Day Eight by Dave Schultheis
Sunday, May 27, 2001 - Jackson, Tennessee
I was up and moving at 6:30 a.m., packed, checked out and left around 7 a.m. By this time it's taking less and less time each day to put everything in the T-Bag, attach it to the Road King and go.
Some miles down Interstate 40 I got a Decatur County photograph and then stopped for fuel at 8:20 a.m. in Hurricane Mills, TN and then continued east.
Half an hour later I stopped at the Roy Acuff-George Jones Rest Area on "Music Highway," (got a photograph) and called my brother.
He is a musician, so he was home (sleeping) and was kind enough to give me directions and invited me to come by his home in Hendersonville.
I got there about an hour and a half later. He lives in a small house in a quiet residential area. I greeted him through the screen door and asked where I should park the bike. Before he had a chance to answer, I added, "this is Tennessee, should I just park on the grass?" and he said that I should, so I did.
I haven't talked to James for about 8 years, so we had some catching up to do. He's a musician and took up carpentry on the side, so he's made some modifications to the house.
I did not know until I got there that he had a cobalt blue1999 Harley-Davidson FLTR Road Glide with detachable tour pak. We parked the bikes next to each other in the yard for some pictures. His neighbor wasn't home to take a picture of both of us, so we had to do with two photos.
Then he changed into long pants and boots and we went for a short ride. I followed him to a nearby Chinese buffet, where we had a nice lunch and continued our conversation about how things had been going.
He asked me to get him a t-shirt from San Jose Harley-Davidson when I got back, and said he'd send me one from Nashville. We finished lunch, said our goodbyes, and I got back on the road at 12:50 p.m.
A short while later I pulled into a rest stop and saw the rider with trailer that I had talked to the previous night in Jackson, and his wife. I don't remember where they were going.
Some time later I passed a sign for Roane County and saw that we were now in the Eastern Time Zone.
At 5:25 p.m. I pulled into a gas station in Knoxville for a short rest and to make a telephone call. I needed to call the Red Roof Inn (York, PA) by 6 p.m. to cancel my reservation if I wasn't going to make it that night. Since I was several hundred miles away, I knew I should make that call. Unfortunately it took me three tries to get the clerk to understand what I was telling him.
After getting through, I continued east and make a fuel stop about an hour later.
Some distance east of Knoxville, Interstate 40 turns to the south toward Asheville, NC, and I continued northeast on Interstate 81. Just short of the Virginia state line, I pulled off the freeway at a Best Western in Bristol, TN at 7:43 p.m.
The lobby had a line across the floor indicating that the state boundary goes through the middle of it, but the actual state line is outside the building a few yards to the east.
I was the last person in a long line of people waiting, so by the time I got the counter, looking a little bedraggled after a long day of riding, Mitch (the manager on duty) said he'd give me the Manager's Special, and offered me a room for $41 instead of $66. (Very nice; but as it turns out, when I checked out the next day, I was charged a higher rate. Oh, well.)
Since I had noticed that the parking lot was relatively empty, I asked for a single, non-smoking, ground floor room with parking right outside. He gave me the keys to Room 121 and it was just fine. The motel was quite large and had very few rooms rented, although some of the rooms near mine were occupied, and I talked with some of my neighbors about motorcycles, Rolling Thunder, etc.
It was late in the day and I was tired, so I turned on CNN, caught up with my notes, took a shower and went to bed.
Miles for the day = 444.
Miles for the trip = 3258.
Tomorrow: I'm too far away to make the Pentagon parking lot by 8 o'clock the next morning, so I'm going to miss Rolling Thunder. But other adventures await.