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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Everything has a cost

I left Nashville after joining my friends for breakfast. Nothing is better than spending time with old friends and making new ones. My plan was to super-slab it to my reservation in Kingsport TN. But plans, like rules, are made to be broken.

The trip from Austin to Nashville was under cold and gloomy skies. To break it up a little I skipped over to US 70 that ran parallel. The old US numbered routes are a hidden gem for motorcyclists. They go through the real America that the Interstate system so studiously avoids. They cling to the landscape, twisting and turning along the hills and rivers. They pass through the towns and villages and you'll find much better food at Alice's Dine Inn than you'll ever get at Speedy's On The Highway.

Through Arkansas the road was straight and flat. Before long I noticed that the road was on a levee, 10' above a continuous array of rivers, creeks, swamps, and flood plains. Where it was dry, it was cultivated fields that must get enriched with the nutrients spread by the periodic floods. The towns I passed through were farming communities that exhibited the full range of farm activities. You can't find a panorama this rich on the interstate. The curious thing is that the alternate route isn't much slower than the freeway. 


So today when I got on I-40 the sun was bright, the air was warm, and I had a smile on my face. It was too good a day to waste droning down the highway. So I jumped over to US 70 again and enjoyed the slower pace. There were fall colors in the trees and the traffic was light.


Then I hit the jackpot. Ever wonder what they are talking about when they mention the hollow in the southern mountains? While I was trying to line up a picture I realized that I was at the junction with Brinley Hollow Road. Adventure calling!!

It was a one lane road that went down the side of a ravine into a linear valley wedged between two ridges. It went along for a few miles. I didn't know where I was going but what could go wrong? I could always turn around and retrace my tracks but my road dead ended at a junction with Stanley Hollow Road, another one lane road going somewhere ...


So, of course, I took it. This led for many more miles and then blended with a 2 lane road. Finally it came back to US 70 and I headed headed east again. 


The cost of this adventure was going to be a late arrival at my hotel. An extra hour on the road with the sun down and the temperature dropping. It would be cramped muscles and a sore fanny. 

It would be totally worth it. This is why I ride a dual sport motorcycle!!


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