Saturday, February 9, 2008

February 9, 2008

Got up this morning and decided to ride to Murfreesboro to try the hot dogs at Walter's Grill. I had seen another WRAL Tarheel Traveler feature on hot dogs there and wanted to try them out. Also wanted to visit Medoc Mountain State Park and do a hike there.

Got on the bike and headed east on Hwy 42. Rode to I-95 and turned north to Hwy 97. Got on Hwy 97 and basically stayed on it all the way to Murfreesboro. Along the way, I went through Scotland Neck, a town I had never visited, and was pleasantly surprised at the street layout there. Between the northbound and southbound lanes was a parking area, with the parking spaces perpendicular to the traffic. NEAT! The town had a friendly feel to it as well.

Got to Murfreesboro and found Walters Grill using the GPS. Took a couple pics and went inside to eat. Ordered 2 dogs all the way and sweet tea. The hot dogs were great--probably in the top 10 I've eaten. Talked with the waitress and mentioned the TV feature. She told the owner I was visiting because of the TV feature, so he came over to chat.

When he learned where I started, he seemed amazed I had ridden that far (107 miles) so quickly (about 2 hours). I really didn't ride fast; just kept moving.

When I finished the dogs, he asked if I was planning to visit their museums. I replied that I might, but didn't know where they were. He proceeded to tell me about them and encouraged me to visit them before leaving town.

I rode to the first one, the Jeffcoate Museum at the end of Liberty Street. Went inside and learned that a proper visit would take about 2.5 hours (more time than I wanted to spend). The operator gave me a couple of brochures about a barbecue festival held in May and encouraged me to come back then, eat barbecue, and take in the museum. I hope to do that.

The other museum holds an airplane that is supposed to be the oldest plane in existence (or so I'm told) and a Gatling gun. I'd like to see that as well, but it was not open yet.

So, I headed north on a county road to go into Virginia (just so I could say I rode to Virginia) and then turned west-south west towards Medoc Mountain.

Got to Medoc Mountain State Park, took a couple pics, and rode to the visitor center to park. Changed into tennis shoes and went for a 45 minute hike on several of the trails. Walked almost to the summit (now I wish I had gone to the summit) and back along a pretty creek to the bike.

Changed back into boots, put on the Roadcrafter, and started back towards home.

The ride home was uneventful.

Weather was terrific. Temperature when I left home was about 45 degrees; when I arrived home about 65 degrees. Wonderful weather for February!!

The odometer showed 266 miles when I parked the RT. A great day for a good ride for a good hot dog. I'll go back to Murfreesboro again.

February 2, 2008

Just a short note to record a ride to check out a hot dog joint in Tarboro, NC. I had seen a TV blurb (Tarheel Traveler on WRAL TV) featuring Bud's Grill. From the broadcast, it sounded like the hot dogs and hamburgers served there were memorable.

So, I got on the RT and headed Northeast on Hwy 42. The ride was pretty uneventful except it was the first ride using my new Gerbing heated jacket liner. The liner arrived a couple days earlier, but I had not had a chance to try it out.

The power installation was much too easy. The Centec fuse block makes electrical connections so easy; just remove the cover (2 screws), strip the wire ends, loosen two small screws, stick the wire ends in, and tighten the small screws, and put the cover back on. A 5 minute job!

Temperature was about 38 degrees when I got on the bike. Turned on the liner and felt no heat for several minutes. I got a dual controller with the liner, so I thought I may have turned on the wrong switch. So, I turned off that one and turned on the other, all the way. In about a mile, I was beginning to sweat!! Too much heat, so I turned it way down when I stopped to get gas.

Along the way, it felt very toasty; not hot nor cold. Just right! I think I'm going to really like the liner.

Got to Buds Grill and went inside to try out their food. Sat at the counter and ordered a hot dog and hamburger all the way. Both were served quickly. The hot dog was average--not special. But the hamburger was great! Very good hamburger. Sweet tea had a slightly spoiled taste.

Got back on the bike and rode back home, uneventfully. Rode 126 miles for the day.