USA East 2004: First Annual HU Travellers Meeting

Why Come to a Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting?

You can meet people who don't think you're crazy for wanting to ride your bike to South America or Africa or across Asia, or even around the world! Admit it, all your 'normal' friends and most of your family fears for your sanity! So, this is your opportunity to meet the people who will encourage you in that craziness, share their experiences and advice on how to do it, and maybe you'll meet them again in Mongolia or Timbuktu!

Robbinsville, North Carolina, USA, June 18-20, 2004

Rally Location - Where was it?
Information about the area
Meeting sponsors

Short History of HU Meetings

Commemorative poster!;)


Next years meeting will be June 16-19 2005. Don't miss it - sign up here now!

The meeting was very successful, everyone said they had a great time - as seems to be the norm for HU Travellers Meetings - a combination of great people and awesome riding country makes a winner! See the comments below.

I'll be posting photos here as soon as the official photographer and a few others send me some piccies. If you have any let me know and send them in! Lots of photos posted below.

The presentations went very well, we had a lot of fun and everyone seemed to really enjoy the presentations. Thanks to all those who went to the trouble of preparing slides and presentations, and were brave enough to stand up in front of a crowd!

  • Deborah and Dave Welton, USA, Northern Thailand, on rental bikes.
  • Bill and Sharon Berwick, USA, around the world on two Harley-Davidson Sportsters.
  • Andrew Hansen, USA, "an epic motorcycle adventure WAY back in 1981 from Boston to Inuvik, but with a surprise ending"
  • Lew Waterman and Punky, USA, Alaska to Ushuaia.
  • Chris Jones and Spice Griffith, USA, on the Trans America Trail

The new location is perfect for us. John and Charlene Powell, the proprietors of the venue, Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge and Camping were very pleased and are eager to have us back next year. There is plenty of potential for for growth in the number of people attending, and the riding in the area is so good, and varied, that I don't think we'll get tired of it for some time. So mark next years date in your calendars, and register soon!

A special Thanks to all the volunteers who put in a lot of work and made the event a success:

Karen and Dick Fawcett, organiser/local hosts
Jim and Liz Donaldson, organiser/local hosts
Russ Corn, ride leader
Dave Adolph, ride leader and direction signs to the event
Pete Tamblyn, ride leader

One of Sharon and Bill Berwick's round the world Harley Sportsters

photo by Vera Velmerig

Jump to top

Some comments on the HUBB already re the Meeting:

Ed Buelsing, Cincinnati, OH,

"We had a great time at the rally meeting interesting people, learning the tricks for traveling and just fun riding. What was the name of the CD with the GB riders in Russia? I'd love to get a copy of that. Now I have to see about Copper Canyon."

Ed. comment: We played the Terra Circa DVD late Friday night. To get it:

The whole series of Terra Circa on DVD for £19.99 or Video for £16.99 plus postage and handling. Write to with your phone number.

It's US$40 to the USA or Canada including postage and handling. Make sure you tell them you heard about it from us and we get a cut - and it doesn't cost you a penny more. thanks, Grant

Bruce Crawford, Counce, TN,

"This was my first time meeting up with the HU gang. I met lots of great folks and everyone was very informative and helpful to an aspiring traveler. There was lots of great riding, too. Hope to see you all in Copper Canyon in October."

More comments from the Feedback questionnaire:

Clark Duff, Milford, NJ,

"The location was excellent; the roads surrounding the Iron Horse were outstanding. The folks running the place did a great job. Some longer rides would be nice, or just extending the meeting an extra day. If some of the presentations were earlier in the day, we would have time to talk to the presenters one-on-one, or maybe just leave more time between presentations. I think you and Susan have done a great job with this meeting and I enjoyed meeting everyone. If next years meeting is as good, you’ll have started a real motorcycling tradition."

Vera Velmerig, Cincinnati, OH,

"I had a fantastic time. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!"

Bob McKeithen, Harpers Ferry, WV,

"I had a great time and met some wonderful folks. Thanks again."

Scott Olsen, Fredericksburg, VA,

"I had a superb time...

(in answer to "what did you like?"): Just about everything! Location, trip getting there, the roads to ride, presentations, speakers and the chance to meet many who are like minded. Again many thanks and while I won't make Copper Canyon or Revelstoke (much to my chagrin), I'll have more than just the East Coast Rally on my calendar for next year."

Bill and Libbie Lamb, Kennesaw, GA,

"Had a ball at your NC meeting and looking foward to more."

Deb & Dave Welton, Indianapolis, IN,

"We had a wonderful time at the rally. It was fun to meet so many interesting people... We have been thinking about our plan for starting our trip in 2 years and have now cut it to 18 mos. I'm afraid if we show up to another rally we'll be convinced to leave the next day! ...We're planning to attend the Copper Canyon rally... See you in October."

Jacob Sherman, Brooklyn, NY,

"Had a great time!...Thanks for the great meeting. It was my first one and I really enjoyed it."
Jacob has posted his trip to the Meeting story here.

Jump to top

Pete Tamblyn, Ride Leader, letting them know what they're going to see - and it was a lot!

photo by Gordon Kokes

Tomas Vojtek and Gordon Kokes

photo by Gordon Kokes

James Arch Stewart Cabin, built 1879

photo by Gordon Kokes

Kevin Daniels

photo by Gordon Kokes

Lew Waterman and Punky

photo by Gordon Kokes

Jump to top

One of Sharon and Bill Berwick's round the world Harley Sportsters

photo by Vera Velmerig

One of Sharon and Bill Berwick's round the world Harley Sportsters

photo by Vera Velmerig

One of Sharon and Bill Berwick's round the world Harley Sportsters

photo by Vera Velmerig

Laird Vandyck, Honda Metropolitan 49cc scooter, en route from Baltimore to LA.

photo by Vera Velmerig

err, ummm ???

photo by Vera Velmerig

Just some of the bikes parked in front of the restaurant

photo by Vera Velmerig

John Powell, proprietor of the Ironhorse lodge, was roped into photo duty - the ladder was needed to get everyone in the picture!

photo by Vera Velmerig
Jump to top

Following pictures from one of the rides

photo by Clark Duff

photo by Clark Duff

photo by Clark Duff

Clark Duff, Dan Iannascolio, and Dan Pettersen, Sweden at Bald River Falls

photo by Clark Duff

in front of the meeting room/restaurant

photo by Bill Lamb

photo by Bill Lamb

planning something...

photo by Bill Lamb

photo by Bill Lamb

Lew Waterman, with Punky on the tankbag, and Gordon Kokes

photo by Bill Lamb

Front pocket of the 2004 t-shirt

2004 t-shirt

Back of the 2004 t-shirt.

Poster of the event for posterity: ;)

(You may need to right click and choose "save target as...")

2004 Poster in pdf format (884kb) full colour poster

The Meeting Location for 2004 AND 2005

Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge, Cabins and Campground
1755 Lower Stecoah Road,
North Carolina 28771

For more information:
Telephone: 1-828-479-3864
Email Ironhorse Lodge

More info on their website, and a review of Iron Horse in "Motorcycle Consumer News." (128kb .pdf)

Getting There - GPS, Maps

If you're heading down from the north, check out this thread on the HUBB!

GPS Co-ordinates: N35 deg 23' 20", W83 deg 40' 38"

Iron Horse is located in Graham County, North Carolina, on Lower Stecoah Road just north off Highway 28. A short 30 minute ride to the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap and the scenic Cherohala Skyway, two of the best motorcycle destinations in the United States.

Click to enlarge

more maps here

Jump to top

Information about the area

Can you supply us with links, and other info on the places to ride, and interesting things to see in the area? Let us know here.

  • Ironhorse is in Graham County, NC. promotes the county and has driving directions to Graham County from Asheville, Atlanta and Knoxville. Even though the directions are not directly to Ironhorse, this site might be useful.
  • Great information on the "Tail of the Dragon" - otherwise known as US129, near Deal's Gap, with 318 curves in 11 miles, can be found on the "official" Tail of the Dragon website. An awesome road! We will have a few maps from the website, but it would be wise to print your own in advance. Available here. There is also info on Deals Gap, Cherohala Skyway and 2 Dual Sport rides.
  • North Carolina's 'Scenic Byways' website has a lot of great information on various scenic roads in North Carolina. They also sent Karen a book she says is great. It will be on display at the Meeting. Viewable online in pdf format or can be ordered from their website for only $5.00 each.
  • Wheels Through Time Museum a "35-year collection of rare American motorcycles and automobiles...230-vehicle collection in the lovely community of Maggie Valley, North Carolina, located just a few miles off of I-40 and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Maggie Valley is a quiet community of 400 people nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains." Owner Dale Walksler has very generously donated door prizes for our meeting, and wants to invite you to come visit the museum - he'll be delighted to meet you!

And a special thanks to all the local sponsors and supporters!

  • Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC - "rare American motorcycles and automobiles"
  • Bluemoon Cycle in Norcross, GA. - "one of the largest volume BMW motorcycle dealers in the Southeast."
  • Fraziers Harley Davidson in Buford, GA. - "Our goal is simple. We want to keep everyone happy."
  • Atlanta Triumph Ducati in Atlanta, GA. - " a haven for motorcycle enthusiasts to hang out and discuss bikes with like minded fanatics."
  • Franklin Motorsports in Franklin NC. - A new Honda dealer that has been very generous! No website yet...
  • Precision Cycle & ATV Sylva, NC. - a full-service shop - "Mechanics are the backbone of the business"
  • Smith Power Sports "products to make your outdoor living easier and more enjoyable. We offer experience, fair prices, and a friendly atmosphere." Kawasaki and KTM."
  • Mortons BMW, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Mortons have been a long-time Horizons Unlimited supporter, so a special thanks to them, and for coming all the way to the meeting! Steve Andersen, Morton's Sales Manager was at the meeting, and had a great time!
  • BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta, "the leading BMW dealer in the southeast, with all the latest models, genuine BMW accessories and your exclusive source for BMW clothing in Georgia"

Please drop in for a visit and thank them for their support.

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Services and get your HU $15 discount!


Member login

Are you an Overland Adventure Traveller?

Does the smell of spices wafting through the air make you think of Zanzibar, a cacophony of honking horns is Cairo, or a swirl of brilliantly patterned clothing Guatemala? Then this is the site for you!
Hosted by Grant and Susan Johnson, RTW 1987-1998

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

Check out the previous contest winners!



All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.