Day 137 Johnson City, Tennessee

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I pass through the last time zone change that will happen on the bike, into the very pretty countryside of North Carolina and the blue ridge parkway, where I get stuck behind slow moving RVs. The parkway has nice views with the trees changing colour, but feels artificial, like the driveway of a country estate. The traffic annoys, it’s wet and misty, and I’m concerned about being stuck far from the possibility of repair if the chain gives out, so I escape towards the interstate as the rain starts.

I find a motel and sit in a bar, listening to the southern drawl and casual racism. This feels like redneck county. There are churches everywhere and signs on people’s lawns saying simply “Jesus”.

The best sign was one depicting a conversation between God and a worshipper:-

“Dear God, please send us someone to cure cancer, aids, etc.”

“I did. You aborted them.”

This wasn’t one of those church signs, it was just on someone’s lawn in really small country town. I would have stopped to take a photo but today’s soundtrack was the duelling banjos from Deliverance so I didn’t really feel like stopping.

In the bar there is a sign for Newcastle brown ale. First it reminds me of seeing the picture of the Tyne bridges in the Baku hotel room, then it makes me realise I’m nearly there. New York, home, the end of the trip and a full circumnavigation by motorcycle.

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