September in the Smokeys - Dirt Roading

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by andy29847, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,685
    Location:
    South Carolina
    September in the Smokeys or....


    Fun and Games with Captain Powderpuff

    Monday, 9/19:

    Fugitive Dam with 2 floodgates open.
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    Tuesday 9/20:

    Pre-ride/scouting for the MTFs Smokey Mountain Rough Road Ride.
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    Why do they call this place the Smokey Mountains?
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    Wednesday 9/21:

    It rained all night at the Ironhorse.
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    Bridge in Dentons,NC
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    Captain and Mrs. Powderpuff
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    Porterfield Gap
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    Beaver Creek Rd
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    What is the forecast for this afternoon?
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    Tatham Gap Rd, road to the tower on Joana Bald
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    More to come!
    #1
  2. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,685
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Two stories from the week.

    Earthquake!

    Monday night, Captain and Mrs. Powderpuff were all tucked away for the night, dreaming of wheelies, dirt and gravel roads, and chicken fried steak, when, at almost exactly 1100P, there was a loud explosion right outside the cabin. Captain Powderpuff jumped up and, failing to put on even the flimsiest of undergarments, rushed out the door to see what happened. The Captain expected to find that someone had run into the cabin or maybe a camper had blown up. There was nothing to see except other campers rolling out of their beds and asking WTF! After 30 minutes of discussion, where things like sonic booms, aliens, big rocks falling in the road, and even earthquakes were discussed, everyone went back to sleep. Then it happened again at 500A. Captain Powderpuff went to the lodge at the Ironhorse were he found several other campers who were missing out on their beauty sleep. Heck, the local deputy came by and he didn't know what was happening. We learned late Tuesday afternoon that the explosion noises were attributed to an earthquake whose epicenter was only one mile away. The "booms" continued throughout the week.


    LOST!!!

    Late Wednesday afternoon, our group went up Tatham Gap Road from Andrews, NC and turned right at the top (about half way) on the road that goes to the towers on Joana Bald. After everybody spent a few minute at the top of the mountain, the Captain made plans to take some pictures. The Captain gave all the riders instructions to give him a 1 minute head start, then go down from the top, turn right at the "T" intersection, and then go downhill to the paved road and stop there. The Captain raced ahead, found a good spot, took everybody's picture, then loaded up and started after the group. Just before the intersection, the Captain caught the last 3 riders. The lead rider of the 3 rider group turned left, back towards Andrews, instead of right as instructed. The Captain was able to get the other 2 to turn right, then he raced after the wrong way rider and got him turned around. The Captain followed Tail End Charlie down the mountain feeling very smug about his leadership capabilities. When the Captain got down to the paved road, 2 riders were missing - including Mrs. Powderpuff:eek1 The Captain did not panic. He figured that Mrs. Powderpuff and the "rider not to be named" had turned the wrong way on the top, and were waiting patiently in Andrews, NC for the rest of the group. He instructed the remaining riders of the group to head for the Ironhorse, and then the Captain started back over the mountain on a high speed, take no prisoners transit. Eight miles later, he found Mrs. Powderpuff waiting at the paved road, playing on her cell phone, happy and unconcerned. The Captain figured that the" rider not to be named" must have turned the right way (right), but failed to stop at the pavement. The Captain hoped that the other in the group would find him on the way to Robbinsville. So, the Captain and Mrs. Powderpuff started back for the Ironhorse via Robbinsville on 74/129/143. The trip back was uneventful until Captain and Mrs. Powderpuff pulled over in a store parking lot on 143 (in Robbinsville) for a half-way break. They were sitting there peacefully when the other riders from the group, except for the "rider not to be named", rode by on their way to the Ironhorse. The Captain was worried. All the way over to 28 the he fretted, concerned that the "rider not to be named" was off the side of the mountain somewhere. At the intersection of 143 and 28, the Captain sent Mrs. Powderpuff ahead to the Ironhorse, while he headed towards the Tuckasgee Motel (where the "rider not to be named" was staying). Lucky for all involved, the "rider not to be named" was in the motel parking lot. The Captain says he still doesn't understand exactly what happened, but for the rest of the week, when he gave instructions, he repeated the instructions 3 times, each time a little louder. :D
    #2
  3. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,685
    Location:
    South Carolina
    The weather report for Thursday called for lots of rain. They got it right. Everybody was asking the Captain about the rain - he always said, "I don't care.":lol3 The plan for the day was to ride the Dragon, the Foothills Parkway, and Little River Rd over to Cades Cove. Then we would take Parson's Branch Rd out of Cades Cove to the Dragon. Think 130 miles of paved twisties and 12 miles of dirt road.

    Mrs. Powderpuff and the Fontana Village gas station
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    Rain
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    Lunch in Townsend, TN
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    Dead Battery
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    Traffic in Cades Cove was not too bad until a small bear crawled out on a limb over the road. Then we had a New York City size traffic jam. Then Dave's bike overheated. Then Dave's bike sprung a radiator leak. Then a nice couple took Dave's bike over to the visitor center. Then an even nicer couple took Dave's bike back to the Ironhorse. I was a little concerned about Dave. When we loaded his bike in the 2nd pickup, we had to move the guy's banjo. :evil

    Isn't Dave cute with that "Deer caught in the headlights" look.
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    Vistor's Center parking lot - Cades Cove
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    We made it!
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    Remember the song, "Sylvia's Mother"? This is Sylvia.
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    Parson's Branch pics.
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    More Fugitive Dam
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    #3
  4. toypro1

    toypro1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    60
    good job so far Andy - thanks again for leading us around
    #4
  5. jfpcan

    jfpcan n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7
    Thanks for the ride Andy cant wait for the next

    Jim :clap
    #5
  6. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,685
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Dan
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    Jim
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    #6
  7. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,685
    Location:
    South Carolina
    There is a gas station at the corner of 28 (south towards Franklin) and 74. We stopped there first thing on Friday. The couple that owns the station runs a good business and are friendly. The bathroom was unique.

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    #7
  8. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,743
    Excellent pictures Captain!

    Sorry I missed it.
    #8
  9. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,685
    Location:
    South Carolina
    More great roads.
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    Leatherman Gap -
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    #9
  10. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,685
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Till the next ride.... so long from the Powderpuffs.

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    #10
  11. fltclark

    fltclark Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    MIssissippi Delta
    enjoyed riding with you, captain! good report..........

    fletcher:clap
    #11
  12. Jamie

    Jamie .

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,227
    Location:
    Shelby, NC
    Nice photos. I really enjoy that area, too.
    #12
  13. motorjon68

    motorjon68 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    443
    Location:
    S.W. Ohio
    How can I find out where all those dirt roads are?
    #13
  14. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,685
    Location:
    South Carolina
    All of the roads are public and on county maps. There are also maps available on the www.tailofthedragon.com website (and at the places around Graham County that sell tailofthedragon stuff). Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters in Tellico Plains is another good place to find maps and get advice.
    #14
  15. LngRidr

    LngRidr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    192
    Great photos!
    #15