For well over 12 years, I have been involved with the best group of motorcycle riders one could hope to meet. When I was in my early forties, my husband and I started riding with the zrxoa group and we have been like family ever since. We have crashed in Dahlonega, Ga, received speeding tickets that equaled a house payment and ate lunch together at Tellico Kats Deli every summer since they opened. We have even gone to funerals for members that have passed away from everything from motorcycle crashes, cancer, heart attacks and sadly, even a couple of suicides.
It is no surprise to me that even as my husband and I are no longer together, this group still embraces me even though I don’t ride anymore. The annual rally has changed over the years and the “more mature” group still meets up and rides the same routes we rode all those years ago. Once we moved to Colorado, it was just too far to go to the rally every year but non the less, we always kept in touch through the zrxoa forum. This year however, when the poo hit the fan with my husband, I received so much support from these guys and gals it was overwhelming. My friends from Quebec, Shelley and Chris, invited me to stay with them in a cabin they rented during this years get together (2017) so I said, “heck ya!”
One of these nice fellas hauled me all over The Blue Ridge Mountains that day! We made great memories, talked about stuff that was really hard to talk about and the bond just continued to grow.
The last day was bitter sweet because I knew I wouldn’t get to see them again until next year, God willing. We headed out to a BBQ place that was recommended to us by a member and boy was it good! Joe’s BBQ in The Blue Ridge Mountains! Here is the article I wrote on the restaurant and the pictures that I took.
3365 E 1st St, Blue Ridge, Ga
The smell of hickory smoke and barbecue, hand crafted benches , rustic barn wood exterior with a touch of industrial decor inside, captures the senses of the hungry patron. Even the door leading inside this unique eatery seems to have a lifetime of stories engrained in it’s wood—the perfect place to dine with friends and family while visiting The Blue Ridge Mountains.
Mr. Joe greets every customer with a handshake as well as an inquiry as to where they are from. He has a “matter of fact” way of speaking to everyone including his staff, with the utmost respect. Making each person feel like family. Over the years, I have watched customer service in restaurants fall to the way side but at Joe’s BBQ you will find very attentive and respectful young servers working very hard to give the best service possible. I also hear that Ms. Tina, the Managing Cook, runs a tight ship in the kitchen. A reflection of that diligence shows in the perfect “A” rating from the Health Inspector.
Before investing in this endeavor, Mr. Joe asked a close friend and restaurant owner in Tybee Island for his advice. His friend said “Joe, I want you to get a piece of paper and a pen and write this down”: “this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done”. Joe just laughed at his friends advice but it has always been there in the back of his mind.
Mr. Joe sits on that bench 5 1/2 years later and smiles at that warning from his friend because Joe now knows that the restaurant business can be tough but he made it. What Joe might not realize however, is how many lifelong memories people have made just by stopping in and having a meal with family and friends or that people notice the kindness and interest he shows in their existence.
Reconnecting with these friends has done my heart a world of good. Every time I step out there and face my life without my husband, I heal. Every time I am given encouraging words, I heal. This is my message to anyone who needs to hear it. Keep going, keep loving, keep putting yourself out there and most importantly, keep living!