Monday, August 16, 2010

Great River Ride – Day 12 – Sweet Tea and Sweetwater

Tennessee river and nick-a-jack reservoir panorama

We left Birmingham today after spending the night at Linda and Bruce’s house. They are family of a friend I’ve known since I was 14. We had such a fun time with them, and wish we could have stayed longer. We took US-79 NW out of Birmingham towards the beautiful Guntersville, AL. Eve has been telling me how nice the NE part of Alabama is, so we had to check it out for ourselves, especially since it was on our way to the Cherohala Skyway!

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We were delighted when we pulled in to Guntersville and saw for ourselves how beautiful it really is. A little town surrounded by a lake, the Tennessee River, and the mountains. We were even happier that Eve had time to play tour guide for us! She took us on a quick tour around some scenic roads. She lured us to her house with promises of delicious Southern Sweat Tea. I’ve been drinking sweat tea ever since I’ve seen it appear in restaurants. We don’t have it in Minnesota, but it' is VERY common in the south. It’s like really sweet iced tea, but different.

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Eve’s tea was fantastic and easily the best Sweet Tea I’ve had. We all had a good time telling stories and talking bikes. Too soon, it was time to go. Eve took us on another scenic ride before leading us out of town. We really wished we had more time to stop and visit. You were a great hostess Eve. Thank you!! We had a great time and it was well worth the visit. Great company, roads, and tea! Here is Eve’s post on our meeting today on her blog Sunny Side Up. She’s very lucky to live with such great scenery so near by!

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Our bikes:

Eve's Harley meets my SV650

Eve and her Iron:

Eve Sweatman

We followed US-79 north to US-72 and took that east to Chattanooga where the skies opened up on us again. We saw it coming, and got our rain gear on in time. The winds were quite vicious too! We made it through the city traffic and rain, and stopped to take off the rain gear. It’s nice not getting wet in the rain!


A while later, we pulled into Sweetwater, TN where we will stay for tonight and tomorrow. This will give us a nice base camp for riding into the mountains tomorrow.

We rode 241 miles today and added Georgia to the state list. We lost an hour crossing into the Eastern Time Zone today.

Georgia State Line

We also completed two milestones. We travelled over 3000 miles on the trip so far with an estimated 1500 to go. The SV650 passed 25,000 miles this morning! It had just 6800 when I bought it in Feb 2009!


Full Flickr Album here (there is more than just the below)

CI-144862009630096800CI-56203009630096800CI-168908739230096801CI-111608739230096801friendly alabama folks pushing an old man's dead carCI-103493739230096801CI-136443468830096802CI-53426468830096802CI46094531230096803CI-160867198430096803CI-76676198430096803CI-111479928030096804CI-39939928030096804CI-29482928030096804Tennessee State LineIMG_6101IMG_6102IMG_6110IMG_6111IMG_6113IMGP8033IMGP8035IMGP8037IMG_6119IMG_6121IMG_6122IMG_6126IMG_6129IMG_6131IMG_6133IMG_6134IMG_6137IMG_6140IMG_6142IMG_6143IMG_6145IMG_6147IMG_6152


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  1. Yeah!! That was so much fun! Thank you both for stopping by for a visit! I really enjoyed the meet up. Glad you liked the sweet tea, my mom-in-law taught me well! I'm glad you got to see some of the most beautiful parts of Alabama "The Beautiful" there really is so much more to see here. I hope you have a wonderful time riding the mountains and get some well deserved rest in between! Enjoy and Ride Safe!

  2. When the rain gear is working, I admit I like riding in the rain. I'm not at all sure why. The vicious winds with rain I could do without, but in the autumn when it's cool enough not to cook inside my gear, but not chilly enough to be cold, riding in a steady gentle is sweet.

    Not as sweet as sweet tea. Sweet isn't my taste...give me salt :-) That said, I've never had Eve's sweet tea. Perhaps it would open up a whole new universe to me.


  3. Eve: You're welcome! It was our pleasure to stop and visit; thanks again for the invite! Motels on weekdays are great. Empty and quiet. I think I slept 10 hours last night. Has to be a record.

    Keith: I'm with you. I enjoy riding in the rain too when I'm not getting wet. I'm not huge into sweets, but that tea was good. I think you'd like it.

  4. That is really good that you met with Eve. She has been a most entuiastic commenter on my blog for a while so I am glad that she has found yours. Her sweet tea sounded good! Your pictures make Alabama a state worthy of visiting one day. Take care on your continuing journey. Are you missing the Big River yet?

  5. So many photos I enjoyed here and on flickr. You're doing an excellent job of riding, blogging and trigger tripping! Your energy is inspiring and brings back memories of my own! Your trip has also made me fall in love again--with my SV. I never should have turned over.

    I found it interesting that you got your '01 SV in 2009 with less than 7000 miles on it. My SV was aso a '01 with less than 7000 miles and it often made me wonder why the seller hadn't ridden the bike?! I guess I'm glad he didn't in my case, or he wouldn't have sold it to me.

    Your love of the bike shows through! Nice that you're meeting friends on the road.

  6. Gary: We thought it was good too to meet with her. Sh found us thanks to your stig post, so thanks for that. We wouldn't have met without your help. Towards the end of the great river road, we didn't get to see it much. I do miss the good views we have of it in MN.

    I don't know how you do it! I can barely keep up with my own blog/emails much less read other blogs. I'm feeling quite guilty that I don't have time to read your blog and others. I guess I'll just have to catch up after I get back.

    Sharon: Thank you! High praise coming from such a good photographer as yourself! There is always room for another bike and '01 SVs are cheap. I've seen them listed in Minneapolis for $2500. I'd think about an '03+ to get the fuel injection if I replaced this one. It would make a solid bike even more reliable.

    It has been nice meeting friends along the way. We still have one more to meet though. ;)