BG and Meags ride the Smokey Mountain 500 with detour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Bobby Ginger, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Bobby Ginger

    Bobby Ginger Cat Herder

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    We got on the road about 9:30 and headed to my parents house to drop the dogs off. After a late breakfast provided by Mom, we headed to Suches. We grabbed dinner in Alpharetta at Mellow Mushroom and finished the ride up to Two Wheels of Suches.

    We took a creek side campsite and set up our gear. We meat a couple already and were excited about the people and experiences we were going to have. Thanks for the pic Curtis! We were amazed at the nice set up they have. The property is beautiful, the facilities are really nice.

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    View from our side

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    Tree of shame in the works? :lol3

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    Dinner time :dg

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    We went for a post dinner cruise. I was excited to be on the trip. Taking the BMW out in the cool evening only made my anticipation greater for the trip until....wait did I fill the bike last time? My fuel strip is busted so I normally just keep up with mileage but my trip was not set last time. A quick scan of the GPS had me turn towards gas but I read it the wrong way, ut oh :huh. About 8 miles later we made it to gas. Whew just made it. I believe the GSA's tank is 8.7 gallons and I put in 8.73 :huh.

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    We grabbed a sixer and setteled in for the campfire socialization. The company did not disappoint, as we joined a couple from Alabama and three friends from New Orleans. Cheap beer was enjoyed and our sides were splitting from sharing stories.

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    Two of the three frinds has been riding together for 23 years following each other through various hobbies but motorcylces were always in the mix. There is something very special about two friends that have that kind of history together. I think about my friends and wonder if I will know any of them in twenty years.

    Stay tuned, that is all I have time for tonight.
    #21
  2. Bobby Ginger

    Bobby Ginger Cat Herder

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    I am missing some pics that I will have to add on Thursday.

    Morning came and and we got cleaned up in the new bathhouse facility. The showers were nice and the water was warm. Afeter looking over the menu we decided to have breakfast in the main building. The food was great and a good value. The family atmosphere of the campground is warm and I will definitely be back to TWOS!

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    Our riding day started with easy twisties and we were on dirt in 15 miles.

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    They let dogs drive in Georgia?

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    The first set dirt roads had elevation changes with small gravel, our pace was slow but enjoyable.

    The second forest (Coopers Creek?) was more technical than I expected to hit on this trip. The GS handled it well but it was quickly obvious that Meags was over her head. There is one particular incline with big rocks that is not for beginners. After a some incredible creek crossings and a wild turkey was started the slab to Robbinsville. It turn out for the best, she was beat, but we still got to ride 28 into Robbinsville which I had not ridden before.

    When reached Simple Life Campground it was close to dinner so we headed to the Mexican place in town.

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    At dinner the waiter reminded us that the county was dry and that we would have to go twenty miles to the next county for beer.

    We thought for sure there must be a moonshiner close :)

    This turned our to be one of our highlights for the day. The weather was cool and vistas were priceless. A sixer of lager and a ninja porter and we headed back to camp.

    Plans should be flexible and that was reinforced today. I would have like to finish all of the day one track but the best part of the day turned out to be the beer run.
    #22
  3. Bobby Ginger

    Bobby Ginger Cat Herder

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    Weather man was wrong. I suppose everyone has a job but today he was wrong. Storms were predicted in the area but we stayed dry. Breakfast was provided via jet boil, and the campground cleared out as we were getting ready.

    Since storms were forecasted, I did not want Meagan to Miss the Cherohala Skyway. I was still warming up to the curves, I am a flatistan resident after all :norton

    We only took short breaks since it looked like we were driving into a storm.

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    We got to Tellico and filled the GSA. We stopped by the old Tellico Moto for old time sake. We booked it out of Tellico over the Skyway and I was in my grove. Having the GSA on the proper two up ESA setting made a huge difference. Meags is still getting used to the mountain roads but she never makes a mistake as a passenger. Even when she tells me that she is freaked out she keeps her weight neutral and does not latch on to me.

    When we arrived at Robbinsville I could tell the weather was improving At deals gap I made a comment that "hear we go" Meags was like "right now" :clapOff to wheelie hell.

    These are some of my favorite pics of the trip. Having her on meant that we could get good pics in the corners. Some of these are on the skyway I think.

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    I told Meags to take pics of the guy taking pics of us

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    Pit stop, I needed a break and Meags wanted a pic.

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    28 on the way back to Robbinsville

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    The first trip through the dragon was mostly uneventful except for the loud ass hardley's that would not get out of the way. No worries, nothing a little twist of the throttle could not help :deal

    After the first trip through we were hungry and stopped at the BBQ joint on the other side. We came back through on 129 to deals gap. We stopped and had a beer before heading back to Robbinsville on 28.

    Mini Coopers were everywhere, they had an event at the Fontana Resort. Most of them drove well, so I could not complain.

    Back at the campground I lounged and Meags took more pics. We had dinner via the jet boil and took in the beautiful evening and all that the day had given us.

    I had some fun on the pit bike
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    The campground was completely deserted and for a moment we felt like this moment belonged completely to us.

    We talked philosophy deep into the night, and enjoyed listening to the storms roll in.




































    We
    #23
  4. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    It sounds like youse guys had a good time. I'm sorry the dirt part of the ride work out for you. I'm thinking the section that you struggled with is Charlie's Creek (upper left of the photo below - waypoints 316 - 318.). That one is a hard ride for big bikes.


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    #24
  5. Bobby Ginger

    Bobby Ginger Cat Herder

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    I really enjoyed it on the big bike. Meags will need a little more seat time before she is comfortable on that type if terrain.


    I should have the RR completed tonight.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #25
  6. Bobby Ginger

    Bobby Ginger Cat Herder

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    Day four started rough for us. We knew we would be waiting out the rain so we indulged a litte on the bourbon. We waited out our hangovers and the rain to get over to Asheville.

    Once there was a break in the rain we packed our clothes and headed off to Asheville. Storms were in the area all day but we stayed dry on the way to Asheville. I love NC, even the main highways are fun to ride :clap

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    We spent the rest of the day indoors expecting rain, but the rain was mostly over for the day.

    Day five we woke up without a plan. It weather looked bad again so we decided to spend an additional day. We browsed the local papers for a few ideas, but Meags insisted we get tattoos. I was OK with this since it had been a few years since I had new ink. We check out of the hotel and set up our lodging for the night at a rental property. We found a local artist we were happy with and got some fresh ink.

    After we were both bushed and wanted to settle in for the evening. We headed out to the rental, a yurt. This was, as Meags put it, a small dream come true. The place was cozy and it was a nice change of pace from the tent. I volunteered to get groceries in an exchange for having the rest of the evening off. Meags made us a delicious pasta meal, and we shared a few bottles of vino.

    Unfortunately our sleep was interrupted by what seemed like dozens of dogs. It was surprising that a place with good reviews would have a dog problem like this. I would not recommend staying at the Asheville yurt for this reason, but we did have a nice evening there.

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    #26
  7. Bobby Ginger

    Bobby Ginger Cat Herder

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    Morning in the Yurt came too early after hearing the dogs bark all night but we had an exiting day of riding ahead.

    We had a quick breakfast, packed up and headed off to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was my first time on this side of the BRP so it was a new experience for both of us. Temperatures were all over the place from the mid 60's to the high 40's.

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    We picked up 441 outside of Cherokee and made our way to Clingams Dome. I had not been there since I was a kid and I knew Meagan would love it. It is a 1/2 mile hike from the parking lot, and at 10:30 AM its was 46F with heavy winds. On the way back to the bike we got to see a small black bear. It definitely made our day even though we did not get a good picture of it.

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    small bear
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    411 northbound was crowded as expected, and we decided to skip Gattlinburg and headed to lunch in Pidgin Forge.

    From there we made our way to the Foothills Parkway

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    It was nice except for the train of Mini's we got behind towards the end.

    Thankfully the Mini train let us by before we hit the twisties on 129. I was riding loose and Meags was really enjoying it. I think she enjoyed my commentary passing cruisers and cursing that the cager had refused to get over. I get it, if I was a local, I probably would be tired of letting M/C's pass.

    Due to said cager our last few miles were slow coming into Deal's Gap.

    I think I prefer 28 to get back to Robbinsville and I figured it would be our last fun two up ride of the trip. After heading out a BMW Dakar slowed up behind me. I was in a spirited mood, so I pushed the speed limit to see if they would follow. They kept close to me but did not seem interested in passing. We had a good ride up to 165 where we exchanged big waves and parted.

    Back in Robbinsville Meags took off to do our laundry and I lounged and attempted to nap.

    We met back up and had dinner at Lynn's, after sadly finding out the Philips diner was for sale.

    A few more people showed up at the campground but the place was still quiet. Meags and I did not speak much. Sometimes silence is as fulfilling as sharing but I believe we both realizing we were on the backside of the trip.
    #27
  8. Bobby Ginger

    Bobby Ginger Cat Herder

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    The day started with apprehension as I was nervous about packing the bikes and Meags was nervous about ridding dirt. The rain had turned our camp into a clay-goo mess which made packing a dirty evolution.

    We took our time getting it right and finally took off around 9:30 AM. At about 10 miles out I opted to U turn for gas. I did not want to worry about running out prior to Tellico Plans. I was finally getting into the grove of the trip. It was not worth saving a little time and risk running out of gas.

    At about 3 miles on the Cherohala Skyway we turned off and were on the Gravahala :clap. As I understand it this was the old way to get from Robbinsville to Tellico Planes. We took a slow pace and Meags settled in quickly. Going over the Skyway in the past I wondered what was out in the woods below the Skyway, now I know! The roads were groomed which made for an easy ride by the river.

    At the fist stop I felt a tap on my shoulder, and was greeted by the Dakar rider from day 6. Workerant(I think) had a big group riding over to Tellico Plans. They let us tag along for the net 15 miles and was nice to be riding with a group. Meags was happy that they had a few riders taking in the sights and keeping up was not an issue.

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    One of the riders was having issues with starting his bike and since we would not be of much help we said goodbye and continued onto lunch.

    At Tellico Kats we were served delicious sandwich's and had a scenic view of the river. Meags said she was close to being done riding for the day so we continued on to the campground.

    I wanted to ride more so I dropped my luggage and took off.

    The track around Tellico was uphill and down, with bigger rocks and water crossings. I made it to the last water crossing and took the wrong line.


    View from Tellico Kats

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    The preferred line is not to the right :eek1
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    Fortunately I only sucked a little water and was able to get back to the campground. I opted to err on the safe side and told Meags our trip would end a day early.

    At this point we had two bikes, one I did not want to run, and the other that is not set up for two up. Without many options, I swung a leg over the little green machine and headed for Suches(where we left the truck). After a week on the GSA I was happy to be on a light weight bike. The roads were a lot of fun to toss the KLX around like a hooligan. About 30 miles from Suches I came to a stop sign. With the limited passing power of the 250 engine I did not want to get stuck behind slow cagers. I aggressively rolled the stop sign to prevent getting behind an explorer. I had plenty of room to get up to speed before he was close, but I did run the sign. After five miles the explorer speed up and hit the blue lights. SHIT! Pulled out in front of a unmarked car, what are the odds :huh

    I think he must of been in a hurry because after a quick license check and a small chastising, I was back on my way.

    I made it Suches without further incident, loaded up, and headed back to Tellico.

    Back at the Cherohala Mountain Trail Campground Meags had our tent site set up It was dinner time so we headed out to the BBQ joint in town. Dinner was OK and after we stated a fire at the communal pit. We were joined by a group of Harley riders and swapped stories, while enjoying some cheap bee.r

    We both had a great nights sleep and we enjoyed coffee and a complimentary pastries at the main building. The proprietor and I talked for a while about dual sporting and gave me some good ideas for the next trip.

    Campground pics

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    I really enjoy staying here and wish we would have more time.

    Thanks for reading, I have a few more pics to put up but that is almost it
    #28
  9. mr_guns

    mr_guns Look Mom no hands!

    Joined:
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    Thanks for sharing.
    #29
  10. kaosrider

    kaosrider Been here awhile

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    Nice Trip Guys :thumb
    #30
  11. slimy

    slimy Wanabe Adventurer

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    Thanks for taking us along for the ride. You two sure know how to have fun. Close call with the cop. <label for="rb_iconid_18">:huh</label>
    #31
  12. Dr.Z

    Dr.Z 6Sigma Knuckle Shflr

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    Nice! :clap

    Soo... i take it you took the wrong line on the Witt road water crossing. :lol3
    #32
  13. hawkman

    hawkman Been here awhile

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    Great RR & great pic's...beautiful country. I miss that kind of travel. Thanks for sharing guys!!!
    #33
  14. JustBob

    JustBob Uh...who me?

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    How much of this is off-road? Looks like a lot of pavement.
    #34
  15. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    #35