Sunday, August 8, 2010

Places to Go - Wheels Through Time Museum, Maggie Valley N.C

If you are on this website, that means that you must have some interest in Motorcycles, and since you do, you owe it to yourself to visit the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, N.C. I rode over this past weekend for my third visit. There is just that much to see. Dale Walksler is the owner and curator of this collection of Motorcycle treasures, and has done an incredible job of not just collecting, but displaying these great old machines. Opened in 1993 the museum has all American Bikes and memorabilia dating back to the turn of the century (1900, not 2000). Most people don't realize how many different brands of motorcycles there where in the U.S. Besides Harley Davidson and Indian, you've got Crocker, Henderson, Excelsior and other brands that went away during the great depression. All are displayed in recreated scenes from the period they came from. Remakes of old garages, bike shops, and even a mountain of dirt which displays the Hill Climber exhibit. (Actually, the hill climb mountain is the background for this webpage. Thanks for letting me use that Dale!)

Advertised as the museum that runs, every bike in the place can be started, and they are happy to do so. It's amazing that not only do they start, but it seems like most of them start on the first or second kick, something my modern dirtbike seldom does.  The day I was there Dale fired up a 1940 Crocker for the crowd, and then proceeded to do a burnout down the aisle of the museum. Seeing that the floor looks like the starting line of your local dragstrip, this isn't a rare occurrence. Watching that, and hearing the sounds of that old V-Twin echo through the place just pegs the Cool meter in my books. Dales son Matt also helps with the musuem, and was happily starting up some old bikes for a group of fascinated kids. Got to make sure the next generation  gets the proper influences!

The Wheels Through Time Museum is smack dab in the middle of Maggie Valley, and just 4 miles off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you're making the 3-High Rides, it's a great stop between Mt Mitchell N.C. and Clingmans Dome TN. Admission is on $12, and they are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. There is too much going on over there to cover in here, but we have a link to their website in our links section.

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