When I approached the Mount Mitchell State Park sign, it was like the wheels of my bike turned in to the entrance on their own.
The past few times we’ve been on the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Mitchell had been closed or it was too foggy to see 10 feet in front of you. Now that we were visiting with good clear weather, I had to head up!
After our experience with Grandfather Mountain, part of me wondered if I would be pummeled with a howling wind as we climbed higher and higher. Thankfully, the trees did a good job of keeping the winds in check.
Just to be on the safe side, I pulled in to the parking lot as soon as I saw the lodge-restaurant. I suppose it was kind of an irrational action to think that the outcome would be any different if I stopped first and then continued heading up to the peak. But… sometimes that’s the part of your brain that is at the wheel.
As it turned out, that cuckoo part of my brain was on to something.
Kenny and I parked our bikes and walked towards the lodge which wasn’t visible from the road. Boy, was I glad we did. We put our behinds right in front of the window and had a delicious hot breakfast and enjoyed the rolling, green mountains below.
After breakfast we wandered outside onto the open air deck and took in the view.
Once rational thought returned, Kenny and I rode to the peak of Mount Mitchell. From there, we followed the short walking path that lead to an observation deck which offered a full 360 view of the area.
Part of the view was obscured by clouds sleeping on the trees. It felt like we were at the roof of the world, like I could just reach up my hands and tickle the angels in the clouds.
In a moment of serendipity, while at the top of the park we saw two other riders we’d chit-chatted with in a parking lot in Virginia 2 days before. When you consider how your lives have to line up just so to put 4 strangers in the same place at the same time, hundreds of miles away by sheer coincidence, it boggles the mind. One decision, one different turn, an extra 5 minutes spent drinking a cup of coffee and things would’ve been entirely different. Heady.
When we pulled away from the parking lot, we fell in behind a guy on a Valkyrie and followed him all the way down to the Pisgah Inn. It was fun riding behind him. Every time he dipped his big gal into a deep lean I got to watch the sparks fly when the floor boards touched down.
The day was off to an awesome start…
More Posts from the Trip:
- Southern Trip Stats - Y'all Come Back Now, Hear?
- Day 2: Smooth Sailing on the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Day 2: Detour to the Roanoke Muffler Man
- Day 2: The Mile High Club at Grandfather Mountain
- Day 3: Blue Ridge Parkway Pit Stop - Breakfast at Mount Mitchell
- Day 3: The Highest Elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway Motor Road
- Day 3: Wheels Through Time Museum - Photo Gallery
- Sights from the Road: The Cherokee Muffler Man
- Sights From the Road: Greatest Car in the Universe v4.0 - Mufflermobile
- Day 4: NC 209 With a Little Luck
- Sights From the Road: Goats on the Roof
- MotoPhoto: Don't You Just Love it When the Road Does That?
- Roadside Sights: Pal's Sudden Service
- Check One Off The To Do List: Backbone Rock
- Day 5: Stung on the Back of the Dragon
- Roadside Snapshot: The Big Little Apple of Thaxton, Virginia
- Snapshot: Southern Trip Souvenirs
- Day 7: Mixed Nuts and a Reformed Jackass on the Loose in West Virginia
- Beware - It's The Devils Road!
- Space, The Final Frontier - These are the Voyages of the Fuzzship Tigerprise