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Old 05-18-2014, 06:37 PM   #1
Yukon PER OP
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Johnstown, PA
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Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia - 1680 Miles

In February of this year, six of us from West Central Pennsylvania decided to attend the Morton BMW Spring Fling in Natural Bridge Virginia. The event was held on Friday and Saturday May 16th and 17th. I decided to leave the Sunday before the event and would meet up with the other five on Friday.

Packed and Ready to Go:


On Sunday I slabbed it down to Glade Springs, VA so that I could get an early start into the Mountains on Monday.

First stop was Backbone Rock in Tennessee



This photo was taken on the Snake (Route 421) between Shady Valley and Mountain City, TN



I Continued into North Carolina to visit the old Cove Creek High School. My great grandfather supervised the construction on this building and others in the 1940's.




I happened upon this old service station near the school



From Cove Creek I ventured to Valle Crucis and took this shot of the Mast General Store. Since it was 9 AM I was able to get storefront parking.



From there I took Route 194 from Valle Crucis to Banner Elk. This road has been repaved and some of the corners widened. I continued to the Summit of Beech Mountain.





After a short stop on Beech, I got onto the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain. These are random shots from the parkway.






Next Stop - Mount Mitchell






The Parkway south of Mount Mitchell to Cherokee includes various tunnels and some of the best riding on the 460 miles.



I finished up my day south of Cherokee in Bryson City.


Yukon PER screwed with this post 05-18-2014 at 08:15 PM
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:48 PM   #2
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Day 2

I got an early start and my first destination would be Deal's Gap. I decided to take Route 28 and the fog was just lifting in many of these shots.







This is the only pic I'm going to include from the Dragon. My brother is an avid Buell Rider and this group included a Buell and a Triumph.



Next up: The Cherohala Skyway.



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Old 05-18-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
morgantm
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Small world, I went to high school with the guy that was on the Buell. He put up almost the exact pic on Facebook. Looks like it was a great ride!
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
Yukon PER OP
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Day 3

From Robbinsville I headed to Ashville via I 40 then Route 70 to Old Fort. I continued on 70 to Route 221 just north of Marion. Route 221 took me back to Grandfather Mountain. The following 2 pics of Grandfather Mountain were taken on the Parkway.




I jumped back on to Route 221 and took these shots of the Linn Cove Viaduct.




This rock on 221 has always amazed me. It's nature's way of saying "Trucks do not belong on my road".

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Old 05-18-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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Day 4

Mother Nature has been good to me so far. I have only had to ride 25 miles in the rain to this point of my trip. However, Thursday's forecast was 100% chance of rain with 2-3 inches expected. I just hunkered down in Boone, NC for the entire day. Bike is under the Hotel Breezeway.

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Old 05-18-2014, 07:50 PM   #6
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Day 5

I headed out of Boone on Route 221 north. I would continue to Roanoke and get back on to the BRP there. Here area couple of shots from the northern end.




This little guy was only 1/2 way across the road when I encountered him. I turned around and "stood guard" until he completed his voyage.



He took cover in the underbrush.



Got off the parkway at Route 43 and continued to Route 11. Today I was meeting the rest of my group at the Natural Bridge Hotel.





Friday's venue included a "Brats and Brew" dinner at the hotel. Here Trip-Master Bill (L) is conferring with Woody for Saturday's Ride.

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Old 05-18-2014, 08:12 PM   #7
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Day 6

Breakfast was at the Pink Cadillac located on Route 11 about 5 miles north of Natural Bridge. Here the 3 blue Tigers are contrasting with the building.



We headed back to the parkway. The temp in Natural Bridge was 55 degrees (f). When we reached the Peaks of Otter, it was a chilly 43 (f). In the next 2 shots, fellow inmate Marty (AHD43) is making some quick gear adjustments. The effect of the temperature is expressed on Trip-Master Bills face.




New destination: Paint Bank, VA

Our route took us through New Castle, VA., here is a shot of the county library.



Lunch was at the Paint Bank General Store. Two gentlemen from New Jersey joined our group at the Peaks of Otter. The rider of the BMW located on the far right of this picture is 80 years young! The only thing he ask of us was to keep our speed under his age.




One final shot of our trip back to the Hotel...

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Old 05-18-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morgantm View Post
Small world, I went to high school with the guy that was on the Buell. He put up almost the exact pic on Facebook. Looks like it was a great ride!
I got to speak to these guys briefly. They looked like they were having a great time.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:50 AM   #9
Gaston Gagne
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You hit all of my favorite spots.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:58 AM   #10
bobw
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Great photos, and +1 on hitting many favorites! You made a great loop, thanks for sharing the trip.

BTW, how are you liking the new T?
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:39 PM   #11
Yukon PER OP
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New TEX has been great. A lot more grunt than the 955 and the Cruise Control saved me a few times on the interstate.
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:50 AM   #12
bobw
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They sure made a nice package on the new bike. I can live without most of the complications so many of the recent electronic additions have presented, but after all the years of doing without or using various rubber band, bar end set ups, etc., "real" cruise is so convenient and get's used a lot with the enjoyment of being less likely to get nailed for a $$$ speeding ticket is icing on the cake.

Anyways, thanks again for the report!

Cheers

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Old 05-20-2014, 05:45 AM   #13
cory1848
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Nice! I will be heading up that way next month. Love it up there.
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:40 AM   #14
MaverickNC
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So many of my favorite WNC spots. Great pics!
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:45 AM   #15
manfromthestix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon PER View Post
Mother Nature has been good to me so far. I have only had to ride 25 miles in the rain to this point of my trip. However, Thursday's forecast was 100% chance of rain with 2-3 inches expected. I just hunkered down in Boone, NC for the entire day. Bike is under the Hotel Breezeway.

I live west of Lexington, VA and am only about 15 miles from Natural Bridge via backroads. We got absolutely DUMPED on that day. I think the total here was about 2.5 inches in about 12 hours and they got up to 4.5 inches in places east of the Blue Ridge. Prior to the storm the humidity was way up, temps were in the mid-80's with overnight lows in the upper 60's; afterwards the highs were mid-60's and lows in the upper 30's. I prefer the cooler weather, but that change was a bit dramatic and hard to adjust to! It can happen any time - late last August my wife and I rode the BRP down to Boone, NC for a few days of sight-seeing and getting-out-of-town. It was a glorious ride down with mesh gear on, then a front came through and we rode back on the BRP in cold drizzle with fog so thick all we could see was the yellow center stripe for miles. We had sufficient warm clothes and rain gear with us but the change was very dramatic and we about froze our butts off in late August...

The Morton's gathering is a lot of fun. I was able to attend some of it last year and had a blast. This year I had to be in Wyoming to deal with a family emergency so I missed it. Glad you had fun, maybe I'll see you there next year. This is a great place to ride!

Doug
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