We rounded out our motorcycle / tandem cycling trip on ‘Blue’ to Tennessee by exploring a new route to us for the return trip.
We were clearly spoiled by the exceptional ride up via the Cherohala Skyway and Tail of the Dragon on Thursday and the temptation to head home via the same route was strong; however, we needed to be back at the house by around 4:00pm as there were quite a few things that we’d need to get taken care of before returning to work on Monday.
Our compromise ended up being a slight detour off of the always boring US Route 411 via Tennessee State Route 68 to Georgia Route 5 with a lunch stop at Harvest on Main in Blue Ridge, Georgia.
Wow, TN68 was an amazing route through the western Chattahoochee National Forest; it was truly an unexpected and wonderful surprise! Lots of tree-covered twisties that were very reminiscent of Neels Gap near Dahlonega, Georgia but with just two lanes. We were lucky to have very light traffic and only had to execute two passes.
As is the case with Route 411, once TN68 turns into GA5 the scenery becomes pretty nondescript. Interestingly enough, I think we’ve discovered this along the South Carolina & Georgia borders as well: what’s the deal Georgia? You cross the state line from pretty nice scenery and neat & tidy housing in TN and SC and find yourself in… well…. something a lot less scenic and often times depressing.
Our lunch stop in Blue Ridge at Harvest on Main was relaxing and delicious. I had to give in and do my 8oz Angus hotdog again and Debbie opted to go with the pulled pork sandwich special; yum!
We skipped the Yukon / Jones Mtn / Blood Mtn scenic bypass and went straight down route 515 to save some time, but took the roads less travelled down Route 108 and then Upper & Lower Burris Roads to Route 140 into Canton where we jumped back on Highway 5 to Bells Ferry and then took our new way home from Woodstock via Woodstock Road / Priest Rd into Acworth.
We arrived at home around 3:50pm and dove right into the chores, e.g., unpacking, laundry, washing the bike, sorting through a weeks worth of mail and made a quick trip over to Loco Willy’s for dinner.
All-in-all, just a great week off capped by our first trip hauling the tandem behind the Harley for a weekend trip. Packing the bike and all of our other “stuff” definitely proved to be a challenge with regard to keeping the weight from busting the Harley’s maximum useful load limit of 511 lbs. More on that in a follow-up post.