Before I start my journey westward, Overkill needed a little bit more TLC. The guy’s a Cogent said Mack’s motorcycle repair was the place to get the work done. She was due for an oil change, a new rear tire and a couple of other minor maintenance items. The rear tire was going to take a few days to show up at Mack’s, so I decided to explore North Carolina a bit.
Who remembers the lake scene from Dirty Dancing? It was filmed here.
On the western edge of Lake Lure, the the town has built walkway that parallels US64 along the shore of the lake. The walkway begins at the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge.
I’m an engineer, not a botanist, so I couldn’t tell you anything about what was planted along the bridge. I can tell you that they did a great job of landscaping it.
Random North Carolina Stuff
The Judaculla Rock was a sacred place for the Cherokee Indians, long before Europeans started to colonize the New World. Archeologist date the carvings on the rock to as far back as 3,000 BCE. They have also found evidence of quarrying tools in the area, which where used to create bowls and other day-to-day utensils.
Lake Lure isn’t the only Hollywood connection in North Carolina. In the movie The Fugitive, there is a train wreck scene where Harrison Ford is escaping a prison bus that is about to be T-boned by the aforementioned train. Instead of using miniatures, the producers decided to do it for real. Once the scene was done, they left the train and bus where they lay. Almost 25 years later, the remains of that staged collusion are still visible.
I tried to get closer to the site, but alas it was not to be. The wreck was shot on a train yard and appears to be closed to the public.
I lived in Washington State for the nearly 15 years, so I’m used to seeing green, lot’s and lot’s of green. The foliage in North Carolina, while equally green (at least in the early summer) is completely different than what I’m used to seeing in Washington. Overgrown road signs were rare in Washington. They were pretty abundant in North Carolina though.
Hendersonville is a sleepy little town not too far from Asheville, in western North Carolina and it’s where I stayed for a couple days as I was waiting for my tire to arrive at Mack’s shop.
To the East Coast, Finally
Once my once my maintenance day was complete, I resumed my journey east, towards Cape Hatteras. My intention was to ride the Trans America Trail, which begins in Cape Hatteras and ends on the West Coast, at Coos Bay Oregon. It takes about a month to complete the journey, and it is mostly dirt roads along the way. Except for the beginning. That requires 2 ferry rides and is mostly pavement for the first day.
From Cape Hatteras I had to take two ferries to get back onto the mainland, then it was back on the road. I made it to Havelock NC, the home of the MCAS Cherry Point. There was a sign in the office of the motel I was staying at. It said “Please excuse the noise of the Marine Corps Harriers, it’s the sound of freedom.”
The next morning I was doing my morning inspection and I found that the right foot peg was a little loose. No problem, I pull out my tool roll, and tighten the bolts down. And I stripped out the threads on one of the bolt holes. Yay. I was able to torque the other bolt down, but I could tell that the threads on that one where on their way out too. Well, I’m not going to be doing much dirt road traveling with a foot peg that can fall off at any point in time.
Havelock is not a large town, and there is not much going on here. I figured the chances of getting the foot peg repaired here where slim to none. So I decided to head towards Durham. If I’m going to spend a long weekend somewhere, at least I’ll have something to do there.
I was able to find a cheap studio apartment on Air B&B that was in the middle of downtown Durham. There is a lot of gentrification going on in downtown and it is now very urban and hip.
It took some investigation, but I was able to find a shop that was able to install a couple of helicoils on my right foot peg. A big thanks to Combustion Cycles for getting me back on the road. And for being open on the 4th of July!
After 13 days in North Carolina, I’ve finally escaped and headed west. I want to be in Alaska by mid-August, which doesn’t give me enough time to do the TAT. That particular challenge will have to wait for another time. As of right now, I’m headed west towards Portland. I intend on being there in about a week and a half. We’ll see what else Mr. Murphy has in store for me along the way.