After spending Thursday through Sunday at my mother’s in GA, I headed out Monday afternoon. That morning I selected a route going up route go up 5/515 then 68 and 360 to Knoxville. I wasn’t sure how far I would get and as these things go, not far. Leaving Cartersville GA, I took GA-20 to 5/515 on to McCaysville, GA. While I was able to take in the pine woods and rolling hills, these roads were turning out to be less than inspiring. However, in Ducktown, TN I picked up TN-68. While not “The Dragon”, this road has enough turns and twist to keep the average motorcyclist at least paying attention. On the way I stopped at a picnic area that had a brook running next to the road and train tracks crossing over. Turns out this brook is the Hiawassee River the damn down from the Apalachia Lake Damn.
Also North of Farner I turned of on single wide gravel road. The sign read, “Buck Bald” and had a picture of a camera, indicating photo opportunity. How could I turn it down. After riding in first gear for two miles, I was greeted at the top by a breathtaking view. The picture is a 180 degree, but it looked like this for all 360 degrees.
I had only been riding for about three hours and still had plenty of daylight when I came roaring into Tellico Plains. Just South of the town proper I spotted a sign I was unfamiliar with, “Motorcycle Campground”. A campground? For motorcyclists only? I was so giddy to meet other travelers that I decided to spend the night. Upon checking in at Hunt’s Lodge, I met the proprietor, Jack Hunt. Jack is an experienced rider who along with his Danish friend Richard, felt I needed to experience some good twisty road. So a trip across the Cherohala Skyway was in order. We wound our way across the 52 miles of twisties to Robbinsville, NC, we are dinner at a diner and headed back. It was dark the whole way back and got cold once we went above the 3500 ft. mark. The dark posed it’s own challenges however, my fear was the deer and hogs. Along the way back we saw a hog that Jack said is the biggest he has ever seen out there. Luckily it turned away from the road when we spooked it. I guess pigs are smarter than deer.
Getting back, I did not know whether I was thrilled or terrified; I have never had a bike laid over that far before and not be wrecking. The good thing is that it wore the edges of the flat spots in the middle of my tires.
There is more to do in Tellico Plains than just motorcycling around though. In the National Forest, there are falls and a nice river that is popular for swimming. Downtown has some nice shops and next to the welcome center is the Hall museum with collections of telephones from the earliest days through modern times, guns and many other collections. So get an ice cream and go for a drive on the Mile High Legend.