Smokey Mountain Road Trip
Deals Gap, Wayah Rd, Cherohala Skyway on the way to MotoAmerica Races in Birmingham AL.
This trip transformed a couple of times during its inception. It all started when Jeff & Becky mentioned that we should join them in Birmingham for the MotoAmerica races at the beautiful Barber Motorsports Park. Jamie and I thought this was a great idea so we booked the race tickets and the room in Alabama. I then started to plan a week long journey as I had 6 days of vacation coming. I could pair this with the weekends and I would get 10 days of riding in. Let’s Ride
Well as we all know, sometimes life happens. The following week after making these plans, Jamie was contacted and offered a full time teaching position. She really wanted to go on the trip, but this offer was too good to pass up. Now I had to move onto plan B. I knew I was going to do the trip, but I did have an extra race ticket. I started to think of my riding friends that would have the time to join me. Instantly my retired friend Bob, popped into my head. I told him I would give him the race tickets if he wanted to join me. He was in and the trip was set. I would meet him around Tuesday somewhere in Tennessee as he had a prior engagement for the weekend. Later I found out that my friend David had changed his trip plans and was now available. I contacted him and he said he was in! Awesome… we now had three. I tried to recruit one more friend Rob, but he passed. So it was the three of us hitting the road. It is a small world as David and Bob did not know each other before the trip, however they live within 3 miles of each other, so hopefully this will lead to a nice riding relationship. Funny how things work out! I arranged all of the rooms and where we would meet up on this journey. We were ready to go.
I rolled out of the garage at 6:30am on Saturday September 14th. My goal was to get to Columbia TN for the evening. That was a good 560 mile day. This would allow for an easy ride into the Deals Gap area on Sunday as it was only 230 miles from Columbia. I took back road highways for the most part as I did not want to ride the Interstate but I also knew I needed to make some time. It was a pretty uneventful ride. It got hot in the afternoon as the bike recorded 94 a couple of times. Not unbearable but warm none the less.
The next day was Sunday and the trip really started on this day. I got up and hit the road. My final destination was Robbinsville NC, located at the base of the famous Deals Gap. The weather was perfect and the ride to the hotel included my favorite road. The Cherohala Skyway is an amazing stretch of road with endless curves and amazing scenery. It is a great way to start any day. I stayed at the Quality Inn in Robbinsville and it was perfect! Great price, lots of motorcycle parking and a great starting destination for the next couple of days of riding this great area. I checked in and headed up to the Dragon. I was not going to ride it today as the weekends are kinda crazy up there. I just wanted to grab lunch and take in the atmosphere. I was so glad I did. I got to chat with a group from Germany that were touring the U.S. on Harley’s and they were so fun to listen too, as they told stories about the great riding they had experienced so far on their journey. I think sometime we take it for granted on how good the riding is here in the great USA. I hung out for a couple of hours and then headed back the 18 twisty miles to my hotel. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday. I was smiling from ear to ear as the trip was just starting. Life is good!