Chasing a tag in the NC tag game.

When a friend rode over 1000 miles to bring the tag back to near TN I felt like I just had to give it a kick myself.

I left home at 12:30 and tanked up near my house with non-ethanol high test gas. I didn’t get far before I ran into a major downpour. Water was rushing down the street 6″ deep. I was in cooling mesh gear when it cut loose. I had a brief thought about putting on some rain gear. Then I thought I didn’t bring any. Oh well. About that time the sun came out and helped dry me off. I got rained on off and on all day. I spent 9 hours in the saddle and covered 300 miles.



NC tag snag


Took a ride to see Portal 31 in Lynch Kentucky

It was a beautiful day, Nat was travelin, we had a neighbor to watch the hound. Hm. Mow the lawn or ride?

Well along the ride (yeah, I chose to ride) I stopped over at this improvised overlook. My cell phone camera just can’t do this justice so I took a lot of shots.

View along 160 1


View along 160 2

View along 160 10

The road I came up;

View along 160 8

and the road I’m going up;

View along 160 9

So off I went. Shortly after I left this spot I crossed into Kentucky. A sign at the border informed me that I was on Black Mountain at the highest point in Kentucky. The road I was on was 160 and not a lot of straight or level on it. Just my style. Not too much farther in was my goal.

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 1

Lots of history to this place. It was begun around 1912 on a government request to supply good quality coal for ammunition for World War I. They built an entire town around a coal mine and with a guaranteed market for the coal no expense was spared. Everything about it was state of the art.

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 2

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 5

Nowadays (but not today) they offer mine tours where you get to ride these cars. I shot this through the fence across the entrance.

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 6

This cute little machine was for grinding coal out of the mine.

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 11

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 12

I rode a little farther out looking for a good sized road. I found another town but didn’t note the name. They had a Hardees so I grabbed a nice lunch. While I was eating I could see a LOT of smoke rising off a hillside. After lunch I rode a little closer but not close enough to see what was going on.

My next notable stopover was the Cumberland Gap park and overlook.

Cumberland Gap Overlook 4

Cumberland Gap Overlook 6

Cumberland Gap Overlook 11

Cumberland Gap Overlook 12

Cumberland Gap Overlook 13

Cumberland Gap Overlook 19

With a vantage point like this it should be no surprise that this was a stronghold during the civil war. For both sides. Alternately. I my riding boots and temps in mid 70’s I wasn’t up to hiking around enough to see all those sights. I did get up to a cannon placement but took the wrong path to get closer to the cannon that was there. The real big gun was finally left in a cave down below. I don’t think the one there was it.

Cumberland Gap Overlook 26

Down below at the main overlook you can see Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In Kentucky the town of Middlesburg is built in an ancient meteor crater. It’s possible to make out the shape of the crater if you concentrate.

Lake level check. Morning after a night of heavy rains.

As TVA is bringing up our lake levels we had widespread heavy rains last night. It will take days for the rain to drain down into the lake but that should jump up the levels. These were taken the morning of 4/3/2014. I’ll try to add some more pics in about a week or so.

I took 4 pictures and let Google+ stitch them into a panoramic view of our little slice of the lake.

panoramic view of the lake channel behind our house.
Our lake level should jump up over the next few days. We had heavy storms through much of the night and it takes a few days to drain down into the lake. It should be fun to see how fast the lake rises. Taken 4/3/2014

I don’t think that’s gonna hold air.

Crawling around under my 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate I discovered one of the air bags I have connected to the self leveling suspension has blown out. Since it was in the direction facing the nearest part of the exhaust I assume it was heat related. Ironically when I tried to reposition the heat shield some it broke off and I had to replace the shield and the air bag. Luckily I had bought a new set and installed it when I last worked on the suspension. The old set was still on my shelf since I didn’t see any problems with it.

Picture of an automotive air bag inside a coil spring. Air bag has blowout hole.
Most likely the heat shields weren’t enough to keep the exhaust heat from melting this while I sat idling. Note to self; don’t sit idling.

Pot pie in NC.

The North Carolina tag game on was placed at Pot Pie in Marshall, NC. I rode out expecting a pot pie lunch, some pictures of the place, and a good ride. Unfortunately all they sell is frozen pies that you take home. >sigh< That sent me down the road for lunch. At any rate this is the picture I snapped of the place. Not much free parking but nobody inside. image