Sunday, August 30, 2009

#16 Goodbye NC

Tomorrow we leave NC and head for Nashville TN. We have had a blast here in the Smokey Mts. The scenery, the weather, the riding, and the people made it a memorable stay. We will return. Our friend, Kenny, was the perfect host. His campground was ideally located for our adventures and had a view to die for.

Before we prepared to leave we made a trip into Cataloochee Valley, which is part of the Smokey Mt Park system. The elk are back! They have been reintroduced into the area and seem to be thriving. These animals are something else to see. We can get within 50' of them from the road at times. I now know what the word magnificent means. Some of the adult males have antlers that must be 5' wide and 3' tall. That was the interesting part of the trip. The wide eyed, grip the arm rest, heart stopping part was the ride there. Imagine, if you will, turns so tight that you can see your own butt going the other way! How about two way roads that are no more than 10' wide, and by the way are dirt and gravel unless you are brilliant enough to go on a drizzly day when they turn to mud! And add to that the locals that seem to think this ideal road(NOT!) is perfectly suited for 30' horse trailers. Oh, and one more thing...we were in our F550 dual rear wheeled truck. You all know, the one that resembles a small semi! At least once I know that one of my rear dual wheels was hanging off the side of the mountain with nothing below for 50-100 feet. Well we survived, but new Fruit-of-the-Looms are in order.

We spent the morning riding the bikes on the Blue Ridge Pkwy and coasting down "Wheeeeeee Hill". That is what we now call Soco Rd from Cherokee to Maggie Valley. Why? Well the road is 7 miles of 9% downgrade that with your clutch disengaged will allow you to go from 40mph to way to fast in no time. While this is happening all I hear in my intercom is Mary gleefully squealing "Wheeeeeeee"! At least I know that she is having as much fun as I am. The rest of the day we spent loading the motorcycles, packing away gear, and generally getting ready for our morning departure. Hopefully we are on the road by 9am, but you know what they say about the best made plans.

Well this is goodbye from NC, a great place to call home for a month, because....

Home is where we park it and next it will be Tennessee,
Frank & Mary

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