I’ve gone over the map, and reconstructed it to actually reflect the small roads I traveled over…yesterday’s map was hurriedly routed…and contains many substantial errors.  This ride actually ran me 126 miles, start to finish… It took me five hours to do…and lunch stop was a small gas station and chocolate covered mini doughnuts. YUCK!  But, here we go folks…I had a great ride!

View Larger Map

Leaving my home in near Milligan Collage, I head into Johnson City, to Smith Brothers HD. I really didn’t want to ride alone today, and thought to stop in there to see if anyone wanted to ride.  I get there, and see a radio truck from WQUT.  Also, there was one guy in the lot on his bike, he looked to be trying to settle himself in for the day there…what’s up with that? Why own a bike only to sit in the HD parking lot all day? 

I walk into the building, and the gal from motor-clothes spots me.  She kinda sidles over and acts like she is checking out a rack of shirts as I am getting ready to pass her, keeping her back to cameras in store, she whispers to me, “I just heard them announce over the speakers, first female to show her MC endorsement will win some kind of a prize!”  

Now I’m not one to reject a gift…so out I go to my bike to get my purse.  I left it in the saddle bags. Back in I go to the parts desk, ask them if any gal has shown her DL to them yet…whammo….nope…I get a free gift pack of HD cleaning products.  OK I’m glad I went…even if it turns out the people who gather for rides had left already this morning!  

I talk to a friend of mine…a mechanic, he asks me how the bike is running, I tell him it FEELS like it did when it was a spring chicken….over a 150 K miles ago…and it really does now you know…seems like a lot less vibration going on for some reason….

I skeedaddle out of there.  I hate going there…I always leave my money where I can’t get at it…I’m not impressed with their proud pricey impulse items…and I really don’t advertise for anyone on my tee shirts…unless I REALLY like em!  And while I have friends who are employed by Smith Brothers HD, and their service department has some TOP NOTCH service techs in it… I still don’t wear their merchandise.  I’ve also bought HD boots from the dealer…and HD boots SUCK!

Out to my bike in the parking lot, as I’m putting my purse back in the saddle bag, another guy shows up on his bike.  Backs it into a spot along the fence and pulls out a tall boy can of fricken BEER!  Guess he’s planning of sitting in the parking lot of HD and getting drunk…wow, what an exciting proposition.

Starting my Sporty up…she sounds so good…yummy in fact… I drop her into 1st, release the clutch and find my way to the street….when the way is clear…I open her up…speed clutching my way to 60MPH….quickly!  It feels good to open her up like that in just six seconds! She makes my heart sing!

I head south to Erwin. I’m still not sure if I am going to take SR 19E or not…oh oh…well it looks like NOT!  Been there done that, and I see a few other bikes taking the route.  I really don’t want to be where others are right now.  I did less than a hour ago…but once on the road, once I’ve opened her up…she and I want to be alone.  

Gassing up in Erwin, then heading out toward 19…I do actually get on that road and start up the mountain.  

Funny thing happened on the way to the summit…I saw another road that veered south.  I turned around and headed on Tilson Mountain Road.  What a great mountain road!  If any of you are from around here, you really do have to ride this road.  It will ride for about 15 miles before dumping you out near Flag Pond Road.  What a fricken great ride this was!

Check out this old country store…of course, it’s no longer in business anymore, but I just love the shutters on the windows…

Behind the store is this old derelict barn, just waiting for my camera to discover it!

Just before coming to Tilman Mountain Road, I snapped this photo of my bike and some distant background:

I have one more shot I want to share of the bike…here she’s sporting Bandit’s Bedroll… Now Bandit designed the bedroll to sit on the handlebars, but my bike has gauges there, so I’ve relocated my bag…and I really LIKE it!

Here is a shot of Tilman Mountain Road. The left side of the road ends in a steep ravine, and Oh, it has switch backs and hair pin turns too.

Coming down the other side of Tilman Mountain, you will encounter a varied amount of topography…and great buildings to photograph…

This abandoned home is across the street from the barn…

And these hay bales…growing grass….were on the side of the road in front of the house….

You’ll run out of road on Tilman…run into something else, and then fall into Flag Pond Road.  This is a real nice little road, it seems to run to I-26, then run away…reminds me of my puppy, when he’s playing…never really wanting you to catch him…very much like Flag Pond Road…never really wanting to be caught by I-26…it runs up and down rocky mountain sides…into great little valleys…around granite rock faces…you can look down into the valley and see your trek behind you…and it feels good.

Here is a house that appears to be in the midst of an upgrade. No one is living in it, but it sure looks as if some loving hands have been taking care of it.  Look beyond the house a bit…you see the granite rock face? What an inspiring view!  And of course…what “ginger bread” house would be complete without a cemetery on a hill above it?

This Amish Quilt pattern on the side of the drying shed…is very pretty…I saw several, but mostly on the way home…and I was running late…this one, was on one of the very small roads as I was trying to head west toward Marshall NC. 

This is US 70 North heading toward Greenville from Marshall.  It’s the last picture I got…I was late and my puppy needed to get out to pee!




  1. "there was one guy in the lot on his bike, he looked to be trying to settle himself in for the day there…what's up with that? Why own a bike only to sit in the HD parking lot all day?"Cuz they THINK it actually LQQKS cool….or impressive….or somethin' stupid like that. My my, how wrong they are.Beautiful (day) beautiful (ride) beautiful (pics)! Lucky for US, thats an awful lotta stoppin' 'n snappin'.

  2. you took the puppy on the ride?beautiful pics btw

  3. I took a ride today and had a great trip but it really did not compare to the views which you witnessed above.

  4. I love your ride posts. You really do have a talent with the camera. Made me realize I should've done a few "bike in the foreground" pics for my last post. I'm going to make sure I do next time. Looks like beautiful country down there.As for hanging around the dealership, I'm all set with that. I only go there when I need something. I also have to defend my HD boots. I don't ordinarily disagree with you, but my current pair of H-D Stratus harness boots are the most comfortable riding boots I've ever worn. I didn't get them from the dealer either, Zappos.com for 130 bucks. Best $$ I ever spent. Of course as is just my luck, they discontinued these boots, so when they wear out, I don't know what the hell I'm gonna do!

  5. The picture of the house with the shutter is the best, I like te colour one with the almost bare tree in front most it somehow matches the house. You are very good with the camera, nice pictures these old houses are amazing like directly out of an american movie – but they are real.

  6. You always take the best photos! Thanks for sharing your ride with us!

  7. Hey Chessie, I'm going to get you a map of the Quilt Trail. It might give you some ideas of roads to ride with beautiful views. I know there is one in the office somewhere. Love ya, Sis

  8. Wow! Shrik has gotten big already!! And so cute! :)Awesome pictures as always! Beautiful roads and wonderful finds…

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D. Brent Miller

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