Today is a biking day, we’re going through the Smoky Mountain National Park from east to west, down through Deal’s Gap, and back to Cashiers. I had a suggestion of an interesting route north on NC-107, east on NC-281, left on Canada Road, north on NC-215 to Waynesville. It was a good suggestion, Dan, thanks. 281 was nice, but Canada road was really nice. Almost no cage traffic, nice curves, and perfect weather combined for a really nice ride. We had a snack in Waynesville, which looks like a nice town.
We headed west on NC-19 towards Cherokee and 19 was a nice road too. In Cherokee we took US-441 north into the park and stopped at the visitor center. It was starting to look like rain when we headed out, and it was raining when we got to the turnoff to Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the park and also in Tennessee. We decided to continue and in retrospect should have taken the side trip. Oh, well. Another reason to return on the bike isn’t a bad thing. We stopped at several turn-outs, photo opportunities were abundant.
I wish the park exit didn’t dump you into Gatlinburg. What a circus and a mess. It was almost embarrassing to have that scenery so close to the scenery in the park. Over the top isn’t always necessary. When we finally left the last of the circus rings behind us, we ran into Pigeon Forge, which wasn’t really any better. I’m sure the locals know a better way top get to US-321, but we didn’t and sadly it left a bad impression.
US-321 was a pleasant change from the previous few miles, and we enjoyed the trip down to Chilhowee. It was past lunchtime and we were both hungry. Knowing that there wasn’t any place to eat until we were south of Deal’s Gap, we turned north on 129 and went to Tallassee where we had a big burger and fries for lunch. Now we were ready for the Gap. It was fun, and Killboy did take some photos of us, but when it’s all said and done, we liked NC-28 from US-129 to Stecoah better.
We stayed on NC-28 to Franklin and then took NC-64 back to Cashiers. A nice day, some phenomenal scenery, twisties, my new bride riding pillion – pretty tough to beat. And this is only Wednesday…