The brisk wind cut through my leathers with sharp cold as I wheeled my Harley Super Glide out of the garage early Sunday morning for the 10-mile ride to Slate Mountain Presbyterian Church.

I decided to take the bike and brave the cold so I could get a jump start on the day following church. When the service ended, I headed South on the Blue Ridge Parkway as the sun and diminishing wind brought temperatures back up.

After a quick stop for gas at Meadows of Dan, I continued South on the Parkway, knowing I would have to abandon the road in North Carolina because the Parkway is closed at the base of the mountain leading up to Doughton Park for “guide wall restoration.”  The popular Bluffs Lodge and Coffee Shop is closed indefinitely , still looking for a vendor after Forever Resorts did not renew its concessionaire lease with the National Park Service to operate Doughton Park, Mabry Mill and other locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Mabry Mill found a new vendor but Doughton Park remains closed and may or not reopen when the construction is finished.

So I turned off the Parkway at U.S. 21 and headed down the mountain to Elkin, North Carolina and a stop for lunch at an excellent Chinese buffet that included surprisingly good sushi.

After lunch, hopped over to I-77 and blasted north for 15 miles to North Carolina highway 89 and headed back up the mountains to Galax — a lot of fun carving twisty curves and scraping the footpegs on both sides of the bike.

At Galax, turned right on U.S. 221 and headed to Hillsville for a stop for gas, then right on U.S. 58 and a ride back towards Meadows of Dan and down the mountain at Lovers Leap.

Left on Virginia Rte. 8 and up Woolwine Mountain, whipping the bike right and left on more twisties and leaving some more rubber from my footpegs on the pavement.

Back into Floyd just before 5 p.m. and pulled the Harley back into the garage and listen to the engine and pipes pop as the bike cooled down.

I collapsed onto the couch, tired but relaxed.

q

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