A ride through the Great Smokies to Del Rio - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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A ride through the Great Smokies to Del Rio


OK, I know - Del Rio, again??? Hey, it's a great destination for a day's ride from western North Carolina. There are so many great routes to follow when that's your turn-around for the ride - the Paint Rock/Brushy Creek route, the Max Patch/Round Mtn. route, the Hot Springs/Hwy. 25 route, etc. etc. etc.
Anyway, after muddying up Jon on a ride through the Smokies and up through Harmon Den a couple of weeks ago, I talked Al into accompanying me on this one. Heck, in for a penny, in for a pound, eh? Instead of cutting back to the east from Max Patch like Jon and I did on our Smokies/Harmon Den ride, I decided to push on across Lemon Gap and over Round Mtn. to Del Rio. My original plan was to add in the Brushy Creek/Hurricane Gap extension to the ride, but by the time we reached Del Rio, Al was starting to look at me funny and was mumbling something about murdering some crazy S.O.B. Well, 212 miles turned out to be enough for the day - by the time I reached I-26 north of Asheville, my butt was so sore (my kingdom, my kingdom for a comfortable seat!!!) that I was spending about half my time standing on the pegs. Try that at 80+ sometimes...

Al by the stream in Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. What a fine, fine day for a long ride!

We remembered to stop by the Ingles deli in Waynesville before heading into the park, so we had fried chicken, chicken wings, salad, and for me, a big ol' dill pickle for lunch. Then Al dozed off in the shade for a nice after lunch snooze. I finally awakened him when I noticed that his face was taking on a strange orange glow.

We take a break on Round Mountain, below Rattlesnake Gap, high above Del Rio, TN. Though there was a near zero chance of rain for the day, I managed to round up a passing cloud to sprinkle a little rain on us as we coasted the next 7 miles down into the valley - the coasting off of Round Mtn. has become a traditional way of entering the valley for me. It's fun, and it's quiet after a long ride.

It's getting late, and I have a ride planned for - oh hell, 8:30 with Jon again. Better turn in. There's more pix if you follow the link above. I had a great ride today, dodging storms as I put in about 170 miles in the Henderson County region of western NC.

From the ride that Jon and I did a couple of weeks ago - might be a hint of what we'll face... later today.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 08:55 PM
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Great Pics!
Don't know if the fog looks like too much fun though, or was it rain??

regards, Bob
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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A little of both

Originally Posted by RPrice View Post
Great Pics!
Don't know if the fog looks like too much fun though, or was it rain??
I actually enjoy riding in foggy and wet conditions up to point. It's not fun on roads with a lot of traffic, but riding the back roads in the Smoky Mountain region can be a hoot when it gets sloppy. Next to the guys up near Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula, we have the second highest rainfall totals in the lower 48. The difference though, is that a lot of ours hits in big storms like we've had over the past week, followed (usually) by a week or so of dry weather. Occasionally, we'll really get hammered when one of the big'uns roar in out of the Gulf and slam into the Blue Wall, or the area along the edge of the mountains between NC/SC/GA/ and Tennessee. A few years ago, we got over 18 inches of rain in 8 hours in the Whiitewater Falls region - I wish that I could have made it down there to see the falls during that one.

Right now, I'd like to be riding in your location - St. George is an incredible place. Love that red rock country!
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