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LJR

Georgia on my mind

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LJR

Last Thursday it rained again, which put a damper on work for a while. I went to work , the boss says " what do you want to do today?" I say "well i could go for a ride and come back monday!" . He says "see ya" and I'M GONE!!

 

Packed a few clothes ,called Two Wheels Only down in Suches ,they said they had a room for me and I hit the road. The radar looked sort of unsettled in Tennesee but I was pretty unsettled myself and just went for it. Man was I glad I did! As I was leaving ,it was turning dark to the northwest , I quickly outran that set of clouds and was soon in Kentucky.

 

As I hummed down the parkway thru Kentucky the weather kept getting better and better. I hit I-24 and turned toward Nashville. I-24 is a really smooth piece of road . The state is nice enough to plant flowers in the median and along the shoulders . It really put me in a good mood especially after I was about 4 hours from home. That's when I start feeling like everything is behind me and just start enjoying what's ahead.

 

After slowing with the traffic thru Chattanooga, I turned up I-75 for a while then got on 64 East. 64 is a nice little road that goes past the Ocoee River. Very scenic but usually to much traffic to pick up any speed. Turned south on 129 and headed into Georgia. . Turned onto 180 west 'Wolf Pen Gap Road'. This is a really twisty piece of work, makes you work pretty good for about 8 of the 12 miles to Suches.As I was pulling in the drive to T.W.O. it was starting to sprinkle a little but that was alright cause I was home again.

 

If you've never been to T.W.O. you should check it out sometime. They have a few rooms at the main lodge, which are very nice by the way, and a nice campground with a little creek running thru it. Excellent place to camp because when there are enough people staying there they serve 3 meals a day with some fine choices on the (limited) menu with some great desserts too. Their Key Lime pie was really great and Sat. night I had a blackberry cobbler that was heaven. There is also a second campground,some cabins,and a couple of mobile homes for rent a little ways down 180. But the best part is how nice the people who own the place are. They really treat you like part of a big ,motorcycle riding family. Can't explain it ,you'll just have to go there and see.

 

After supper the lodge is a nice relaxed place to kick back and talk to other riders. Always someone interesting to chat with. The first night I met Larry and Bob ,who were riding GS's.I beleive they were from Alabama but I may have them mixed up with someone else. We talked for a while , they told me about a little loop they had taken that day and I thought that sounded like a good way to start the next morning.

 

Friday started out with really nice weather, and I ate breakfast and took off down 60 towards Dohnlega. Wow, what a beautiful road! Lots of tight turns with a few nice combinations thrown in to keep you awake. But was that Thunder I hear? Yeah all of a sudden it clouds up and turns dark to the North. I took a few unplanned roads to the south and avoided the rain for a while but it finally caught up with me about noon, so I headed back to the lodge to let the roads dry a bit and get some lunch.

 

That afternoon I started the loop again ,turning up 129 north , which is full of medium speed sweepers and lots of passing lanes to get by the people on more than 2 wheels. Swung onto 180 east for about a mile and went down the Richard Russel Scenic drive. There are a couple of places to pull over and take pictures early on but the clouds weren't making for any really nice views. Turned up 75 and went thru Helen,a nice little tourist town made up to look like a german village .Really! the whole town! I heard there are some nice reasaurants there but I only had riding on my mind..Took a wrong turn, got lost, found some nice curves and ended up back on 180 heading towards 129. I then decided to head up to Highlands N.C. which David had talked about two weeks before.

 

After a brief shower the weather really cleared up . The wind calmed down, the sun popped out and everything looked so pretty and you could smell the flowers in the air. I took 76 east to 23 north to 246 and into Highlands. I thought these were pretty nice roads until I got on 28 north. I seemed to have the road totally to myself, I went past one Harley that was just cruisin' and didn't see a car until I got up to 64 west. It was getting dark and I was starving so I stopped at a Shoney's and had the Seafood Buffet then motored back to the lodge.What a day ! 400 miles of curves and hills ,Had A Blast..

 

Sat. morning I got up bright and early , I was looking forward to seeing David again and meeting some other RT buddies. We were going to meet at Telico Plains about 10:00 I rode up 60 which was a great road by the way, then it turned into 68 which took me to Telico Plains. I ate breakfast and since I was way early I rode over the skyway quite a ways .Hardly any traffic out so I warmed up my tires a little .Love this road, really do. Headed back to the BP station to wait for the other RTs. I was sitting on my bike and the traffic was picking up,and I was getting hot, thought maybe they weren't coming, and I just couldn't wait anymore so I took off over the mountain again.

 

Rode over to deal's gap and stopped for lunch. There was an ambulance there. They were just loading up a guy who crashed on the first turn and broke his collar bone. Couldn't really tell what kind of bike he was riding, looked like it endoed several times, Not pretty. Talked to Steve from Indy for a while(you got to meet this guy,he's been everywhere), then took off down 28 to work on some more curves...Saw the sign saying 'Welcome to South Carolina'. Hmmmmmmm .Oh well it was a great road I just forgot to turn off on 246. After a while there was a sign that pointed the way back to 76 and I made my way back to the lodge.

 

When I pulled up to the lodge next to a really nice looking R1150R ,the owner came over and we chatted for a while. A guy who was riding a R100T came over and said something about an RT that went down on the Skyway. It made me feel bad just thinking about someone crashing ,I wouldn't find out who it was until I got home and got back online.

 

Talked to several groups of people that evening ,ended up being pretty late talking to the R100T guy and the R1150R guy and his buddy who was riding a Guzzi.

 

So it was Sunday morning , time to head for home ,but I had one more thing to do. You see Steve makes videos of people riding down deal's gap. I was hoping to catch him early before the traffic picked up with cars and bikes. I pulled into Deal's Gap about 8:30 and he was just gettin ready to leave. He said he'd be glad to do a video and got his camera out and mounted it on the back of his ST (his Goldwing was in the shop). We took off up the hill and he just stayed in front of me to get a good shot, I think I was a little nervous and didn't loosen up until we were well up the run.He took it easy on the straights but hit the corners pretty good (for me at least). We picked it up a little on the way back down and I thought it would make a pretty good video to show to friends.

 

Well when we made it back he checked the camera and realized that a strap had slid over and hit the telephoto button. Shoot that won't work! So you know what? we had to do it all over again . By this time I was starting to get warmed up and feelin a little better. On the way up we were going thru a nice set of curves when I heard a little scraping sound, then my toe touched the pavement! Freaked me out. That hadn't happened all weekend. After a little bobble to correct ,I leaned her back over and thru the turn ,I couldn't help but laugh out loud. That ought to be pretty interesting,hope the video turns out OK.

 

I said goodbye to Steve and headed back up the Dragon on my way back home. I had such a great time.

I'll probably be working pretty hard in the next few weeks but at least I can think back to the long weekend in Georgia (and other states) . Now I need to buy my bike a present for being such a good girl. Maybe a Big Mak tankbag, yeah that's it.

 

Now you go for a ride, Ya Hear?

 

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David

Thanks for the report, Larry. Sounds like you had fun. That road north out of Highlands is pretty great, eh? Next time, stop in that dumpy little pottery shop half way out. The lady lives in that shop and makes some really great things. At the first town you come to there is a little pie shop just north on the outskirts. Great stuff.

 

Next time we see each other, I'll bring my map. I've marked all the roads I've ridden with 3 different highlighters. One color is 2nd gear roads...another is 3rd gear...and the other is 4th gear. After riding them you know what I mean. But if I ever get an 1150 I'm going to have to redo it!

 

So somebody ELSE saw that modified R100RT I wrote about. Flat, bald rear tire. Old can. Flat seat. Pretty wild.

 

Sorry we didn't get to hook up.

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BamaRider

Way to go brother, enjoyed your ride.

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