07 June 2011

Trip Report: BRP Trip Day 4

Sunday 21 May 2011:
The Road Home
Approx. 221 miles

I think we were both eager to get home.  We were both up and ready early.  I was beginning to really worry about TheMomma, who I left in my brother's care, and as usual Cruzman was beginning to miss MrsCruzman and JrCruzman.  Even though we were eager to get home, we did take the time to explore the end of the road near Joyce Kilmer Road.  It was one of those "Let's see where this takes us" kind of things.

It took us to the Observation point where you could see all the way to the Smoky Mountains and the Santeelah Lake.  We didn't go to the observation point instead sticking to the lightly traveled road that was filled with nature's debris from recent storms.  Like Joyce Kilmer Road, it was another one that we wished were better maintained as it would make a great ride.

From there we went to the Cherohala Skyway and into Tellico Plains for early lunch at the Cherohala Market.  There were many people taking a break before riding it or recovering from riding it.  And it was HOT!  I'm not sure I was used to the heat after spending the majority of the last few days in the upper elevations and the cool weather that preceded our trip.  The heat came with an intensity that one usually associates with Late June not mid to late May.  When we left the Market around 11 with temps already in the low 90s!

It would only be hotter from there.  We basically retraced the route up except I didn't want to ride Blood Mountain again since we would be so close to 60N.  I didn't even bother to plug a route into the GPS, something I haven't really had to do for a while now.

We had to take Hwy 68 really easy because of the Sunday afternoon churchgoers.  We didn't know what time church let out.  Since this is the Bible Belt, we must have passed 50 churches on 68 from Tellico to the turn off at 123/294 near Turtletown.

On 294 we got stuck behind a truck pulling a U-haul trailer and I for one was happy to see 64, if only to get moving a bit.  As soon as we crossed the state line into Georgia, we stopped at that gas station on 129 and took the time to cool of with an ice cold cola and chat with some fellow riders from South Carolina.

I still wasn't sure about riding Blood Mountain and didn't make my mind up until we got to US 76 where I took a right and looked for Old 76 to get us off of the interstate like road.  We took Old 76 toward Morgantown where a cat tried to get rid of one of his nine lives when he sprinted down a yard and into road right in front of my tire.  I don't know how I missed him!

Old 76 meets 60 in Morganton and a left takes you toward Dahlonega.  This is near the sign that says something like curves for the next 33 miles.  By the time we got here, church was already out so there was hardly any traffic to contend with.  We did pass three Goldwing Trikes as we neared Cooper Creek.

We road into Dahlonega slowed only by the tar snakes that coated the road when we passed a county line.  I was going so slow, I had cars lined up behind us for a change!  Once the tar snakes disappeared, I felt more comfortable doing the speed limit again and did until we stopped at Rider's Hill where Cruzman took the lead so we could take HWY 9 instead of the possibly crowded GA 400.

I didn't take any pictures and other than the heat we had a thankfully mundane ride in the mountains.  I got home right at 5, a few hours after I promised my brother I'd be back and ripped my mesh pants and jacket off.  In the process, I untracked the zipper for the final time and will have to (pants are on the way) replace them after two years of use.

It will take two pairs of pants to replace that one pair and they will be missed.  RIP my all season mesh pants!

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

Caught on the Dragon!
Gap Photos by Xtreme Sports Photography

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