Paul Barnard's Southeastern Tristate EXTRAVAGANZA -- GA/NC/TN, Oct 6/7/8

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by caboose, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. caboose

    caboose Banned

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    I'm so nervous :shog It's my first time posting a ride report...

    First, credit needs to go where credit is due -- the Southeastern Tristate EXTRAVAGANZA was instigated primarily by Paul Barnard in this thread. Paul conceived of the idea of riding up from Mississippi to hit the mountain twisties, arranged the Tellico cabins, issued the original call to arms, and ra2bach and mikewarax played key roles in route planning. There is probably other credit to be given which I have forgotten, in which case I'm counting on you, the reader-in-the-know, to contribute this information in the form of an informative post. I was just tagging along, enjoying the route, taking some photos, and asking dumb questions, like, ra2bach, why does that Ducati you rode to the Vortex last night rattle like that? :lol3

    Let's begin at the beginning, our assigned meeting point, just off exit 10 (Milton Parkway) on GA 19/400...

    Here are Friday's ride guides! Hi Paul Barnard!

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    Hi ra2bach!

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    Ray has had to do some last-minute work on his motorcycle, a tire replacement I believe, and I'm very glad he was able to get everything buttoned up (almost) in time. Paul wants everyone to know that he, as a military guy, would never, ever be late, and he disavows all responsibility for and possibly even any knowledge of any alleged late arrivals which may or may not have transpired Thursday night pre-Vortex or Friday morning pre-Tristate EXTRAVAGANZA.

    Immediately, we depart to Dahlonega, to pick up a couple more riders at Dogs n Hogs... PowerT, KevinD, and geobiker.

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    Quite the motley crew we have assembled... . Unfortunately, KevinD was only with us briefly before a suspected wheel bearing problem sent him home.

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    Friday was a fantastic day, clear blue sky, a gentle seventy degrees or so, very little wind, and just a little bit of that crisp fall snap in the air. Once we'd gotten onto GA 400 and escaped the very last dregs of the weekday morning traffic, the roads were clear and conducive for motorcycle travel.

    In less than an hour, we arrive at Woody Gap.

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    From there, we followed something along the lines of this route:

    We stopped several times at scenic overlooks for photo-taking. Golly, it is a shame I didn't take better notes about the various locations of the overlooks, but they really are pretty pictures:

    First stop:

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    These are the falls below Vogel State Park. (thanks PowerT)

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    Second stop... Scenic overlook on US-64 going up Chunky Gal Mountain NE of Hiawassee, GA going toward Franklin, NC. (thanks PowerT)

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    Bike and a mountain for everyone!

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    Just look at this sky, those colorful trees, that pretty road. If you were anywhere within a 200-mile radius of where we were, whatever it is many of you thought you needed to be doing on this particular day was not nearly important enough to keep you from this ride. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed of your workaholic selves. For shaaaaame!

    Here is the scenic overlook on US-64 going down Chunky Gal Mountain NE of Hiawassee, GA going toward Franklin, NC. This is looking west... (thanks PowerT)

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    ... and east.

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    Somewhere in here, we stopped for a really lovely lunch in Franklin. Please, someone who was there, reply telling us what the name of this restaurant was, so I can include it here. PowerT says "It was at a gas station/store called the 'Hot Spot'. The name was Cafe something. It started with a r." During this time, I forgot that I was supposed to be working up a ride report, and therefore I completely skipped taking the full-plate lunch photos we've all come to expect from any good ride report. I assure you that by dinner-time, I have come to my senses, and I guarantee that food photos are coming up soon.

    I think it was somewhere after Franklin where we ran a tiny twisty little road which, in reviewing my recollection and PowerT's proposed route description, I believe would have been the Hellbender. If that road wasn't called Hellbender, it should have been, because it was quite bendy. (PowerT has since clarified: WW I think you are talking about Hwy 28 going north of Franklin. :lol3) Riding it was a good experience for me, I got through it successfully, and it was a good confidence-booster for what came next...

    Deal's Gap... the tail of the Dragon... eater of noobs. To this Dragon virgin, the proposition of being Deal-flowered today was very intimidating. I was both excited and a little scared. Was I ready for this? Were we moving too fast? I wasn't quite sure.

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    Here's the gas station, where we all had a bit of a rest and a pep/prep-talk, in between all the people-watching. We saw a huge Goldwing drag pipes turning smartly out of the gas station - wow!

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    Look, it's Suzy! Also a whole bunch of Harleys, guess there was some sort of Harley get-together up there this weekend? :dunno

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    Of course, there was a visit to the Tree of Shame. More like Tree of Stupidity, I was assured, populated with the parts of bikes whose owners made silly mistakes. The proportion of noob parts to old-timer parts was not indicated. I took some comfort in the fact that green was already adequately represented on this tree; surely there was no need for more green noob parts to be added today.

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    The Dragon turned out to be a nicer ride and road than I expected; the road itself is very clean, the curves are nice (although tight), and there wasn't nearly as much traffic as I had feared there would be, after seeing all the double-line-crossing-semi photos on killboy. It probably helped a lot that I had two companions trail-riding behind me, intent on preventing anyone from zooming by at breakneck speed. PowerT and geobiker, I owe you many thanks for this! In the end, as far as I can tell, no one even approached us from behind to attempt to pass, although it's certainly not because I was flying through this at any speed. I believe I took most of it at 20 MPH :lol3 Didn't see an enormous amount of traffic coming the opposite direction, either, probably by virtue of it being Friday.

    Some scenery:

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    Finally, we come to the moment you've all been waiting for... our dinner photos from the Tellico Diner.

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    We were very confused about the Gilled Chicken :dunno

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    After dinner, it was time for PowerT to make like a tree and leave, I was glad to see today that he had made it home safely that night.
    #1
  2. ilmostro

    ilmostro Under Da Sea

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    2pac is always late. :rolleyes


    :lurk
    #2
  3. soboy

    soboy Long timer

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    Nice ride report, webwench. I was on all those roads last week on the Transalp and they are fun!
    #3
  4. Joyseeker

    Joyseeker a biking sweetie

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    was that the chicken?
    #4
  5. PowerT

    PowerT Long timer

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    Great ride! I am ready for the next one.
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Looks like a great time with great friends on fabulous roads! :thumb
    #6
  7. caboose

    caboose Banned

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    :clap

    I added many of your clarifications to my original post, mostly with attribution, hope you don't mind :)

    More to come tonight, about the first half of the next day's riding. After that, someone else will have to fill in Saturday afternoon and Sunday, since I peeled off in the early afternoon Saturday.
    #7
  8. KevinD

    KevinD Haulin the mail

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    Dang wheel bearings...:cry
    #8
  9. PowerT

    PowerT Long timer

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    Not a problem. Just trying to fill in the gaps.
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  10. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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  11. PowerT

    PowerT Long timer

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    Well now is a fine time to tell us!!! I don't think any of us felt cheated on Friday.
    #11
  12. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    Did you try the other abandoned roads I PM'd you ?
    #12
  13. Joyseeker

    Joyseeker a biking sweetie

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  14. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    So, enlighten us (a'cause I need to share the information with Hanndawife), how does a gurl pack for an entire weekend ADVRoadTrip with just a small tankbag for luggage? Hmmmm? Inquiring minds want to know.
    #14
  15. PowerT

    PowerT Long timer

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    I know we did not on Friday. I left the others about 9pm to go home. I don't know if they tried any on Saturday or Sunday. I plan to return soon and at least find FR711. It should be less than two hours from my house.
    #15
  16. PowerT

    PowerT Long timer

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    Everything she needed was concentrate. All she did was add water when we arrived at the KOA.:lol3

    I was wondering the same thing. All the guys had way more goods than WW.
    #16
  17. PowerT

    PowerT Long timer

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    You funny girl. Make me laugh long time.:nono The real truth is I was as full as a tick and could eat no more. Trust me, riding gear can cover a multitude of sins.
    #17
  18. caboose

    caboose Banned

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    I was only along for one night and two days, you don't need much for that.
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  19. Fred H.

    Fred H. Adventurer

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    Hope you said Hi to the Yellow Wolf while you were there.

    Personally, I changed the wheel bearings in my Concours every third tire change as a matter of course, but then I am anal.

    Looks like you had good weather. Were the leaves turning yet?

    Deals gap is ok, but the Cheohala (sp?) is better. Both are being watched more by LEO since it has gotten so much internet fame, which has almost ruined it. There are some other nice roads around Fontana in the area as well, and some more good ones around Gatlinburg area.

    Reminds me, I need to order some new wheel bearings for the FJR, as it will be due soon.
    #19
  20. PowerT

    PowerT Long timer

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    When are going to head east so we can ride? I know right after I ride to TX.
    #20