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Old 08-26-2013, 05:36 PM   #526
ChromeSux
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I live not too far from where you are riding as of last post, if you get tired of camping, you are welcome to stay here and ride out, several other inmates have stayed here.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:54 PM   #527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChromeSux View Post
Gasguy
I live not too far from where you are riding as of last post, if you get tired of camping, you are welcome to stay here and ride out, several other inmates have stayed here.
Wow, Thanks for the very generous offer, but I am all set up here till wednesday.

I really like this MC resort.

I stayed here a couple of years ago also, and back shortly after they first opened 10 years ago.

I will post some pics of it soon, the place is amazing.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:01 PM   #528
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Cades Cove

One of the many places I rode today was Cades Cove.

Actually twice, because I wanted to ride 2 gravel one way only roads that you can only access from Cades Cove (Rich Mountain Rd. and Parsons Branch Rd. which dumps you out on the Dragon)

Cades Cove is a beautiful road too.

A small one lane paved loop.

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #529
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I rode Parsons branch today too, you must have been thru before me, i saw motorcycle tracks, i went thru on my KLR about 11:45

You should do trail 82 and trail 81 while you are in the area, there is a place called Masters mission real close to where you are now, it is private property but they let dual sport bikes ride thru, you can access it a couple of ways, i like to come in off little snowbird, onto Porterfield gap rd then go onto the mission property.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:08 PM   #530
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Bears in Cades Cove





As I was rolling through, I came across this bear up in a tree right above the road.

A little further down was another, and down another little lane was 2 bears up in another tree.

I love stuff like this, it just makes my day !!!

Saw a Coyote wandering around also and a nice Buck with probably an 8 point rack just wandering across the road and stopping traffic.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:13 PM   #531
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChromeSux View Post
I rode Parsons branch today too, you must have been thru before me, i saw motorcycle tracks, i went thru on my KLR about 11:45

You should do trail 82 and trail 81 while you are in the area, there is a place called Masters mission real close to where you are now, it is private property but they let dual sport bikes ride thru, you can access it a couple of ways, i like to come in off little snowbird, onto Porterfield gap rd then go onto the mission property.
I rode Parsons around 5 pm.

Yeah, I rode 81 off of the Cherohala this morning.


Parsons Branch is my favorite !!!
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #532
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Foothills Parkway

Here are a few shots from the Foothills Parkway today.

I used it to get me up to Townsend from 129 so I could drop down into Cades Cove.





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Old 08-26-2013, 10:17 PM   #533
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I am a heavy rear brake user, and like to tail brake when riding twistys fast and had been doing that for hours before getting on Parsons Branch road and about 2/3 rds the way through noticed my rear brakes fading bad.

They were very hot so the next stream crossing I came to I took a empty water bottle and poured water over the rear caliper till it cooled down, within minutes my rear brakes were restored.lol
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:33 AM   #534
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Iron Horse Lodge and Campground

Here are a few pictures of the place.

1755 Lower Stecoah Road
Robbinsville,NC 28771










This place is wonderful.

I always camp as it is only $15.00 a night and you still have access to the emaculate bathroom and shower and the indoor central lodge is open all night.

There is a stream running through it and a community fire pit.

They also have an on site kitchen and serve breakfast and coffee every morning and dinner on certain days.
It is very convenient having breakfast and coffee on site but for the money I feel it should be of higher quality,especially considering the impressive kitchen they work out of.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:22 AM   #535
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Even the bathrooms are very impressive.



It is a really nice place to set up base camp and run day rides out of.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:51 AM   #536
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Rich Mountain Road

I rode Rich Mountain road which is a 12 mile one way gravel switchback road leading to Townsend from Cades Cove.



Here is a shot somewhat showing the switchback action.

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Old 08-27-2013, 07:04 AM   #537
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Parsons Branch Road

Then I looped back around to Cades Cove again so I could access Parsons Branch Road.

It is an 8 mile long one way road from Cades Cove that dumps you out on the Dragon.

This is my favorite unimproved road as it is part gravel and part dirt and is more rutted/rugged and has 17 small water crossings.

The foliage along this route is almost jungle like and different from the other routes.

I could ride this road over and over.

The water crossings could be very interesting after some big rains.













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Old 08-27-2013, 11:56 AM   #538
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Moonshiner 28

TUESDAY 27 AUGUST 2013

First on the agenda this morning is riding the Moonshiner 28 ride, which consists of an old moonshine run years ago through North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina along Highway 28 and 64.

Along the way are some fantastic Waterfalls !!!



This one is really nice and you can walk behind it.

It is called Dry Falls.

Dry Falls is a 75 foot waterfall.



Dry Falls is located along the Mountain Scenic By-Way(64) between Franklin and Highlands.(2 miles west of Highlands)
It is in the Cullasaja Gorge within the Nantahala National Forest.



This is the first time I was able to stand this close behind a high flowing Waterfall.
There was somewhat heavy water mist behind it.







Just up the road from Dry Falls is Bridal Veil Falls.
It is about a 45 foot Waterfall.
It was low flow today.
It is distinct because it is the only Waterfall in the State that you can drive a vehicle under.



This is another scenic area with smaller falls and alot of rocks.
I took a seat on one of the rocks here and just relaxed for awhile listening to the flowing water as it negotiated its way through all of the rocks.






I am currently having coffee and cake at Buck's Coffee Cafe in Highlands, NC which appears to be a very nice high end tourist town.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:06 PM   #539
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Clingmans Dome

SMOKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

After the Moonshiner ride, I rode up 441 through Cherokee and into Smoky Mountain National Park and rode up to Clingmans Dome.

6,643 Feet.

This is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Tennessee and the third highest mountain East of the Mississippi.
The Appalachian Trail also runs through here and this is the highest point along the AT from Georgia to Maine.

Clingmans Dome road is 7 miles from 441 to the parking lot.

I made the steep 0.5 mile hike from the parking lot up to the observation tower which offers spectacular 360°views when the air quality and weather conditions permit.
On clear days you can see over 100 miles but unfortunately the air pollution can often reduce this to 20 miles.
Visibility wasn't the best due to fog and clouds but it is always worth the trip.



One unique thing about Smoky Mountain National Park is it is still FREE !!!
That doesn't happen too often anymore.



This is the steep 0.5 mile path leading up to the Observation Tower from the parking lot.It really is a workout hiking up here.
People have to keep taking breaks on the way up.Its especially tough on the old timers.
There is also a nice gift shop on this path and I always stop in and buy some stickers.





Then I headed back towards camp stopping in Bryson City for Bojangles and a Cheerwine unique sparkling soda for dinner,both of which I can't get up North.

While talking to a local there,I mentioned drinking Peach Nehi soda in Ohio when I was a kid but it has not been available up North for 30 years.
He said the Citgo station up the Highway has it.
So sure enough,I stopped and bought a few cans.

Peach Nehi is the best !!!!


This is the 4th bike trip I have taken to the Smoky Mountains and the third time making it up to Clingmans Dome.
Only once did I have good visibility and it was on the last day of the trip after thinking it wasn't going to happen due to so much rain.
That was 2 years ago that I finally snapped some clear pictures so I am going to post them here.

The Observation Tower !!!



The spiral ramp leading up.



In these pictures along with the others,notice the dead stands of Fraser Fir trees in this Spruce Fir zone.
They are the dead trees sticking up all over.
They are being killed by an insect called the balsam woolly adelgid.



The fog in the Smoky's that you see at lower levels is from rain and evaporation from the trees.
But these shots are above the clouds.



The conditions on the summit are cool and wet,so the Spruce - Fir Forest is considered a Coniferous Rainforest.



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Old 08-28-2013, 05:58 AM   #540
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Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail runs right through Clingmans Dome also so I took a little walk down it before heading back to the bike.



I've said it before,"Someday I would like to dedicate some real time to the AT."

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