My East Tennessee

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Katoom119, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. L1gunman

    L1gunman Abner Snopes

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Oddometer:
    10,037
    Location:
    A Manufactured Home Community


    :clap :clap :clap


    great pictures, and a great area to ride in. be careful about guerrilla camping in rhodadendron gardens. the bears get curious :uhoh
    #21
  2. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,839
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Sounds like a plan.

    It's really weird what you see sometimes. I haven't seen a live snake in who knows how long but a couple of dead ones on the road though means they're still here. Most of the places I go are trails and because of that there's not a lot of cover in the heat of the day. Around water you have to be a bit more careful but that's just like anywhere, really.

    The last two years there's been a sow with two cubs around Shady Valley. First time we saw them a cub was in the middle of the road as two of us come hauling ass on our motards. First thing I thought of was "Oh shit where's momma?" By the end of last year one cub would chase after us on our bikes, sort of like a dog chases cars.
    #22
  3. Renegade6

    Renegade6 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    820
    Location:
    Ft. Riley, KS
    Great report. Gives me some ideas on where to ride next time I'm at my parents.
    #23
  4. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,839
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    "We're going to run our secret play. I call it the Annexation of Puerto Rico."

    It'll make sense later.

    The day dawned a gorgeous crimson red with splashes of deep purple and bright orange. Small furry woodland creatures began to rustle in their lairs at the start of another beautiful summer day. I, however, was asleep. Screw dawn, I was tired.

    Rode I-26 down from Johnson City to Erwin, TN and went up Rock Creek Road (Hwy. 395). It was really early in the morning and where we've been having stupid amounts of humidity you could see the water vapor in wooded areas. This wasn't fog, per se, but the long lost cousin twice removed.

    [​IMG]

    I tried to get some pictures from the top of Rock Creek but the foliage again proved the bane of my ambitions. Oh well, just trust that I say it's pretty. The intention was to go down and get pictures of Spivey Gap as well but I knew the trees would be just as thick down there. Spivey Gap is Hwy. 19W that runs over to Burnsville. You go up an incredibly twisty road, much tighter than Deal's Gap, and wind up running along side a river in a semi-river valley.

    Instead, I rode down 352/81 out of Erwin and hooked right onto 352 a.k.a. Devil's Fork Road towards Hot Springs, NC.

    North Carolina? This is an East TN report.

    Oh yeah, I don't know if you've caught it on the BBC World Service yet but Tennessee recently annexed Hot Springs. There wasn't much of a fight or anything because Hot Springs is where people go when Asheville gets too uptight, and since Asheville is pretty much a hippie town (generally speaking), the annexation was met with little alarm.

    Devil's Fork Road turns into Hwy. 212 when it crosses the state line and is probably one of the best kept secrets around. You're treated to views like this...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    at the cost of having to dodge hundreds of these along side the road. Wasn't that bad really.

    [​IMG]

    Once in Hot Springs there are several options. You can run Hwy. 25/70 to Newport, TN or branch off halfway onto 107 and connect back to Greeneville, TN. Or from the store you can cross the bridge, hang the first left onto River Road, and run up alongside the river. This is what I did. It's pavement for 4 miles or so before it turns to gravel for about 3. After this it's pavement again when you get to Paint Rock. Best I can tell it's just this giant rock alongside the river and the Native Americans used to use it as a meeting place.

    French Broad River

    [​IMG]

    Paint Rock

    [​IMG]

    There is a small "trail" that goes to the top of Paint Rock. Being the old rock climber I am I figured I'd have a go. It wasn't exactly class 5 climbing but some energy was exerted.

    [​IMG]

    In the end though the view was much better.

    [​IMG]

    The next several photos are from Paint Creek Recreation Area that runs from Hot Springs up to Hwy. 70 via Lower Paint Creek Road and Rollins Chapel Road. It's a single lane road with turn outs every so often but during the week it's almost deserted. You follow the creek the entire way and there are swimming holes just about everywhere along with camp sites and facilities.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Riding up Hwy. 70 into Greeneville you cross over the Nolichucky River. This is one of the bigger rivers in the area and means "River of Death" or something in Cherokee because of the strong currents. Swimming is not advised. You get to see this though.

    [​IMG]

    That's the most water I've ever seen rolling off that spillway.

    Greeneville was the home of President Andrew Johnson and in the historic district (take 70 to 321 business) you can tour his home. It's also the location of Cannonball Church. Called Cumberland Presbyterian Church it was under fire during the Civil War and actually received damage.

    Look to the right of the doorframe.

    [​IMG]

    See it yet?

    [​IMG]

    Uber close up.

    [​IMG]

    Took backroads up to my old school, Tusculum College, before turning onto 107. Ran 107 all the way along the Nolichucky until it intersects with Hwy. 81. Followed 81 on into Jonesborough, site of the International Story Telling Festival (one of the 1000 places to see before you die US edition), Chester Inn, and a really cool historic district. No pictures along the highway because the humidity was so high there was a horrible haze but without question some of the best views are found along 107 and 351 (runs from 107 to 70 behind Greeneville).
    #24
  5. Clank

    Clank ADV desk jockey

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    North of hotlanta!
    Awesome report. I grew up in bristol VA and drove alot of these road. Course I used to drive to a town called Mendota on the VA side and camp at the firetower there. That is one place I am wanting to return to and see if it is still standing :p
    :1drink
    #25
  6. jwhite69

    jwhite69 n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN or Albuquerque, NM
    Shame on you for leaving out Kingsport. This is a great idea - TN is so beautiful and green. I am getting my first bike soon and am looking forward to exploring some of the alternate routes from UT back to Kingsport, especially with all of the construction on I-40 right by the University :boid
    #26
  7. Bollocks

    Bollocks Farts with an Accentâ„¢

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,313
    Location:
    Watauga lake, 10-E-C
    Fantastic report.:clap I will book mark this.
    I just moved to Watauga lake a year ago and have yet to explore the place, we will have to get up with each other.
    The craziest thing iv seen was a chicken running down the middle of the 321 heading towards boone.:lol3
    #27
  8. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,839
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Oh, I'm not done yet by any means. These are just the roads I know well. The goal is to cover all of East Tennessee. I don't have much of a problem getting to UT, I go that way to get back home to Crossville, but it gets old quickly.

    For some reason, that doesn't strike me as odd at all. :D
    #28
  9. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,596
    Location:
    Boone,NC
    This had the makings of a good thread. Where are the updates?

    I live just a few miles from the NC/TN line. Found some great trails on Stone Mtn. near Locust Gap today. Part of the path was a stream for at least 1/4 mile. Talk about a "water crossing"! I can't wait to go back and explore some more.
    #29
  10. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,839
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Talk about resurrecting something from the beyond. I did a double take when I saw this back up on the first page.

    Well lets see: from the last post I got another undergrad degree, got married, finished my Masters degree, then moved to Charlotte for law school. I've been thinking about this the last week or so. I may try to finish it this summer.
    #30
  11. Pistolero

    Pistolero W. F. O.

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    714
    Location:
    TN
    It really amazes me how much everything changes from East TN to Mid TN. I miss it there; The riding here is just not as good IMO. I guess I'm bias though having grown up in East TN :lol3. Great thread man, makes me home sick for damn sure.
    #31
  12. Deans BMW

    Deans BMW Granpa Hoon

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,656
    Location:
    Copperhill, Tennessee
    Having just moved from the Mountains of Arizona (Show Low) to East Tennessee (Ducktown) your fantastic thread has me in full excitement mode.

    Our new Husky Strada will be the perfect tool for further exploration.

    Great pictures.

    Thanks
    #32
  13. atadloco

    atadloco Ouch.. Ta Daaaaaa..

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    707
    Location:
    Cow Hampshaaa
    Great pics, thanks for sharing!!!
    #33
  14. veesquared

    veesquared Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    145
    Location:
    Center of the Smokies
    . My name is Gary and unlike some of the posters here that moved away I am a fairly recent transplant from Mass. Live in Dandridge, Tn . I am also recently retired and have plenty of time to explore . I am fortunate enough to have several bikes . All dual Sport . I would be happy to ride with anyone interested in exploring backroads of East Tn. My knowledge of the backroads is limited . I got to my B liscense in NETRA . I have met many inmates at Nottarally and Ricks Rendevous. PM me if you'd like to ride.

    Katoom, I met you at Ricks last year. Great blog Thanks. :clap
    #34