Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Great Smoky Mountain Rendezvous Preview

The GSMR is approaching fast and we’re getting ready for the amazing rides that  event coordinator Camden Price has prepared for us. As many members requested (including me), we’ll be bypassing the Tail of the Dragon and exploring the region’s other idyllic roads such as the Devil’s Triangle, the Cherohala Skyway and US 64. Lunch at Lynn’s Place in Robbinsville is mandatory! Have you booked your room yet?

On Thursday, the early birds will be treated to a quick jaunt to the Devil’s Triangle where the fun really begins. According to the website devilstriangletn.com, “The adventure ranges from the bucolic rural Tennessee scenery to a view of Brushy Mountain State Prison; from gentle country road sweepers to gnarly steep switchbacks; from serene straights to Dragon like twisties with guard rails of death; from gentle pull-offs to three foot deep rock strewn gullies just inches from the pavement; from peaceful farmsteads to sections of rutted roadway right out of a horror movie. Yes, the Triangle will get your attention in a hurry. This is no place for the beginning rider.” In summary, don’t do anything stupid.

DevilsTriangle

We’ll start Friday by making a left turn out of the Talley Ho taking the Foothills Parkway to Hwy 72, looping around Fort Loudon State Park to reach Hwy 360 heading towards Tellico Plains. From there, we’ll jump on one of my favorite roads, the Cherohala Skyway, taking our time to stop and enjoy the panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains. We stop at Lynn’s Place in Robbinsville for lunch (chicken cordon bleu!).

Route1-FridayIf you have the itch to ride the Dragon, you can take the Foothills Parkway and make a left on US 129 (we’ll be making a right) and meet us in Robbinsville for lunch.

After dessert, we hop on US129 going south until making a right on US 74 passing by Andrews, Murphy before arriving at Ducktown. From there, Hwy 68 (very cool!) takes us back to Tellico Plains while Hwy 360 will put us on our way back to the hotel.

Camden surely left the best for Saturday when we take Hwy 360 down to the fabulous US 68 passing through Brasstown on our way to Franklin, NC and the Nantahala National Forest. Lunch at Caffé Rel (did someone say Hot Pastrami on Rye?) before refueling and heading to Cherokee. Yes, there are casinos there but who needs to gamble? Isn’t riding a 30 year old motorcycle for 150 miles of mountain roads enough?

Route0-DevilsTriangle

From Cherokee, we’ll take US441 crossing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park riding
towards Gatlinburg but before you twist your nose in disgust (yeah…traffic there sucks) we will bypass that entirely by taking the very nice Scenic Old Hwy 73 which follows the Little river for miles before dropping us right back at the Talley Ho.

I’m sure that if we’ll need to do a rescue trip, but if we do, I’m sure it will be to collect a broken Honda somewhere…

We have a very special event scheduled after our group dinner Saturday!  Don’t miss it!

Ride – The Brasstown Bald Loop – North Georgia. 77 miles

This is one of my favorite routes around the Smoky Mountains. Since I like to stay in Helen, GA the route is a loop that starts and ends there. Easy to do as all roads around this little German-style town are fantastic, most featuring long sweepers that agree with our long wheel bases and low hung engines. The ride starts by leaving Helen, going north on GA Hay 75/17, turning left on 75A. A few miles later, make a right on the Richard B Russell Scenic Highway (GA348) for 14 miles of riding nirvana. Continue reading