Carving up the Smokies

Sapphire, NC – Primm Springs, TN
Moving Time 8:09
387 miles

Mom woke me up with a start at 7:30 telling me it was a gorgeous day to travel. Yesterday morning it was 35 degrees with a hard frost, so I assumed it would be another cold morning and had gone back to sleep. Yikes! I still hadn’t finish my route in Mapsource (Edward navigated this summer so I am a neophyte navigator)

Mom and I hugged fiercely, then took the requisite pic

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Didn’t get on the road until about 9:30, but then it was another gorgeous day, and one where I actually turned off my electrics for the first time in a week.

I rode through Sylva, NC

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then on the Great Smokey Mountains Expressway.

I rode through the Nantahala Gorge and towards Tennessee.

Somewhere along the way I saw a sign for the Cherohala Skyway, one of my favorite roads, and decided I’d treat myself. It was a Sunday and all the bikes were out. It gave me goosebumps.

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Then onto some smaller roads
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Then through some small towns

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And finally just under the Natchez Trace Parkway, after dark, I meet up with Mark Cooke from Cycle Authority (Columbia, TN). He and his partner Kevin Owen run a great motorcycle-everything shop just off the Trans America Trail in Tennessee. This is the trail Edward and rode ths summer, and these guys were a lot of fun and a great help getting me going back on the road after some front tire issues I had. I wanted to come back and visit with Mark and meet his wife, since he’d told me so much about her and how awesome a rider she is (he preps her race bike for her–how cool is that?!?). These guys both ride dual sport and street race, and they’re just really fun.

Mark was the one that planted the idea for me buying a DR650…when we rolled through their shop my old 350 was burning il pretty bad and they let me pick their brain about getting it fixed. Mark suggested that I buy a 650 instead, and the seed was planted. So I wanted to show off my new ride.

Anyway, I rolled in pretty late, and the fed me the best steak I think I’ve ever had. We visited a bit, talked bikes, and went to bed, my bike happy among friends.

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