Day 9
October 9th, 2009
Blue Ride Motorcycle Campground
Cruso, North Carolina

I put my journal away at the Gathering.  It's hard to work on it when so much social activity is going on, and nothing is more impolite then a guy tapping on his smart phone when he's eating dinner with friends, so I don't have much detail of  Day 9 or 10.  I'll use pictures to tell the story, but even that is incomplete, because I had to pass many good photo ops to stay with the group on this day.  I was only able to take pictures when the train was stopped for food or gas.  I managed to get some good shots at the end of the ride on the approach to the campground, when I eased out of the line.

I don't even recall the routes we rode, Uncle Phil keeps them in his head.  About all I can remember we took U.S. 276 from the campground, went over the Parkway into Brevard, and from there my memory went cloudy
​We spent the morning carving up roads like this.  We had a line of 30 bikes,
a few guys missed a early turn, but after that, it went well and everyone managed to make it back to the campground

After a morning of great riding in the hills we made this stop at a rural 
store/deli where we had a impromptu picnic.  Everyone pitched in and
bought a loaf of bread, baloney, condiments, chips, Oreos and had a big
time.   It was great.  The weather was the warmest ever for a Fall Gathering.

This photo is at the Blue Ridge Parkway. We're taking a break, and allowing
those that wanted to leave the ride to get on the Parkway for the campground.  Everyone was having so much fun, there were no takers.

SR 151 twisting up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Fall colors were outstandingas you can see.   It was late afternoon and we were almost home.
The RT loves Fall color just as much as me.   Last year I was on the Honda,
and he didn't speak to me for a month as a result.  This pic is somewhere
on 151.
Riding their way through the colorful Blue Ridge Mountains, I captured
these 2 riders leaning hard on 151.  It was the end of the day and I'm
sure they were anxious to get back for supper, and the evening campfire.

Same curve, different angle, different riders.  I caught these riders giving
chase about 1 minute later.

Though the window is short, the Blue Ridge has some of the best fall foliage
in the country.  It is dense, varied, and colorful.    Colors vary from locale to locale.  For example, the areas along the Parkway can be peaking, those in the valley a week behind, and the slopes on Cold Mountain  past peak.  Also trees in the valley on SR 276 and 215 tend to have more red than 276 into Brevard.  I have a affection for the Blue Ridge unlike any other area of the USA.

The riding, the mountains, the people, and the bikes, all contribute to 
the magic of the Blue Ridge Gathering.  Now you tell me, after looking at
the pic above, where else would you want to be?  Everyone of us can see
ourselves leaning hard out of this curve, leaves drifting down ahead to
be parted by our windscreen in a moment.

​And when the ride is over I come back to my tent at the creek bank, relax on 
my table, and share stories with my friends.    When I took this pic most
of the guys were behind me talking about supper plans.

Day -10