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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning a ride for June 2009 that will following Sky Line Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Dragon's Tail. I will be starting out in CT and want to eventually end up in Raleigh, NC to spend some time with family before heading back north.

Now I never done anything like this before and plan on taking 3 weeks to do this.

I am hoping to do 300 miles a day with time to relax and sight see along the way.

I am looking for any tips, must see sights, good cheap places to stay along the way.
 

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Rode it last summer. One very enjoyable ride. Took many side trips. There was not a bad road anywhere. People very friendly. Hard to find economy priced accomodations, but loved every mile. We visited the Biltmore Mansion and Mayberry Jail and Set. This was in Mt Airey and the Biltmore was in Asheville.
The Wheels through Time Museum was closed. This was located on the southwest end of the BlueRidge.
Stop at the Welcome Centers and they can give loads of info.
 

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Nitrous Rules
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A very nice place to stay near Mt Airy is Volunteer Gap Inn and Cabins. http://www.volunteergapinn.com Tell Deena that Clark and Martha told you about them.

If you decide to go to Mt Airy (Mayberry...The Andy Griffith Show), you will need to have lunch at "Snappys Lunch" and have a famous pork chop sandwich. http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=48

You may want to stop at Mount Mitchell (the highest point east of the Mississippi). http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/main.php

If you go all the way to the end of the Parkway, You will end up in Cherokee NC. At the end of the parkway it will dead end. If you take a left you will go through Cherokee. Remember that it is a reservation and they have their own laws. Just before you enter Cherokee, you will See a "Elk Crossing" sign. Normally you will see Elk on the left in a field.
If you take a right at the end of the Parkway, it will take you to Pigeon Forge TN through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
You can do a search to get directions to "Foothills Parkway". http://www.theblueridgehighlander.com/scenic_drives/tennessee/foothills_parkway/ The Foothills Parkway will dead end. Take a left and you will be on 129 (The Dragon) 318 curves in 11 miles. When you enter NC on 129 you will go about a mile and the Deals Gap community (gas station) will be on the left. You'll have to stop and get a tee shirt.

Instead of staying on 129, take the road that runs next to the gas station (Hwy 28). This is a very scenic road also. You will ride for miles but, when you come to a large bridge, take a left and the road before the bridge and it will take you to the back of Fontana Dam.
Continue on 28 and you will find a fork in the road with signs to the dam. This road will take you the top of the dam. You are allowed to ride across the dam.
Continue on Hwy 28 and stay at TUSKEEGEE MOTEL http://www.tuskeegeemotel.com/ or Fontana Village http://www.fontanavillage.com/

If you have time, you may want to ride the Cherohala Skyway.http://www.cherohala.com/


I hope these ideas help. :thumb

While you are on the Dragon, there will be people taking photos of you that you can purchase on line. The picture on my signature is one of those photos.
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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It was 30 years ago, but as I recall, after after SuperGlide'n thru 300 curves
since the last stop, I had a tendency to forget to put my feet down.:ride

Be thinking about what to do when there's a sheer cliff on one side and a rock wall on the other,
and you're stuck in traffic cause all the cars on both sides of the road stopped
to feed the bears cookies, so they're pawing at the windows of the car in front of you? :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Be thinking about what to do when there's a sheer cliff on one side and a rock wall on the other,
and you're stuck in traffic cause all the cars on both sides of the road stopped
to feed the bears cookies, so they're pawing at the windows of the car in front of you? :eek:
:eek: is right ... I hear there are panthers too. :eekers

Great info everyone ... Thanks keep it coming.
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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lions tigers and bears oh my..
The threats don't have to have teeth and/or claws..

I came around a slow curve on a foggy night ride, and came to a screeching stop
about 2 feet from a big skunk with his tail held high and bottle-brush stiff,
he was thinking really hard about letting me have it.

I'd hate to try getting a motel room after THAT misadventure.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How about any decent campsites? I am thinking of being really brave and packing a small tent and sleeping bag with me.
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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Well, if my Blue Ridge Parkway trip is any testament,

a) It will rain.
b) You will be tired, sore, and badly needing a ready cooked meal, a hot shower and a soft bed.
c) Bears are a pain in the ass when you are sleeping in a tent.

My wife and I rode from Louisville Ky to Gatlinburg Tenn about 275 miles if I remember right,
where we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we rode along the ridgeline to almost Richmond Va,
where the road got less interesting, so we turned around and rode the same road
in the opposite direction, all the way went back to Gatlinburg, and then I remember an exciting
non-stop run all the way back to Louisville trying to stay ahead of a dark/threatening storm front.

Take some whiskey. Some of those towns along that trip are dry. Or were, a long time ago.

After a trip thru the Smokies, be sure to do a similar trip in THE ROCKIES someday,
the difference in scale will be shocking. Breathtaking. Humbling.

BTW, the difference between the Smokies and the Rockies is measured in eons and eons and eons,
the Smokies are not less, they are just OLD!!

...and speaking of old .... The Smokies Trip, circa '75 or '76
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, if my Blue Ridge Parkway trip is any testament,

a) It will rain.
b) You will be tired, sore, and badly needing a ready cooked meal, a hot shower and a soft bed.
c) Bears are a pain in the ass when you are sleeping in a tent.


Take some whiskey. Some of those towns along that trip are dry. Or were, a long time ago.
Makes me look forward to it even more. :eekers
 

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09 Dyna Super Glide
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Blue Ride Parkway

Keep in mind that the Blue Ridge Parkway suffers from more than it's share of closures. At the moment it is closed north of Blowing Rock, NC and south of Mt. Mitchell.

In addition Mt. Mitchell, which is right off the Parkway there are a lot of great places to see. Main Street in Blowing Rock is a good place to stop for lunch or dinner. Grab an ice cream cone from Kilwins while you are there. Lodging in the Blowing Rock/Boone area tends to be a bit higher than in places like Cherokee or Maggie Valley.

The Mast General store and annex in Valle Crucis is a popular stops too. Roan Mountain State Park is not too far off the Parkway and has some nice rides. Lake Lure is probably 30 miles or so from the Parkway. It is a very popular stop for bikers with easy access to Asheville and Black Mountain. Grandfather Mountain is right off the Parkway and it always worth a visit. Chimney Rock in Lake Lure is worth seeing too.

There are campgrounds all along the parkway, if you are into that sort of thing. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a big tourist attraction and you know how tourists drive. They don't pay attention to the road or to motorcycles. They stop on blind curves to take pictures too.

Speed limits are strictly enforced on the Parkway and you will not talk a park cop out of giving you a ticket. The tourist towns will enforce their noise restrictions too.

There are several Harley Dealers in the area. Tilley is in Statesville. Blue Ridge is in Hickory and there is a dealer just off I-40 around Black Mountain, just to name a few.

Watch out for the wildlife! I have passed a few bears, but it's the deer that will get you. Bring rain gear!

The BRP is one of he great motorcycle rides in America. You will never forget it. I was there last weekend riding in cager tracks in the snow trying to get to Mt. Mitchell. The tracks ran out before the snow did.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #12
One thing I started to think of as I plan my ride. Security and where to park the bike at night. Other than the Two Wheel Inn any other places have safe secure places to park a park? Do campsites let you park your bike right next to your tent?
 

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Motor boating
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stations inn is a cool joint to hang out http://www.stationsinn.com/ check it out when your here in NC.
also look at my signature, click the full throttle magazine link , then click the crusin calender and find out whats going on around the areas of NC you will be in, there probably won't be a lot scheduled for june right now but closer to the time you'll be here check it out for events and lodging. i will be glad to mail you a few magazines now and closer to when your taking your trip. pm me an address if you would like a few magazines:thumb i'm a writer and photographer for the magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
stations inn is a cool joint to hang out http://www.stationsinn.com/ check it out when your here in NC.
also look at my signature, click the full throttle magazine link , then click the crusin calender and find out whats going on around the areas of NC you will be in, there probably won't be a lot scheduled for june right now but closer to the time you'll be here check it out for events and lodging. i will be glad to mail you a few magazines now and closer to when your taking your trip. pm me an address if you would like a few magazines:thumb i'm a writer and photographer for the magazine.

Station Inn does sound like a cool place to hang out. I may just stop in there depending on where I wind up on my trip when I am in that area. Thanks for your generous offer ... PM Sent.
 

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Two places I like to stay are: 1) The Stations Inn in Laurel Springs NC. This is a motel that caters to motor cycles, has a bar & restaurant on site. The pulled pork is exceptional at this place. 2) The two wheel Inn. Robinsville NC. This place again caters to the biker. They have garages incorporated into the room where you park your bike. It is located near the Blue Ridge Hwy. When you are at the Blue Ridge, be sure to ride the Cherohala Skyway. It is one of the most awesome roads, long sweeping turns, unbeleivable views, lightly traveled. If you have time try to go to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC. It is a pretty incredible place. Built by the Vanderbilt Family. They have their own herd of dairy cattle, just to make milk & creme for their ice cream shop on site. They also have a winery there. Also try stop in Cherokee NC. We stayed at the Holiday Inn. The hotel has a restaurant on site. We got to be pretty good friends with a waitress there. She invited us to the Indian reservation. I wish I could tell more.....

If you ride Deals Gap, visit the restaurant. I really like their chicken planks. The ceiling is full of tee shirts. If you ask they will staple one of yours to the ceiling. Mine is there, signed by me & all my buddies you traveled with me on the trip. Make sure you see the tree of shame. There is a guy named "Kill Boy" he takes you picture when you ride up and down the gap. He posts them to his web site and you can buy them, so make sure you smile pretty.

Also if you like Deals Gap you will love Route 421 in TN. There is an intersection in Shady Valley TN, where 4 of the most incredible roads unite. There is a general store called the Shady valley Country Store, it's pretty incredible. Try their fried baloney sanndwich.

The Stations Inn, Two Wheeled Inn, Cherhola Skyway, Killboy and the Shady Valley County Store all have web sites. Good luck on your ride I love that part of the country.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I decided I am going to try a commune with nature on this trip and save money. This will be my home: ( I'll still have the option to stay in a hotel if I find nature can't handle me )

 

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when did it start 4u
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word of advice on 129 stay on your side of the road and keep your eye in the mirrows, also watch out for the man he is all over up ther anymore, the best days to ride up there are mon-thursday ne more, Let me know what day you will end up there I gotta a buddy who takes pics for zeephoto on 129, you will have a blast up ther I go up just about every weekend in the summer, there are lots of roads to get lost on and have good time, just be careful on the parkway lots of gravel in random areas
 

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Thanks

A very nice place to stay near Mt Airy is Volunteer Gap Inn and Cabins. http://www.volunteergapinn.com Tell Deena that Clark and Martha told you about them.

If you decide to go to Mt Airy (Mayberry...The Andy Griffith Show), you will need to have lunch at "Snappys Lunch" and have a famous pork chop sandwich. http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=48

You may want to stop at Mount Mitchell (the highest point east of the Mississippi). http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/main.php

If you go all the way to the end of the Parkway, You will end up in Cherokee NC. At the end of the parkway it will dead end. If you take a left you will go through Cherokee. Remember that it is a reservation and they have their own laws. Just before you enter Cherokee, you will See a "Elk Crossing" sign. Normally you will see Elk on the left in a field.
If you take a right at the end of the Parkway, it will take you to Pigeon Forge TN through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
You can do a search to get directions to "Foothills Parkway". http://www.theblueridgehighlander.com/scenic_drives/tennessee/foothills_parkway/ The Foothills Parkway will dead end. Take a left and you will be on 129 (The Dragon) 318 curves in 11 miles. When you enter NC on 129 you will go about a mile and the Deals Gap community (gas station) will be on the left. You'll have to stop and get a tee shirt.

Instead of staying on 129, take the road that runs next to the gas station (Hwy 28). This is a very scenic road also. You will ride for miles but, when you come to a large bridge, take a left and the road before the bridge and it will take you to the back of Fontana Dam.
Continue on 28 and you will find a fork in the road with signs to the dam. This road will take you the top of the dam. You are allowed to ride across the dam.
Continue on Hwy 28 and stay at TUSKEEGEE MOTEL http://www.tuskeegeemotel.com/ or Fontana Village http://www.fontanavillage.com/

If you have time, you may want to ride the Cherohala Skyway.http://www.cherohala.com/


I hope these ideas help. :thumb

While you are on the Dragon, there will be people taking photos of you that you can purchase on line. The picture on my signature is one of those photos.
great post.
 

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I live in northern Virginia and just rode Sky Line Drive the other weekend. All I have to say is that it is completely amazing. We only rode to Big Meadows (half way) and came back the same way due to time restraints but would have liked to ride the entire 105 miles. It cost $10.00 per bike. There are a couple of places to eat and gas up. The views are phenomenal and I highly recommend it!!!
 
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