The conversation was preceded by two rings.
"Dieter here." I quickly thought of what to say to this mildly intimidating German accented voice. "Hi Dieter, it's Ray Dobens from road to fermentation. Uhhhh....I'm not sure if you remember who I am." I rattled off in a coffee induced staccato. "I am inTellico plains and I was wondering if I might be able to come by on Monday or Tuesday to work alongside you in your brewery." "Oh the motorcycling brewer!" he said with enthusiasm. "Yeah, I'm that guy. I am going to spend Saturday and Sunday satisfying myself on these amazing roads and then I would like to work with you. Would that be ok? You were one of the only people who I didn't already know who showed enthusiasm for my project after all. I am pretty excited to see what you are up to. Is it still going to work?" The answer was a succinct "Of course it will. Please come by Monday at 9am and we will make some beer. It's all about the beer, of course. Well...that and every thing else." My only response was "Nice! I can't wait. See you then. Goodbye."
I spent Saturday riding the eastern TN and northwestern NC roads at a spirited pace. I have been here before and the only thing left in my wake was a regret at not having the time to enjoy more of these roads.
If you ride motorcycles on the east coast and you haven't been here you are missing out. This is the place to be. Between here and West Virginia you could turn yourself into a quivering puddle of dopamine. The roads are ultra kinky and virtually unharmed by large trucks and bad weather. One local responded to my inquiry to why the roads are so nice with this gem. "North Carolina. We spend next to nothing on education and everything else on our roads! I hope you enjoy them." I do. I would pay extra to ride here. I guess I shouldn't say that too loud or the 36 educated people on the TN/NC border will find a way to charge the rest of us to use these roads. Of course, the 40-45 mph speed limit is a little silly for this kind of road - but who follows the speed limit anyway?
http://www.cherohala.com/ for more info.
Hunt's Lodge -
The BBQ -
Since I did not grow up in the BBQ belt of America I would not be considered the best BBQ judge. I have been eating a ton of BBQ on this trip to polish my skills. I've come to a conclusion. No one really knows what good BBQ is; what is good is what you either grew up with or what is available nearby. As far as I know the best roast pig available to mankind is what my uncles slow roast in an old converted oil tank. Next to that option comes a little place in Somerville, MA that goes by the name of Redbones. Like I said I have tried other things over the course of my trip. I have been trying to disprove some people who say Redbones is not all it's cracked up to be. I'm here to tell you that it is. They hold their own against any other comer in the game. having said that, I would like to give some honorable mention to Krambonz BBQ in Tellico Plains,TN. They do a "loaded baked potato" that could cause worldwide turmoil. If only the world knew about it.
Check this bastard creation -
After that comes Heinzelmannchen brewery.