Ihad one last route I had to ride before I left Tennessee. Highway 129, which crosses from that state into North Carolina, is aptly named the Tail of the Dragon: The road has no fewer than 318 turns over a 13-mile stretch.
It’s a well-known bike road; at its start, I found about 30 other riders, who had arrived from all over the country to try the route. It’s a tricky road, with very tight switchbacks and steep drop-offs throughout. Upsets do happen — at the end of the road is the so-called “tree of shame” which has broken body panels of crashed motorcycles nailed to it.
Leaving Tennessee wasn’t easy. I loved the state and will certainly be back again. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who likes scenic, twisty rides.
I crossed the Mississippi and arrived in Little Rock, Ark., tired but excited to explore a new state. After a good night’s sleep, I rode north to Eureka Springs in the Ozarks. The routes were very similar to Tennessee, consisting of hills and valleys. I was actually starting to suffer from scenic overload — everywhere I looked there was beautiful countryside. I would never had thought Arkansas would be so beautiful. I stayed in Eureka Springs, a small town with winding streets filled with wonderful old Victorian buildings. Legend has it that First Nations peoples believed the local water could cure people of various ailments. I drank as much of it as possible, hoping it would cure my sore back.
A storm moved in the next day, bringing with it heavy rain, high winds, thunder and lightning. I decided to extend my stay for another night to avoid getting caught out in the open.
But I’m starting to get into this trip. I’m enjoying the ride and have met lots of people along the way. I now realize its hard to be lonely in a country of 300 million souls.
Metro columnist Michael Jackson has embarked on the trip of a lifetime. On May 1, he headed out for a six-week solo motorcycle trip across the U.S. and Canada — but to make things even more interesting, he plans to have something of a mobile office, managing his small business, a printing company, remotely while he’s on the road. But will Michael really be able to put work aside at those times when he’s trying to enjoy his trip??Will his bike break down, wreaking havoc on his itinerary and budget? And will he go stir crazy travelling by himself for so long? Follow his adventures every Wednesday in Metro to find out.
– Michael Jackson is embarking on a six-week motorcycle trip around North America. Track his progress at www.adventuremotorcycleroutes.ca.