So, I’ve checked WeatherBug for today’s forecast and not a cloud in the sky for the entire east coast. Let’s RIDE! Rain gear in my bag, I’m good to go! Lookout Smokies here I come!
As always before I head out for the open road, I look at my favorite weather app to check how the weather will be at my destination. In this case, I’m going to ride highway 28, AKA Moonshiner Road, to Highlands for lunch. WeatherBug says I’m good to go.
Now I will admit to not spending a bunch of time preparing and checking my bags for gear I might need on the road like a rain suit. But today was different, and I DID check. There in my left saddlebag was my Frogg Toggs.
So, I have to address this one issue before I get on the bike and head out. Helmet or not? In this case, the helmet decision is made for me. NC has a helmet law. Although I wanted to go with my skull helmet, I chose the three-quarter helmet.
Gear accounted for, and I’m ready to go. Now which way to go to get to Moonshiner Road? So, I get my Smartphone and look at not so trustworthy Google Maps!
Pssssst! Who needs Google Maps, because I had made the trip to Highlands NC before. So, off I go down 378 towards Saluda where I would pick up 178 to Greenwood and eventually highway 28 into Anderson. Then 24 and 11 into Walhalla on to Moonshiner Road. Always a fun ride with just enough twisties and scenery to make me smile.
After a simply gorgeous trip so far, I reach Walhalla and Moonshiner Road. I’m getting excited! I ride past Last Chance biker bar into the foothills where the road begins to twist and turn like a snake. The lack of traffic is making the ride even more enjoyable. As I ride over the Chattooga river origin, I’m singing Dueling Banjos in my head.
Then it happened. That dreaded sound no biker likes to hear. Thunderclap! Hmmmm, reminds me of a song, Thunder Stuck. Nothing unusual for me! LOL. I digress. Undaunted or pushing fate, I continue to ride hoping for the best case scenario. Like no rain. Before I could say a bright sunny day, the bottom drops out.
Whaaaatttt?! WeatherBug lied! More on that later. There was nowhere to pull over at my current location. Covered with a not so waterproof t-shirt, I ride on until I find a little side road, covered with trees, to put on my rain suit.
The trees provided a little shelter from the rain, but not like my rain suit would. Reaching for the lever to open my saddlebag, I was dismayed to find that it had inconveniently decided to leave said saddlebag. Well, at least my head would be dry.
Pulling back onto Moonshiner Road, I continue towards Highlands. I pass a road sign, Highlands, 10 miles. By now I’m soaked. A little more rain was not going to make a difference, but my face shield was fogging up, so visibility was limited. Not good on a twisting mountain road!
Finally, I’ve reached the Highlands city limits, and the rain is still coming down. Rounding the final curve onto Main Street, I begin searching for a parking space near the Ugly Dog Pub, my favorite place to eat. Looking like a wet dog, I walk into the pub and sit down to have a good ole juicy burger and dry out.
Remember me saying WeatherBug showed no rain on the ENTIRE east coast. Well, it doesn’t know how to forecast mountain weather. While sitting in the Ugly Dog Pub, I look at the radar, and the ONLY rain on the ENTIRE east coast was where? You guessed it, HIGHLANDS NC!
The moral of this story is, put your rain suit where you can get to it. Ok Ok, how was I to know the lever was going to fall off my saddlebag! The rain subsided, I head back home down 64 to Hendersonville and interstate. Always an adventure, but that’s why I ride!
Until next time, ride safe, ride often!