Trip to Fox Creek Leather – Part 3

Linn Cove Handlebars

The Blue Ridge Motor Lodge in Ashville, NC was definitely a good starting point for day three of our trip. We grabbed McDonalds for breakfast by walking across the street. Then we gassed up at a gas station just next to the McDonalds. Six miles later we we entering the Blue Ridge Parkway!

When we visited the Blue Ridge Parkway back in the spring it was still winter up in the mountains. But now it was late summer and the mountains were covered in lush greens. Here is a picture for comparison. I think they were taken in the same spot. The scenery was spectacular now that the forest looked alive!

road to heaven

Foxcreek Trip 2

We crossed the Linn Cove Viaduct and saw Grandfather Mountain again. We used the new Cannon camera with it’s 20x zoom to get some great shots of both. 

Grandfather Mountain in the background

Grandfather Mountain at 20x zoom

crossing linn cove viaduct

Linn Cove Viaduct 20x zoom

Jay in his new chaps

It was getting to be late afternoon and we needed fuel for our bikes and our stomachs. Although we could probably keep riding on low I was feeling like we better eat soon. We found a cool place to stop for lunch that deserves a blog post of it’s own (already posted). After lunch we got back on the parkway and got off at Rt 89. We were behind schedule and this time decided to consult the maps and change up the route plan. We decided to super slab it if we wanted to get to the motel at a decent hour. There was a mexican restaurant attached to the Days Inn lobby and we arrived just in time to be the last patrons served for the day. Mexican food and beer after a long day in the saddle hits the spot!

Diana coming through a tunnel

Diana cruising the parkway

Parked on the parkway

Pictures From Fox Creek Leather Trip

made in the usa sign

Our pictures from the Fox Creek Leather trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains are posted at Flickr. Click here.

Biker Resort on Blue Ridge Parkway in Laurel Springs, North Carolina

We were riding homebound on day three of a four day trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway and needed fuel for both our bodies and our bikes. Our stomachs were on empty so lunch was our first priority at the time. There aren’t many crossovers along the Blue Ridge Parkway and sometimes there is no sign of life if you do come to a crossover. As we approached mile marker 248 we saw plenty of life at the Rt 18 Crossover. It was like a small bike rally just off the parkway in Laurel Springs, NC. We got off the parkway and went in the direction of all the shiney motorcycles congregating a few hundred yards down the road. There were so many bikes at the Station’s Inn and Freeborne’s we rode past them in order to find a parking spot. We parked at Wild Woodys and if it were not for the outdoor tables and boothes I wouldn’t think they served food at the eclectic antique and gift shop. Even as I stepped inside I couldn’t find a kitchen and wasn’t sure they had one; but they did and we ordered two turkey club sandwiches. While we waited for our food bikers and campers kept coming in and buying $2 cans and bottles of various brands of beer. You have to visit this place to believe it. I only took one picture inside but I should have taken more.

Wild Woodys

wild woodys tables outdoor boothes

Wild Woodys Kitchen

Diana eating at Wild Woodys

Woodys is an antique shop, gift shop, campground and eatery. Their neighbors are the Station’s Inn Motorcycle Resort and Freeborne’s Eatery and Lodge which is also a motorcycle resort. This looks like an excellent vacation destination for any biker. I would like to stay there a few days and ride the local roads in the area. Laurel Springs is home to an award winning winery and also New River which is a popular tubing and canoeing spot.

Click this link for useful info and a map. Click here for more Blue Ridge Parkway Info.

As I was saying; we stopped for lunch and there was a whole lot going on. There were live bands playing in two different spots and three to four different places to get fed. There were people camping, there were two motels, it was just unbelieveable how we bumped into this biker party in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I can’t wait to go back. They had everything you could want except a gas station!

Visit www.StationsInn.com and www.Freebornes.com

Station’s Inn Laurel Springs North Carolina

Freebornes Laurel Springs North Carolina

Freeborne’s Lodge North Carolina

Concert at Freebornes

freebournes party

party at freebornes

party at the station’s inn

stations inn north carolina

stations inn laurel springs nc

yanknecks?

parking lot freebornes and stations inn

beer belly buggy

cool black buggy at freebornes

cool red buggy at freebornes

freebornes and stations inn laurel springs north carolina

Glad we took two trips to the Parkway this year for the Parkway’s 75th!

Trip to Fox Creek Leather – Part 2

jay’s bike at foxcreek leather

On Day 2 of our trip we traveled from Buena Vista to Independence, Virginia to visit Fox Creek Leather. We would then travel from Independence, Virginia to Asheville, North Carolina cutting through Tennessee. Our hope was to reach our motel by nightfall, but that was not to be. We made a 2 hour beeline from Buena Vista to Wytheville by using Interstate 80 which runs parallel to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a gusty day making highway travel a little difficult. It had been a long hot summer and this was the first cool day we had experienced in a long time. We were looking forward to picking up our new leather lined chaps. We would wear them for the rest of the day.

Once we got off the highway the riding was phenomenal. We had blue skies, lush green mountains and twisty roads. The closer we got to Independence the further out in the country I felt. I took some great pictures of barns and farms as we got closer and closer to the store.

 through the woods to Fox Creek

across the bridge to Fox Creek Leather

past the barn to Fox Creek Leather

I was surprised when we arrived at Fox Creek Leather and it was a stand alone building on the side of a downhill rural road. Not much else around. I was expecting a factory, an industrial park or a strip mall. It was a humble little shop in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There were a few motorcycles out front and a sign proclaiming Motorcycle Apparel & Accessories Made In USA.

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Leather Heaven in this tiny building?

We went inside and introduced ourselves to Melinda the office manager who was expecting us. She let us have some drinks and snacks while we waited for her to finish up with the customers who were there before us. We poked around the store and back office taking pictures until Melinda was able to size us up for some lined leather chaps. Melinda’s daughter was in the back office filling Internet orders.

filling Internet orders at Fox Creek Leather

leather goods for sale

Diana in leather heaven

Fox Creek Jackets

made in the usa

We each tried on at least two pair before finding the size we felt was right. Then Melinda cut them to length leaving quite a bit extra on them. She didn’t want to cut them too short because after that you can’t do anything to make them longer. She also wrote our names on them because she was concerned we wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. She was extremly helpful. You don’t get this kind of service anywhere I have ever lived. It took a little longer than we had expected and we were behind schedule when we left.

Diana getting fitted

checking chaps length

Diana pumped her fist in the air when we crossed the Tennessee state line. Mission accomplished… sort of. We still had a ways to go to get to Asheville, NC. We stopped at a gas station in Mountain City, TN to gas up. They had a kitchen inside and a number of booths but no one else there. All was pretty quiet. I asked the guy inside if the kitchen was open and he enthusiastically told me it was. Two old ladies fired up the grill and cooked us up the most awesome cheeseburgers. Fueled up and ready to go we headed further into the mountains. As the day got later we were still in the mountains and I started to become a little concerned.

The sun was starting to set as we climbed a mountain road that was switchback after switchback. It was Rt 197 and we finally reached the top and started heading down the other side and I was thinking we just might make it to the bottom of this twisty mountain road by sunset. The sun continued to dip lower behind the trees and the road twisted. It got dark! And then to our surprise we came around a hairpin downhill switchback to find the pavement ended! We continued on a bit hoping it was just a short distance of gravel. It wasn’t. We stopped and surveyed the situation. We were in the dark on a dirt road going down a mountain in a thick forest. We hadn’t seen any houses or signage in quite some time. Our odometer readings indicated we had 13 more miles to go down the mountain to Interstate 24 if were indeed still on the road we thought we were. Going back up the mountain and back down the other side seemed both challenging and unproductive as that would take us in the opposite direction that we needed to go. It would also add a lot of time to our riding. The only choice was to continue down this dirt road on the side of a mountain with no lights, no guard rails and lots of critters watching us. We encountered three or four cars that passed us. Two of them confirmed that this was “technically” Rt 197 and if we continued on we would eventually come to pavement and the Interstate. We were glad we weren’t lost! We just rode real slow and kept talking to each other on the CB radio’s to calm our nerves. At 10 mph we got to the end of the 5-mile long gravel section of the road in half an hour and breathed a sigh of relief. Soon we were on the Interstate and arrived at our cheap motel in Asheville — exhausted. We walked to the Outback and ordered a hot sit down meal, had a few beers. Then went back to our room at the Blue Ridge Motel to pass out from our latest adventure.

Notes on The Blue Ridge Motel: Inexpensive no frills. That means no Kleenex and no clock in the room. No breakfast. They do jack up the rates on holiday weekends but forgot to jack our rates up. They do not take a credit card to reserve your room. They will rent your room to someone else if you don’t call to let them know you are running late. Convenient location: McDonalds across the street, gas station close by and only six miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Trip to Fox Creek Leather – Part 1

american made leathers

I was contacted by Fox Creek Leather through East Coast Biker Online to do a product review. I was instantly interested as I am familiar with Fox Creek Leather from their presence at motorcycle shows. Fox Creek is known for high quality leather chaps and jackets with a lifetime guarantee! Since they have a special product I felt they deserved special treatment and just a product review wouldn’t do them justice. Although they offered to send product to me I felt that we should go to Fox Creek Leather and pick up a pair of lined chaps in person. I was hoping to meet the people behind the company and maybe see the product being made. Their location in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia made this excursion a no brainer. Seeing how we chose to test lined chaps we delayed the trip until early fall so that we could test and write about the product during prime chap wearing months. When we checked out the location it turned out Independence, VA is a little further away than I had thought! We needed to wait for a holiday weekend so that put our trip square on Labor Day.

Diana getting ready to ride

We did this trip on a budget so we took some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with us for lunch on day one. I packed them into a collapsable insulated Harley-Davidson lunch bag with two sodas, some snacks and a cold pack. I strapped the lunch bag to my luggage rack with my cargo net. Here is Diana curbside feasting at the Royal Farms gas station in Gamber, MD. We have used this Royal Farms for many pit stops on several trips this summer. It’s like a second home. They have a nicely laid out parking lot, great chicken, indoor seating, clean bathrooms, air conditioning and gas! They also have this nice little hill we like to sit on.

Lunch on day one

Diana planned a four day trip with us arriving at Fox Creek Leathers at noon on day two of the trip. We would have to scoot in and out of Fox Creek to make our motel in Asheville, North Carolina at a decent time. Diana was on a mission to ride her motorcycle in the state of Tennessee and that laid the groundwork for her plan.

The first leg of our trip took us from Delaware into Maryland traveling west. We mixed it up with Interstates and backroads. We cut into West Virginia at Harper’s Ferry and then down into Virginia. We took the traditional pit stop at Winchester Harley-Davidson where they had two of the new Sportster SuperLows on display. I took the below picture of the SuperLows and I also took some pictures of a Roush Mustang that came into the parking lot. Winchester says they are home to two American legends: Harley-Davidson and Patsy Kline. With that Mustang in the lot, make it three!

 sportster superlow

Winchester Harley-Davidson Showroom

Winchester Harley-Davidson

Roush Mustang Front Grill

Roush Mustang Sideview

From Winchester we traveled to Buena Vista, VA where we stayed at a cheap Budget Inn for less than $60 including breakfast. They sell beer at gas stations in Virginia! I got a six pack of Yuengling at the gas station across the street from the motel and picked up sandwiches at Subway next door to the motel. No need to get back on the bikes after a long day of riding and no need to spend any serious money. Yuengling and Subway make for a nice feast in the hotel room after a long day of riding (325 miles). We had three more long days of riding ahead of us! And yes I did order the fiery footlong due to the cheesy biker advertising campaign they are running.

Fast Lane Biker Party at Dead Freddies Grill Delmarva Bike Week

fast lane Biker Party Dead Freddies

Click the above thumbnail to see flyer.

Fast Lane Biker Delmarva Party at Dead Freddies in Ocean City, Maryland today for Delmarva Bike Week. The Ravens game will be televised at the bar and the Ms Fast Lane Biker photo shoot will be on the back deck. See you there!