Well the day started off good. Everyone got a great night sleep, and a good morning breakfast. Ann did a few test runs to get used to her rental, a 805cc Suzuki Boulevard C50T. I got the accessories ready, Cell Phones, Voice activated Helmet intercoms – synced to handle bar mounted Zumo Garmin GiPS, Binoculars, front fender mounted GoPro video cam, Beretta mini 40 cal Pistol, DCameras, trip Snacks (cheesy gold fish), bottled water & most importantly; the IPad with Verizon WiFi Air Card so we could check our EMail, FaceBook notifications & current weather conditions, while on the road. Another Potty break and we were off @ 10AM. A little overcast, a great day temperature wise in the mid 60’s. Since we had already technically done the Dragon (you know, the other night when we arrived in the mVan at 1AM), we decided to start on the easier road, Hwy 143/165; a 50 mile stretch called the Cherohala Skyway. On the way we stopped to do a couple of GCaches, the first one being in an old creepy Cemetery. As we road higher in altitude the temperature dropped 20 degrees and the winds came blowing in. At our first 3000′ overlook, we all bundled up, and put gloves on. This is the way we remained the rest of this portion of our trip, while skirting the top of this mountain pass.
Did a few more GCaches, about half were DNF’s. At our last “Tellico Plains” overlook their were bathrooms and another DNF GCache. Lots of site seeing as you looked down over a valley with houses, farms & a hugh lake on one side. Dayton made a friend there, Gabe Waters from Lenoir City, Tn. They were both playing dangerously close to the edge and showing off their binoculars. As we were pulling out they exchanged EMail addresses and Dayton snapped a D-Pic of Gabe with his camera.
We continued our twisty winding road descent down into the valley. Had to keep a close on my speed, as this downhill direction kept making my motorcycle creep up to 60MPH from the posted 45MPH max. Their was a couple of big orange temporary road construction signs, warning about impaired vision due to smoky-fog being present. It smelled like a big camp fire was burning somewhere, but all I saw was one county forestry work truck with a bunch of orange clad guys on lunch break. It looks like they were culling the forest, cutting down the dead tree limbs & foliage, then burning it all onsite so they didn’t have to haul it out. Down & down we went a few more 45MPH turns and then BLANK……………………………………………………………………………………………./
The next thing I remember is glancing up at some unknown guy standing over me, with his hands out stretched helping me up off the road. “Confusing” is the first word that comes to mind, it was like I just woke up, but were’s my bed??? As I looked dazed & confused, he’s babbling something about motorcycle accident & the little boy with his wife seems to be OK. I’m thinking, this guy’s NUTS! What motorcycle, what little boy, WHAT the F’k is he talking about?? Now to put this in perspective you have to realize, Ann & Emily had not yet arrived. They were about 2 minutes behind us (Ann must have been able to keep her motorcycle under 45 MPH). Then slowly it starts to come back, I look again to my left and see my motorcycle laying down on it side, 3/4 in the road – still not remember anything about Dayton (that little boy) at this point. In a PANIC I reach down and attempt to pick-it-up; this is when I realized I had been hurt, as my right shoulder bellowed out with PAIN!!!! At that point Ann & Emily arrives on the scene. See the video below.
After my NON-memorable (still to this day) motorcycle accident, I felt bruised and confused. I ached all over but what hurt the most was my bruised ego. All my years of riding motorcycles without one incident, and now I have one and can’t remember any one part of it! What a weird feeling. The cop’s showed up 5 minutes later. So what kind-a questions do you think he’d ask? Were you drinking, speeding, texting, squirrel braking, is that BULGE in your jacket’s pocket a concealed 40 cal pistol? ……; No instead he asks, “Who’s the President”? I reply “Well let me think; I believe it’s still Obama” but his facial expression, showed disapproval; so being in the South I kidding-lee added – “maybe one of the Bushes”?? Then he asks how old am I. Well I gave him my canned response; “I was born in ’59, so I’m Fifty something”. Face say’s, WRONG ANSWER! Apparently he was test questioning me for signs of a lingering concussion, so now he wants me checked out by the county medical crew before he’d release me on my way. So we wait for the ambulance to arrive. As I looked over my PPE, protection gear: Full Face Helmet with scratches in middle of face shield and right hand side. Leather Jacket with tears across back shoulder blade and right arm areas; I can imagine how much worse this would have been if I had not be wearing these. I will NEVER, EVER, EVER, ever ride another motorcycle, without a helmet. After this experience in my eyes, anyone that doesn’t wear one is a FOOL, and deserves to get what’s coming. Whether it be a nasty bump, bruise, a few missing teeth, or a more seriously injury like death!!! Even thou I don’t remember a thing, I must have blocked (that little boy’s) my 7 year olds fall. Dayton’s injuries were minimal and his helmet still looks like new, not one scratch on it.
Half an hour later the ambulance arrives. They take me inside the back, and check my vitals including blood sugar. Although they found nothing medically wrong, they insist I be transported to the hospital for further testing. I refuse, so they make me sign – with my finger – their IPad’s release form, and on our way we go. Next stop LUNCH, then it’s onwards to the hard part of our trip, The Tail-of-the-Dragon…….
The #1 8 minute Video below was taken after my accident; finishing our Cherohala Skyway experience, making our way to have LUNCH.
The #2 37 minute video above, was taken on Hwy 165 The Cherohala Skyway, from our last overlook stop at Tellico Plains; up to and including all the accident footage.