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    Saddle time

    I was able to get out and about on Sunday morning. The plan was to get saddle time. Julie and I want to start doing weekends away and what better way to do that than on a motorcycle, especially during the beautiful times of the year. While it's hot down low, up at elevation it is awesome. While we couldn't get away on Saturday, Sunday morning worked perfectly and we decided to head to the high roads!

    I woke up about 4:15 am Sunday, ready to go. But that is no time for a civilized ride, so I laid in bed until I couldn't stand it anymore. I finally got up around 6:15, made breakfast and we were out of the house headed to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park before 7 am. And what a beautiful day it was becoming! The temperature was 65°F (18C), no clouds, the sun coming up, my honey on the back of the bike actually enjoying herself! It was great!

    We got into the park and traffic was extremely light. This was one of the reasons to get out so early, to avoid the crush of traffic. While it was light, there was still a bunch of cars on the road and the roads in the park are not conducive to passing. At one point, instead of getting frustrated by a Floridiot, I remembered that I hadn't turned on the Relive app. So I pulled over and took my first picture of the day, turned on the app and took in the beautiful scenery that I happen to be blessed to live within an hour. This spot was about 45 miles from my front door. Relive link: https://www.relive.cc/view/rt10005562008#

    Little River Gorge
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    One of the many goals was to pass Newfound Gap prior to the hikers and park visitors showing up. That is when traffic really starts getting busy. So our stop along the Little River was brief. When we did get to the gap we pulled over at an overlook. One of the things I did when I was up early was to make coffee for both of us. I like my coffee black and Julie likes hers blonde with sugar. So I made two thermoses of coffee and when we stopped at the Gap we broke out the coffee and warmed up a bit. As we got into elevation, the temperatures dropped to 57°F (14C). I looked and realized that all of the vents on Julie's jacket were open. It was at this point that we had a conversation regarding knowing your gear and checking it before and during every ride. We made the adjustments, changed her gloves to thicker/warmer gloves and then we moved on.

    Overlook at Newfound Gap for coffee
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    Leaving the park we found more traffic. And to make it worse, the elk were down near the road so everyone slowed to take pictures. Cool that we could see such wildlife, but I hate being stuck in a parade.

    The southernmost entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, MM 469.1, is directly outside of the Great Smoky Mountains NP. That was our destination. One of the trips that we would like to do is to jump on the BRP travel all day, find a place to stay for a night or two and then travel home, all on the BRP. If you hadn't guessed by now, I think this road is one of the best. Ever. While it's not super technical, it is super fun. And being at elevation the temperatures during the summer are marvelous. And the overlooks are gorgeous.

    Woolyback Overlook
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    My honey!
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    We dropped off the BRP at US276, roughly 57 miles after getting on. We then took US 276 bypassing Waynesville, through Lake Junaluska and onto NC 209. NC 209 is being marketed as "the Rattler". It is a fantastic road. I had texted KentheMF'ingGrass that Julie and I would be headed to Hot Springs for lunch if he wanted to bring his wife to meet us. Somewhere along my route, I got a text saying they would be there. So we had lunch with Ken, Pam and a friend of Ken named Al who was on a black K13S. Man, I loved my black S. We chatted about old cars, bikes, travels, etc. All a good time. When it was time to leave we decided to head down to this spot right on the French Broad River called the Bobarosa for a beer. The place is cool, mostly outside, and caters to the HD crowd.

    During our recent floods, this place was hit really hard and they spent a bunch of money getting it back into shape. Ken guessed that they had to bring in 300 trucks of fill to rebuild what was lost!!!

    French Broad River
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    Rock Stacks
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    After a few beers, we headed home. Being in the low country it was hot, 90°F (32C). We could have taken the Interstate all the way but decided to travel smaller roads. It just prolonged the heat but it was definitely good to get saddle time in for the honey. We ended the day with 330 miles on the odometer, which was a good day for sure.

    #2
    Nice way to spend the day !!!!!!

    Comment


      #3
      An excellent write up! We're very lucky to call WNC home, literally minutes from our house to some of the best riding anywhere! It's so good to see Julie joining in on day rides. Hope to see you two at KHCR!
      ain't skeered

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        #4
        My wife and I looked at houses in Lake Junaluska and thought it was a religious cult community.

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          #5
          Originally posted by jargon View Post
          My wife and I looked at houses in Lake Junaluska and thought it was a religious cult community.
          Amen! I am sure you'd have been burned as a heretic.

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            #6
            Originally posted by justjoe View Post

            Amen! I am sure you'd have been burned as a heretic.
            I can run faster than you think Joe.

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              #7
              Nice ride tale & pics Joe!
              Wish I could get my wife to ride with me...

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                #8
                I love that in your country you like to name your knobs.

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                • Capnrip
                  Capnrip commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Some are justifiably proud of their knobs.

                #9
                Looks like a great day Joe. The scenery up there is magnificent. Nice how you snuck that 105 in just before you got home.
                Last edited by Capnrip; 06-04-2019, 07:01 AM.

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                  #10
                  Originally posted by Capnrip View Post
                  Looks like a great day Joe. The scenery up there is magnificent. Nice how you snuck that 105 in just before you got home.
                  My wife had no idea! I showed her the Relive vid and she was like "wtf is this?"! I just kind of chuckled. I will say that for years she hated riding with me. Absolutely hated it. WIth the communicators, though she can ask questions, we talk about engine braking, setting up a corner, visual cues on corners with limited sight lines, etc. It has helped tremendously. One of her biggest issues was rolling off then on the fuel setting up a corner. Once I walked her through what I was doing she became much more comfortable. So, sometimes I have to push the envelope a bit and it just so happened to be on the highway at 100+.

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                    #11
                    Originally posted by Doctor350 View Post
                    I love that in your country you like to name your knobs.
                    We passed this place and I thought of you JB! In Tennessee we have knobs, in Kentucky they have butte's. The first Kentucky Rally was actually called the Hall Butte Rally.

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                      #12
                      Originally posted by Doctor350 View Post
                      I love that in your country you like to name your knobs.
                      Sadly, there is no shortage of knobs with names in our country - the vast majority can be found and observed in Washington, DC

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                        #13
                        Originally posted by McFly View Post
                        Nice ride tale & pics Joe!
                        Wish I could get my wife to ride with me...
                        +1
                        What he said.
                        Chattanooga, TN
                        Certified Hooligan.
                        2018 S1000XR, 2014 R1200GSAw, 2015 Husqvarna FE501S

                        Comment


                          #14
                          Nice ride and report JJ!👍

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