How did I get here

Written by admin. Posted in 2014 A True Sabbatical

Jump ahead; I am writing this blog from Sturgis South Dakota during the 74th annual Sturgis Bike Rally. The blog is still geographically in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. Seems like the first day I have slept in and woke up wondering how the hell did I get here?  I have been gone now for 50 days and have made it through 33 of the 48 states I plan to do this ride. Already the hot summer days of Texas and Louisiana seems like a distant memory as I ride the cool rainy weather I am in now. All I know is I got here mostly by back roads and each one was very different and I wished I had more time to do the ones I regretfully rode past.

back road


The last time I was here it was not near as crowded and I was only able to spend a half day. This time, lots of people which is partially due to the popularity of antique motorcycles which is growing thanks to shows like American Pickers and American Iron Magazine. Even Wheels thru Time has their own show on the Velocity channel called “Whats in the Barn”  I spent the night in Maggie Valley and scheduled so I could spend a whole day here this time.

in front of wtt

Getting ready to write this blog I went back and looked at all the pictures and I must have taken 300 or so of antique motorcycles and the details of the bikes. Very hard to just pick a few for this blog or to pick a favorite. Guess we start with this one, a 1930 Harley VL because I have one.

30 v

While I really like the colors on this one, mine is a different shade of blue and I have always wondered how close it was to the original color. Based on this next pic, I would say mine is pretty close because this one is spot on to the color of mine.

my color

My next favorite bike is an unrestored 1958 Panhead. I probably took 50 pics of the details on this bike alone. I have a 58 panhead which at one time was pretty correct and original when I got it. I was younger and a hot rodder so I dolled it up, painted it the color I wanted, added more chrome, ground welds and smoothed the frame. I probably screwed up as far as value, but at same time it has placed in 9 of the 10 shows it has been in and I can ride it when I want to. The current trend is to leave them alone and keep them crusty and rusty like this one.

58 pan

I am not sure how many bikes are in this museum but they all run. The caretakers Dale and Matt Walksler are whizzes and taking a bike that hasn’t seen daylight in 50 years and making it run while leaving all the originality on them. Much of their TV show is about just that, finding a bike hidden for years in a barn and in a few hours making it run again. Unfortunately, and I should have known this they were in Wauseon Ohio at the Antique Motorcycle races and swap meet while I was there so I did not get to visit with them. They were racing antique bikes and turns out Matt did very well. Oh well, see them in Vegas.

I left North Carolina in the rain, did a bit of South Carolina and then headed north still in the rain. Not wanting to ruin my new camera I left it in the saddlebag for the next two days keeping it dry. Gives me a reason to come back just to take pictures since I know I missed some great ones. There were places it was so foggy and raining so hard all I saw was the white lines on the road and then they disappeared. Oh crap road construction, no white lines, seems like I am just going up and up and up and have no clue where the hell I am. Eventually I was at the top, pulled into a closed gas station to dry out and took the camera out to take this pic. No wonder I am chilled.

58 degrees

This house was for sale and I wanted it.

for sale bristol

Probably a little to expensive and fancy for my taste. I could maybe afford this one and it is more my style, just needs a garage to make it complete.

maybe afford this one

According to the sign, Daniel Boone made a road through here in 1775 and in 2014 Cole used this road to get to Kentucky. How cool is that! Thank you Daniel Boone!

monument corner

Okay, so I am on another forested backroad, imagine that.


I often stop and go hiking in the woods. I don’t know what I am looking for, just like the feel of it and maybe will stumble across a bear, a deer, some old marker. Mostly I just find poison ivy, chiggers and ticks. I wasn’t expecting orange mushrooms!

orange mushrooms

Maybe they were the reason I woke up this morning wondering how the hell I got here, what a strange trip it has been. God Bless America!

flag bike

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