We are 2 miles from the "Dragon", 318 curves in an 11 mile stretch of road on the Tennessee/North Carolina border on the lower outer rim of the Smokies on Hignway 129. A sharp left hand turn and then it happened! Nothing! The bike goes dead! We are thinking oh great. First thing we do is push the bike off the roadway. Luckily for us there is a small pull over place on the curve. We , or rather Pat fiddles with the bike but nothing happens, no sound. So the first thing I do is flip open the cell phone, no service. We are in a dead zone! A few bikes go by us on their way up the mountain and finally 2 bikes stop and try their phones, nope, their phones have no service either! Our only hope is to jump start the bike. The other 2 bikers help Pat get the bike turned around and I hop on and down the mountain we go. No sound except the wind rushing by. Soon he is able to get it going again after we had gone about halfway down. Just as we get to the entryway to The Foothills Parkway the bike goes dead again. This time we knew there would be not starting it. Soon we have all kinds of bikes stopping but no one can help start the bike. One group roars off with reassurances that they would send a towing service back for us. At thsi time at least 6 different cell phone services have been tried and no one has service. The Little Tennessee River is in front of us looking very inviting. I thought of just diving in. I also thought of throwing the bike in! Several hours have passed and finally someone gives Pat a ride into town leaving me there. Now I am not afraid. It would take a lot to get to me and besides I was not helpless, I was packing and I can get downright mean if I must. As Pat drove out of sight the towtruck arrived. I look in the direction that Pat went and back at the tow and I am lost as what to do. Shortly as if by magic I see Pat coming back. They had spotted a boat ramp that had a table AND outhouse and decided to take me there. Now we are back together again and loading the bike on the towtruck. We head into Maryville and of course it is getting late. We stop at a store and buy a battery for the bike and have the alternator tested. It was no good. Guess what, the new battery had no charge on it and their machine would not charge it. So we had to buy a charger. We are looking at 10 hours to get the battery charged. By this time it is 9 pm. I am tired and hungry and I want to be home! Not to be. We have enough juice in the battery and make it down the street to a motel. Another night on the road we did not count on along with other expences not counted on. (ever pay for a motorcycle tow?)
The next morning we hit the road headed home again. We are so close I can almost taste it. The bike coughs and dies. This time once again we are in the middle of nowhere. This time we know that there is a town over the hillabout 4 miles from us. So......... we start pushing the bike UP the hill! This is going to be another long day! We are almost to the top when this old beat up convertible stops to see if he could help. He offered us a ride into town to a place that could recharge the battery. This time we can both go. Pat takes the battery in and the guy offered to take us someplace to get some food. He took us to a real nice place that had good country cooking. No menu, just a sign on the wall telling what they had that day. He then took us back to get the battery. The man that charged up the battery did it for no charge and asked if we had a way back to the bike, said he could send one of his guys to take us. The first guy had already said he would take us. So back to the bike we go and get her cranked up again. We are back on the road again. Finally we get into Chattanooga and the bike starts winding down again. We pull into a service station and they charge us $10 to charge the battery! Give me country folks anyday! We get home and the bike has not moved since. The last 125 miles of our trip took 2 days and cost us more that the rest of the trip added together!
Home sweet home!
And yep I am ready to take another trip! We plan on riding the Dragon's Tail!