2014 Blairsville Motorcycle trip

Day 5

May 19

This morning was the best yet. Sunny and clear, warm. No jacket weather for me. We heard some noise out front this morning and found a truck parked across the front of the cabin. It was a masonery crew doing some work on the cabin. Luckily they didn't block the bikes. It seemed odd to have scheduled this work when people were using the cabin.

(Update 2018: Since years have passed and Mike now has a new trike I will now tell the 'rest of the story'. On Day 3 when we returned to the cabin there was an incident. When Mike arrived at the cabin I was still backing my bike onto the paver section. He pulled crossways onto the slanted section of the driveway and became a victim of gravity. The bike fell downhill and tossed Mike & Jerri off. No injuries, but there was some damage. Mike's headset was damaged, the left mirror scratched, the dash cover cracked, and worst of all...his left peg broke.)

John, Mike, and I left the cabin around 8:30 to make a visit to the Blairsville Honda dealer...Union Powersports. I was following the GPS directions and rode passed it. The GPS location is about 0.3 mile too far west. John saw the place and radioed me. Nice to know the radio was still working.

We looked around the place and saw what they had. John found a set of Kuryakyn transformer floorboards on sale. Debby has shown interest in a set. The only problem they were for a GL1500. They looked like they would work but we didn't know for sure. Mike ended up ordering some Kuryakyn footpegs. They should be in tomorrow. Cool. Another reason to come to the Honda shop.

We came here in 2011 when I had a flat tire. The place looks kind of sad in comparison. They don't have near the inventory they did back then. I'm worried they might not be around a few years. The economy has been tough on motorcycle dealers.

Since we were on flat ground I took the opportunity to put the bike on the center stand and check the oil and tire pressures. Everything was as it should be.

They had some utility and enclosed trailers outside. I've been wanting to get a medium sized utility trailer and I was able to compare several sizes. I've decided a 6x10 is the size I need to haul my mower and for smaller chores. I really liked the red enclosed trailer on the end.

We rode back to the cabin. John went up the hill first to make sure the work truck wasn't in the way or its doors weren't open. They weren't, so I was able to pull between the truck and Mike's bike before backing into my spot. We picked up the girls, and headed to Helen for an afternoon of shopping. We parked in a steakhouse parking lot that had a lot of unfriendly "parking for customers only" signs that threatened towaways. It was noon and the business didn't open until 4pm so we thought we had time to park there.

Mike had dropped his helmet the other day and now he was having some connection problems with his headset. He and John messed with it a little to see if it was something obvious. No dice. On a positive note, my radio is still working correctly.

Off to explore Helen.

We went to several shops. Debby got a quilt. Donna got a few items. We eventually came upon a little mall and the Heidelburg House restaurant. It sounded good so we had lunch there. Debby has pot roast cooking back at the cabin so we had mostly sandwich type food. It was good, and their sweet tea was excellent. I had several glasses.

After lunch we checked out shops on the other side of the street as we made our way back to the bikes. I was carrying Donna's 'tea to go' so when we came to a store that didn't allow drinks I stayed outside. It was an honorable way to hide my laziness. By now the sun was a little warm so I found a bench in the shade.

When we got back to the bikes we found another one had joined us. A brand new Indian. The owner came by while we were hanging out. He and his wife had purchased it in Greenville (South Carolina) and were taking two weeks to ride it back to their home in Western Canada! He said this color wasn't available in Canada. That would be a great trip.

We decided to move farther east to shop more and avoid running afoul of the steakhouse's no parking signs. We pondered if Georgia was a helmet state. When we saw a helmetless rider go by it seemed the answer was 'no', so we decided to ride down the road helmetless.

We pulled into a little mall with a biker store at the other end of town and our helmet question was answered by the cop with his lights on. The guy was cool. I think he was bored and wanted to talk to somebody.

We finished parking and went into the Chattahoochee Biker Gear store. They had the normal biker gear stuff you find in most bike stores. Their prices were also high on the things I looked at. Donna rounded a corner and let out a gasp of delight. She had found sparkly purses. She found one she liked. We always joke that she gets a new purse on vacation. She also found a headband and a shirt on sale. We also found some neat pins! Wings with a 'G' in the middle. There were also orange Goldwing pins.

It was now mid-afternoon so we decided to move on. The girls remembered there was an IGA and a produce stand on the east side of Helen from the trip through here on Saturday. We headed east...and east...and east. We were several miles outside of Helen with nothing showing so I searched for IGA on my GPS. It showed one back in Helen somewhere so I locked it into the GPS and did a U-turn.

The GPS led us to an IGA sign and I turned and rode passed the store since it didn't look like any IGA store I was used to. Luckily Donna and the others saw the error of my ways. While the girls went inside we stayed outside and checked out the old pumps.

When the girls were done shopping they dumped the food into the trailer John had most graciously towed. Then they went into a store next door. While they were inside John noticed a train/hobby store across the road. They had lots of models, puzzles, and model train supplies. I can't believe how expensive model train stuff has become in the last forty years. We hung out there until we saw the girls heading back to the bikes.

Donna thought she remembered a produce stand on the way back. When we got to where it was (Smith Creek) it turned out to be a flea market type place but no produce. John & Debby thought they remembered a produce place farther down the road so they took off in the lead.

We didn't find produce but we found a crafty store that had only recently opened at the intersection of GA-75A and Ridge Road. Donna found an old popcorn cooker that she snagged for $20.

John knew the way to Booger Holler so he continued to lead. In no time we were back on the Russell Johnson byway. You can see in the above picture it is a scenic drive with tight curves and distant views.

Booger Holler, GA. 17:01, mileage 71,114 - Fuel, a couple T-shirts, and a candy bar. Now for the climb up the mountain.

The work truck had left and we all made a successful recovery. You can see Mike's bike parked down the hill at John's house. We unloaded our booty and got ready for supper. Debby's pot roast was wonderful...as is all her cooking.

After supper I fiddled with my radio again. I wrapped a ziptie around the radio to hopefully maintain good connection with the speaker cable and stop the intermittency. Later we sat on the back porch and ate snickerdoodle ice cream. I'd never had it before and it was good. I kept nodding off so I took a shower. Later I sat with Donna as she waited for a bear to appear. None did. John was messing with his video camera that wasn't working. We swapped batteries but nothing helped. I have my GoPro in the trailer. We can try using it.

85 miles.

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