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Discussion Starter #1
Big trip planned for this summer!

I've never done a trip this big before, so I need some help!

Starting at my place in Monroe, LA, I'll be heading East to South Carolina (near Columbia) to visit the wife's relatives. About 800 miles...planning to just slab that, to ensure that I get there in time. I'm giving myself 2 days for that leg. I've done 300-500 mile days before lots of times, no problem...but I've never done 800 in one day. I think I could probably do it, but I really gotta make sure I get there specifically on the right day, don't wanna be a day early or a day late...so I'm going to err on the side of caution and split that up.

I'll be there for about 4 nights, then off towards Deal's Gap! I'll have 7 days (Monday morning through Sunday evening) to meander my way back home...I have to work the next monday morning...so it's crucial that I be home at least by sunday night.

I've heard the name "Blue Ridge Parkway" tossed around in motorcycle circles...but I can't remember anything specific. How is this road? Worth seeing?

Without a doubt, I wanna hit Deal's Gap. It's kinda the point of the trip, actually. I've never ridden it, and never been in the area at all. I'd like to take my time there, see the sights, etc...I'm thinking one or two days should be enough to get my fill (errr...that is, one or two "full" days to play...which would mean 2 or 3 nights, I guess). I guess I could just slab it to the Gap to get a day or two extra there, then slab it home...but I figured there would be other good roads worth seeing in the western Carolinas. However, I'm open to suggestions either way, and would appreciate whatever feedback you have.

I don't think there's much that I wanna see between Deals Gap and my house, so I'd be ok with slabbing it from there back home. TBH, after that much twisty riding, I'll probably be tired and ready to slab it to get home. Should be about 600 miles from there to home. I could ordinarily do that in 1 solid day, I think, but after more than a week of hard riding?...eh...maybe should split that up and give myself 2 days so I'm not pushing myself too hard.

As you can tell...these are REALLY rough plans, and I'm basically just thinking out loud as I'm typing.

Gimme some input, guys. Critiques to the plan, roads, routes, hotels, restaurants, sights to see, anything anything anything will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Holy crap, I just realized how quickly this trip is sneaking up on me!!! I'm planning to leave in two weeks!

Proposed route (roughly)...and doesn't include the couple of days of riding around the dragon and stuff. Thanks for that, Ranger...the Cherohala is definitely on my list.

http://www.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=103398670588027078692.00046e330e0191b73ff39&z=6

Day 1 Thursday 7/23 - 500 miles of interstate, my house to Atlanta
Day 2 Friday 7/24 - 282 miles of interstate, Atlanta to the in-laws in Hartsville, SC (maybe explore northern GA this morning?)
Day 3 Saturday 7/25 - Rest/family time
Day 4 Sunday 7/26 - Rest/family time
Day 5 Monday 7/27 - ~240 miles...mostly freeway...planning to go north and arrive in Boone, NC (to allow for riding the Blue Ridge Parkway south), but subject to change
Day 6 Tuesday 7/28 - ~200 miles...Blue Ridge Parkway mostly...35-45 mph speed limit?!? I think this road is going to be more about scenery than riding...should be fun, but may get old after a while...so I may get off of this and onto some main roads. We'll see. Might do something different to have time to check out The Biltmore. Arriving in Deal's Gap this evening.
Day 7 Wednesday 7/29 - Ride the dragon area
Day 8 Thursday 7/30 - Ride the dragon area
Day 9 Friday 7/31 - Start heading home. ~650 miles of freeway from there to my house. No rush to do this in a day, so I'm probably going to end up splitting this up in two days, as I'm expecting to be pretty exhausted by this time. If I do it in 2 days, I'll still have a day at home to unpack and rest before going back to work Monday.

I still don't have hotel reservations or anything (my original thought was that I would just wing it and sleep whereever I decided to stop...but the closer it gets to time, the more definitive the plans are becoming). I need ideas for hotels around the dragon area. Any favorites or suggestions? (edit - got rooms for most of the trip now...night of day 5 still open, but route is still subject to change).
 

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Day 6 Tuesday - ~200 miles...Blue Ridge Parkway mostly...35-45 mph speed limit?!? I think this road is going to be more about scenery than riding...should be fun, but may get old after a while...so I may get off of this and onto some main roads.
speed limit on the dragon is 30mph :)

also if you're planning on getting a room in the area, i highly recommend the Two Wheel Inn in Robbinsville. owners are super friendly and you get your own little garage for your bike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
speed limit on the dragon is 30mph :)
LOL! shows what I know :D

Deal's Gap Motorcycle Resort came highly recommended from a friend, so I booked a room with them. To be honest, I'm not very picky...all I need is a hot shower and a clean bed. Location for this place looks to be ****ed near perfect, they have a restaurant on site, and $59 a night is something I can certainly live with.

Priceline got me a room in Atlanta for the night of Day 1 for $40...can't complain about that ;)

It's coming together now...I just panicked a bit when I realized it was only 2 weeks away and all I had was a vague idea that I wanted to ride an 11 mile road that is 4 states away!
 

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Might I suggest you ride through North GA on the way home? Lots of good riding to check out since you'll be in the area.
 

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North GA has some great roads, take 28 from CROT all the way to South Carolina, no I'm not kidding. Take Warmwoman into GA and talk to some of the north GA gang about some roads down there.

Do not go to Blood Mountain on a weekend, asking for trouble, and do not speed on that roads, the cops are all over it. But, it's fun, really fun, I would suggest riding it.
 

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gahdzila, what days are you going to be down there? We are taking a family vacation to the area, July 25th to July 28th. Staying at Fontana Village, again. Will you be there at that time?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. My mom suggested I check out The Biltmore, and I may do that...the northern route from SC to Deal's Gap is still subject to change.

Probably will not be able to check out northern GA on the way back...I won't be in a HUGE rush, but at that point I will have been away from the wife and kids for several days, have been riding hard for several days, and tired and ready to get home. The night of day 1 will be in Atlanta, that's set in stone...I've gotta be in Hartsville, SC sometime day 2, but I'm not in a big rush. I think my wife and kids won't be there till around 6 pm or so (they're flying). So I'll have a little time to check out some stuff in northern GA the morning of day 2, I think.

Ranger, you're gonna have to help me out...what's CROT? I'm not seeing 28 on the map I'm looking at...can you be more specific? a town that it runs through? US or state highway or county road?

Blood Mountain looks nice...that might be a nice little side trip to do the morning of day 2 (it will be early friday morning...maybe the cops won't be too bad).

gahdzila, what days are you going to be down there? We are taking a family vacation to the area, July 25th to July 28th. Staying at Fontana Village, again. Will you be there at that time?
Looks like we'll just miss each other. I'll be in SC with the family and the in-laws the 25th and 26th, and on the road the 27th and 28th, arriving in Deal's Gap the evening/night of the 28th.

Edited my itinerary post for clarification.
 

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CROT is Crossroads of Time/Deal's Gap. 28 runs from there over to Fontana Village (where the SV rally is) and beyond. It's a nice relaxing road that runs along a river.

I can't believe we are going to miss each other by a day. Aw, maybe next time. Or you could head up to Jasper, AR some weekend when we do the Midsouth Rally.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
CROT is Crossroads of Time/Deal's Gap. 28 runs from there over to Fontana Village (where the SV rally is) and beyond. It's a nice relaxing road that runs along a river.
got it...thanks

I can't believe we are going to miss each other by a day. Aw, maybe next time. Or you could head up to Jasper, AR some weekend when we do the Midsouth Rally.
yeah, I know. crazy, huh?

I really should do the Midsouth Rally with you guys. I've ridden up there (some of it, anyway), the roads are fabulous.
 

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Blood Mountain looks nice...that might be a nice little side trip to do the morning of day 2 (it will be early friday morning...maybe the cops won't be too bad).
Blood Mountain and the rest of Northern GA would be a huge detour and more than a side trip based on the route you wanted to take. The dragon area is very very close to really good North GA riding. The dragon and it's surrounding area is great riding, but I'm not sure I would set aside a full two days for the dragon. Maybe one day there and one day in North GA. Then you go back home as you came through Atlanta.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Blood Mountain and the rest of Northern GA would be a huge detour and more than a side trip based on the route you wanted to take. The dragon area is very very close to really good North GA riding. The dragon and it's surrounding area is great riding, but I'm not sure I would set aside a full two days for the dragon. Maybe one day there and one day in North GA. Then you go back home as you came through Atlanta.
Perhaps you're right. It's hard (for me) to be able to take in the big picture and really see things in perspective in online mapping sites...I finally looked at things on some good old paper maps and I think you're right - it does look like a HUGE detour...probably more than I'm going to want to tackle on day 2 after 500 miles on day 1. I'm now considering dropping the Blue Ridge Parkway idea (which would be a MUCH larger detour) in favor of a more direct route from SC to Deal's Gap via northern GA...or perhaps your suggestion of seeing some of northern GA one day instead of two full days at the dragon...maybe ;) It's nice to know that I have the security blanket of hotel reservations, while still having an open-ended trip with lots of options, and I can change my mind (within reason) on the road if I want.

On a side note...I just realized that my route will take me to within a stone's throw of Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. I'd love to be able to work this in if I can. I'm thinking that I can leave my house really early in the morning on Day 1, and will reach Barber Motorsports Museum sometime around lunch time or early afternoon (~370 miles), and spend a couple of hours here before finishing up the leg to atlanta (another ~130 miles).
 

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gahdzila, what days are you going to be down there? We are taking a family vacation to the area, July 25th to July 28th. Staying at Fontana Village, again. Will you be there at that time?
Ha ... I'm also headed out that way after my Ozarks ride w/ NextSV. Should be getting into Fontana on the 21st, leaving on the 24th or 25th (or something like that).
 

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Don't know if you've ever been to Barber Museum or not....but you can easily spend 8 hours in the museum.......It's worth the drive all by itself.....
 

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The Barber Motorsports Park/Museum is just off Exit 142 in Leeds, AL, on the east side of B'ham. The exit is also where the new Bass Pro Shop is located. You can see the Bass Pro Shop from the interstate. After you exit, cross over the road and turn right at the Chevron like you are going to the Bass Pro Shop. Go past the parking lots for the Bass Pro Shop, and then you'll come up on the turn for Barber on your right. Follow the road around, and you'll deadend at the musuem. It's AWESOME. The folks there are really nice, and there's a good view of a lot of the track from the upper levels of the musuem.

If the family starts to hunt you cuz you haven't shown up yet, we'll direct them to the museum. You'll probably still be there! ;-)
 
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