Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 180: Maggie Valley, North Carolina

A lifetime ago while I was paying for my fuel at a petrol station in Flagstaff Arizona, I was fortunate enough to bump into Dale Walksler. For several minutes we talked about Poor Circulation and then ate breakfast together at the side of his trailer. On the side of that trailer were the words: 'Wheels Through Time', .... and inside were eight Harley Davidson's of various vintages. Dale and a few of his colleagues were heading West to ride these classic bikes in Death valley, ... for them this was an annual event. I was invited to join them, ..... but I was heading East, .. short of time and money, ....sadly I had to decline their offer. As we parted, Dale handed me a card for the 'Wheels Through Time Museum' at Maggie Valley in North Carolina. I was heading in that direction, Maggie Valley was just East of Deal's Gap, .... I wasn't sure what to expect but I'd taken an instant liking to Dale, ..... I decided there and then that I'd go along and see what it was all about.
Let me tell you, .. Dale Walksler is the kind of man who hides his light under a bushel. Dale could have told me that he'd built the museum from scratch, .... buying and rebuilding his first Harley Davidson at the age of 15. He could have told me that it was the largest collection of classic Harley Davidson's in the world, ...... he could have told me many things about the Wheels Through Time Museum, .. but he didn't. Dale simply gave me the invitation and said that I might enjoy it. ('Google his name and then tell me that Dale Walksler isn't the kind of guy you'd want to go for a drink with).
As you enter any US State, .. or any US town, a tourist information centre points you in the direction of it's main attractions. Entering North Carolina and Maggie Valley, .. Wheels Through Time was not mentioned at all. I found it just off Main Street, .. exactly where Dale had left it. It was bigger than I'd imagined, ... the car park was full of bikes, .. small groups talked together outside, ... enthusing about what they had just seen. Inside the museum, .. it was like the Tardis, .. ten times larger on the inside than it looked from the exterior. This place is 'Amazing', .. I don't know where to start, ... I've been fortunate enough to visit many of the worlds great museum's, ..... but as a private motorcycle museum, ..... Wheels Through Time is in a league of it's own. More than 300 vehicles, mostly Harley Davidson's, are arranged in various states of repair, .. some standing alone, some in realistic settings, ... and every one is a gem. The best thing about this museum, .... is that the exhibits actually get used. I saw the pictures of the Death Valley ride, ... those vintage bikes were being raced both on and off road, climbing hills, fording rivers, .... Wheels Through Time is an interactive adventure. When Dale Walksler invited me to join him on the Death Valley ride,... why oh why did I not just say 'Yes' and join him? If your in the area, .... or even in the same hemisphere, then go and pay it a visit. You don't need to be into bikes or Harley Davidson's, ..... but it helps.

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