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50 States, Day 230

  Sweetwater, TN to Robbinsville, NC 151 miles
"Don't Worry....Be Happy!"
~Bobby McFerrin

QG wanted to wait awhile for the frost to thaw. It was cold, but it wasn't THAT cold. We took off at 10:30 and had to do business first. I needed to find a notary for a document...time for a Rant-and a Rave.

We stopped at a bank and I entered and the only other customer exited. Three people worked inside. "I'd like to get a document notarized." She shook her head. "Sorry we only do that for our customers." But we're traveling, blah, you know where I could? sorry. I need a notary. You have one. I'll pay for it. So aggravating.

Went to (PP!) Ace Hardware to buy a padlock (I managed to lose it) and asked them where I could find a notary. They suggested the Ford dealer up the street. We stopped there...sure, no problem...done. Could I pay you something? No, don't worry about it.

Hats off to Jacky Jones Ford Lincoln in Sweetwater, TN! And those Mustangs look mighty attractive. The local bank? Shame on you. Charge me to do it, I don't care. Even the hardware store made you look pathetic.

Off we rode, and what a day. Full sun, calm, and the Smokey Mountains made for an awesome ride. Great vistas, mountains beyond mountains, and nice curving 50 mph roads. However, we climbed to elevations of five thousand feet, and found frost on the road. And QG thought we should wait a bit. Smart girl.

We met Stephen and Bob at a vista; Stephen an avid hiker and Bob a Gold Winger with his '07. Bob has a thousand stories. Wish we could sit down for dinner with Bob. We may meet him at Key West, Florida in three weeks and that would be cool.

Off to Robbinsville, downhill and pretty, rural with super light traffic. Robbinsville is a tourist/biker town, as it is the launch point for the Tail of the Dragon, Deal's Gap and Cherohala Skyway-a junction of great rides. See the blog below for a special on just the Tail of the Dragon ride today. Checked in at a Microtel, complete with bike towels and a bike wash area in back, ruining my standard excuse for not washing the bike. The crew was really friendly and the room small but well appointed. QG loved the window seat and spent valuable knitting time there.
Off to a Mexican restaurant for good old Mexican food and back to the joint to plan some epic rides for tomorrow.

And now, knitting like there's no tomorrow, Quilter Girl!

I love the window seat!  We had one in Seattle that I would curl up in, but this one is much more comfy as this one has a cushion and a back rest.  While Kevin ran the Dragon's Tail I sat in the window seat and read.  How wonderful. We have not had riding like this in a long time.  The mountains are truly beautiful, the views defy both photos and description.  Ridges just fall into the one behind and get lighter blue-green until the furthest just fades into the sky.  Even the leafless trees have their own beauty and allow us to see more. There was a creek babbling alongside the road at first.  I tried to get pictures, but I am not sure they were close to the reality.  I want to come back in the spring or summer.  Have you heard that before?  

On the way to dinner we stopped by the visitor center and came out with the treasured state map along with lots of other ideas for things to do.  There are so many friendly people in this part of the country.  We had a wonderful dinner, my usual cheese enchiladas, but Kevin was adventurous and tried their Maya Dinner.  It was a meal all stacked up between two fried tortillas with pork carnitas and black beans in the middle topped with cheese sauce and avocados.  Very good and we were glad to be walking to get some exercise.


Don't forget the Tail of the Dragon, the post below. 

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