|$3.11 for regular...not too shabby! And for us? $3.42 for premium is pretty good, too!|
|It was beautiful watching the sun rise Sunday morning.|
|Shane and Andrea riding east toward the sunrise.|
|Following Shane and Andrea into a wall of fog.|
|Some final Kentucky scenery.|
|I really liked Kentucky - it was absolutely gorgeous!|
After an eventful morning of riding in Kentucky, we entered Tennessee near Bristol and made our way to US 421, which is more commonly known in that area as "The Snake." While we were stopped at the Shady Valley General Store, I chatted with a bicyclist that I saw grinding his way up the mountain. I told him what a total badass I thought he was for climbing the mountains of "The Snake." He told me he absolutely HATES climbing, but the downhills make it all worth it. He said that he gets going so fast on the downhills that he "can't keep up with those sport bikes, but I can usually pass the cruisers." Whoa! While we were standing around taking in all of the scenery, three guys on sport bikes pulled out and did EPIC wheelies up the road. It was equal parts awesome and ridiculous!
|Thank you, Tennessee. I do feel welcome!|
|This was the most bikes I've seen at the store - makes sense though...it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon!|
|Our Concours at "The Snake."|
|"You are here."|
And at 4:20, we'll be at our next hotel!
|Mr. Badass! You should have seen this dude's calves!|
You could see every fiber in the muscles! It was NUTS!!!
Once we got to Mountain City, TN, I was on the lookout for Frank & Beans (our friends Frank and Scott). I mean, the last time we rode through Mountain City, we spotted them, so I was banking on making a tradition! I guess they didn't get the memo that they should be there. Since we didn't run into Frank & Beans, we continued south on US 421 to TN 88 which would take us into North Carolina. Unfortunately, it also put us at the tail-end of a funeral procession, which we followed into NC and quite a ways along NC 88.
|A sheriff lead the funeral procession to the NC line.|
|One advantage to being in a slow funeral procession was REALLY being able to take in the scenery on a lovely Sunday afternoon.|
|Motorcycles burn headlights.|
Why "burn?" Why not just "use?"
|We were definitely the loudest vehicles in the procession...vroom, vroom!!!|
|The little country church where the funeral procession FINALLY turned!|
Once we ditched the funeral procession, we stepped up our pace to get to Sparta and the Alleghany Inn for the night.
|Giving the old man bunny ears!|
|Did I mention that it was a spectacular day???|
|Yay! We made it to Sparta!|
We got checked into our rooms at the Alleghany Inn, got cleaned up, and walked down to The Pines Restaurant for dinner Sunday evening. When we got back, we did a little porch sittin'. While we were sitting outside, recounting the day's adventure (adventure = adversity recounted at leisure), another guest of the Alleghany Inn came over and sat with us. Turns out that he was one of the riders from the MSTA meet in Lewisburg earlier in the weekend. He came over to find out what we were seeing with regard to the weather. Sadly, what we were seeing wasn't good. The forecast from 7 AM Monday in Sparta, NC through 6 PM Monday in Roanoke, VA (our next destination) was nothing but rain. Boo.
Since our Monday was going to be a wet one, we decided to alter our route - eliminating a lot of the technical, twisty stuff - and push back our start time that we might sleep in just a little bit Monday morning. We agreed on an 8 AM breakfast at JB's (the restaurant in the parking lot of the Inn). Day 4 ended with 345 miles on the day and a total to date of 1,310 miles. We went to bed expecting rain...