Author Topic: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back  (Read 2902 times)

Offline J.R.

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Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« on: August 27, 2011, 02:50:09 pm »
Before my wife and I had our first child, I went on a cross country trip  which took me to San Diego, Ca and back to Virginia.  With our second  child on the way I planned another, albeit shorter trip.  Learning  lessons from my first long trip, I decided to bring some company along.   

My friends Mike and Dan agreed to come along for the trip, with  the only destination I wanted was Deals Gap so I could ride on the Tail  of the Dragon.

Day One 8/19/11:
I packed up the night before,  and was on the road about 3am.  I met up with Mike and Dan along the  way, and we headed south.  The first part of the trip was pretty much  all slab until we got down to Grenta, Va where we found a little diner  on the side of the road and had some breakfast.  A local recommended the  country ham, which was pretty good. 




We got back on the road,  and headed southwest into North Carolina.  Got rained on a little bit as  we stopped for gas, but nothing that kept us from riding.  We made a  left turn when we should have turned right, and ended up about 100 miles  from where we wanted to be.  We made up some time by jumping on I-40  west, which actually turned out to be a great section of interstate.   Two lanes, through the mountains, and no trucks allowed in the left  lane.  We had looked up a side road before getting on 40, and turned off  at our exit. 



The road turned into gravel, but we decided to  continue on.  The gravel lasted about  3 miles, and then turned into a  great section of road in the middle of no where.  No debris on the road,  only one other car, and great turns.  I actually ended up having to  back off since my front brakes faded on my 800 pound bike.

We  ended up in Gatlinburg, TN for the night.  Ate at Dicks Last Resort,  which was some good times.  I've never been there before, and it was an  experience.  Part of the "charm" is the servers are complete dicks to  you.  Our server made fun of us, and even ate some of our food.  We got  the best parking in town, right around the corner from our table.   Camping and some rain rounded out the night.


Jim
2016 C14 "Kristi"

Offline J.R.

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 02:50:53 pm »
Day Two 8/20/11:
Woke up early the next day, packed up and hit the  road.  We headed back into Gatlinburg for some breakfast, and ended up  at Dunkin' Doughnuts.  We used the same parking as the night before.  We  headed south out of town and onto some nice back roads.  Everything was  still wet from the night before, so we took it easy until things dried  out. 




We tried to just stay on back roads to get us to our  destination, and ended up on a one way road through a park, which also  had a self guided vehicle tour.  The views were great, but  traffic was  moving only 3-5 mph most of the time.  The bikes started to over heat,  so we ended up working our way past the cars and got out to the exit  about 1.5 hours later, traveling about 6 miles.  Won't be going down  that road again...



We backtracked a bit, and finally found our  way out to the Dragon.  Headed through a "sobriety" check point, before  heading up to the outlook.  We pullover for some photo ops, then waited  for a break in traffic.  Mike and Dan headed out first, and I brought up  the rear, knowing I would hold the other two up.  The riding on this  road was great.  I wish the road was longer, but what can you do?  We  got to the bottom, and stopped at the store.  We were all wearing grins  when we took off our helmets.  We hung out at the store for a bit and  watched some of the other bikes coming in and out.  I picked up a couple  of souvenirs for my display case, and we headed back on our way. 







Mike  wanted to take us into Helen, Ga, so we headed that direction.  He  showed us a lot of the roads he learned to ride on, all equal or better  to the dragon.  Once we got into Helen, we stopped at a small restaurant  just outside the center of town.  We realized at this point we hadn't  eaten anything since breakfast, so we ordered some appetizers to share.   Traffic headed into Helen was terrible, and claimed a Harley clutch.   We could hear the bike revving in traffic, but it wasn't going  anywhere.  The woman riding seemed to not know what to do, so Dan and I  ran out and pushed her trike out of traffic. 




We finished up our  late lunch, and headed south towards Atlanta.  We ate dinner at  Papadeux, a seafood place.  I tried frog legs for the first time, which  was kinda cool.  Sweeter than chicken, but more tender.  I had some  crabcakes for dinner, with a skewer of shrimp and scallops on the side.   Once we finished there, we headed out to another bar which had some  beer that Mike wanted us to try. 




The beer was a blueberry wheat  beer, which was pretty good.  It was very sweet, but wasn't heavy.  We  hung out at the bar for awhile, just people watching.  Once we finished  there, we decided to get a hotel for the night.  We ended up at a  Marriott in Alpharetta, checking in about midnight.  It was a great day  of riding, and a slight disappointment since we knew the next days  riding was not going to be as good.
Jim
2016 C14 "Kristi"

Offline J.R.

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2011, 02:51:49 pm »
Day Three 8/21/11:
On the first day of the trip, we had decided we  were going to head to the beach.  Aside from some cool scenery, the ride  pretty much was straight and flat.  Dan had some bad luck after  breakfast, and ended up filling his helmet with gas while filling up the  bike.  He struggled with it for a couple of hours, before taking it off  to let it air out a bit when we got into South Carolina. 




We  stopped for some snacks and coffee outside of Columbia, SC.  The guy who  came in before us actually ended up buying us our doughnuts and coffee,  which was awesome.  We sat and talked to a couple who had ridden up on a  Harley, who were impressed by our ride so far.  They were able to give  us some advice on where to eat when we got to the coast, so we found it  on a map, and headed there.




We stopped in Calabash, NC and found  an all you can eat crab leg place.  While we were sitting at dinner, a  storm rolled in, which caused us to just stay and eat more food.  We  provided some entertainment for our server, who was unhappy from working  two shifts in a row. 




Once dinner was over, we headed to  Carolina Beach for some camping on the beach.  It was a good idea, but  once we got there we realized there was no way we were going to make it  to the campground through the sand.  We ended up at a hotel again for  the night after striking out again at another campground.  At least this  hotel gave us breakfast in the morning.

Jim
2016 C14 "Kristi"

Offline J.R.

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2011, 02:52:24 pm »
Day Four 8/22/11:
Our last day was pretty much the same as the day  before.  Long, straight sections of road with almost nothing to see.  We  wanted to see the beach before heading out, so we headed out to the  coast.  On the way, Dans bike started acting up, and we ended up at a  shop to get some spark plugs.  Dan replaced them and we were able to  head on our way. 





We headed up 17 into Virginia and through  Portsmouth, Va and then towards Richmond.  We attempted to find a unique  place to eat, but never did find anything.  We actually ended up eating  at a McDonalds which was disappointing.  Another customer kept talking  to us about motorcycles, and when he used to ride and race.  Once we  were able to end that conversation, we super slabbed it up to about  Fredricksburg, then jumped on some back roads into Broadlands to meet  everyone for our normal coffee night. 

 


This trip had lots of  good riding, food and company.  We all had a great time, and I'm sure we  will be able to plan something else in the future.  After riding on  that gravel road, I've decided I want to get a dual sport so I can do  more off road riding.  Hopefully I'll be able to add a bike to the  garage in a couple of years and make that possible. 

Only a  handful of pictures have been loaded, and the rest can be found here:  Deals Gap Aug 2011 pictures by JRider82 - Photobucket

« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 09:22:53 am by J.R. »
Jim
2016 C14 "Kristi"

Offline st2sam

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 05:20:55 pm »
Great job on the ride report JR, thanks for sharing... :thumbs:
I wanted to view all the pictures but the link didn't work....
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Offline ZG

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 07:34:13 pm »
Very cool Jim!  8)
 
Looks like good times for sure!

Offline J.R.

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 09:23:34 am »
Sam, I fixed the link for you :)
Jim
2016 C14 "Kristi"

Offline okxd45

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2011, 10:25:50 am »
Very nice! Thanks for sharing. :D
Jeff
"Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under 't." Macbeth Quote (Act I, Scene V).
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Offline curly

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2011, 02:09:59 pm »
thanks for sharing. i need a road trip real bad but circumstances keep gettin in the way.
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Offline J.R.

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Re: Virginia to Deals Gap to the Atlantic and back
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2011, 03:04:59 pm »
thanks for sharing. i need a road trip real bad but circumstances keep gettin in the way.

I hear that.  I have no idea when my next trip will be now that we'll have two kids...
Jim
2016 C14 "Kristi"