May 11, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Long Day

Today may have been my longest ride yet on the BMW R 1200 GS—about 260 miles, from Augusta to Pigeon Forge. The sky was overcast, but as the temp was much like it was yesterday, I did not layer. I regretted that soon enough and stopped about 50 miles north-east in Elberton, GA to micturate and layer-up.

Dad watching the waning light.

Gas stations were unusually busy, and this one had only 87-octane which they were limiting to 10 gallons per person. I didn’t think too much of it, but as I traveled further north, I noticed that many gas stations had bags over their nozzles. Apparently, some hackers installed some ransomware on the Colonial Pipeline. By the time I got to I-85 in Lavonia, I wondered if it might just be wise to turn back toward Macon. Luckily, I found a station with gas, so I topped off my tank. If we’re have a gas crisis, maybe I need to use this full tank to get home. Goodness knows, I wouldn’t want to get stuck in Pigeon Forge. After chatting with Autumn, I decided to chance it. With this fill-up, I would get to PF and part of the way back to Macon, but I would need one more tank, probably round Athens.

Like yesterday, the temperature never really got above 70°F. The clouds disappeared by mid-day, and it was perfect riding weather. I made it to Cherokee by 13:00, or so, and rested at the welcome center. I was tired, but I had already covered over 200 miles. The ride over the mountain was pretty bad, as they were blacktopping the road on top, so there were delays and back-ups. It took two hours to go 30 miles. I already decided to find an alternate route back.

Getting into PF, I decided to top-off the tank, if I could. No problem getting gas here at all. A full tank might even get me all the way home, though that would be pushing it. I may head west and hit Deals Gap for the return trip. I could go down through Dahlonega, GA, then pick up 400. I’m not too keen on interstate travel on the bike, but that might be the best place to be sure I could get some gas. Well, I have a few days days to decide.

Since the light was so nice when I arrived, I talked Dad and Sharon into some shots with the Pentax 67 📷, just in case we don’t get to it again. Sharon offered to take one of Dad and me with the 67, but we settled for an iPhone shot.

Dad, Sharon, and I spent the evening chatting and watching the birds.