I spent last week at the 3D Systems headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Normally I wrap up all my work in the week so that I can use the week ends to travel from and to India. However, due to the way my meetings were scheduled this time I was forced to spend the weekend here. I decided that I wasn’t going to spend it in my hotel room.
So I rented a Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic from the dealer in nearby Charlotte and decided to ride, now knowing exactly where. I had a general direction in mind which seemed to point towards the Blue Ridge Parkway, known as “America’s Favorite Drive”. It’s a 750 km long road atop the mountains connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Its a rider’s paradise. Long winding roads with breathtaking views going on and on and on.
My GPS decided that the best place for me to hit the parkway was at a village called Blowing Rock, 170 kms away from the Charlotte Harley-Davidson dealership from where I rented the Heritage Classic. So I rode to Blowing Rock, hopped on to the parkway and headed north. Here are some pictures.
The parkway has no commercial activity on it whatsoever. No coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, nothing. You need to get off the parkway to get into a village and hope to find something. I was running low on fuel and took an exit at a village called Glendale Springs. The place was pretty much deserted. I was lucky to find a gas station and topped up the tank of my bike.
By this time it became apparent to me that I couldn’t make it back to the Harley dealership to return the bike. It would take me at least two hours to get there and they would be closed by then. So I decided to turn around and head back to Blowing Rock and spend the night there. I remember seeing hotels and restaurants at Blowing Rock.
Earlier in the day, as I was riding from Carlotte to Blowing Rock, I caught a couple of thunderstorms along the way and was drenched from head to toe.
After riding a total of around 270 kms and braving thunderstorms I badly needed a hot bath. So I checked into the Holiday Inn at Blowing Rock and did exactly that. I wandered around the sleepy village and had dinner which comprised of frog legs and trout.
I woke up next morning, had a quick breakfast and hit the Blue Ridge Parkway again, this time riding south. Here are some more pictures.
After I had my fill of the Blue Ridge Parkway I decided to head back to Charlotte. I’m now back in my hotel in Rock Hill reliving the ride as I type this blog post.
In all I rode around 600 kms between yesterday and today. In one of my posts on Facebook I mentioned that as I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway I was as happy as a dog sticking out his head from a car window. I truly felt that way. 😉