Ténéré on the Blue Ridge

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by NGA, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. NGA

    NGA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    Ellijay, Georgia
    This was on St. Patty's Day weekend:

    I decided I wanted to ride some of the Blue Ridge Parkway that I had not rode before. I didn't have my kids this weekend, so it was on. I woke up Saturday, March 16, 2013, decided on my route, gathered a few things, and tossed them into my Jesse bags. I got a late start, but I didn't have a schedule. I didn't take any pics on the way there, but saved some great shots for the Parkway.


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    I left Ellijay, GA via Hwy 515 North, and exited onto Rock Creek Road, a nice gravel ride, which takes you over to Aska Road. I turned north on Aska, rode to Blue Ridge, GA, and onto Old Hwy 76 to Blairsville, GA. I got back on Hwy 515/76 and took this road into Clayton, GA. Once in Clayton, I kept straight and took Warwoman Road to Hwy 28. I turned south on 28 and took it into South Carolina. I eventually found Hwy 107, turned north, and eventually arrived in Cashiers, NC. I had never rode on 107 before, but found it to be a great ride.

    Once in Cashiers, I took a break, drank a Mt. Dew, and ate a Baby Ruth. I then headed east on 64 to Brevard, Hendersonville, Batcave, and worked my way to the outskirts of Asheville, NC. I was headed to a BBQ place in Swannanoa, NC called Okie Dokies Smokehouse: http://www.okiedokiesbbq.com/



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    My brother's college friend and her husband own this place, and they have another location too. The BBQ was great. I had the pork plate. It was very moist, served with slaw and baked beans. I didn't really even need a sauce. The sweet tea was super too. After an early supper, I asked the nice wait staff about a good place to stay, where I could walk to a pub for a few cold tall ones. They, of course recommended Asheville, or Black Mountain, NC, which was closer. I decided on Black Mountain, but got on the Parkway briefly - just for a few minutes.

    Once on the Parkway, I noticed some detour signs that directed north bound traffic to I-40 East to Exit 86 - I did this the next day. I headed to Black Mountain, checked into the Super 8, showered up, and asked the attendant for nearby watering hole. She recommended the Ale House: http://www.blackmountainalehouse.com/ordereze/default.aspx

    It was great. They had a large variety of beers on tap, and I enjoyed some high octane IPAs, two cigars (that I brought), and an awesome band - The Blue Rags! And...I watched some dancing and...well...it was really damn good! After several hours, I walked back to the Super 8 and crashed. Total mileage for day one was 293.

    The next day, I woke up early, ate the continental breakfast, and headed to the Parkway. The detour put me on the Parkway at about Little Switzerland.



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    My plan was to ride the Parkway to Virginia, which I did, with only one other short detour.


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    On Hwy 58:


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    I got to Virginia about noon, looked at the map, and decided on a way to get out to Interstate 81 and slab it back to north Georgia. I went to Sparta, NC via Hwy 18, ate lunch at The Pines (flounder and shrimp), then headed north on Hwy 21 to Hwy 58 West to I-81. Hwy 58 was fun and long. It has a variety of curves and switchbacks, and was really fun.

    Once on I-81, I went through Bristol (the outskirts), which I later learned a race had just ended. Apparently, race fans are pumped after a race, and feel like they can drive as fast as the drivers they just watched. I-81 was crowded and moving way to damn fast. I rode I-81 (that's what it seemed like) to Hwy 66 (Sevierville, TN) and eventually got on Hwy 411 South, which took me to Maryville, TN; Chatsworth, GA, and back to Ellijay.

    I finally made it home at 10:36 p.m. I felt like I rode Broke Back Mountain - my ass was killing me! Total mileage for day two was 532. I know this may not seem like a lot to some, but it was the most I've done in one day before. I was wore out.

    Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed this write up.
    #1
  2. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    734
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Loved the trip. Lived in that area, Asheville, in the late 60's and loved the scenery. Great report on a very nice looking bike.
    #2
  3. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,308
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    Thanks for the early views of the Parkway. Can't wait for summer heat when I can skip off by myself for a week of riding. I love that area.
    #3
  4. ghte

    ghte Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Loved your trip. I now look forward to more installments from you.
    Cheers Mate and thank you for sharing
    #4
  5. vcvarmitcong

    vcvarmitcong Cheekrashsucks

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Molon Labe, NC
    ...you went when you did! Last week the area had 7+ inches of snow.:pep

    Great pics and nice write up. Looks like traffic was low, since you were able to stop on the viaduct. Great pic of table rock and hawks bill.
    #5
  6. snowbilly

    snowbilly Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    246
    Location:
    Western NC
    Thanks.

    We live in Asheville, the Okie Dokie is now on our must try list.

    rw
    #6
  7. TexaNate

    TexaNate Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    416
    Location:
    North Houston
    Everyone has different standards for what a "long day" is...I feel like I lose concentration after the first few hundred miles and if the road is anything but straight, it gets really tiring. If you have such good riding roads within a couple hundred miles of your house, power to ya.

    Really cool report!
    #7
  8. T

    T --------------

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,581
    Location:
    DE
    Nice pics and that Parkway sure is a special road. Too bad about the prohibitive speed limits though....
    #8
  9. Vinbowie

    Vinbowie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    408
    Location:
    Maryland
    Love it up there.
    I've yet to get south of Virginia
    but it's on my list.
    Nice pics, thanks. :clap:clap:clap
    #9
  10. oscar23

    oscar23 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    39
    Enjoyed it very much - Great pictures -
    Thanks for sharing
    #10
  11. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,733
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    Great pics and report.
    The bike is looking good too,the Jesse bags fit it nice.
    #11
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,814
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Looks like a fun ride. I love that area. I would guess that you didn't have much traffic on the BRP. How were the temperatures?
    #12
  13. murdock84

    murdock84 Been here awhile

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    Apr 22, 2012
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    579
    Location:
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Nice pictures. Really like the ones with the rusty bridge in the background.
    #13
  14. avc8130

    avc8130 Long timer

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    Nov 14, 2008
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    1,700
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    You stopped on the Viaduct and lived to tell about it! We tried that and the Rangers were on us like hawks on a field mouse.

    If anyone is heading down the BRP...and passes through Pineola, NC...I can't recommend Christa's Country Corner highly enough. Stop in and get a sandwich on the yeast roll. Don't forget to eat dessert.

    ac
    #14
  15. NGA

    NGA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    Ellijay, Georgia

    Yes, the Parkway traffic was about dead. There were a few cars, but not much. Also, there were two rangers watching for speeders, but they seemed bored. Yeah, I stopped on the viaduct despite the signs and only one car passed me - he was headed in the opposite direction. The temps were not bad. I'd guess low 40s in the mornings and up to mid-50s or so in the afternoons. Thanks for the tip on Christa's. I'll look for that next time.
    #15
  16. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,225
    Location:
    jaw ja
    b lov 'n some blueridge parkway, don't get there enough
    #16
  17. chrish4ku

    chrish4ku Been here awhile

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    881
    Location:
    San Leandro, CA
    Great photos,
    #17