2011 Pigeon Forge motorcycle trip

August 27

After the long day yesterday and the travel day before, today was a lazy day. No alarm clock. I woke up around 8am and walked onto the porch. I saw two beautiful sights...the view and...

...Donna. Looks like the raccoons ate all their food.

Looks like the 'Lodge Heaven' cabin finally has some guests. It was the cabin I had wanted to rent. It has two full bedrooms and a big, flat parking lot. I've noticed that all the cabins seem to have cable ran to them, but they all use satellite dishes for TV and there is no internet...or at least the internet isn't available to renters. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Here is the 'Bit of Heaven' cabin Mike and Penny are staying in. You can see Mike's bike.

Mike & Penny had already left to go motorcycle riding by the time we got mobile. They were gonna do the Dragon and explore down around that area. Monty & Stephanie were going for breakfast so Donna & I decided to tag along. I think it was the only time on the trip I didn't lead. Sometimes it's nice to follow.

Right after Donna took this picture the guy driving the car turned into our lane to pass the minivan and almost hit us. Pay attention, dufus!

We followed Monty & Stephanie to Reagans Broken Egg Pancake House.

We had the breakfast buffet. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

After breakfast Monty & Stephanie took off to explore.

Our next stop was Walmart for more supplies. From Walmart we took the backroads to the cabin and unloaded.

We headed back into town and headed south on the strip towards Gatlinburg.

While sitting at a stoplight Donna spied a quilt shop so we pulled in there. I understand quilts almost as much as flowers but it was fun following Donna around the store as she checked things out. She eventually found one she wanted. We would get it on the way back from Gatlinburg.

While all this was going on Donna & I were texting Stephanie and seeing what they were doing. They were up in the space needle in Gatlinburg. When we left Lil Dolly's they were going to ride the chair lift. We were heading towards Gatlinburg so we kept an eye out for them.

We parked on Airport Road. It's centrally located for shopping.

Someone made out like a bandit. We stopped at a purse store and Donna got a new purse. Then we found her a strap she could use to carry her camera. Then she got a box of taffy. By this time we had made it to the Gatlinburg mall where she got some moccasins.

Given the time we made our way back to the bike and headed to Lid'l Dolly's to pick up the quilt.

Shopping queen with her new quilt.

We needed to get back to the cabin and clean up for our 6pm dinner at the Dixie Stampede. As we rode down the strip this blue car nosed out into the intersection and I had to swerve a little. We were setting at the US321 stoplight and waiting in the turn lane. I was thinking about how nice it would be to take a shower and head back to the Dixie Stampede when it happened......

BAM!! We had been rear ended by a drunk driver.

It took a second to register that someone had crashed into us. I got up and looked at Donna. She was lying on the ground but she didn't look bad. She said her ankle hurt, but she didn't have any bleeding or road rash that I could see. I looked at the car that had hit us. It was the same damn blue car that had nosed into the intersection up the road. A guy pulled up beside her and told me she had been weaving for blocks. He was mad. Other people were asking if they needed to call 911. I said yes. The lady was looking squirrelly so I went to her car and asked her if she was hurt. She said no, so I told her to get out of the car. I didn't want her driving off.

There was a Jeep pulling a small utility trailer setting in front of us. When the drunk plowed us she had knocked the bike into the utility trailer causing the bike to flip on its side. It had body slammed Donna and bucked me into the trailer. The right saddlebag was destroyed and its contents were all over the road. I left messages on Stephanie's and Mike's phones letting them know what had happened. Monty & Stephanie were just a few blocks away and were there in no time.

Two of the first cops to show up were on motorcycles. I told them the woman appeared to be drunk and one went straight to her to determine her impairment. I got the satisfaction of seeing her cuffed and led away. Oh yeah...she had her young daughter in the car with her. What a loser.

Due to her foot pain and neck pain Donna went in the ambulance. Stephanie went with her. We had to upright the bike to get the registration and insurance information out of the saddlebag. I started the bike and it ran fine. The handlebars were a little tweaked and the rearend was busted up. All the lights worked. It appeared to be driveable which made me happy. I've seen what wrecker operators can do to wrecked bikes. When John & Debby had their wreck their bike went from being mildly damaged to destroyed by the wrecker driver.

Monty had parked at a gas station nearby, so when I was released from the scene I rode the bike over there. Other than the tweaked handlebars it rode fine. We rode several miles to the LeConte Medical Center to check on Donna. It took a couple hours for her to be treated. Her final injuries were a sprained foot, and she was given crutches and a prescription. The staff was wonderful, and a couple of them even had ties to Indiana.

No more shopping today.

Donna "the Trooper" handed me her crutches and climbed back on the bike. I took my crippled girlfriend and bike back to the cabin. Monty & Stephanie went to see the lumberjack show. At the cabin Donna hobbled inside and found a comfortable spot and got some rest. Mike & Penny had spent the day riding the Tail of the Dragon and exploring south of the park. They were back now and we checked out the bike. It had rode fine. No funny noises.

During a lull at the wreck scene I had taken a picture of the bike and sent it to Mom and John. Mom called to make sure I was alright. John had left a bunch of messages. He had wanted to know if I wanted him to bring my trailer. If it had been just me down there I would have ridden the bike home the way it was. But since Donna was here (and hurt) I wasn't gonna risk it with her. So back in Indiana the East 50 Phelons gang were mobilizing a rescue mission. John & Debby were pulling my bike trailer down with their Suburban and Mike & Jerri were bringing my Jeep. They would be here late tonight and they'd pick up the bike in the morning.

Hungry and banged up.

At 8:38 pm I headed back into town to get Donna's medicine and something for us to eat. I had to go to three drug stores to find one that was open 24 hours, then to the other end of the strip for the Arbys Donna had requested. I didn't get back until 10:18. We ate, then I helped Donna get into the bath. While I was gone we had been visited by THREE raccoons. Monty & Stephanie were nearby in the hottub so I left a clean Donna on the porch with the raccoons and a strawberry Smirnoff and got cleaned up myself.

I finally checked myself out. Both knees scraped. Left elbow scraped. Right knuckles scraped. Right shoulder scraped from hitting the trailer. Right calf very sore from the passenger peg ramming into it. Ankles sore. Knee sore. Right shoulder sore. Hell...I'm sore all over. The shower felt good.

The wreck sucked but it was pretty mild as far as bike wrecks. We were lucky. Thank goodness we were wearing helmets. We didn't make it to the Dixie Stampede so I'm sure those $47 tickets are history. The bike is trashed...maybe totaled. The vacation is more of a rehabilitation now. We're definitely sleeping late in the morning.

Sidenote: I've been involved in fire and EMS since 1990, and it's a strange feeling when the sirens are coming for you. The Pigeon Forge Police Department, the Pigeon Forge Fire Department, and the Sevier County Ambulance Service are top notch. They were professional and friendly from start to finish. The fire department gave me printed directions to the hospital and a list of rental car agencies (had I needed one).

93 miles.

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