by Trip Hilliard

KawaNOW Website In 2007, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to create and organize a club specifically designed to help the Kawasaki Nomad owner. KawaNOW (Kawasaki Nomad Owners Worldwide) was born on June 7, 2007 and has quickly grown to well over 1,800 members. Since then, KawaNOW has grown to include the 1700 Vaquero and the 1700 Voyager. In 2009, we held our first National Rally in the Black Hills of Custer, South Dakota. Since we hold National Rally's every two years, our next National was held in June of 2011 in Maggie Valley, NC. The following is a pictorial trip report of our attendance at that rally.

Over 150 people riding almost 100 Nomads attended the rally. All came from different parts of the US and Canada, but all came not only to ride the roads of Tennessee and North Carolina, but to enjoy the "Nomadradery" and seal riding friendships started over 4 years ago.


Official Video Of The KawaNOW National Rally 2011


Saturday, June 11, 2011
Weather: hot but pleasant

For the 2011 rally, I chose to trailer my Nomad mainly because Kathy, my wife was attending the rally with me and she wasn't accustomed to riding on the back of a motorcycle all that way. So, the plan was to trailer there, she and I would ride the rides on the Nomad, then trailer back.

Kathy and I left bright and early on Saturday around 7:00am. The plan was to travel to Sardis, Mississippi and stay the night. Sardis also happens to be where Jim & Bea Hardin live. Several couples that are KawaNOW members were to meet up there Saturday evening and then start our ride to Maggie Valley the next day.

Kathy and I arrived in Sardis about 4:30pm and checked into our hotel. Then we went to Jim & Bea's house to see everyone that came and to enjoy a meal with everyone that Jim & Bea prepared. My thanks go out to Jim & Bea. They are wonderful hosts and did an excellent job feeding all of us.

After the meal, we all talked for a while then Kathy and I made it back to the hotel room. Our goal tomorrow is to travel to Lenoir City, Tennessee and stay the night there.

   
   


Sunday, June 12, 2011
Weather: clear skies but hot temps

We got up Sunday morning, met the group at Jim & Bea's house and made final preparations to leave for Lenoir City. After leaving Sardis, MS, we traveled up interstate and ate breakfast. Our travels for the day took us through Mississippi and Tennessee for the day. We stopped at various times to fuel up and eat. Some of the group were riding their Nomads, whiule others were in their cars, trailering.

We also stopped in Lynchburg, Tennessee to view the Jack Daniel's Distillery. Jack Daniel's has a very nice store as well as historical center.

Our day culminated in Lenoir City, TN, were we gathered with more KawaNOW members for dinner.

   
   
   
   
   
   

Monday, June 13, 2011
Weather: clear skies, a little cooler

Monday was a very good day as far as the weather. It was a little hot, but no rain in sight. Today, we make our trek into Maggie Valley, but before we do, we decideed to take a quick shopping trip into Pigeon Forge. We stopped and ate lunch and shopped in some of the best shops including a very nice Chrismas Store that's open year 'round.

After leaving Pigeon Forge, we arrived in Maggie Valley, NC around 3:00pm.

After registering at the front desk at the Maggie Valley Inn, Kathy and I went around the crowd to greet and meet everyone. It was great to see all of those that I already knew, but it equally great to finally get to meet many of those that I had only communicated with by email and forum.

Just by looking around at the hotel, I could already tell this rally was going to be a good one. Todd Frazier and Amy Neal did all the planning and work in developing this rally. I could tell they did an excellent job. That evening we had a welcoming dinner planned to give everyone a chance to meet and discuss the itinerary for the 3-day rally. Tomorrow, we start our rides in some of the most beautiful country in the US.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   




Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Weather: clear skies, mild temps

2nd KawaNOW National Rally Agenda

Kathy and I got up early ready for the day. Kathy and a few of the KawaNOW ladies were going to do some shopping today. I was going to attend the preride meeting at the front parking lot of the Maggie Valley Inn, then hook up with the group riding to Mt. Mitchell. Below are some pictures of the ride. For lunch, we stopped off at the Kawasaki Dealer in Ashville, NC where Kawasaki had lunch ready for us.It was a wonderful day for riding and the ride to Mt. Mitchell was great.

   
   
   
   


Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Weather: clear skies in the morning, rain in afternoon, cool temps

Wednesday was designated as an open day for everyone at the rally. In other words, everyone could go and do anything they wanted. No rides were scheduled and this gave everyone an opportunity to take demo rides on the new Nomad, Vaquero and Voyager that Kawasaki provided with the Kawasaki Vulcan Nation Truck.

Some rode on the demo rides, some went shopping and some took the opportunity to ride other roads in the area. It was a fun day. I scheduled myself for two demo rides...one on a Vaquero and the other on a Voyager. I was very impressed with the looks and feel of both bikes. And, I'm very thankful that Kawasaki made the trip to our rally. This gave everyone the chance to check out and ride all of the bikes they brought. That afternoon, Kathy and I loaded up and took our Nomad on a Blue Ridge Parkway ride. That evening, several of us dined on the fabulous BBQ in the area.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   



Thursday, June 16, 2009
Weather: clear skies in the morning, cool temps

Thursday turned out to be an excellent day to ride. The rain that came through the day before cleaned things off and made the temps a little cooler. Today, I decided to take the Water Fall ride. Kathy decided that she would do a little more shopping since this was our last day here.

So, the day started with the Water Fall ride, then culminated with our KawaNOW Finale Dinner that evening. The finale dinner is very important. It gives all of us a chance to get together, laugh and get to know each other even more. Our Finale dinner was catered by Fat Buddies Ribs and Barbeque and it was held at the Lodge at Camp Newlife in Waynesville, North Carolina.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   




Friday, June 17, 2011
Weather: clear skies in the morning, rain that afternoon

Kathy and I got up early, packed up, and relunctantly left Maggie Valley, NC for home. We decided rather than stop and stay overnight halfway home, we would just drive all the way.

We left Maggie Valley at about 7:00am and made it home to Lindale, Texas at about 9:00pm. We got on I-40 just out of Maggie Valley and stayed on I-40 until Little Rock, AR. Then we took I-30 to East Texas. Not a bad run for over 800 miles.

   
   


I feel that this year's rally was a huge success... even more successful than our National in 2009. I contribute that to not only Todd Frazier and Amy Neal, who planned the event, but also to all the KawaNOW members that attended. The rally was successful due to their love and passion for the Nomad, Vaquero and Voyager. Our next National Rally is planned for 2013 in Colorado. More information will be coming. See you then.


All information on this website including photographs, graphics and documents reside with Robert Hilliard unless otherwise stated.
All requests to use material from this page should be sent to Robert Hilliard.