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Old 08-16-2013, 06:58 AM   #16
duanew1
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Many years ago when i was there Bryson City and Telico Plains were wet with most of the stuff in between was dry. There are a lot if indications that it is still that way. I know that the Ironhorse Motorcycle Resort was dry but everybody brought beer in.
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Old 09-15-2013, 05:52 PM   #17
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After a 12 hour drive we arrived in Tellico Plains for the night. Had called ahead and booked a room at the Lodge at Tellico. It is just south of the intersection where the Cherahola Skyway comes into town. What a great place to start the adventure - a cabin feel, but with a nice breakfast room, bike garage, and trailer storage area. The hosts were a great a couple, too, we ended up staying for three nights.

After the continental breakfast, we went to the visitor's center where we loaded up with maps and info. Started out on the Cherahola about 10, and took a side road to see Bald River falls - a nice twisty, narrow road that was a great intro to the twistys in the area.

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Old 09-15-2013, 06:24 PM   #18
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Then off to the Skyway. It was lightly traveled being Monday morning, but we saw more motorcycles than cars. We thought that it would be best to be traveling in the opposite direction, as the sun was in our eyes, but it great to be in the mountains no matter what. It was a great ride, but unfortunately the overlooks were overgrown and ruined the view in most places.

Climbing the elevations on the Skyway taxed the fuel consumption on the Vino with it's small tank, so we were happy to find this stop on the way into Robbinsville.



While we were gassing up, my wife recognized this character - a NC resident who has had a lot of exposure on TV lately.



After listening to stories for a while we headed into town for some lunch, and then rode to Deal's Gap for a look see.



As it was getting late in the day, we didn't ride up the Dragon, but headed back for the Skyway and Tellico Plains. It was supposed to be the best weather day for the next several, but at the highest point on the Skyway, we got dumped on - cold, hard rain. We had gear - really felt sorry for the Harley folks with the tank tops. Interesting how the top of the mountain can have such different weather than lower down. Coming down the mountain, the sun came out hot and dried us up. We arrived in Tellico Plains a bit before the new coffee shop closed so we enjoyed a cup as it started to pour for about 45 minutes.

When it quit, we rode the five minutes back to the lodge. I enjoyed the cold Yuenglings I bought on the way into town before we headed to dinner at Krambones - a good BBQ joint in the Tellico Plains shopping district. Just a week after the Labor Day holiday, I was surprised to find that most shops close at 7 or 8 PM. You can buy beer a little later at the gas station, though
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:58 PM   #19
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After a good nights sleep and a light breakfast at the Lodge (where we enjoyed the conversations with the other bikers) we headed off for the Dragon. This time we took 360 into Vonore, then 72 East to 129 for the North end of the Dragon. Hit the curves at a little after 11 AM, and took it easy to get the feel of the road. Beautiful, warm day with little traffic - less so than it appeared on Monday. Saw three LEO's - two in cars and one on a bike. Is the Dragon ever fun! Slowed down some by construction - repaving on a stretch had it down to one lane wide enough for bikes when we went thru. Interesting to meet an asphalt hauler coming at you after rounding a curve! Hung out at the Deals Gap stores for a while, then took off down 28 to Fortuna. Hmm, the only place to eat at Fortuna was the Gas Station, but the hot dogs were good! Explored the area around the Dam and headed back to the Dragon at about 2, then back to Tellico Plains where we had some time to ride back to Bald River Falls before dinner. Ate at a Mexican restaurant in town that was very good.

Everyone that we met was very friendly, and had to ask us if we had ridden down from Michgan. Met people from all over - none seemed to look down at us for riding scoots and many thought it was pretty cool to scoot the area. The only place we were really overtaken by sportbikes was on the stretch of 28 out of Deals Gap, as could be expected as you have to watch for the cops on 129. We were respectful of others on the road, and other drivers to us also. As far as scooting the area goes, IMHO we were on the min sized bikes that should be ridden, mainly because of the hills. There were a few places on the Skyway where we slowed down to about 25MPH climbing the steep grades. There was a few routes we avoided due to speeds, but for the most part I think we had perfect steeds for the area.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:29 PM   #20
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Wednesday morning after breakfast we loaded the trailer and left for Townsend. We had booked a room at Docks, and was happy to find it was available for us early when we arrived. Went for lunch, then made ready and rode to the Smoky Mountain NP and into Cades Cove. Not too busy that afternoon, only about an hour to do the loop - man, I have grey hair and an Oldsmobile but I don't drive that friggin slow! (others may not share that opinion).



Continued on 73 into Gatlinburg. Couldn't wait to get out of that nuthouse! This is a great road - wish we had the time to take it south, but headed back to Townsend. Lots to view and lots of twisties on this road. I would say that this road is a "must" if you are off to the Dragonland area and you have time.

Dinner time when we got back to the Motel so we cleaned up a jumped in the truck to go to dinner. Stopped at one family restaurant that gave me the creeps, so we left and found a small Cuban rest. that had some awesome sandwiches - so big that we each took half for the next days lunch.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:40 PM   #21
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I live in NC. and have absolutely no idea who that is in the picture with the blond woman ?????

As for getting rained on up there , be advised it happens a lot
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:45 PM   #22
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Pretty foggy and dreary Thursday morning. Went to breakfast hoping that killing some time would burn off some fog; it was better when we got back to motel ready for the days adventure. Forty percent chance of thunderstorms, so we hoped for the best as it was pretty decent when we rode off. Just out of town we jumped on the Old Walland Hwy to avoid the fast 2 lane - what a great little road along the river. It comes out close back to the main road where where it goes back to 4 lane so we only had a short, fast ride to the get on the Foothills Parkway. Riding on the Parkway to 129 it started to sprinkle, and when we got to 129 it really started to rain. We were lucky enough to be close to a shelter so we were out of the heavy stuff. When it died away, we took a leaf covered, wet ride on the Dragon. Needless to say, it was not a fast ride. We both have Chin Shengs - last a long time but not known for the best traction. There was more traffic than I expected thru the Dragon that morning.

Stopped for coffee and hoped to catch a view of the weather radar at the dragon stop but the 'net was down. Deciding to press on as it was getting nice we rode down 28 in hopes of getting to explore the back roads in that area. Climbing out of Fortuna we ran into heavy rain so we turned around and rode out of it shortly. The sun came out as we rode to the picnic area at the dam to enjoy the other half of our cuban sandwiches. While we were at the visitor center you could see another thunderstorm rolling in so we spent about an hour while waiting for it to clear. It turned sunny shortly after we rode out of Fortuna; the sunny areas of the Dragon started to dry out so we decided to explore before heading back to the motel.

The county map shows Happy Valley road connected to the Parkway so we took it. Very interesting road - lots of curves (some tighter than the Dragon) houses ranged from Mcmansions on gated drives to places like this:



Well, it went under the Parkway, not connected to it by any road we could tell, so we backtracked out and took the Parkway. By then the weather was perfect and the view was great - some of the best mountain views we saw.




Back to the motel where a couple on a Harley raved about the BBQ they had just had up the road so we enjoyed another dinner in Townsend. It started storming again as we were leaving the restaurant so we were glad we were in the truck. Rained pretty much all night. Not a bad way to end the trip.

Well, I didn't start out to have this be a ride report, as you have seen all the pics before, but the yarn just spun out of me. We spent about 8 hours a day in the saddle, and put on over 600 miles on the scoots so there is a lot of memories.

Saw two accidents - a Harley dumped over on 129 north of the dragon because of the uneven pavement from the road to the shoulder parking area. On the Dragon a Chevy Cobalt skidded off a wet, tight curve into the ditch - both accidents only bruised egos.

Didn't witness any serious jackassery, or other behaviors that would scare me from another trip to the area. The lure of the roads we rode, and the ones left to explore are calling me back.

I want to sincerely thank those who responded to my original post who took the time to help make this a great trip, and those that had posted the trip reports that helped guide the trip also.

BTW - Tellico Plains and Townsend had places to buy beer
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:14 AM   #23
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Glad to see you had a great trip. Thanks for posting a ride report.
A couple of comments:

Like you, I have never had anyone say anything negative because I was on a small scooter.

Happy Valley road does connect to the Parkway. It also passes underneath it in a couple of places and can be used to go all the way to 321 but that is involves a number of roads and is pretty complicated.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandyDoug View Post
I live in NC. and have absolutely no idea who that is in the picture with the blond woman ?????

Well the blond woman is my wife. The guy - you have watched Discovery Channel's "Moonshiners" haven't you? - Is Jim Tom. He lives in Robbinsville and regularly holds court at the store. I would have stayed to listen to more of his stories if I could have understood half of what he was saying
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:36 PM   #25
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Never watched the show, no interest on my part.
Yea , I get it that it's part of the history here , just not something this displaced yankee is interested in.

The blond is a hottie though !!
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:57 PM   #26
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I'm glad the trip turned out to be all that you wanted.

The Skyway is known for fog and rain, really different weather up top.

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