Mini Vaca to NC/TN/GA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by themobb, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. themobb

    themobb Is this thing on???

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Hooksett, NH
    Hello All,

    First time RR here, so please cut me some slack... :D
    My wife works from home, so she can work anywhere she has an internet connection. She said "Why don't we go up to NC. You can ride, and I can work from the hotel room."
    What is not to love about that!
    My wife drives a Goldwing trike, but since we are also taking our dog, biking up seemed too complicated.
    So, we trucked up the BMW and a KTM that a guy in VA wanted to look at.

    So here is how we started. Please don't hate me for trucking my bike.. :evil

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    I haven't ridden off road in several decades, so I wanted to take it slow. I ended up riding about 500 miles in three days with the majority on pavement, but with enough unpaved roads to satisfy my curiosity about whether or not I would kill myself... I didn't

    Sample unpaved road. I know, not particularly gnarly, but it has been 30 years!

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    More tomorrow!

    Lance
    #1
  2. themobb

    themobb Is this thing on???

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Hooksett, NH
    We left Tampa Saturday morning and after a relatively calm (except Atlanta) 10 hour drive, we arrived in Murphy. Our room was at the Best Western. This was one of the few places that would accept our dog. Special thanks to Shawn at BW for making the arraignments. The room was clean, had wired and wireless internet and a refrigerator! What more could you ask?

    So, first thing Sunday morning, Advrider Peter showed up from VA Beach to look at the KTM. He liked what he saw and after settling up paperwork and cash, Peter strapped his new bike in his pickup and headed home. Enjoy, and thanks, Peter!

    So I got a late start Sunday; about 10:15am. I headed out of Murphy to the North, determined to find something other than pavement. So I found Hanging Dog Rd.

    Some nice views along Hanging Dog Rd:

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    Then I see NC-1333 and Non-pavement! The dirt road begins across the bridge.

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    Unfortunately, the road petered out after about four miles into something I didn't want to try solo. So back down to Hanging Dog. Right turn on Joe Brown Rd and more dirt!

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    Joe Brown ran all the way to TN-68 and then it was a right turn and up to Tellico Plains. Interesting juxtaposition at TN-68. Probably only photographed about a gazillion times...

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    I stopped at Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters to have a look around. I'd been on the Cherohala many times but never stopped at that shop. It is a very nice and well equipped store. I bought a couple of Advrider stickers and talked with the salesperson about things in general. I mentioned my wife was looking for a dirt bike so she could go off-road with me. Her current ride, a Goldwing trike, isn't that good in the dirt. Actually, you can't fall down, but it's hard on the paint job!
    Turns out the young lady at the store had the perfect solution right outside.

    She rides this. Very nice for the inseam-challenged. Too bad it appears Kawi decided to stop making the Super Sherpa...

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    There was a local gentleman at Motorcycle Outfitters that told me he recalled there was a back way to get from Robbinsville back down to Andrews. I told him I'd keep an eye out for it. After a spirited ride across the Cherohala I started looking for something south out of Robbinsville. I turned off onto Snowbird then onto Long Creek. This turns to dirt and continues across Tatham Gap into Andrews.

    Very nice road! Not too many pic's though, had to pay attention!

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    From Andrews back down to Murphy. Only 123 miles, but six hour elapsed. End of Day one!
    #2
  3. themobb

    themobb Is this thing on???

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Hooksett, NH
    Day two.

    So my wife says "Why don't you go up to Deal's Gap and get our neighbor a t-shirt?". Our neighbor is a ST1300 rider and is nice enough to watch the place and collect the mail while we're gone, so I have no objection at all…

    I'm sure this looks familiar to all Andrews, NC visitors.

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    Then two lane slab up to the Fontana dam.

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    Then a stop at the store for the t-shirt. Lots of bikes for a Monday, I thought.

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    On to the photo op at the other end.

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    Another view back up the road.

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    Back down for lunch in Andrews then more exploring. I wanted to try a route a fellow inmate over in the regional forum recommended. Junaluska Rd east to Tuni Gap road.

    Lots of fun for me.

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    Gps view.

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    Nice digs towards the bottom.

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    Tuni Gap Rd dumps me onto Tusquittee Rd then down to Hayesville and US-64 back to Murphy. 165 miles and another six hour day.

    End of Day two!
    #3
  4. OhBoy

    OhBoy Got Out

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,497
    Location:
    Merrimack Valley, NH
    Nice report Bro.
    Looks like you had some fun...
    Do I need a new bike?
    Hmmm.
    #4
  5. themobb

    themobb Is this thing on???

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Hooksett, NH
    Day Three.

    My last day, so I'm looking for dirt. The FS road just past Wayah Rd looks nice (on the gps) so off I go.

    It looks so promising. Starts with a nice double bridge over the river.


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    Then, I turn the corner and…

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    Major disappointment!! I know, some would have gone around, but I am no hooligan scofflaw!!! So I know Wayah Rd is fun, so off I go. I cop a little dirt on Old River Rd.

    Nice waterfall along the way.


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    Also a big pipe carrying who knows what.

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    Back on Wayah and on to Franklin, NC. From there it's southeast on US-64 to Highlands, NC. A nice shower in Highlands combined with the 4100ft altitude took the temp from 91 to 68 in about five miles. Nice!

    At some point I pass this. Looks like the Harley boys were washing their bikes!


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    There were many other nice vistas; waterfalls and such but after working so hard to pass slow traffic, I couldn't make myself pull off for pic's! Hwy 106 west out of Highlands through intermittent showers and very nice scenery and on to Georgia. South on US-23 to Clayton, GA then west on US-76. At some point along this road, it looked like the clouds were coming down to the road.

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    Up to Hiawassee where I encountered the only significant traffic of the trip. A two mile back up through a one stoplight town. Unbelievable! Franticly I finger the gps looking for an alternate; I find none… Finally, I'm through town and hook a left on 339 for a short stint where I had the closest call of the trip! I'm closing on an old pickup. He puts on his left blinker for a road a couple of hundred feet ahead. I slow down anticipating his turn as there was no approaching traffic. Well, I did not expect him to STOP before he made the turn! Good old ABS! The pavement was wet so it was a little exciting…

    After that bit of drama, the rest was routine. Hwy 66 up to US-64 and back to Murphy. 170 miles today and another six hours.

    This was a great mini vacation! Some familiar roads and quite a few new ones. Some dirt, mostly pavement, but enough dirt that I was feeling much more comfortable on the third day than the first.

    Thanks for browsing by!!!


    Lance
    #5
  6. TheCowboy

    TheCowboy back in the saddle again

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    The frozen tundra - Minny Sota
    Thanks for the RR - been on many of those dirt roads with my F800GS also... you need some KTC 80's on that bike - I'm on my fourth set - they really make riding the dirt/gravel roads a lot more pleasurable..

    TheCowboy:ricky
    #6