Sunday, May 04, 2008

Big Deal's Gap

Post title compliments of Brian Cupini.

Sorry there was no update yesterday, I was nowhere near a cellphone signal, or any kind of internet access. I wrote up the post for yesterday offline; here it is:

Left Asheville early, and headed to Cherokee to meet a friend coming up from Atlanta to give me a guided tour of Deal's Gap and the Tail of the Dragon. Just south of Waynesville I picked up a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway that would dump me off just outside of Cherokee. Wow, the BRP was some of the nicest twisty road I have seen, and the pavement was well maintained. The weather was threatening to rain since the sun came up, and about 15 minutes into the BRP run, the sky opened up. It was still an enjoyable ride, but I couldn't get many pictures of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I met up with Tamara in Cherokee, and her friend Eddie. We had lunch and then headed to the Deal's Gap Motorcycle Resort, taking a combination of freeways and some twisties, the final stretch being the Hellbender 28. It rained just about the entire time. Shortly before we arrived at the motel, a tree had fallen and cut the power and phones to the whole area. We decided to wait out the rain here, until tomorrow morning when it is supposed to clear up. A while later, the skies cleared and the road started to dry up, but we still had no power. So we headed down the hill to the Tapoco Lodge, but they were also powerless and not cooking. We then continued on to Robbinsville and had dinner at a mexican restaurant, filled up on gas, and rode back to the motel.

Tomorrow morning we're planning to do a Dragon run, then pick up the Cherohala Skyway out to Tellico Plains where we'll part ways. Tam and Eddie have to head back to Atlanta, and I'm going west towards Nashville.

And now for today.

We got up early and did our Tail of the Dragon run before many people arrived, and had remarkably little traffic. So, is it a big Deal? I don't know. It's a fun enough road, if you like tight technical stuff. But the posted speed limit is 30 mph, and there a lot of police out there most of the time. To have gotten to the area and NOT ridden it would have been disappointing, so I am glad I did. But if one was to ride across the country just to ride that 11 miles of road, they'd probably feel less than fulfilled. After our Dragon run, we had breakfast, packed up the bikes, and headed back towards Robinsville, and then headed over the the Cherohala Skyway. Now that was a much more enjoyable road. The corners are all smooth sweepers for the most part, and you can actually enjoy the scenery. We rode it out all the way to the end, in Tellico Plains. From there, Tamara and Eddie headed south, and I headed north up 68 to I75, and then I40 westbound.

The Tail of the Dragon. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

I stopped in Old Hickory, TN to see the house that my manager Mary Ann grew up in. It's now on the National Register of Historic Places, so I took a few pictures of it and then figured out where to next. I made the most of the hour I got back, and riding towards the sun. I made it as far as Jackson, TN before I called it a day.

From now till home it's superslab all the way, hopefully I can knock out a few really long days so I can have some time to see the Grand Canyon.

3 comments:

Mary said...

Watch out for tornadoes as you go through the alley! Did you go to the fancy McDonald's? :-)

djv2360 said...

So you decided to do Deals Gap and the Dragon's Tail after all. VERY COOL. I figured you would like it. Sorry I haven't check on you in a while. It just hurts to much to see you go all these places on a motorcycle. Yes I'm VERY jealous. You take care and we'll see you when you get back.

Charles said...

yeah, 11 miles. I don't get it. The Bay Area has the BEST(tm) twisty windey mountain riding roads I have ever seen short of a racecourse.

glad you're headed west. OnStar at your service. Oy.