2011 Pigeon Forge motorcycle trip

August 28

I woke this morning before 7am, and I wasn't as sore as I expected to be. Donna was gone, so I got up to see what she was doing. She's an early riser anyways. She was out on the porch enjoying another beautiful morning view. She was sore and her ankle was bothering her enough she couldn't sleep well.

We sat and watched the sun rise over the Smoky Mountains. The raccoons had cleaned up all the food that was left for them. Such tidy visitors. We talked about the wreck and the day's activities. We were supposed to go on a bike trip to Kentucky with the bike gang in a couple weeks. Those plans...at least the bike part...are shot. I'll be taking the bike into town to meet the bike gang so they can take it back home. We went back inside cause Donna was getting chilly. Monty & Stephanie were moving around so we all hung out for awhile.

About 9am I got dressed and went outside to give the broken bike a looksee in the morning light. It didn't look any better. I texted John and he said they were up and going to Mel's Diner for breakfast. They had spent the night at the Motel 6 on Henderson Creek Road.

I rode down the mountain and made a stop at Advance Auto on US321. I needed some tools to remove my trailer ball. The bike has a 1 7/8" ball and the Jeep has a 2". I'll need the smaller ball to pull the motorcycle trailer home. They didn't have a huge selection of larger tools and I made due with a large adjustable wrench and a pipe wrench. With the ball removed I headed to the Motel 6.

The bike loaded in the 'Goldwing ambulance'.

I loaded the bike in the trailer and was strapping it down when the crew arrived. They had seen me ride passed Mel's.

The calvary.

We looked at the bike and talked about the wreck. I thought they might hang out at the cabin for a bit but they wanted to head back. We closed the trailer, said our goodbyes, and they were headed back to Indiana.

Cost for gas and lodging...$687.
Friends who perform a 350-mile rescue mission at a moment's notice...Priceless.

The trip was now a Jeep trip. I went to Walmart to pick up a wiring harness adapter so the Jeep can pull the trailer. I called Donna about lunch. She said a salad from Wendys sounded good to her. Wendys it was.

When I got home Donna was on the porch again. We ate our Wendys. I did some things on the computer. I called the Dixie Stampede and told them about our wreck. They allowed us to use our tickets for tonight's show! Good deal! I texted Mike & Penny to let them know. That would make for a nice evening.

We sat on the porch some more taking in the view that never disappoints.

Eventually I went to make sure I could hook the trailer to the Jeep. I'm glad I checked ahead of time. I have an extended drawbar because of the rear-mounted spare tire. The extra long drawbar wasn't gonna work with the trailer wiring and chains. Monty & Stephanie were out and about so I texted them to see if they would get a normal drawbar.

After they got the drawbar Stephanie texted that they were headed back. From the cabin you can see part of the road snaking through the valley below. I wanted to get a picture of them on the bike from far away. I waited for them to come through the valley. And waited...and waited. I went inside and texted Stephanie to check on their ETA. A few minutes she said. As I waited for them to come through the valley I heard the whir of the Goldwing coming up the hill. I guess they came through the valley while I was texting her.

Hanging out on the porch.

I test fitted the new drawbar and everything was good to go. Well...almost. I went to open the trailer and it was locked. Hmmmmmmm...where are the keys? In the bike headed back to Indiana. Good thing the Jeep has lots of room. Sigh....

The 'Lodge Heaven' cabin appeared to be empty. I was surprised they were allowed to rent it for only one night. I walked down to check it out for future rentals. It has a huge parking lot as mountain cabins go.

By now it was time to get ready to go to the Dixie Stampede. I had been texting Mike throughout the day but had gotten no answer. I was worried they might be somewhere with no cell phone reception, or he might not have his phone with him.

A small benefit of having my Jeep is the blue lightbar. People often think you're the police. As Donna and I were getting ready to pull onto the main road a van went by. He looked at my Jeep and then quickly put his seatbelt on. Ha! We both laughed.

We got to the Dixie Stampede and I dropped Donna off at the entrance, then parked in the back. We waited awhile for Mike & Penny. It was getting close to the time we needed to go inside. I went back to the Jeep and stuck their tickets in the fuel filler lid and texted them again. Donna and I went inside to sit down and watch the pre-show show they put on. We had been watching the pre-show about ten minutes when Mike & Penny came in. We were glad to see them. They had been in Cades Cove all day and had only received my texts a short time ago.

Mike and Penny at the Dixie Stampede.

Donna and I. I'm the ugly one.

The show and the supper were great. We were all full and entertained. A small benefit of Donna being on crutches was we got to use the elevator. Everyone is filtered through the gift shop after the show and Donna bought a horseshoe. When I got to the Jeep Mike & Penny had already left. It took awhile to get Donna picked up due to people leaving one show and others going to the next one.

It was still daylight when we left. We had another stop to make before we went back to the cabin. We had to stop at Walmart for a few more supplies. Donna used one of their scooters. She looked kind of pitiful scooting around...bless her heart.

By the time we left Walmart the sun was history. We went back to the cabin, soaked in the hottub, watched the raccoons (only two tonight), and enjoyed the last night at the cabin. Tomorrow we head home.

35 miles.

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