Quick Smoky Mountains trip - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quick Smoky Mountains trip

I managed to get in a quick three day trip last weekend, to the Smoky Mountains. Hadn't been there in four years. Not much has changed. The trip was scheduled for four days, but I did everything I wanted to do so I started home early to get some things done here.

Mostly street, but I did get in 50 or so miles of dirt roads. Reminded me what a great bike this is. Now both of us need new shoes soon. I'm thinking Shinko 705s for it and Forma Terra boots for me.

Day 1
Pensacola, FL to Chattanooga, TN, with a stop at Little River Canyon National Preserve for a couple of hours.
Mushroom rock:


Little River was way down. The falls didn't have much water coming over them, so I didn't get any closer for pictures:


"Backcountry" river crossing:



Days 2/3: In and around the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, then home.
Campsite/swimming hole along a forest road. Even had some rope swings!:




Cherohala Skyway:


Needed a power nap while riding the Skyway:


Speed rush:


Fontana Dam:




Deal's Gap. Didn't really want to go through here, but it was by far the shortest route to my hotel. The resort was a zoo, so I snapped this picture and kept moving:


"The Sinks" on Little River:


Near the entrance to Cades Cove:


Foothills Parkway:


Little River Gorge Road:



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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 02:00 AM
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Looks nice!

2 Wheels are better than 4
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 05:28 PM
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Nice trip. When you were in Chattanooga, you were only about 30 miles from me, probably pasted within 10 miles on your way there.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 11:15 AM
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Is Deals Gap always a zoo? I am heading up that way for the first time in late October and have no idea what to expect crowd wise.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 11:35 AM
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Quick Smoky Mountains trip

I rode it on a Tuesday at dusk and had the road almost all to myself. I did have to wait a bit on a pickup truck but the driver kindly moved aside at the first pull off he came to. Otherwise it was a relaxing, if very technical, ride.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfire View Post
Is Deals Gap always a zoo? I am heading up that way for the first time in late October and have no idea what to expect crowd wise.
By that time it will have cooled off a little, which will keep some folks away. Trying to go during the week seems to work out better than the weekend in most cases. Apparently there was some sort of big gathering there that weekend I was there but I didn't know. Key is just to ride at your pace and ignore the cameras. You will catch/pass some people and some will catch/pass you.

My opinion: Don't buy into all of the hype. Deal's Gap is 11 miles. There are MANY other great roads in that area where you can enjoy yourself.
Cherohala Skyway
NC 28
TN 73 (Little River Road)
Just to name a few. If you stay in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Alamo Steakhouse and Bennett's BBQ are good eats. Wear sweatpants if you go to Bennett's.

Have fun!

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 06:28 PM
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The key to going through there without too much of a crowd is hitting it in the morning (passed through @9:30am) or after 5pm. I'm not sure about the weekends as I've only gone through on weekdays but I could imagine it being a lot busier.

As graybush said, get out and enjoy the roads around the dragon too. While the dragon is probably the most technical around, I enjoyed some of the surrounding roads more.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 10:22 PM
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Thanks guys, I am really looking forward to this trip. Up there for 5 days and plan on riding all of them. I will be right after Biketoberfest so the riding couldnt be more different.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2016, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Had some time over the last couple of weeks so I put together all the footage I have from some of the different roads there into their own separate videos. I really hope that area can recover quickly from everything that's happened.

Cherohala Skyway:

NC 28:

Little River Road:

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 09:03 AM
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Have rode the Skyway and parts of 28, near Highlands NC, but not Little River Road. Actually drove on it a couple weeks ago and made the comment that we'll have to go back up on the bike after winter passes. Had traffic backed up a little for a few minutes waiting on a bunch of wild turkeys to clear the road at one point. Wonder how the area faired after the fires they had last week.

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