Road Trip to Maryville, Tennessee via the Cherohala Skyway & Tail of the Dragon

We were up in plenty of time to make our 9:00am departure target.

The GoPro’s were all mounted on ‘Blue’ — one on the windscreen looking back at us, one on the lower right front fairing looking at the road ahead and the third one that provided a rear perspective of us riding down the road.  However, the remote wasn’t working so I opted to take the cameras back off (suction cup mounts make camera installation & removal a 5 second process) until we arrived at Tellico Plains and began our ride over the Cherohala Skyway. That delayed us a few minutes.

Our route would take us up US 41 — which is always a red-light fest in Cartersville — to US 411, which is usually an easy drive without any traffic and very few red lights.  However, we did encounter an unusual road closure where the DOT didn’t even give you a clue as to what route you’d take to get past the closure.  We opted to follow a truck whose driver appeared to be familiar with the alternate route and that worked out well.

katsWe rolled into Kats Deli in Tellico Plains around 11:50am where our friend Tim Patterson was already having lunch.  Tim had ridden his Suzuki dual sport down from Maryville so he could ride with us back over the Cherohala & Dragon.  After lunch we headed back to the Smokey Mountain Harley-Davidson in Maryville’s satellite store in Tellico Plains, Cherahala Harley-Davidson so we could pick up a long-sleeve shirt for Debbie and some gloves as the temps had dropped a bit and the skies were looking a bit threatening.  Tim mentioned hitting some rain on his way over as well.  With long sleeve shirts and our gloves in place, we were off… and those were a good call as the temps did drop into the upper 50’s by the time we reached the 5,400′ summit.

Once we arrived at Deal’s Gap the temps were back in the 80’s so we quickly ditched the long-sleeve T-shirts and gloves for a summer-like ride through the Dragon.


Tim Patterson (left) joined us on his 650 Suzuki dual sport for the trip over the Skyway and through the Dragon.

The rest of this blog entry is pretty well covered by the three-minute video that I made out of the six-hours of raw digital video captured on the three Go-Pro Cameras.  However, I will note that I ran out of battery power before we ran out of US129.  On the bright side, I had more than enough video from the Dragon to build that part of the story.

Note: It’s always best to select the 1080 HD setting and restart the video’s to get the best image quality…

It was a great ride, to be sure.  The new rear tire made a huge difference in the ride quality.  It was very easy to tell that we had a tire with a nice contour on this trip vs. the squared-off tire that we had on our Nashville trip and the twisty section on US41 headed over MontEagle.

The cameras worked very well and I can see that our original Hero HD camera will likely be replaced by a second Hero 3+ Black.  I’m getting tired of seeing that blurry part of the image area caused the scratched lens that we got for free with our first GoPro.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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