East Coast Road Trip (April 21-May 8)&(June28-July18) through 32 US States with my 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid...

After Brasstown Bald, I hit the road for the Tail of the Dragon. Along the way, I drove pass this huge bike that caught my attention and I decided to go back to have a closer look.

I made a uturn and went to the bike shop. This bike is bigger than my car. I went in and asked the guy who looked like the owner if I could please take a picture by the bike. He said sure.

He went on to say his wife or somebody close to him beat cancer and so they are collecting voluntary donations for breast cancer research. He asked me if I was willing to donate. I said sure. He said drop it in one of this lady's **********.

I didn't quite get it until he asked me to turn around and he showed me the mannequin. So, I asked if I could take a picture of her. He said sure!

Well, I thanked him, went outside and took the pictures and was on my way to the Tail of the Dragon.


 
Next stop, Tail of the Dragon. Before I got there, I met this group of Mazda queuing to get on the road. So, I pulled over and let them go ahead of me. Well, all of a sudden they disappeared infront of me. Well, I decided to catch up so as to enjoy the twisties also. What a fun ride.





A group of bikers who rode from Florida to come and ride the Tail of the Dragon. They said they had a lot of fun. And told me to be very careful on the Dragon as an older couple flipped their car about an hour before I got there. Luckily they were not very hurt as nobody had cell service where the accident occurred. But ambulance finally came and transported them to a helicopter to be air lifted to the hospital. The couple's car is in the ditch. When I got on the Dragon, I saw 2 cop cars by a ditch with their 2 suv with full flashing lights. There was nowhere to pull over to see if the car down the ditch belonged to the couple who flipped their car. So, I just passed by the cops and kept on going.





The Tail of the Dragon was really good today, but many drivers made it very scary with very high speeds, dangerously taking curves, a few getting into oncoming traffics lane because they were going so fast that they could not safely stay in their own lane. It was plain dangerous! I had to be extra cautious today.

About 80% of the cars and bikes on that road today were out to push their cars and bikes to extreme limits. At every curve, it felt like I was holding traffic behind me and I will pull over and the cars behind me would just disappear (Mazda 6, Subaru, Corvette, BMW, Fiat, Mercedes). And all I could smell through the whole trail was burned rubber and smelling burned brakes. Most people were truly extremely fast on the Dragon today. So, be careful if you go driving the Dragon any time soon.
 
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There are 2 companies who take action shots of your car on the Tail of the Dragon. Thinking of ordering one of them and just had to post the pic from their website.
By the company killboy

By the company 129 slayer
 
Drove to Cades Coves today. Stopped along the way at a few pullout to take took some pics of nature.









When I left Cades Cove on my way back to Pigeon Forge through a short cut, I met this guy who got himself stuck. He was trying to make a uturn in a narrow road and backed up a bit too far and the trailer he was pulling went over an embankment. The wet grass, the mud and the embankment proved too hard for the Ram's 4wd system. I stopped and asked if I could help in any way. He said he should be ok. That he will try self recovery and if he is unsuccessful, he will unhook the trailer and go get help with his Ram truck. I bid him farewell and left.
 
My last pictures of the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area yesterday, before I left today for Virginia.

Aerial shots of Gatlinburg and some random shots on the way back from Cades Coves.







 
Today I did my long drive from Pigeon Forge to Roanoke, VA. I did half of the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is definitely a drive worth taking. So quiet and relaxing. Filled with twisty turns, sharp blind curves and some very steep inclines. I met some very friendly people too on the drive.
Highest point on the Parkway

One of the many tunnels on the Parkway

Hiking to Linville Falls


Linn Cove Viaduct

Very popular Manor house on the Parkway is being renovated right now

 
First stop today was Natural Bridge State Park. Very nice view. Great weather and a one mile hike past the bridge ends in a waterfall. Not a spectacular waterfall, but a nice one to sit at and relax. Along the way there were 2 snakes intertwined with each other and it made for an attraction on the hike for everybody.



Front view of the bridge

Rear view of the bridge



Small waterfall at end of hike
 
Next stop was to drive some of the Blue Ridge Parkway again and continue to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.

The Skyline Drive in Shenandoah Park is not as exciting as I thought. It is basically part of the Blue Ridge Parkway that they changed its name to Skyline Drive.

If you have driven a lot of the Blue Ridge Parkway like I have done so far on this trip, when you get on the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP, not much will give you a wow factor. The BRP was more spectacular and offered a lot more, according to my experience. It might be different for others.

 
Today, I went on a 3 hours round trip out of my way to pay my respect to the fallen souls of Flight 93.


Tower of voices

Crash flight path


The plane went straight on this path and crashed behind that fence at the spot marked with a bolder. All perished.


Where the hijackers sat


From takeoff to crash. This is how it all went down...




There are 3 recordings of very sensitive voice-mail left by 3 female passengers to their loved ones. It is there for anybody to listen to. If you are very sensitive, it is sure to make yoqu tear up or cry. Let me summarize what I heard.

First call. A lady to her husband. Telling her husband their plane has been hijacked and the hijackers say they have a bomb. But she is ok. She just wants to say she loves him very much and she should tell her kids and family she loves them very much.

Second caller. A lady to her sister
Telling her their plane has been hijacked. Hijackers say they have a bomb. They just heard 2 planes hit the WTC, so, she is sure they are going to die. So, she told her sister she has safe in a specific location in her bedroom and gave her the code (the pincode is actually on this call) to get into the safe as she believes she will die. She said all this while crying. Telling her sister she loves her very much and will miss her.

Third caller. A lady to her husband
Called her husband to say they have been hijacked. And she is ok so far but she has heard planes have hit the WTC, so she does not know if they will make it alive or not. She just wants to say she loves him and their kids very much and she hopes she sees his face again really soon. Sobbing as line went dead.

Then then a few minutes later, the crash and all of them dead.

RIP Flight 93.

The 3 ladies who made the calls to loved ones that is being played at the 93 Memorial are in the picture below.


 
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I have always been interested in visiting Covered Bridges. So, I looked up some on my way to the Flight 93 Memorial, here in Pennsylvania. I visited a total of 4 and it was really cool, especially as the ones I visited are open to the public to drive on.

To get to these Covered Bridges took me through some very scary and isolated back roads. It was quite an experience. The few cars I passed on the way really took a look at my car especially when they saw Texas license plates. They sure wondered what I was doing driving through their neighborhoods that basically nobody comes around there. But I sure did enjoy visiting the Bridges. It was scary too as I was the only one at 3 of the bridges in complete silence except for the fresh morning breeze.

Herline Covered Bridge




Colvin Covered Bridge




Jacksons Mill Covered Bridge




Claycomb Covered Bridge


 
Today, I also stopped at the Amish Village in Lancaster, PA and attended a tour to learn a bit about the Amish people. It was interesting.



 
If you are ever anywhere close to Lancaster, PA, you should make time and stop and visit Shady Maple Smorgasbord. Make sure to eat their buffet too,, while you are visiting it. It is really a good value for the money. Plus, you can eat healthy or you can indulge in a food coma.

I hear lunch price is about $16. I came when it was dinner time. I paid $23. And the variety of food was really vast. Healthy and non healthy choices.

I only went to the grill since they had some good steaks cooking. All I ate there was only steak. No sides or anything else. Well, after the many rounds of steak, I had some desserts. They were really good. I mean, the variety of desserts is more than the choice of food. After getting my full, I still had to drive 2 more hours to my hotel for the night.



 
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