A few months ago a fellow BMW MOA member, Mike had asked for suggestions on roads and places to stay while he and his girlfriend Wendy were planning their motorcycle vacation to Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was one of the members who chimed in with suggestions. A while back he emailed me and said that on part of the trip they would be in north Georgia and wondered if we’d like to show him some nice roads to ride before they headed on up to the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge in Robbinsville, NC that day. I was honored and accepted so we made plans. Those plans morphed. Donna had me call the Iron Horse to see if we could get reservations for two nights and we’d ride on up with Mike & Wendy. Mike and Wendy had quite the trip getting here which was chaotic and can be read about in its own blog entry here.
On Monday we headed up in the rain to meet Mike & Wendy in Blairsville, Georgia. Luckily the rain had pretty much stopped by the time we got to Jasper, Ga. We lead them on a nice ride that included curvy Georgia Highway 17 going south, along the head waters of the Chattahoochee River towards Helen from Brasstown Bald. We shot on over to US 129 and took it back towards Blairsville by heading up Blood Mountain with all its curves. I guess I picked the right roads judging from Mike’s comments! I also did something I had never done before. It’s not uncommon for me to scrape the side stand at times in a left turn, but that day I even scraped the left foot peg! Wow! If you look at some of the pictures of our motorcycle here you’ll see how high the pegs are and get an idea of how we were leaned over. We lunched in Blairsville before taking US 129 all the way to Robbinsville, NC and then on to the Iron Horse where the evening was spent around campfire. While at the Iron Horse you can camp in tent, bring your camper or motor home (but you better bring your motorcycles too), stay in a semi-private cabin room (with a shared bathroom) or in a private cabin room (with your own bathroom) like we did. I liked the cabin, especially since it rained that night! The video below was shot the next morning and you can hear the creek.
On Tuesday, Mike & Wendy had planned to ride some of the local roads including the Cherohala Skyway and the Tail of the Dragon. As this was their vacation we didn’t want to get in their way and wanted them to go off and have all the fun the roads would give them. We took it easy and chatted with some of the other motorcyclists there at the lodge before heading off to ride too. We had planned on riding to Franklin, NC and coming back on Wyah RD but we got a late start and did the tourist thing and road NC28 over to Deal’s Gap and rode The Tail Of The Dragon. Mike & Wendy however were off enjoying themselves and came back just in time for dinner! That was the plan, to have a great time.
On Wednesday morning it was time to say our goodbyes. Mike & Wendy packed up and headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway where they’d stop in Blowing Rock for the night. Depending on the route home, the Iron Horse is only about 2 1/2 hours from home for us, so we enjoyed the morning before departing. While Mike had problems in the beginning of his trip, we experienced ours on the way home. Not far from home I noticed something “wet” on my J-pegs or highway pegs and wiped it off with my foot. It later reappeared only then I noticed it was slippery. Then I noticed the front brakes weren’t the “grabby” servo assisted type was used to but still had plenty of braking power. Our front brake line had developed a leak. Oh well, it looks some work in my future before we ride again.
All in all it was great to ride up and spend a few days with some new friends. I got to show off some roads here in Georgia. We all got to know each other over meals and lounging around at the Iron Horse and sitting around the campfire at night with other motorcyclists. I’ll tell you this though, while we were there, Harley Davidson and BMW were the dominant motorcycles with few of any other brand. There was literally a 50/50 mixture of Harley Davidson and BMW motorcycles and depending on the day, one only had a few more present than the other.