It seems like forever since Donna and I rode together. Between her job, a stretch of either hot weather or rain and just life in general it seemed like ages since we rode. In fact the last time we rode was when we went to Maggie Valley, NC back in July. The other day Donna asked “What’s the weather like for Sunday? I need a ride and I want to go to Turner’s Corner for lunch.” We decided that there would be no errands, no chores and if anyone wanted us for anything that wasn’t a bona-fide emergency they’d just have to wait. With an approaching cold front the forecast kept going back and forth with the forecast for rain. It’s no fun riding in the rain and this ride was supposed to be fun. On Friday the forecast was improving and then on Saturday it was improving more (although we had already made our decision to ride). I knew we would ride, no matter what the weather brought when Donna told me to pack her rain pants.
When we left in the morning I did just as requested and headed up to Turner’s Corner Café that sits on the corner of US HWY 19 and US HWY 129. The Cafe’s true address is even 10 Turner’s Corner RD! On the way up one of the first things we noticed was that there weren’t many motorcycles on the road with us as we got closer to the north Georgia mountains. It must have been the gray clouds and temperatures in the upper 60’s in the morning! Granted the clouds did look like they could rain on us and in fact they did, quite a few times, but never more than enough to just wet the windshield. Some of the hill and mountain tops were shrouded in fog and clouds. We took a pretty standard route for us to get to lunch, heading up I-575 until it became GA HWY 515 (to make up time) then GA HWY 53 to Dawsonville, GA HWY 9 on up to Dahlonega and then US HWY 19 to the restaurant. Along the way near Marble Hill, Donna saw a baptism going on in a creek. It is a nice curvy ride up there. Now when I say a US Highway don’t think a multi-lane highway. These are 2 lane roads in the mountains (Appalachian version of mountains) that are US Highways. We had a great lunch out on the deck overlooking the river. We nearly had the deck to ourselves! Again, it must’ve been those gray skies that looked like rain. There weren’t even many motorcycles heading up and down Blood Mountain. I had planned us two rides for after lunch and both started and ended at Turner’s Corner. I was in luck because Donna picked the long ride!
We headed south for a short distance towards Cleveland, GA but made the turn onto GA HWY 75 ALT (NOT interstate 75) and took it to its other end at GA HWY 17 just north of Helen. We headed north on GA HWY 17 towards Hiawassee taking the nice twisting and curving part along the way. We like to use more than just the center portion of the tires! Once HWY 17 dead ended at GA HWY 76 in Hiawassee we made the right turn towards Clayton. Before getting to Clayton though we turned right on GA HWY 197 for its twists and curves along Lake Burton before making our next right turn in Batesville onto GA HWY 356 passing through Unicoi State Park. We ended back at GA HWY 17 just outside of Helen again before heading back past Turner’s Corner and heading back for home. This whole ride today was all in Georgia but there’s a stretch along GA HWY 76 where you look into North Carolina.
We filled up with gas when we started in the morning and we put 248 miles on that tank of gas today with gas to spare! Just before we got home the Magic Carpet’s odometer passed 84,000 miles. But those aren’t the best things about today. The best part was doing them with Donna sitting behind me on the motorcycle.