Great morning through the final sections of Virginia. Mostly twisty pavement and fast gravel roads. I had a delicious biscuit, egg & cheese at the Mojo Cafe in Damascus, VA, and the elevation got up over 4000 feet for the first time as well.
It poured in the early afternoon as I passed near Boone, NC, and I stopped for a half hour or so under some company's awning. Then the sun came out, and it got really hot and humid.
I had a few minor bike issues: A skid plate bolt rattled off at some point this morning, replaced that. Guess I had forgotten the loctite? The zip tie fix for the exhaust heat shield seems be working for now. I also feel like I'm going to need a new rear tire sooner than I expected. The pavement miles have really worn it down, and I'll be doing plenty with my dad around the Smokies over the next two days.
I got really tired towards the end of the day, and dropped the bike twice in a short period. The first time I hit a slick rock in a cross rut while making a turn. I stayed up, but the bike went down. Picked her up – no damage done – and continued on. The second time I put the side stand down in an bad spot, and it just kept going over. I was really worried about the stand bending or breaking but luckily just had some fuel spill out of the aux tank and got her upright again. I took a break after that, had some water and M&Ms, and took it slow for the 20 or so miles to the Alpine Inn where I've stopped for the night This place has some serious views.