The article “Meeting Isaiah” by Bud Miller was originally published on the “RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel” magazine website on 8/18/2013.
On the last day of the RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend in Maggie Valley, NC, Joe Trey (Adventure Hermit) and I toured the Wheels Through Time Museum taking photos and bumping into riders we had met over the weekend. Joe was headed off to ride the Trans-America Trail. I was jealous since I was staring at 700 miles of highway to get me back home in time for work on Tuesday.
Heading off into the rain I was less than ecstatic about the ride, I’m no big fan of superslabbing; too many semis for my liking and the V-Strom can get blown around a bit. Joe had grabbed a Blue Ridge Parkway map for me at the museum and after several hours of I-81 I decided to get away from the heat and madness of highway travel.
I took the Blue Ridge the last 100 miles or so to Lexington and the next day hopped on Skyline Drive for another 100 miles. Both roads added to the total mileage but it gave me time to reflect on the happenings of the weekend and to meet more riders, one of whom was my new pal Isaiah. We met on Skyline Drive at a rest stop. He was sitting on a blanket on a picnic table dressed like his owners and perfectly content to be geared up. Isaiah loves to ride and has been featured in an armed forces publication after being spotted at Rolling Thunder in Washington D.C.
I asked if I could take his picture, Isaiah obliged and I sat and talked with his owners who are from Browntown, VA, which was just down the road. They didn’t want to give their names, happy to let Isaiah grab all the attention. We talked about Rolling Thunder, riding, Isaiah’s fame, the weather, and good causes, and how if you ever need help for a cause just ask a group of motorcyclists.
As I rode along the rest of Skyline Drive the events of the weekend caught up with me and found their proper places in my backlog of memories and I was glad I took the detour from the highway. Sometimes you make new friends and with a pang of regret you have to leave, not knowing when you’ll meet up again. Sometimes, though, you turn a corner, take a detour, and meet a sweet soul or two and share a tender moment before moving along. I find myself seeking out these little interactions more and more. They are one of the true joys of motorcycling.