VIEW FROM BALCONY OF RENTAL HOUSE IN BLOWING ROCK, NC.
Word is getting out. The three annual Biker Parties thrown at Rider's Roost by Uncle Roy and B.C. are well worth the trip. What started out as a ride with the Colonel and his wife, Susan, for a night partying at the Roost, and a night up in Blowing Rock at a rental property, turned into a mini-party of our own.
By the time we left the Durham Harley-Davidson's "Roadhouse Cafe" after breakfast, we had eight bikes and 12 people rolling through Durham in search of some back roads the 200 miles to Ferguson, NC and the Rider's Roost Motorcycle Campground.
Generally, we were going to follow Hwy 64 for most of the ride. It's not quite a back road, but far better than the Interstates. Just after passing over Jordan Lake on Hwy 751, we stopped for pack readjustment and smokes. Several of the riders had significant others on their bikes along with all their crap AND camping gear, so we were a bit overstuffed. I had the Uni-Go trailer stuffed to it's lid with camping gear and still had stuff strapped to the outside of the tourpack, and chairs strapped to the outsides of the saddlebag rails.
To set the mood for the weekend to come, "Smokin' Joe" announced his intention to "start the fuckin' party" by burning a donut in the parking lot (#01) of the service station we were in, followed a half mile down the road by a 60 mph rendition of Jesus on the cross by standing on the seat of his scooter with arms outstretched. Wish I had looked in my rear view mirrors when that happened - I had to get that story second-hand (over and over!) First chance I got I pulled up next to him at a light and told him "he was camping at the other end of the camp from us!"
Weather was a concern this trip... was threatening rain all week, and the dot-com told us Scattered T-Storms were in the works all weekend. We had pretty good weather for the ride west, though. Overcast most of the way and fairly cool temps to start off. Our next stop was for gas in Asheboro and a quick visit to the Museum on Hwy 64 on the west side of town near Hwy 49 (#02). Had a cup of coffee, helped the first spilled bike back up on its tires and continued west on 64. (#03)
With a V-Rod and a couple of Screaming Eagles in the mix, they all behaved themselves fairly well for the uneventful ride to the Roost (#04). We made a few butt breaks and a snack lunch near Lenoir...quick because I was eager to get there early enough to snag a good spot. These things fill up fast on nice weekends - hopefully the rain threats are keeping some good spots available for us, (although thats not necessarily a good thing for the Roost. (Pics #05 through #11 are old pics from last trip at the Roost) Found a fun little shortcut by cutting across from Hwy 18 north of Lenoir on Grandin Road a few miles to Hwy 268. We rolled in about 3pm and found a 75 foot stretch of prime river bank still unclaimed by the 25 or so tents scattered across the property. I think many of them were reluctant to take their rides down to the soggy grass spots in the riverbottom, but a thin gravel strip guided us to the bottom between a few trees. Wooden picnic tables and fire pits were claimed as ours as we all set up tents and set out chairs around the pits.
By now the sun was out fully and most of us were drenched in 'camp set-up sweat' so once the suggestion that we ride into town to stock up at the ABC store and eat dinner was raised, we all fired our bikes and headed up to the camp entrance. One more bike slid over in the wet grass and was righted by quick thinking bystanders. Farther up Hwy 268 we went, into Wilkesboro. (The ABC store for future use, is behind the Glenn's Diner on Hwy 268, opposite the Tyson's Chicken plant - open til 9pm - glad to help!)
Over to Ryan's Steak Buffet on Hwy 421 west of town for dinner - the best buffet I've ever seen short of those seafood spreads in Myrtle Beach. Gassed up, and stocked up at the grocery store across the street, and we were off to the campground for the night, driving right past the spot where Tom Dula was hanged - (remember the song "Hang down your head Tom Dooley?). Booze put in the cooler, chips on the table and cigars in hand, we settled down for some serious partying.
Although part of the night was spent putting up a rain canopy to ward off the sprinkles we were getting, it was overall great weather. The process of erecting the canopy was more fun to watch, and even funnier to listen to from inside the tent. (Hey, I was brought up to get in the friggin tent when it rained - thats why we put 'em up!) But eventually the canopy was up... gotta wonder why the hell it was placed over the edge of the fire, but whaddahell, it was shelter. Imagine a circle of canvas fold-up chairs around the fire, with the glow of the fire on all of our faces as we each gave each other shit and told riding stories. Beers, drinks, wine, cigars, and funny lil' rolled up smokes made the stories funnier than they probably were. Life is good.
(Pics #13 through #19 are shots snagged from Rider's Roost Excellent Website. CLICK HERE.)
Just before 9pm, we stumbled, rolled, crawled and were carried up the banks of the valley to the Roost's Rec Hall (#15) for the evening's entertainment - a stand-up comedy routine by our host Uncle Roy. Every star has to have it's opening act, so the first 15 minutes were open mike for other campers to stand up and make fools of themselves...and we weren't dissapointed. After 3 or 4 guys telling the usual gaudy sex jokes, one yong lady stood up and in a sexy soft voice began telling a story about how this white guy and a black guy were talking about their sex lives with their wives, and how the white guy always got a little every night. Black guy was flabbergasted at why he never got any. White guy said - I usually just say some poetry to her and she responds wonderfully... black guy says, Poetry??? What the hell kinda poetry? White guy says, well... sumpin like this - Blond headed Angel, eyes of blue, lie here in the tall grass and I'll make love to you." Black guy squinces up his face and says thats crazy, but said he'd try it... so later on that night he's with his old lady and looks longingly in her eyes and says... "Nappy-head, nappy head, eyes like a frog, get up on yer knees so I can fu(% you like a dog."
Needless to say the only girl comedian won the best applause. Right after that act (mainly cause no other guys were willing to follow it) Uncle Roy took the stage and gave a 20 minute act that was hillarious - not gonna pass on any of his stuff - you gotta come hear it yerself...any of his party weekends on the Friday night at 9pm...don't miss it. Keep the kiddies at home - this is a "R"-rated party.
ALSO, even if you don't come to the Roost to party, get off yer ass and buy his book. Its really a good read and by a fellow biker - gotta support those who ride and spent the time he did in front of his old Underwood Typewriter to put this out for you. Its about a hard-on-his luck biker named Shovelhead Red who's luck changes at the lowest point in his life, gets a break, and does what all of us wanna do - live out his dream on the road on his Harley. He's got a second one in the works and I can't read it til he sells more of his first one, so move it! Find it on his website, or get in touch with me. No - I don't get a cut - I just wanna read the next one sooner.
The remainder of the evening was excellent. More excellent for some than others I'm told, as there were some single ladies in attendance. No names will be exposed (I use that word on purpose) to protect the not-so-innocent. I have searched in vain for anyone else who had a digital camera up at the covered party pavilion, but no one will own up to it. Good thing for those of you who KNOW that wouldn't have been a good thing. All's I can say is some objects appear larger in the camera. Your fun-meter might vary depending on which party you wandered over to...there were several. The Colonel, Susan, Kim and I stayed closed to the firepit having our own party, with random stragglers stumbling into the firelight imploring us to come up to the big pavilion and join them in "the real party"... it woulda taken two large guys to even get me up off the chair and the promise of naked women in the pavilion to get me moving in that direction. Turns out the latter was available, but didn't find out til it was too late.
Saturday morning broke to clear skies. The typical dew-coated campground wasn't as bad as I had remembered from last time. We took turns dragging our asses up the hill to the coffee urn in the rec-center. One of the guys made scrambled eggs and bacon (#23) - didn't have to ask twice to get me over there for a bite (#22). Eventually, Colonel and I started the slow process of stripping the tents, air-drying the tent-fly in the sun and sucking the air out of the mattresses...no I didn't do that by mouth. These 12v pumps do a good job of that, thank you. Everything was stuffed intot he trailer, or various packs and/or bungied to the chrome rails and by 10am we were at the top of the hill taking showers, buying T-Shirts and books, downing last minute coffee and saying our goodbyes to new friends. Had to hunt down Cuz one more time to aplogize for not hanging out at his party last night - seemed like a nice guy - gonna have to meet him again here sometime for some brews.
By now, it was down to our two bikes... me, Colonel and the girls... that was the ultimate plan. Tonight we had a reserved 3 bedroom house on the face of a cliff overlooking the valeys on the Blue Ridge Parkway up near Blowing Rock, NC. A good plan it turned out, too... the weather turned ugly.. We took a really nice ride down Hwy 268 towards Lenoir, and up Hwy 321 to Blowing Rock. The house was empty last night so we lucked out and got in by 11am. Not long after that the skies opened up and we found ourselves stuck in the house. Didn't take long to find the phone number of Boone Take-out Express - a great service that takes your menu order from any restaurant in Boone, Blowing Rock and a few other nearby cities, will go pick it up, and deliver it to you for the cost of the food, plus six bucks!...Great deal!
In-between storms we wandered out to ride the parkway, grabbed a beer in town while the girls shopped and scampered back to the house when the next batch of black storm clouds hit. We sat around the covered back porch (#25) watching the storm come and go, sat in the hottub for hours, and then curled up around the gas log fireplace (#31) with Baileys and Coffee watching TV all night, wondering how wet everyone was back at Rider's Roost...
Sunday morning was a slow pace - coffee on the porch sitting in the rockers (#32), wiped down the bikes after the morning sprinkle, and headed to Wilkesboro to check up on Kim's mom's house. Quick butt/bathroom break and down the road a few miles for breakfast, then the haul-ass home down Hwy 421 and I-40. BY the time we got to Mebane, we pulled off the expressway and tooled the rest of the way on back roads in the heat of the day. Overall a great trip - missed the heavy rain, and had a ball at the Roost Party. Check out their next two summer parties, July 18 & 19, and Labor Day weekend... I promise you'll have a blast.
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