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Old 09-03-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
Yankee Dog OP
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Location: Decatur, AL
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Alabama Tiger heads North

A while back I picked up a new to me 2006 Tiger 955. Then in August it was time for my annual pilgrimage to Michigan to visit the folks. So like every year, I horrified my mother by riding the bike. This year the plan was to extend the trip up a little by making a bit of a side to trip to West Virginia. This is the story.

The first part of the trip took us through East Tennessee. The other side of Chattanooga we pick up hwy 30 where it meets hwy 64. I had heard this road was under construction. Well it looks like the construction is finished, the pavement is perfect and the curves are as good as ever.

The Sun was still low in the sky and the mist was coming off the Hiawassee River as we turn across it onto Hwy 315 and headed toward Tellico Plains, TN.

Of course these is a federal law that says if you pass through this neck of the woods you must stop at the Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters. nice people, good stuff and good prices. In fact, the missus ended up buying a new pair of boots while we there.

The brand name is Exustar. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they seemed well made and they fit. And since the missus was bad in need of a new pair, we bought them. She can also attest they are water proof. We later ran into a bit of water on the Blue Ridge Parkway. She was standing in four inches of water as we struggled to get our rain gear on. For the most part she ended up soaked to the skin. Except for her feet that is, which remained dry as a bone through the puddle and the accompanying rain both before and after we got the rain suits on.

Money spent, it was onto the Cherohala Parkway. The Cherohala is a series of long sweeping turns and great vistas. As we would soon discover, the Blue Ridge has nothing on the Cherohala.

After the Cherohala we headed toward Cherokee, NC and beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you are in the vicinity of Cherokee take a minute or so and stop at the museum. And excellent place and well worth the time.

Next stop the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Parkway is nice and all. Plenty of curves and scenic views.

And if you like tunnels this the place to be.

The plan was to ride the entire Blue Ridge from one end to the other and then ride Skyline Drive as well. I was warned this was not a good plan, that we would get tire of the low speed limit. And they were right. It seems as though every curve was exactly the same and every vista a repeat of the one before.

So while surfing the net at our motel that evening we noticed that is thing call the ADVrider North American Tag O Rama was a mere 150 miles off our planed path. The missus and I took one look at each other and said “let’s do it”.

The parkways were forgotten and after a little bit of early morning fog we were headed for Elkhorn City, KY.

But it wasn’t like we had to give up the curvy roads. I must confess I don’t remember exactly which roads these are, but they are somewhere between Spruce Pines, NC and Elkhorn City, KY and they are a heck of a lot of fun.

Stayed tuned for the next installment.
2005 Ural
2005 BMW F650GS
2012 Triumph Tiger 800xc
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
Yankee Dog OP
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So anyway, after about a half day of riding we ended up here.

And we found this

If you are confused, check out this link. It won’t help your confusion, but it is a fun read.

Our trip after the Tag had an unexpected bonus. We discovered Hwy 80 which we picked up in Elkhorn City and road south to Meadow View, VA. All I can say is WOW. What a road. These photos do not do it justice. My photographer did not take any photos of the best parts (Hayters Gaps) as she was hanging on for dear life. I swear I could see my own taillights some of the switchbacks were so tight.

We spent that night in Marion, VA and left the next morning headed for West Virginia. We left town on Hwy 16 and then turned East on 42. 16 was twisty as all get out, with plenty of tight corners and switchbacks. Hwy 42 ran along a valley and was not as technical. However, it was very scenic and its hills and sweepers were plenty to keep us from getting bored.

It always makes me a bit melancholy to see all the run down building that were once grand homes, beautiful churches and thriving businesses. Ah well, there is no stopping the sands of time.

The roads began to tighten up as we neared West Virginia. They also have a unique method of tunnel construction in West Virginia. I figured it was worth a photo.

We stayed at the Old Clark Inn in Marlinton, WV. Nice place, special parking for motorcycles, rags to clean and even a compressor to top off your tires. The owner rides a V-strom but I didn’t hold that against him.

2005 Ural
2005 BMW F650GS
2012 Triumph Tiger 800xc
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
The Cyclops
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Location: Hazard, KY
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I can't believe you got that bike that close to its old homeplace and didn't bring her by and let me say hello to her! I hope you are loving the bike as much as I did and she performs as good for you as she did me. Be safe.
I'm very well acquainted with the 7 deadly sins, and I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in- Warren Zevon
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:45 PM   #4
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Wow! Awesome roads in them there parts. Great to see a Tiger on the prowl.
Marty F
'13 Triumph Sprint GT; '14 BMW G 650 GS
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Location: Huntsville, AL
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It looks like you had a great trip. There are so many great roads in that part of the country, I wish I had time to explore them all.

If you liked 80, there are far twistier roads out there, you just have to know where to look.
I ride, Therefore I Am.

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Old 05-28-2012, 03:59 AM   #6
Bart Jones
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