this is a pic near Turtletown Tennessee that exemplifies
the sum of the good and bad of the weekend ride. First
and foremost, the scenery was absolutely incredible.
And of course the roads were of unequaled twisting
beauty. Then to keep one gravitated, there were the
occasional spots of rain. Read below for Lee's full
metalogue of the trip.
Friday: "Just two of us on KLR-650's,
put in about 250 miles, a lot of it
on jeep trails and old logging roads. Up from Maggie
Valley onto the Blue
Ridge toward Cherokee, turned off to the camping/hiking
area at the Bald
and took the 26 mile old logging road down into Cherokee
on the Blue Ridge all the way to Balsam. Off there
and up onto Rosemount
Road above the Blue Ridge looking at some property.
Found an ancient logging road but my buddy dropped
his KLR coming out; knocked a hole in the clutch cover
and dumped oil all over his right boot. Rode to a
NAPA dealership and bought a tube of quick setting
aluminum paste. That stuff is
amazing. We rode another 150 miles that day with no
problems and no leaks.
a lead on a road off of Highway 276 (near the junction
of I-40 and
276) going up to Cataloochie State Park. Pavement
for 10 miles, then gravel, then pavement again into
a beautiful but sparsely used park. Just at
the intersection of the second pavement segment, there
is a great logging
road that goes almost 30 miles through old forest
all the way to Cosby, TN.
Neat ride, I recommend it. Back onto I-40 for a fast
run back to Maggie
Saturday: "Five of
us, me on my KTM Duke, my KLR buddy on his Ducati
996, and my three other friends on a Honda CB1000F,
a Honda Blackbird XX, and a BMW GS something (the
big on-road/off-road twin). What a mixed bag we were!
One of the more interesting things was the speed of
my friend on the Blackbird. He and the 1000F rider
have their bikes set up for touring
with tank bags, CB radios, a big rear rack and pack,
and touring saddles.
You might not think that is the fast set-up, but though
all three can really
ride, you ought to see that Blackbird go. He's a rocket!
I can't keep
up and I was trying hard!! We did 380 miles up from
Maggie, the Blue
Ridge, right on 441 toward Gatlingburg, left on 73
up to Townsend, TN (nice
place!) and then onto the Foothills Parkway for the
run to Deal's Gap.
Through Deals on 129? down toward Robbinsville and
a turn off to the
Cherahola Skyway. Ran out of gas on the Cherahola
in the Duke with only
82 miles on the odometer since the last gas stop.
Trying to stay ahead of
that fast Blackbird sure burns gas!! Did okay (nothing
special) in the
turns, but got killed on the fast corners and of course
On to Tellico Plains and then it started raining.
Long wet slog back to
Maggie, but a great time was had by all.
Still raining Sunday morning with more rain in the
forecast, so we all called it a weekend."