GTFO 2013, Day 2 - July 5
I was prepared to camp when I arrived at Kickstand Lodge the night before, but with the rain, I figured there would be a few cancellations. I asked Mo, the owner, if there was room in the bunkhouse. She said there were two guys already in there, but said I could ask them if I could crash in there too. Since they were also tent campers that upgraded, they had no problem letting me grab one of the six beds.
When I got inside, the place looked like a yard sale with all the wet motorcycle gear on the floor and hanging from the walls.
KP and Paul were visiting from Missouri and weren't about to let the rain spoil their weekend. Thanks guys!
I woke about 8:30 AM. After packing my gear and getting dressed, it was about 10 AM. I dropped $30 in the donation can to cover my lodging, last night's dinner, and a beer. I made a stop in Robbinsville at the slowest McDonalds ever for a bite to eat and wifi and then it was back on the road.
Before long, I was at the start of the Cherohala Skyway.
But what do we say to the Cherohala? "Not today!" I headed off down one of the many gravel roads in the area.
I found for the most part, forest roads are great for travel, but they suck for views. Rather than bore you with more photos of my bike parked in the middle of yet another gravel road, here's some other photos.
Around lunch time, I arrived in Tellico Plains. Having been there before, I went straight to Tellico Grains
for lunch. Pulling up outside, I wasn't surprised to see two other inmates were here as well.
Inside I met Ken and Terry (SemperFi71). They're lucky enough to live in the area.
On the way out, I saw that Ken had a cover on his Wolfman tank bag. I didn't get one with mine, but he said he got it at Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters
I went across the street to meet Mike, but he didn't have any covers in stock. While I had his attention, I asked him about the Witt Road creek crossings. With all the rain, I was kind of concerned. I don't have a good track record when it comes to water and the last thing I wanted to do was drown the bike in the middle of nowhere. Mike assured me there hadn't been a lot of rain in the area. He also warned me about the fourth crossing and its exposed bedrock. He advised me to either go left or right and to definitely stay out of the middle, especially if the bedrock was underwater. He even pulled up a fail video from advrider.com to reinforce the point. Armed with this knowledge, I thanked him for his time and headed out.
As I came to each creek, I dismounted and scouted the terrain. The fourth crossing looked kind of iffy. As I feared, the water was a little high. The left spot had a deep hole that I thought I could clear. The right spot looked low, but the ripple of the current made it difficult to see the bottom. I was planning to go left, but changed my mind at the last minute. You can see the results for yourself.
Note - Video is PG-13 due to the use of one F-word.
With a new-found sense of confidence, I headed off down the road to my unknown camping destination. Along the way, I stopped to move this guy to the other side of the road.
More random photos:
About 6 PM, I stopped for gas and Subway. Looking at the GPS, I started looking at the TET waypoints for a camping area. Not far from me was someplace labeled "GA Hick." I found the name amusing, so I made that my goal for the night.
I got there about 7 PM, just as a storm was rolling in. I quickly got set up, listened to some music on my GPS / MP3 player, and ate my dinner.
I also checked the weather radar. It looks like it'll be a wet night.
Checking my GPS, I see I had 461 miles for the trip, 150 for the day, and loads of elevation changes.