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A Memorable Motorcycle Journey: From Milwaukee to the Carolinas

Kevin "Elvis" Vaughn

In the realm of motorcycles, nothing quite matches the exhilaration of hitting the open road with fellow enthusiasts. And when that voyage carries you from the heart of Harley-Davidson country in Milwaukee to the breathtaking landscapes of the Carolinas, you're on the cusp of an unforgettable adventure. Join us as we recount the incredible journey of four House of Harley-Davidson dealership employees and their epic pilgrimage to the Annual Drag Specialties Dealer Ride in Greenville, South Carolina.

Chapter 1: The Departure Our odyssey began on a late afternoon in early November. Four passionate riders, myself included, departed from Milwaukee with our sights set on the Drag Specialties Dealer Ride. While our final destination was Greenville, SC, we embarked with the thrill of the unknown. We set out under a darkening sky, pausing only for the night in Frankfort, KY, with dreams of the adventure to come.

Chapter 2: A Warm Welcome in Greenville The early morning saw us back on the road, resolute to reach Greenville by 2:00 p.m. We arrived slightly ahead of schedule, granting us the opportunity to settle into the welcoming embrace of Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Golf Resort & Conference Center. However, our true excitement lay in the makeshift vendor alley where we were inundated with moto-swag, including two-man tents for future adventures.

Chapter 3: A Night of Camaraderie With our luggage stowed and our new gear carefully placed, we gathered for the welcome reception and dinner graciously hosted by Drag Specialties. Laughter filled the air and spirited conversations flowed as we looked forward to the thrilling rides that awaited us on Sunday.

Chapter 4: Roaring into Motorcycle History Sunday morning arrived early and our motorcycles were offloaded and neatly lined up, ready for the adventure ahead. Our destination: the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC. The journey from Greenville offered picturesque landscapes, leading us to a museum like no other. What sets Wheels Through Time apart is the fact that every motorcycle, car, autocycle, or land-speed machine under its roof roars to life, lovingly celebrated by the staff. The experience was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Chapter 5: Unexpected Discoveries Our exploration of the museum uncovered hidden treasures, such as Walter Davidson's clock (yes, the Walter Davidson) and an Evil Knievel XR750, complete with its original, unopened parachute. Our British tour guide also introduced us to a collection of purpose-built Harley-Davidson race machines, further enriching our visit.

Chapter 6: Southern Comfort Leaving the museum, we embarked on a culinary journey, stopping at Carver's Maggie Valley Restaurant for a taste of the finest Southern cooking (serving since 1952.) With contented bellies and the excitement of winding two-lane roads ahead, we hit the road again, traversing the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC 215, and other scenic routes.

Chapter 7: The Road Less Traveled On the second day, our journey led us through technical and scenic challenges, presenting breathtaking landscapes and roads that set our senses ablaze. We marveled at the unimaginable feat that is Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel, a hidden gem that enthralled us with its history and beauty.

Chapter 8: The Final Stretch Our return to Greenville wouldn't be complete without participating in a photo shoot for the 2024 Fat Book and Drag ads. Riding in formation behind the camera truck was a heart-pounding thrill as we passed through picturesque landscapes and twisted roads.

Chapter 9: Homeward Bound With over 800 miles to Milwaukee, we had to make an early start. The return journey was not without its challenges, including the ever-present Chicago traffic, but our spirits remained high, buoyed by the unforgettable memories of our ride.

Chapter 10: Reflection and Gratitude As we pulled back into House of Harley-Davidson, we were acutely aware that this adventure had revitalized our spirits for the winter ahead. Equipped with one of the region's largest Winter Storage programs, we are poised to ensure our customers' bikes are in peak condition when spring arrives.

Our motorcycle journey from Milwaukee to the Carolinas wasn't just a ride; it was an exhilarating adventure brimming with camaraderie, exploration, and the rush of the open road. We hope our story ignites the spark of inspiration within you, compelling you to embark on your own two-wheeled pilgrimage and savor the beauty and excitement of the road less traveled.