Day 4: We Had Georgia on Our Minds
On Monday night, after we’d rolled into a hotel in Franklin, North Carolina not an hour passed before the skies went dark and we watched the rain pelt our motorcycles parked outside of our window. It was another tick in the “lucky” column for us. A girl could really get used to that.
Somehow we ended up in a suite. Not that I’m complaining. But, there is something intrinsically UN-romantic about a bathtub in the middle of your room with a giant mirror in front of it for extra sexiness.
I think I must be in the minority on this front because over the years we’ve found ourselves in quite a few of these rooms. But for just $75 bucks, I suppose they could put a giraffe in the middle of the room and that would be fine with me as long as the place has a clean king size bed and a working AC.
When the alert on my phone to visit the Muffler Car chimed us awake on Tuesday morning, I peered out the window to find that the rain was still coming down. With gusto. Poo.
Kenny and I took our time eating breakfast, watched the weather and hoped for the rain to start tapering off. While we were sitting there in the breakfast room, another hotel guest walked in and winked at me. Winked! Who does that? That has to rank right up there with ‘walking around whistling’ in the list of things that only men over 50 do.
The really optimistic part of me was hoping that we’d go back to our room and discover blue skies and sunshine. Alas it was not to be. We’d just have to make the best of it. First stop for the day – visiting then mufflermobile and then on to Georgia to ride The Gauntlet.
Map image from Smoky Mountain Rider – Visit their site for GREAT rides in the Smokies!
We were dogged by pouring rain leaving Franklin for a good hour. Thankfully the road surface was nice, there was minimal fog, the grip was fine and well, what else was there to do but keep moving?
As we climbed up along GA348 it seemed like the rain was starting to lighten up a bit. I pulled off to look at the fog laying in the valley below.
This particular loop of roads was something that I’d long wanted to ride. Add to that my interest in seeing the alpine-themed town of Helen and you could say I was pretty excited to be in Georgia. But, as we pulled in to town the rains once again came calling. I would be lying if I said that the wet weather didn’t put a little bit of a damper on my spirits.
I came away with the feeling that Helen was nothing more interesting than visiting a Bavarian village that a theme park would set up. It was a hokey tourist trap filled with t-shirts, crappy souvenirs and things to give you diabetes. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting to the contrary, but I was pretty disappointed. Boo.
There was nothing else for us to do but ride on.
The intermittent rain stayed with us as we rode Wolf Pen Gap Rd and a smokin’ section of 129 over Blood Mountain. As the road unfurled before us, especially on 129 my heart wanted to go faster, faster, faster! but good sense kept me in check. The most important part of our trips is always to make it home in one piece.
I hope with all of my might that we’ll find ourselves in that neck of the woods again to try those roads in the dry.
The more time we spent riding, the more I wondered why people flock to Deal’s Gap over and over. Sure, try it at least once – but sister,… there is plenty of other great ridin’ in them thar hills with a lot fewer people to rub elbows with.
The closer we got to closing up the Gauntlet loop, the dryer it became. Soon we were cruising along in the sunshine. If only we’d had it a few hours earlier. Le sigh.
Ah, well. I believe the universe unfolds as it should.
More Posts from the Trip:
- Southern Trip Stats - Y'all Come Back Now, Hear?
- Day 1: Dipping Below the Mason-Dixon Line
- Day 2: Smooth Sailing on the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Day 2: Detour to the Roanoke Muffler Man
- Day 2: The Mile High Club at Grandfather Mountain
- Day 3: Riding Through Blue Ridge Parkway Tunnels
- Day 3: Blue Ridge Parkway Pit Stop - Breakfast at Mount Mitchell
- Day 3: The Highest Elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway Motor Road
- Day 3: Wheels Through Time Museum - Photo Gallery
- Sights from the Road: The Cherokee Muffler Man
- Sights From the Road: Greatest Car in the Universe v4.0 - Mufflermobile
- Day 4: We Had Georgia on Our Minds
- Day 4: NC 209 With a Little Luck
- Sights From the Road: Goats on the Roof
- Snapshot: My Navigation System
- MotoPhoto: Don't You Just Love it When the Road Does That?
- Day 5: TN421 - Grabbing the Snake by the Tail
- Roadside Sights: Pal's Sudden Service
- Check One Off The To Do List: Backbone Rock
- Day 5: Stung on the Back of the Dragon
- Roadside Snapshot: The Big Little Apple of Thaxton, Virginia
- Day 6: The Motorcycle Adventures of the Bearded Lady
- Snapshot: Southern Trip Souvenirs
- Day 7: Mixed Nuts and a Reformed Jackass on the Loose in West Virginia
- Beware - It's The Devils Road!
- Space, The Final Frontier - These are the Voyages of the Fuzzship Tigerprise