No, not your mother, me. My legs...HURT.

Just got in. Between dipshit Sunday-morning cagers and a failure to do a better map recon of my route, it took me about 9 hours to do 421 miles. I was also really tired at about 1400 and had to stop several times to wake up. In contrast, I did 370 miles in 6:15 on the way up there. Yeah, I was moving. But that was as much interstate as I could do, so my average speed was much higher.

I highly recommend 441 north of Knoxville. The Smoky Mountain roads and the BRP are as I remembered them: beautiful, but frustrating because of the oblivious traffic and limited opportunities to pass. Next time I get out there, it won't be an out-and-back and I'll have time to visit the Dragon and some other good places. I think I need to get out to Suches to run the Wolf, just for the sentimental value of tearing ass on the roads around Dahlonega where I suffered so much, humping the mountains.

Cherokee, just south of Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park would make me want to commit suicide if I was an American Indian. It's the worst type of tacky-ass tourist trap.

US74 is actually I-26 for quite a distance, which is irritating, as that's the kind of riding I was attempting to avoid if at all possible. Really though, the worst is the median-divided highways that go through town after town. I'd rather be on the interstate for that kind of riding--at least you're not screwing with all kinds of intersections, stop lights, and local cops/speed limits. So, I'll take either the slab, or small US or county highways.

As I left in the morning, I stopped for my first McDonalds food in like 5 years, and nearly pissed myself when I came out to find an oil puddle under my bike. WTF?! What's the world coming to when you stop for junk food and come out to find that some low account bastard has switched your bike for a Harley?! smiley0.gifsmiley0.gif Really though, I'd just topped off the tank and parked on a bit of a slope, so I had a bit of overflow. No issues, except for that momentary, "Aw shit..."

With multiple jumps, Ranger school, and some significant combatives training behind me, my knees are about 10 years older than they were the last time I took a long trip about 3 years ago. Both are swollen badly. I almost couldn't get my feet down in time as I stopped to make the final turn-of to my house. Guess I'll go see the doc tomorrow and see how bad the damage is. For the moment, I've got ice packs on. PT should be fun in the morning.

Only one encounter with a cop, as the Valentine worked its magic all through the trip. This guy must have eye-balled me while going the opposite direction going through some town, because there was never a chirp. He asked what my MOS is and, when I told him I'm an Infantryman, he told me that he was a cannon cocker in a previous life. Then he told me to be careful getting home. This was about 50 miles from the finish. Joy.