North Carolina - June 2002

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John and the Dusenburg

   By Thurs. afternoon, I'm itching to do something other than stand around watching others work.  Part of what got me to go on this trip was the chance to ride an antique bike (any one of the dozens of classic and rare bikes would have made the trip a winner for me.  But, when John asks, we get the bad news that no bikes are licensed in NC and can't be taken for a ride.  But we are offered the use of Dale's jeep a a consolation prize.  Jeff suggests we drive up the mountain behind the museum.   Sort of ok, but not what I really wanted.  We drive to the top of the steep dirt track bucking the jeep up the slope in 4WD and hike up the last 100 yds to the ridge line where we can look down into the neighboring property.  We cross a boundary fence into some old pasture and look around at the local plants and trees.

  When we get back, we take John's car and drive a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway traveling from the pass between Maggie Valley and Cherokee heading east and north .  Very scenic and twisty.  We're in the clouds and drizzle.  We come back though Waynesville and I see a sport bike dealership so I start thinking of renting a bike if I can't borrow one.  

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  Before dinner, I go for an exercise run up one of the residential roads leading up the hillsides on the osuth side of the main street.   Steeply uphill and then pretty much right back downhill again.  Very tough on my legs.  I find a scooter rental place right near our motel and ask them about motorcycle rentals.  No luck, but I get a suggestion to call a Harley shop in Waynesville . 
Image68.jpg (207265 bytes)   When I get back, John tells me he's had a ride in Dale's Dusenburg on the main street through town.  He said Dale roared up the road with the open pipes making a goodly noise.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  John is really pumped about it.

  The museum is going to open Fri.  By nighttime, John and I are working on whatever we can do to help.  We wash the cars that have been driven outside while the floors are being cleaned and the new carpeting put down.  We move bikes and string ropes around exhibits. 

  More locals and friends of Dale have come by to set up the entry lobby displays now that the carpet is down.  It's raining hard outside but very muggy.  I am impressed with the number of people helping out and their good spirit.

  By midnight, we're working with the painters hanging the giant wallpaper mural of the board tracker racers that was enlarged from a black and white magazine photo. 

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Dale Walksler with the mural nearly completed.

  I don't leave until after 1 am but the work is still going on.  Tomorrow the museum opens. 

Friday - Back at the museum after breakfast, I start making phone calls to see about bike rentals.  I don't believe that opening day will be a success and I just don't want to be there for it, especially if no one is going to come after all the hard work everyone has done.  The museum is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and it's the start of the summer season, but I haven't seen any advertising for the place.  I can still smell the glue drying under the carpets from last night's work. 

  I figure there must be a place to rent a bike since this is a recreation area that has raft trips, amusement parks and go-cart places nearby or in the Smokies in Tennessee just to the west. 

  The Harley place in Waynesville recommends Freebird Motorcycles in Weaverville just north of Ashville. I call them and they've got bikes and they're less than an hour away.  I get John to drive me over with my riding gear (which we'd brought with us just for this sort of thing).   I'm excited about this, especially since I may now get to actually ride a motorcycle while I'm here.

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