2008 Blue Ridge Parkway motorcycle trip

Day 2

August 16

I awoke this morning with that exciting 'I'm on vacation' feeling. I could hear others downstairs so I got dressed and we lounged on the porch. The others had their morning coffee and cigarettes and I had some Coke. The weather is beautiful...cool and sunny. The girls cooked a nice breakfast of pancakes and eggs.


Our first stop today will be the Natural Bridge State Park located 3 miles south on KY11. We had passed it during our exploration yesterday. There is a chair lift that takes you to an overlook. From the overlook you can walk to the arch or to another cliff overlook that allows for viewing of the arch.


We spent 2:12:40 hours in the arch area, then moved to the other side of park to the hotel/restaurant/gift shop building for lunch. They had an excellent buffet and we all ate heartily. From the building balcony is a scenic view of the lake with it's outdoor auditorium on an island. There was a gaggle of GL1500 Goldwings in the parking lot. John had been pondering getting a late model GL1500.

With our bellies full we head back north on KY11 to Slade. We fueled the bikes then headed southwest on KY15 to Jackson to try a couple Venom motorcycle tours. The ride down KY15 was nice with sweeping turns and scenic views.


We were several miles away from Jackson when I noticed John pulling off to the side of the road. A bolt connecting the shifter to the shift linkage had come loose. It had came loose a couple days before our trip, but John and Debby had put it back in and slathered it with Locktite. It had seemed to be fixed but had worked itself loose again. Debby quickly had her skinny fingers up under the hot bike threading the bolt back in. While we were there a couple pulled up on a Sportster. They said there was a Yamaha dealer in Jackson. With the bolt back in place we decided to ride to Jackson and see if the dealer could permanently fix the problem.

Motorcycle dealers generally fall into two categories: those who go out of their way to accomodate a broken down traveller, and those who don't. From the start we could tell this dealer was the latter. He himhawed around about the tech being busy and might not want to undertake the job, etc., etc., but said he would check. While we were waiting around we began checking out the bikes they had. Sitting in the back of the showroom was one that caught John's eye...one he had lusted after for some time. A silver gray 'S' model 2008 Royal Star Venture. He talked to Debby and they decided to see what kind of deal the dealer would make. Surprisingly, the dealer showed no interest in trying to sell the bike. What's up with that??

After waiting for awhile with no response from the dealer or the tech we started working on John's bike ourselves. I ran to the hardware store to get a longer bolt. We thought if we could get a nut on the bolt it might stay in place. Unfortunately the longer bolt wouldn't fit as clearance was tight under there. To his credit, the dealer let us pull the bike into the shop (out of the sun) and use some red Locktite. The red Locktite did the trick and held.

After spending about an hour and a half fixing the bolt problem we rode down the McDonalds to grab a Coke, wash up, and plan our next ride. We decided to do the 'Black Widow' ride of the Venom tour. It was a nice 50 mile ride through rural Kentucky, although it didn't seem as 'venomous' as the advertising would lead you to believe. We gathered in the parking lot of the now-closed Yamaha dealership to discuss the next step. We had considered doing the 'Fatal Fiddler' tour, but given the time (17:45) we decided to head back to the cabin and lounge around. We returned to the cabin via KY15 and the parkway to save a little time. We spent the last night at the cabin just hanging out.


126 miles.

Click here for our next day's adventure.




Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Epilogue





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