Gotta Get Away... to the Smokies...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by backwoodsKLR, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    So it has been awhile since I tried one of these ride report day-tripping things... @jeffrides and myself have been running wide open at work and we decided to take a narrow window of opportunity and make a run to the Smokies right after Memorial Day weekend. He is usually a KLR man, owning 2 of them, but recently had given into to peer pressure and picked up a used Harley and wanted to test it out on a road trip. Since last time I wrote a ride report, I upgraded from a Tiger 800XC to a Tiger Explorer 1200 XC. So we both had to work over Memorial Day weekend, but we thought we might could pull it off... We needed the helmet time for our sanity...

    So Sunday evening, I'm packing basic gear, checking my TEX out, and loaded up a tent and basic camp gear, just in case... Early Monday morning, I'm out in the shop repacking the Touratec Side cases on the TEX and I hear the potato machine coming up the driveway. Looks like we are going!!!

    Jeff on his Harley, ready to pull out...
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    So we pull out of Brandon, MS and head North Highway 25, hoping to avoid Interstate and flat straight roads packed with holiday travelers... Jeff is in the lead, and we drone on to get out of the flatlands. We make a fuel and snack stop in Louisville, MS and roll on to Starkville, MS and hang a right to head East towards Alabama on 82...
    #1
  2. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Bike diversity .... love it !
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  3. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    We zig zag north through Alabama and soon end up in Trenton GA, just south of Chattaooga, TN. It is getting HOT, and we need to make some time getting through Chattanooga, so we stop for a Frosty from Wendy's to cool us down and hit the Super Slab to try to get through town... Soon we are pulling off at the Cleveland TN exit. Plan was to go by Ocoee on the way in... As we neared Ocoee, I was glad to see the Lord's Plumbing was staying busy... :)

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    #3
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  4. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Some of these pics may be a little out of order since it has been a week or so since the trip... lol


    I think this is North Alabama...
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  5. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Back to nearing Ocoee... Poor old 1-ton Chevy turned into yard art! :)

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    There is that Harley leading the way....
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    #5
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  6. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    If you can't tell by now, I am a fan of the old houses, barns, farms, and vehicles you see on the roadside...

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    So we get down near the lake and traffic is worse than expected. We thought the tourists would be headed home but people are still headed to the lake and we end up behind this camper from the flatlands...
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    #6
  7. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Soon, Jeff has had enough, and even though daylight may be running short, he decided to turn north at Greasy Creek Road and head towards Tellico to get out of the Tourists traffic... After a few curves, he waves me around and tells me to wait for him at the bridge... So I run up to the bridge and he soon catches up...

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    #7
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  8. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    We soon are cutting through Tellico and headed for the Cherohala Skyway... Had to get a pick of Jeff on his Harley passing a dealership and not stopping for a t-shirt... Of course it was closed... :)

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    Watching the sun prepare to set from the skyway....
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    Downtown Tellico....
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  9. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Stopped at one of the first pull offs as we reached the top of the skyway...


    Jeff and his ride...
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    The mighty Tiger Explorer XC... :)
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    #9
  10. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    So we roll on across the skyway...

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  11. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    The sun keeps dropping as we head on across the skyway...

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  12. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Getting a little tired, getting a little hungry, and we still have a few miles to get to our planned destination for day one... DSCN0481.JPG

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    After about 550 miles, we arrive at The Kickstand Lodge (WE KNOW MO!) and find the place almost deserted, so we claim the bunk house to avoid setting up tents in the dark... And day one comes to a close...
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  13. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    So we get up on Tuesday morning and discuss where we want to ride... Take it easy, enjoy being away from the grind, and enjoying the lower temps and lower humidity in the Smokies!!! SO where should we go??? OhvYOX8HSi69dcQH5TJhwA.jpg

    So we leave camp and head south on Hwy 28 to do some sight seeing... :)
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  14. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    We go down 28 and then zig zag around some roads that neither of us have been on find some nice mountain farm roads....

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  15. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Jeff soon figures out where we are and we head up Tellico Road. On a KLR, Jeff loves this road, but lets see if he enjoys the gravel section on the Harley... :)
    Ends up they have been logging and the equipment has pushed the road out (no underbrush crowding in) and the trucks have pounded the road into a powdery mess in places...

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    He gets the Harley dusty, but makes it fine... Although I believe I heard the phrase "Gonna sell this pig when we get home" muttered under his breath.... :) .
    #15
  16. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Some of the farmland and scenery as we turned off 28 and explored a new-to-us road...

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    #16
  17. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    More scenery from the backroads...

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  18. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Good tree cover over the road...

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    Little mountain stream and waterfall... I think on Tellico Road...
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    A gravel section on Tellico Road...
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    #18
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  19. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    We head down towards Nantahala Gorge to see if anything is open for lunch... Nothing looked open / inviting so we roll on into Bryson City....

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    Old Tractor in Bryson City...
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    #19
  20. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    After lunch at a Mexican joint, Jeff tells me the story of the "Road To Nowhere" that goes out the Northwest side of Bryson City, so why not??? Nothing like a nother mountain road and another story of broken promises by the US Government...

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    Jeff tells me about how last time he was up here, they road their KLR's right to the end tunnel... But we soon see bollards in the road, and a parking area... We debate trying to fit between the pipes and riding on up... I walk a ways and see that the first tunnel is complete and you have to go even further to the incomplete tunnel... I'm a fat old man in riding gear, so I give up... :)

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    #20