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Old 08-10-2013, 04:48 PM   #1
daGeeeze OP
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Brooklyn Tom and the Tentspace visit

Tom from Brooklyn looked over the tentspace thread and selected my offer to get out in the Smokies. He super slabbed his way down and caught some rain. He got in late, I found some room in the garage for his bike and we grabbed some food from the fridge.

We did some talking about what he wanted to see and I tried to explain and map a route. To be honest I wasn't feeling like taking that ride with him but more and more it looked like I would have to. We crashed out for the night and got up somewhat early to a very nice riding day. I started feeling it more and more. We ate some and saddled up.

Before leaving my house Tom grabbed a shot of our view.


The route I plotted took us down 92 from Dandridge out to 411 and thus close to this old mill.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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The day was feeling pretty good to me and soon I was glad I was riding. Funny I have Tom to thank for getting me out.

We rode 411 down to Veterans and cruised past Dollywood down to Parkway in Pigeon Forge. I wanted him to see how crazy and tourist like that section is. We turned left up Wears Valley to get into the mountains. Our route took us close to my buddy Kurt's house. He's recovering from cancer and hasn't gotten back to riding so I thought we'd needle him some. He took it well.



We slipped into the GSMNP through Lyon Springs road. I could feel Tom grinning from his bike some ways back. He was smart and rode slower than I'm used to going to give himself time to see things. We rode past the Sinks which I had mentioned to him the night before. I should have stopped for some pictures along this part. We came out into Townsend and rode down to the Foothills Parkway.



We rode out to 129 because, of course, we needed to do the Dragon. Once again I didn't take pictures of that section. I'm sure there are some available though.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:08 PM   #3
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In Tom's original plan he was going to do a couple of trips up and down the Dragon. I settled in at Deals Gap to let him make his runs. I don't think Tom could get his knees to stop quaking after our ride up so he decided not to make any more runs just then.

From Deals Gap I like to hang a left along Cheoah Lake instead of continuing down 129. Since I was leading that's what we did. Our eventual goal was go get to the Cherohala Skyway.

As we neared the power plant at Fontana the humidity started climbing quickly. A mist was flowing across the top of the lake and very neat looking.







Of course if the humidity is that high and the day is heavily overcast it will rain. It did soon.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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I don't know if my route was the best or not. I just told my GPS to take us to Robbinsville next to find the start of the Skyway. It rained a bit just after the pictures at Fontana Dam and we spent some time getting dry. Once we got to Robbinsville I stopped at a McDonalds for a frosty treat and almost couldn't get Tom out of the air conditioned comfort. It gave me time to comfortably down my treat and both of us got drier. While there we spoke with a rider who had just come from the Skyway and he told us it was pouring rain up there. Hm. I still opted to take my rain suit off and stash it since it was dry just then.

We rode on. Soon enough we were greeted by this sign.



After stopping at a few of the overlooks we got near Tellico Plains. I wanted to go see Bald River Falls so we detoured.



We wound our way back down to Knoxville where Tom wanted to spend that night and explore (no doubt try to find someone close to his age to talk to.) and we got separated riding in. I figured he saw somewhere he wanted to go and didn't have a way to signal me so he went. Once I realized he was missing in that mess I headed off home. My hunch was close enough and I got a text later that he was fine.

Our route looked like this:



All in all a long day and tiring but I was sure glad I got out and rode it.
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