Cherokee to Smokey Mountains

Motocross-Legend

5 of 1 votes


Ok, we’re at the south end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and our adventure begins. We’ll head west on 441 to the Smokey Mountain National Forest which is the most visited National Park in the United States. There’s a visitor’s center that has a farm, snack bar, store, and nature trails. Further west and the scenery opens up into some dramatic overlooks and outcroppings. Near the top is a side road that takes you to Klingmans Dome which is the highest peak in the Smokeys. There’s an observation tower there where after a healthy hike you can see all the way to Knoxville with 360 degree views of 80 or more miles. There’s a store and restrooms and a section of the Appalachian Trail. As you travel back to 441 there are many trails and sights to see. You could spend a lot of time here but moving on down the mountain is one of the biggest tourist “traps” in the east, Gatlinburg. Cheap hotels and many blocks of restaurants, shops, and attractions could fill a whole day. I’m no aristocrat but I swear every redneck in 10 states comes here to vacation. I’ve stayed here a couple of times and even the best hotels are suspect. Food is good if you like yours fried. The one thing I will say is there is good entertainment from street musicians.
Moving out of Gatlinburg to Pidgeon Forge and on to 341 south over to Townsend. There’s a BBQ place right on the river that has really good food. Don’t miss it. Traveling west to the Foothills Parkway where you head west over the mountain to 129. You know what 129 is? Yep, it’s the famed Dragon or Tail of the Dragon. 11 miles 318 turns of wild but safe fun. Starting from this end just know that there is a 35mph limit but almost nobody adheres. But, be careful because the cops do patrol and are mindful of vacationers but do not put up with speeders. Once you enter the Dragon notice there are pull offs so if someone comes up on you it is courteous to let them by and hopefully others will do the same. It’s an adventure but should not be fear inducing as long as you are careful and watch your speed. When in doubt push down. There are also lots of camera contractors that take your picture as you ride so be aware but do not concentrate on them. You can go to their websites to find and purchase your pictures. At the end of the 11 miles is a store, with gas, restaurant, and motel, and picture taking opportunities. Pics can be taken with the big sign that says “Tail of the Dragon”. It’s a great keepsake as well as a bragging right. There’s also the “Tree of Shame” that has parts strung on it from all the wrecked motorcycles thru the years. Take a pic but hopefully don’t add to it. Every real motorcyclist should do the Dragon at least once. Here lately I’ve gone twice a year. There’s lots to watch and see. Sometimes in the summer there will be several hundred bikes and the people watching is awesome. Get a Dragon sticker for your bike and a t-shirt. I could sit in the parking lot for hours just watching the serious riders taking off, up the hill to Slay the Dragon. It’s a real blast.
Next time we’ll head out Rt. 28 to Waynesville and the Wheels thru time.
Until then,
AC

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Boone and beyond

Motocross-Legend

0 of 0 votes


We’ll pick up where we left off. Boone NC is an awesome place. There's a lot of riding to be done with Rt.221 and 421 being what’s called the snake. If you get off the Parkway at Boone and head west on 421 about 10 miles west of Boone is the Snake. It goes up and over a grand mountain and has many switchbacks and fun curves. As you come down the mountain on the other side there’s a store that sells Snake memorabilia as well as snacks. It’s a “must do” as you travel. Ride back towards Boone to get back on the Parkway going south. Be cautious because every time I’ve ridden the Snake I’ve seen bike accidents. It’s deceptive with decreasing radius turns. But it is fun, fun, fun. Back on the Parkway the next marvel is Lin Cove Viaduct. This engineering marvel is built in to the side of Grandfather Mountain and is a self-suspending bridge built so as to not disturb the flora and fauna. When you come up on it you’ll be surprised because it is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Worth the trip. If you plan to stay in Boone, be aware there are good hotels and bad hotels. The Marriot, Comfort Suites, and Holiday Inn Express are the best.
Just past the Viaduct is the exit for 221 and Grandfather Mountain. Do yourself a favor and experience this. It’s $18. to go up to the peak but it is worth it. Once at the top there’s a suspension bridge to and outcropping of rocks that is 5,280 ft. You can see tomorrow from that bridge. Spend some time here.
Once back on the road and heading south on BRP the scenery gets more intense as the elevations are higher. Stop at the overlook that is the highest point on the BRP. Great picture spot. There’s a lot to take in in the next 100 miles. All kinds of great trails and sights. Ashville is coming up and is a must do city. You won’t believe the talent of some of the street musicians. Stop and give a listen. Eclectic and bohemian it has a bustling downtown and has America’s house, the Biltmore Estate. Every American should visit. The history of this place reminds us of the haves and the have nots. Not much has changed, but I digress.
Past Ashville you come in to the Mt. Pisgah area and my favorite Inn and Restaurant, The Pisgah Inn. Rooms with picturesque views and the restaurant has my kind of food. My fav would have to be the Chipotle Pork Chop. Yum. The views from the all glass side is breathtaking. This is well worth the time you spend hear. Cell service is sparse but they have cable in the rooms. I love this place.
Just a few miles down from here is Water Rock Knob. There’s a ranger store and restrooms. The views from here are awesome and it is almost a 360 degree knob. From here you can see 80 miles or so. Take the time to hike up the trail here. There’s an exit nearby for Waynesville which has the Wheels thru Time museum. I haven’t been but have been told it something every biker should visit. Maybe this year. As you travel south from here the road turns downward as you come to the Parkway’s end at Cherokee and mile marker 469. There’s gas and restaurants, gambling and good hotels. To the west is Smokey Mountain National Park. To the east is Rt. 74 to 28 which takes you to the Dragon. Next time we’ll go across 441 to Gatlinburg and beyond.
Until then,
AC

Comments
Racing This Past Weekend

Yamaha

0 of 0 votes

Movistar Yamaha Rider Lorenzo Wins 2015 MotoGP World Championship With A Flag-To-Flag Race Victory In Spain FIM MotoGP World Championship Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo Cheste, Valencia, Spain November 8, 2015 Round 18 of 18 At Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi battled for the 2015 World Championship. Jorge defended first place from his pursuers from start to finish to secure the 40th MotoGP victory of his career and win the Championship by five points over Valentino. The Doctor started the race from 26th and dead-last on the grid, cut though the field like a knife through butter, and took a hard-fought fourth place to finish second in the 2015 MotoGP points standings. Jorge started from pole after his perfect lap in Saturday’s qualifying and delivered the same perfection on Sunday. He got the holeshot over Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa and ran consistently fast laps throughout the race. Despite pressure from Marquez and Pedrosa, who started to close in with seven laps remaining, Jorge rode like a true champion, not allowing his Spanish compatriots to make him lose his concentration for even a second. Teammate Valentino started from the back of the grid and climbed all the up to ninth position by the end of lap three. The flying Italian then picked off rider after rider in the ensuing laps and fought all the way up to fourth place, just five points short of a title win. With 14 laps left to change the fate of the 2015 World Championship, Vale faced the task of bridging an 11.488-second gap to Dani Pedrosa in third place. He pushed as hard as he could, but the ride to the front of the field had asked too much of his tires. And, even though his teammate Jorge’s pace slowed slightly as he battled Marquez and Pedrosa, The Doctor was unable to make up any ground and took the flag for the last time in the 2015 season in fourth place, 19.789 seconds from the front. Despite Vale's inspired ride, it was Jorge who gave Yamaha the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. Jorge’s title completed the Triple Crown for Yamaha, which had already been awarded the Manufacturer’s and Team titles for 2015.

2015 MotoGP Final Points 11/8/15 Pos. Rider Points 1 Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha 330 2 Valentino Rossi – Yamaha 325 3 Marc Marquez 242 4 Dani Pedrosa 206 5 Andrea Iannone 188

Yamaha bLU cRU Rider Cooper Webb Wins Supercross of Genoa In Italy Monster Energy Supercross of Genoa Palasport di Genoa Genoa, Italy November 7, 2015 Traveling to Genoa, Italy, to compete in the 2015 Supercross of Genoa, Cooper Webb took the overall win in the SX1 class aboard his Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha YZ450F, with a second-place result in the first main event and a victory in main event two. Cooper got on the top of the box in an all-American podium that also included Broc Tickle in second Justin Bogle in third.

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