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Old 08-10-2009, 11:40 PM   #61
Hedge36
Chasing parts.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVMax
You should be careful where you sit, you never know WHO's been standing on that thing.
Jeebus, you're right - same damn pillar. That's pretty wild.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:18 AM   #62
Dranrab Luap OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedge36
Jeebus, you're right - same damn pillar. That's pretty wild.
I can remember going up there before it became a national park. It used to be a hippie hangout and lots of cars found their way over the side. It took a substantial cleanup effort to whip it into shpae. My grandparents had a farm in the valley in a town called Hammondville about 15 miles away. That's where we used to spend summer vacation. Never a Disney World or such...it was our Disney World. The mountains, the creek, the falls, the valley, the farm, the smells, even the feel in the air are so special to me. There is a part of my soul in that area and till the day I die I'll have to make sojourns up there to reclaim it if only temporarily.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:24 AM   #63
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Dawn has broken on a beautiful day. The mountains are calling. We'll go over the Cherohala and hit the Dragon. That's something everyone should do at least once. Tuesday morning should be pretty sane, and we'll get some stickers and perhaps a T shirt. Then over to Fontana village and dam. Were just going to poke around after that. I'll take time to go to Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters to visit our fellow inmate. I'm pretty sure Karin isn't loving all this crack of dawn activity. She just walked zombie like to the ladies room. I suspect today will be the best day...nowhere to go and all day to get there.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:08 AM   #64
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In!!

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Old 08-11-2009, 05:49 AM   #65
Hedge36
Chasing parts.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dranrab Luap
I suspect today will be the best day...nowhere to go and all day to get there.
Absolutely the best type of riding day
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:37 AM   #66
the darth peach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dranrab Luap
...nowhere to go and all day to get there.
nice!
Have a great ride!
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:14 PM   #67
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We are back in after an amazing 155 miles. We started out pretty close to 8:00 am and headed across the Cherohala. The roads were dry and empty, the air crisp and relatively cool. Our only goal today was to enjoy ourselves and end up back at the KOA in Tellico. The Cherohala did not disappoint with its early morning beauty. Four and a half years ago I rode it for the first time as an inexperienced rider on a Burgman 650 and was mortified. Karin was much more comfortable with it than I was. I had one of those precious Dad moments today. As we saddle back up after breaks, I always make eye contact with Karin and nod. She nods back if she is ready. After enjoying a quick in saddle stop at one of the Cherohala's many breathtaking overlooks. I looked at her. Her faceshield was flipped up, her smile bright and wide, her eyes beaming. In a half giggly voice she said "this is freakin' awesome." MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. There are very few people in this world who can fully appreciate the essence of motorcycle touring. Karin joined the priviledged ranks today. As I pulled away I had to slow to allow tear clouded eyes to clear. I am blessed.

We ran through the Joyce Kilmer Forest enroute to US129 and the Deals Gap Store for the requisite photo op, T Shirt stop. Karin got a kick out of the tree of shame. People watching was great as usual. Before hitting the fabled Dragon, we let a couple Harleys get a few minutes ahead. There were relatively few bikes out at the early hour. Within 5 minutes we had reeled the Harley's in. The lead rider was exceptionally timid. Karin and I pulled onto a turn out and waited. I joked that the rider was probably afraid to have his skirt blow up. We waited about ten minutes then headed out again. Karin did a very good job. Her lines were correct and smooth, her speed better than I expected. She appeared very controlled for someone who had never ridden twisties before yesterday. WAY better than I was my first time up.

We stopped at the dam to snap some pictures and were joined by a very nice group of Harley riders from Wisconsin. They marveled at the fact that we rode scooters from MS. I took group pictures with them and we exchanged pleasantries for a while before we both parted ways. They got out ahead of us and we quickly caught back up. Again we pulled over to relax and get a bit of a gap. Lather rinse repeat. Crap these nice folks were slow. We went around them when they pulled into a turnout. Karin and I both scraped hard parts for one of the photo services. The guy with a black camaro whoever he is with. I'd like to get those photos.

We stopped back at the Deals Gap Store for some lunch. I caught a glimpse of the weather radar. We were going to take a douching on the return trip. I don't know how, but with a couple of breaks to let a few dark clouds pass we made it back with scarcely a drizzle. Along the way we saw NC State Police working a cycle accident. We stopped in a nearby turnout. The cop was marking off distances and surveying the scene closely. I feared aloud that he was working a fatality. The sport bike was wadded up badly. I asked the cop if it was a fatality. Nope! The rider walked away. Despite the fact he was going up about a 5% grade the wreck consumed 358 linear feet of distance coming out of a moderate right hand curve. The rider told NCHP that he was doing 35

We took occasion to do the Bald River falls and took some great photos. Wherever we stopped, the Burgmans made great conversation pieces. Motorcyclist of all sorts seem to be some of the friendliest people.


Up into the clouds on the Cherohala.



At the Deals Gap store getting pumped up to hit the Dragon.



Waiting on Harleys to get the hell out of our way.




I'm no Killboy.




Down at the bottom. Spectacular view!!!




Karin's tire warmed right up, the slightest of chicken strips showing.




Back up into the clouds on the Cherohala.




Karin looking all poseriffic and shit.




Bald River Falls.





This is the view from the front of Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters. Tellico is a nice quiet, quaint place. The Ice Cream Cream shop is owned by the wife of inmate Mike (I believe it was) who owns TMO. He was a pleasure to talk to. His shop was well stocked and he takes care of his ADV family. Good peeps both he and the wife. We dropped a little coin in both their shops.



And finally, just because Peachy has been giving Grant too much attention.

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Old 08-11-2009, 05:16 PM   #68
Hedge36
Chasing parts.
 
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Outstanding.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:35 PM   #69
vidd
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great stuff
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:00 PM   #70
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Great day. Where are we off to tomorrow?
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:20 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewismedlock
Great day. Where are we off to tomorrow?
Trying to decide right now. We need to start bending back toward the coast.
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:47 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dranrab Luap
Trying to decide right now. We need to start bending back toward the coast.
did you stop and see MiniMike?
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #73
nirak
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Ok, so I might not be fartin sunshine in the morning, but he's lucky he only has to tell me to get up once. I usually set 6 alarms and sleep through everydmanoneof'em. So I do believe that I am entitled to 10-20 minutes of extreme zombiness...


Once fully awake and on the road, I was enthusiastic and interested to see what the day had in store. We talked about the Cherohala Skyline last night and how it meandered through the mountains along the TN/NC state lines. As a kid (younger kid, for all you leghumpers who still think I'm kid) if the parents told me we were going on vacation to the mountains my only thought was "UGH! When will it be over?!" I much preferred the beach. However, after today I realize that there are different ways to appreciate the mountains. To each his own... And I prefer to appreciate the view on two wheels. I like to feel the wind in my hair, nothing between me and the road, me and the clouds, cool breeze, smell of the asphalt after a rain... Nothing compares.

The morning view:


Each overlook was just as incredible. I had to be careful not to get distracted while driving, because we all know that our hands tend follow our eyes


Me at the Deals Gap store, Daddy told me to "look all happy and shit"



And something I'm sure no ADVrider has taken part in:



View from the bottom:



The Tail of the dragon was initially pretty intimidating for a n00b like myself. I think it was the buildup more than anything. I kept my speed down through the first couple of curves and just talked to myself inside my helmet, "OK Karin, 'kiss the mirror,' 'head and eyes,' just relax, you can do it, DON'T BLOW THE CURVE." "kiss the mirror" is something that Daddy mentioned to me just a few minutes before while we were on the Cherohala. He said it's a technique a sport bike rider told him helps with leaning. "Head and eyes" is that look through the curve thing they drill in your head in MSF courses.... It works. After a few good twisties I felt more comfortable with my capabilities and started having fun with it. I even scraped a few times.

All in all.........


BEST ADRENALINE RUSH EVER!


The accident we saw on the way back happened not far from here:


That guy is insanely lucky to have walked away from the wreck. 35mph my @ss. (I got some pics of the accident on my other camera with the funky card. will post when we get home).


We got a little bit of rain, but it looks like we missed the worst of it:



Today was phenomenal. One for the books.
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:57 PM   #74
Hedge36
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Neato.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:08 PM   #75
nirak
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Hey Peachy, ask Luap about the topless pics
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