Back on the Bike: The Snake Part 1

I’m back!


Election Day has come and gone, and I did not win the day.  I challenged an incumbent, in an off / off year (one without a Presidential, Gubernatorial, or Senatorial race) when less than 30% of registered voters cast a ballot.  Even still, I garnered 42% of the vote. While I of course wish I had won the day, for healthcare, for women, for equality, and for the working poor, I am very proud of the campaign, and my team.  I consider this good, and a huge accomplishment.

The other good news?  I finally have time to ride and to shoot!!  Happy,  happy me!

On the morning after Election Day, my good friend, Dave, sent a text with the following message “sorry you didn’t win the election, however you need some riding time to put it all behind you”.  Within 24 hours, we were headed to Shady Valley, Tennessee to ride The Snake.


 Without a GoPro, it is hard to capture images of those 489 curves on US Rt 421 as there is rarely a place to pull over.  The signage in the image below, however, offers an idea of the fun to be had on this ride.

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While I have to confess to feeling a bit stiff at first, I was thrilled to be back on the bike and getting some big time wind therapy!  It turned out to be a 285 mile day and I could not have been happier.  I came home with many images to process and that made the day even better.

Peak leaf time had come and gone but we still saw a bit of color,


even more so, when we stopped at Holston Lake.




The reflections on the lake kept me shooting.  Gorgeous, right?


It was the perfect antidote to an election day loss,


and ended with a delicious BBQ plate at Farmers Barbecue & Grill in Mountain City, Tn.  Yum!


I’ll share a few more photos from this Tennessee ride soon!  Thanks for being here today.  I’ve missed you!


65 thoughts on “Back on the Bike: The Snake Part 1

  1. Congratulations on running an amazing campaign, and on doing so well against tough odds. You’ve reached out to so many people in your community and made a difference, even without the win. You’ll continue to make a difference in women’s lives. You already make a big difference in your community.

    I’m glad Dave got you out on the road for such a long, enjoyable ride. Your photos always tell a story. What a remarkable gift.

    Welcome back!

  2. YOu have been missed, my friend. I had no idea you were running for election and now that I do, I am just SO darn proud of you! Sorry you lost but perhaps again some day you will run? These images are glorious and the mention of the GoPro has my mouth watering, darn it! Like I don’t have enough toys already!!! LOL I’m so happy for you regarding your ride … a little green I feel for I miss riding SO much sometimes. *sighs* You ride for me, Laurie, and know that in my Heart I ride with you high on the winds! Thank you for this beautiful post!! And welcome back to WP!! Love, Amy ❤

  3. 42 percent is quite an accomplishment Laurie and that is something to be very proud of 🙂 If elected i know you would have done the right thing for the people. There is a small selfish part of me that says now we have her back all to ourselves which puts a smile on my face 🙂

    • Joe, my friends have also commented that they are glad I didn’t win for the reason of having me back in their lives 🙂
      No doubt it was a win / win for me!

  4. I had a whole different idea in mind when I read the title… I was thinking you had an encounter with a reptile type snake!! Ha ha! These are stunning images, Laurie. Glad to see you back! 🙂

  5. And I have missed you!!! The results (%) were very good and the final…..well, all is in His control!!! Ride time returns!!!!! Thank you for sharing. I’ve always liked all kinds of snakes…..especially this variety! Tom and I were on the bikes to close out the season. He “scored” a 2012 Victory “Cross Road” with only 700 miles on it!!!!! Red!!! The fella who bought it new never rode it much (obviously) and just traded it for an ATV (the same dealer handles both). It’s the model Tom has wanted for a while and his HD was acting up (130,000 miles on it) and he decided maybe another dependable ride would be a good idea. Son #2 figured out the HD problem and fixed it…..AFTER the purchase. Never can have too many bikes, I say!!!!!!! LOL!!!!
    Great to “have you back”!!!!!!

  6. Love your images, but love even more that I know you. It’s not easy to run and you gave it your best and even now have an amazing attitude. You are better for having run and your community is better for having heard your voice all of these months. Bravo!!

  7. Dearest Laurie,

    I had begun to wonder where you were and was thinking hard about you today. I had made my mind up to send you an email, and then, you came calling to see me on my blog! Thank you! So here is how I see it:

    You chose a perfect way to celebrate your victory by doing what you love. Your photographs are wonderful! And yes, I did say victory. Laurie you chose to to something very courageous! You put yourself out there and ran for office. People know you now, and there will be other elections. I also think that 42% is nothing to sneeze at. I hope you choose to put your hat in again, because this was just a warm-up for next time. ❤

    And to echo, Noellevignola, "Bravo!"


    • Lynda, it means so much to me that you had me on your mind! And I do love your words … thank you for calling me courageous. I’m lucky to have such dear online friends

  8. Shame you did not quite make it but you gave it a good shot! Great photos and more than just a bit jealous, sounds like a great place to ride a bike and shrug off some lows 🙂

  9. What a great friend Dave is! I don’t ride a bike but would happily go pillion down this amazing track, or anywhere really. Great shots Laurie and what a perfect getaway for both reflection and moving on. Well done on running a great campaign and getting your foot in the door of the process.

    • Thank you, Patti!
      Dave is indeed a good friend and I’m so glad he got me up and out and enjoying life just 24 hours after the election.
      It is good to be back, though!

  10. Beautiful photos! So glad you’re back to blogging ~ I missed your updates. Good on you for running a great campaign and, although you didn’t win, I hope you will try again some day.

  11. Regardless of the outcome, congratulations on throwing your hat in the ring & giving it your all! The pictures of the reflections on the lake are truly stunning. Hope the wind on the bike blew away any disappointment you may have been feeling & left you feeling re-energized & ready to take on whatever is next in your journey!

    • The ride made such a difference! It would have been easy to stay home and wonder about the “what ifs”, instead I was able to process and emerge positively.
      Thanks Lynn!

  12. Wow, you look really happy. Can you do me a favor and get one of those highways signs for me? I love it. Just one dark night when no one’s around…

  13. Beautiful photos Laurie … I see you haven’t lost your magic behind the camera 🙂

    Congratulations on your achievement. Challenging an incumbent and getting 42% of the vote is definitely an achievement to celebrate. To do that, you’ve had to touch a lot of people with a meaningful message. I hope you are bursting with pride, because you should be.

  14. So happy to see you back on your bike, my friend! And these!! I’m especially loving the one with the beautiful cloud reflections, just breathtaking!

  15. Your time will come… 42% is pretty impressive for a first campaign, is it not?
    But yes, take some time to get yer butt back in the saddle and some wind in your hair…. 🙂

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  17. I can just feel that wind and see your smile, Laurie! And the joy in these wonderful photos is palpable!! What a wonderful, knowing friend you have. I’m so sorry you lost – you would have done a helluva job.

  18. Laurie, I am sorry about the election results. Your district is better off with your candidacy, but has missed out on an opportunity by not sending you to the legislature. I am sure that the campaign experience had its own rewards, no matter the outcome.

    It’s good to see you.

    Enjoy your wind time and stay safe.


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  21. I’m so very late to visit your beautiful post here LB but glad I’ve seen these photo’s this morning. What a great thing to do after the pressure cooker of a campaign. The traveling, meet and greets, phones calls and endless give-give-give of yourself. You’re astonishing! It could leave one empty and spent. So what a gift, nay, a necessity that you recharge and fill yourself up again. Hooray for Dave to step in and steal you away. Beautiful you and beautiful photo’s ox

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

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