Interestingly, my time in North Carolina was made very comfortable due to friends mainly because of and through Social Media. Two people from different backgrounds and segments of my life and it’s history.
First was Ian Schmeisser, a former Ambassador of the BMW Owners group and BMW Friend of the Marque that’s been in the ADV community for a long time. You could even say he was one many that have helped build the ADV community in the US. We had crossed paths in 2015 when the PNW hosted a March Moto Madness rally out in the Capitol Forest. It was a great excuse to get really dirty(muddy) while raising a few dollars for charity. We had stayed in contact on Facebook since then and vowed to actually meet up and hopefully ride together when I was in his part of the country. He and his wife Dee Dee welcomed me into their beautiful home on a mountain top in the Smokies.
As it turned out, a bad storm blew through while there which killed the ride but not the conversation. Spending the better part of two days listening to his stories was a treat. Learning the history of the BMW Adventure community and the “ins and outs” of the goings on behind the curtain was extremely informative. Topping off my stay was watching the John Penton movie and hearing a lot of background about Johns amazing life. Thank you Ian and DeeDee for your hospitality!
The other person that made my time in North Carolina very special was a friend that had lived in Tacoma back in 2007. Amanda Josiah was out of college, figuring out her life and looking for adventure. We had met up on one occasion but life pulled us in different directions. We said we’d stay in touch, and have over the years on social media. She’s now an amazing solo mother of 2 lovely girls and a home care registered nurse outside Charlotte. Her wanting and yearning for adventure is still there, which is great to see! She is also quite the mother hen with her kids and growing chicken coop, thank you so much for the eggs!
I was lucky to get to hang out with them on two different occasions. Once at their home then again a few days later after visiting Ian and Dee Dee. Amanda and her kids asked me to join them on their mini vacation at a cabin deep in the Smokies. ( it was actually 17 miles from Deals Gap and “Tail of the Dragon” 😉) It wasn’t hard not to accept an offer like that!
I took them on the Dragon in their car, the girls said it was better than a roller coaster, we even got their pictures taken by Killboy.
The next day, I planned a nice loop on the bike across the Cherohala Skyway to Telico Plains Tennessee and back to Deals Gap in North Carolina. Such amazing pavement and views! I’m already making plans to return to the original March Moto Madness in Tellico Plains next year. If the pavement is that spectacular, I have to imagine the dirt fire roads are even better!
Because of my great time in North Carolina, This might just be my route back west after Mardi Gras which will take me Northeast to Tennessee then west to Denver and finally the PNW. Life is an adventure!