Another tale the Chef would tell, much to the delight of guests and movie fans, is the famous motorcycle story. I know the motorcycle well—a 1983 Suzuki GR650, it sat on the porch of the house where I lived, near the resort. According to the Chef, Mr. Swayze missed the last shuttle to Blacksburg after filming had wrapped up one day and needed a ride to his hotel in Blacksburg. Remember, this was a low-budget movie with a relatively unknown cast, Jerry Orbach being the most famous of the actors in the movie at the time, and there was fairly short notice to Mountain Lake staff that a large movie entourage was coming (more on that later). Throughout the production, we still had incoming guests with long-standing reservations to attend to, which limited the availability of rooms at the hotel, so many of the actors and crew had to stay in Blacksburg from time to time, Mr. Swayze among them. And on this day, he needed a ride.
Chef Porterfield and his famous motorcycle
Enter the Chef, who gladly offered to give Mr. Swayze a lift to town on his motorcycle. According to the Chef, Mr. Swayze didn’t mind riding on a motorcycle, but he wanted to drive. The Chef demurred, so Mr. Swayze found himself on the back of the Chef’s Suzuki, heading down Route 700, which winds for seven miles, has almost no guardrails, is not particularly wide, and features 2,200 feet of elevation change. The Chef knew the road very well, and despite the forty-five-mile-per-hour speed limit, regularly raced up and down at speeds closer to sixty miles per hour.
Mr. Swayze started the trip to Blacksburg holding on to the bar on the back of the seat, assuring Chef he wasn’t afraid of going fast. By the third curve he had both of his arms wrapped securely around the Chef’s midriff. They rode like that all seven miles to the bottom—and the final ten miles to Blacksburg thereafter. Once they got to the hotel, Mr. Swayze jokingly told the Chef that he could tell all his friends that he gave Patrick Swayze a ride on his motorcycle, to which the Chef replied that Mr. Swayze could tell all his friends that he got a ride from Mike Porterfield.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish