Well we're sat in rocking chairs on a verandah in the very nice Tellico Lodge, watching a thunder storm whilst drinking cold beer after riding some seriously good roads.
What a day, we set off from the Blue Ridge Camp Ground later than usual this morning because we were gossiping about bike rides in the states with two old boys, one of whom was a bit deaf & had huge feet, Geoff was doing his best to keep chatting & I was just staring at this guys feet!
We set off into a cloudy morning, riding through the clouds most of the time, getting glimpses of the forest & lower hills below. Visibility kept dropping to about 50 metres then opening out again & the bends just kept on coming!
We turned off the Parkway onto highway 19, (n n nineteen! never mind if your too young to remember this :-)) which took us into Cherokee Indian lands & the town of Cherokee, which had loads of statues of 20ft high chieftains & old wagons & yep loads of cheap gambling spots next door to souvenir shops!!
We kept on going & eventually turned off onto HW74 which took us to the Dragons Den!!!
We rode the Dragon, bought the stickers & more fuel then headed off to the Cherahala & Tellico Plains.
The Dragon was ace, well worth the detour, loads of bends, some gd GoPro footage & a minor heart attack as the back end on my bike slid out because I leaned the bike too far over in a bend on the wet tarmac.
Once at the viewpoint 11 miles later, we took the photos & headed back down!! Great stuff, wish I'd got my Gixer though, proper knee down session on this road! Get it wrong though & it would be expensive & painful...
There are several statues of dragons at this place, the green one above is a beautiful wood carving, the metal one below is made from steel plate & various bike bits, they both look amazing.
The Cherahala was much more sweeping & would have suited the bigger litre sports bikesore than the Dragon, 80+ mph sweeping bends, no traffic, dry tarmac so we settled in at our by now standard speed of around 50 ish & flew over the 51 miles to our stop point.
Geoff's bike has had a couple of things break on it today, one of the brackets holding the engine bars on has snapped, must have had a defect on the steel & we managed to bend his side stand this morning tilting the bike to lube the chain. The stands on these bikes are a shite design though, it must have been a Friday afternoon apprentice job at Yamaha, because they are so complicated it's untrue & they don't come forward enough, so the bike often rolls forward off them if there is even the slightest downwards angle, as I found out again today! Feckin things... Other than this though the bikes are running sweetly at the moment & now sporting the obligatory Dragon stickers ;-)
So tonight we have to charge everything up, (I've finally managed to upload all the maps into the GPS', it's took hours & a lot of swearing, much to Geoff's rye amusement).
Then tomorrow we pack up & head into the trees & landscape of Tennessee to explore the more untravelled trails around here! It's rained heavily every night for the last three nights so I'm expecting to start looking for detours around some of the many rivers we have to cross, time will tell I guess.
Not sure when the next post will be as we might well be camping for a bit... so have fun all! :-) Oh & there are fire flies in the grass here, flitting about lighting it up, crazy!!