Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Anthony Bourdain: To Travel and Love Life

Strangely over the last few years, Anthony Bourdain's death has taught me a few things, new lessons, and some lessons that I had to re-learn. How self-rumination can lead to brooding thought. That this can destroy our reason to live or, more importantly, loving to live life. What people think of us really is none of our business and really doesn't matter. We must make our own way in the world and not let anyone hold us back.
The day it happened, we were waiting for a flight to London. I have to say I thought about this during our stay in London and our 12 day Baltic Cruise. Before his death, I read a news story that hinted at trouble in this man's paradise. As one person put it, he was bitten by that black dog—the black dog of depression. I have followed Anthony from the very beginning. Trying to fashion my life after his by traveling and searching out new experiences. It seems unbelievable to me that it ended for him in such a sad way. The years of travel and wandering seemed to have caught up with him. When he found another soul that he thought would rescue him, something to hold onto in this world, it ended up being a false sense of security. He invested too much in it. Then, in the end, he felt betrayed by life itself, I think. It pushed him over the edge.

"Former U.S. President Barack Obama, who dined with Bourdain in Vietnam on an episode of Parts Unknown, wrote on Twitter: "He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown." More importantly, it takes us out of our comfort zone to have a better understanding of the world in which we live. That different or even strange to us is not wrong. I once heard someone say that we are all broken in some way. That no one makes it through this life whole. Throughout this journey of life, we all trade pieces of pain with one another. I guess there is solace because he gave so much to the lovers of travel and food. That he had a life many of us dream of, sharing it with the world as his gift to us. Rest in Peace, Anthony, and until Valhalla.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Tennessee Lost Highways: A Trip to Rodgersville

On a Road Never Riden

Well, it's been a great week at Cumberland Gap; tomorrow, we leave this riders mecca.  First, one last ride.   We head south to an area of Tennessee I like to call the Tennessee Lost Highways.  To me, these are some of the greatest unknown motorcycle roads in the nation.  There are three mountain ridges cut by glaciers thousands of years ago.  These ridges separate Virginia from Tennessee.  This is where the Tennessee Lost Highways are at their best.

Today it was all about riding; TN 33 to Sneadsville, then TN 66 to Rogersville.  Then TN 70 over 3 mountain ridges to Jonesville VA. Then back to the Gap.  We have had a lot of rain this year, which has caused some slides on the mountain.  Luckily, they were fixed during the summer, so it's fresh pavement most of the way.

TN 70

TN 33 Follows Clinch River before hopping over a small ridge that brings you into Sneedville.  This is a fun road with lots of twists and turns with great views of the River and Ridgeline.   Once in Sneedsville, we tackle TN 66 to Rogersville; this is the meat of the ride cresting 2 mountain ridges with tight twisting turns; this road was built for motorcycles. 

Clinch River Valley

After we get to Rogersville, it's lunch at Taste of Chicago for some genuine Chi-Town Dogs. Rogersville is the second oldest town in TN, settled in 1775 by the Grandparents of Davey Crocket.  Which was purchased by Joseph Rodgers, who established the town. 

After lunch, it's time to ride the ridges to Jonesboro, Virginia, then back to the Gap.  TN 70 then VA 70 to Jonesboro scales 3 mountain ridges.  The road narrows to a single lane when entering Virginia, but it quickly widens again.  Some great accents and decent with great views.  This road is highly recommended. 


Well, all good things must come to an end.  Time to make that trek back to Clarksville, Tennessee, and dream of the day when we can come back to ride the Tennessee Lost Highways again.  So if you're tired of riding the Tail of the Dragon every year.  Try somewhere new come to the Tennessee Lost Highways.