used on his farm. This tractor has been restored and sits under a shed beside the barn. In addition to the restored tractor there is also a Tank and a replica of the Statue of Liberty on display at the farm.
Across U.S. 127 from the York home is an old grist mill. Though no longer in operation, it’s easy to visualize what it must have been like here at this once busy milling operation. You can see the small dam and the valve that allowed the water to flow under the building to create the hydro power for the milling operation.
I hope you can take the time to venture out on the back roads of our wonderful country to see the sights or a simpler time and way of life. I find it very therapeutic to enjoy life at a slower pace. Amazing isn’t it? We can learn many lessons from the views into the past.
We have all heard that old saying “Practice makes perfect”. The thing that you don’t hear is that if you practice doing something wrong then you’ll continue to get better at doing it the wrong way. Transfer this into riding. If you’ve never learned the proper riding skills then you will continue to ride in a less than safe manner. I strongly encourage each and every one of you to take a riding skills class. I promise that you will learn something no matter how many years you’ve been riding.
The HOG Chapter that I’m a member off is fortunate enough to have a skills course laid out at the dealership. Throughout most of the year folks gather there on a regular basis to practice our riding skills. We are also very lucky to have some MSF instructors in the Chapter. These people volunteer their time to come out and help everyone improve their skills.
Another way you can improve your riding technique is to purchase instructional videos such as the ones produced by the Motorman. Irregardless of the teaching aids you use, the main thing is to learn proper techniques and to practice them often. When the time comes for you to need these skills on the road you want it to be automatic. Trust me you will need these skills.
You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to learn and practice riding skills. You can use any vacant parking lot or even a cul-de-sac. Tennis balls work great for inexpensive markers. Basically you want to practice using your friction zone, braking and throttle control. Once you get more comfortable with these techniques you will be amazed at what your bike is capable of doing. Remember practice practice practice.
It was so very wonderful to have ten nights off work. To the best of my knowledge this was the longest vacation that I’ve ever experienced. I’ll have to also say that I was more relaxed and rejuvenated after this vacation than any other as well. I had so many things I wanted to do. Not all of my goals were accomplished. That just leaves me something to look forward too and goals to focus on.
I want to share a couple of the photographs that I took on my time off. For those of you that have followed me for any length of time know that I have no problem stopping to take some photographs. I was hoping to see the leaves changing for the fall of the year. It was amazing at how hardly any leaves had those bright fall colors at the start of my ten days off. By the end of my vacation it was as if they were changing right before my eyes.
Beautiful scenery is but one of the pleasures I get from my motorcycle touring. I also enjoy learning about historical events. Look around on any of your next ventures out for historical signs and markers such as this one that tells of the last stagecoach robbery. If we just open our eyes we can see so many amazing things right in our own back yard. I rode 2,000 miles on my time off and only left Tennessee on one occasion. I’d venture to say that all but 150 miles of that 2,000 were in my home state.
Well it had to happen. I’ve been on vacation for the past ten days and it’s been wonderful. Not only was this the longest vacation I’ve ever taken but it was also the best. Now I didn’t get all the things done I had hoped to do, but who cares? I’ve crisscrossed the great state of Tennessee and seen some beautiful sights. I’ve made memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I’ve taken tons of photographs. Some of which I’ll share here on the blog.
Now I’ve been behind on my post for some time and even more so now. The good thing about this is that we all have something to look forward to. Most importantly I’ve been able to clearly see the vision I have for this blog and the dreams I’ve been working on for most of my life. With the help and encouragement of some very wonderful people I will be able to accomplish these dreams.
Much like this past week life isn’t always bright and sunny. I’ve ridden in the rain on more than one occasion this week. I’ve been honored to attend the funeral of a fallen hero. I’ve worked muscles that I had forgotten about having. Man I once could have cut and split firewood for days on end. Sucks to get old. ha-ha-ha-ha
I hope the memories from this past week last throughout my lifetime. Thanks to all the special people who did or didn’t do things to make those memories. Yes all good things must come to an end. Tonight it’s back to trailer trailer trucking. It’s one of those necessary evils I must endure in order to support my habits. Someone has to pay for C.C.
Today I enjoyed some of the most amazing roads that I’ve been on in a very long time. Now that’s saying a bunch. Those of you who have been following me these past couple of years know that I’ve ridden many beautiful roads around Tennessee and beyond. Granted I have been in this area before but have never taken the time to explore these two areas.
Frozen Head State Park has to be unmistakably one of the most beautiful state parks I’ve visited thus far. Honestly it will be hard to beat. Nestled back in the hills around Wartburg it is simply enchanting. Once you make the turn and cross the creek you will be blown away at the sight of the roadway passing through the canopy of trees.
The rustic campground had me kicking myself in the tail for not bringing my tent. I will be back to camp here. Although the campsites don’t have electric or water hookups, there is water located near the bath house. There is no excuse to not rest and relax in this setting. There are several trails that you can hike. The park has many picnic tables should you just want to visit for the day. Kids will enjoy a nice playground located between the picnic and camping areas.
Travelling a short distance on highway 62 from Wartburg you will reach the intersection of highway 116. This is the start of the Devil’s Triangle. I don’t remember a single straight stretch on this road. Switchbacks and hairpin curves are plentiful. You will ride past the historic Brushy Mountain State Prison. This was once the home of James Earl Ray who was convicted of shooting Martin Luther King Jr.
Keep and eye out for the windmill farm located on Windrock Mountain. Most folks don’t even know that such a thing exist in Tennessee. Something else to watch out for are the coal trucks. 116 passing by some coal mining operations. The truck traffic from these sites have gravel and dirt on the roadway. Also be mindful of rocks washed across the road by heavy rainfall. The Devil’s Triangle will take you through the heart of Appalachia.. The scenery is amazing. The fall foliage has just barely begun to show itself. Before long all the brilliant fall colors will be abundant.
Follow 116 until you reach the intersection of highway 330. Take a right onto 330 and follow it back into the town of Oliver Springs. You can get fuel in either Wartburg or Oliver Springs. Both places also have places to grab a bite to eat. Treat yourself and your ridding skills and get on over to East Tennessee and ride The Devil’s Triangle. Perhaps you’ll even camp at Frozen Head State Park.
I know it’s been a while, believe me I know. It seemed that September was not meant for me to ride this year. Between rain and rain and more rain and being sick I didn’t get any miles on C.C. After having a fun little go with what can only be described as a mild form of the black plague I had missed enough.
Saturday afternoon I opened the garage door and prepared for some scooter time. It was wonderful to get back in tune with the world. I started off slowly by riding down to visit some friends in the ‘Boro. In doing so I was able to witness something that I’m not very well versed at. I believe he called it washing his bike. Strange sight for sure.
Next I was headed to visit some more friends. By this time it had began to get dark. That is except for that lightning from the thunderstorm in the distance. Before I knew it I too was in the distance and pulling over to put on my rain suite. It was Saturday so a bath was in order. Nothing like coughing up pieces of lung as you ride along on your merry way in the dark during a thunderstorm.
The rain wasn’t the only thing to drown me this night. You see it had been a while since I’d enjoyed the company of this group of friends. The love that I was swimming in from these folks did wonders for healing me. Nothing like sitting around a large table eating some great chili with your friends warming your heart and soul as the chili warms your belly.
Soon I was headed to hang out with another dear friend for the rest of the evening and half the next day for that matter. I just love an impromptu overnighter.
The miles clicked on the odometer today were few. The distance traveled by the heart and soul were many. Sometimes the best trips we take are measured in time and not distance.