Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Bryson City, NC. I have a grin implanted on my face that just won't go away. Yesterday I departed the City of Atlanta and headed East and north into the Smoky Mountains.  It was a pleasant enough drive along the tree lined freeway to get to the small town I had a wonderful breakfast at the Waffle House. I exited the freeway just after the boarder and chased hwy. 11 into the hills. That is when the world of the south changed for me. I was taken through twisting roads through small towns and into the mountains, life slowed and I became entranced with sights, sounds and the wonderful scents of the Smokies. I went past vegetable stands by farms, boiled peanut stands and folks just sitting on the porch watching other folks go by. I may have even seen Andy and Opie going to the fishin' hole. I relaxed and felt a whole new sense of calm (one that had really been missing earlier) these hills are full of motorcycles, I was constantly waving at other riders on my way to find Deals Gap. 

Deals Gap is a motorcycle destination that sits at the beginning of what is called the Dragons Tail an 11 mile stretch of US 129 Going from NC to TN that boasts 318 heart thumping curves. Through distractingly beautiful forests. It's a bit of a race course. I pulled onto the road with some trepidation but soon found that Ellie, fully loaded with gear at approx. 1000 lbs. was up to the task. We fell into a wonderful rhythm and the metal soon began to disappear from my floorboards. Thanks to Michelin for the amazing grip of my Commander II's. 

After Taming the beast, I returned to Deals Gap and enjoyed the comradery that is so common with us motorcycle types. Making fast friends with some of the locals I was pointed to a Campground called 

Kickstand Lodge motorcycle campground.

This is what a motorcycle campground should be. Clean, friendly, almost commune like in it's sense of community and work. Everyone pitches in and gets the cooking, dishes, laundry etc. done. many riders spend weeks there and the owner "Mo" is almost a deity amongst these people, with good reason. This place is a real destination.

I left Mo's early, (well 10:30am) and am headed for the Blueridge Parkway. I can't ride the whole thing but I'll take what I can get. If I can ever get back here without the ordeal of going through AZ, TX, NM, OK, ARK... etc. I will in a heart beat. Well, I'm off to more curves and meeting new friends.

Ivy grows everywhere here.

No Parking. Violators will be engulfed.

Now this is a Prep School! 12 more buildings, including Stables.

View from Deals Gap Peak.
Friendly Folks everywhere.


  1. Can't believe the miles you have covered in just a few days! Glad you are enjoying the stops and getting some photos in. I am living vicariously through you on this trip!

  2. Keep the blogs coming, enjoying every word.