Wayne at the campground was kind enough to give us some suggestions for the ride Thursday. He didn’t steer us wrong at all! Before we left, he made a call or two to verify that we had fuel where we needed it. What a great service!
We left out of the campground on TN-315 until we hit TN-30 at the Hiwasee River in the booming metropolis of Reliance, TN. We continued south on TN-30 until we hit US-64 at the Ocoee. TN-30 was a great little twisty road in the woods without a lot of traffic.
We took US-64 east to Murphy, NC. I love riding by the Ocoee…but there’s just too much logging traffic here. It wasn’t too bad being a Thursday mid-morning. We hit a few light showers, but not even enough to cover the visors.
Lunch in Murphy at a BBQ joint was nice. While we were stopped, we took off John’s home-made air filter. Evidently that combination of paper towels was chocking him out at speed. You’ll have to ask him for the details on that one!
We hit US-129 south into Georgia. Even though it’s the same road as Deal’s Gap, it isn’t the same road. Lots of big rigs here. We peeled off on GA-325 to circle Nottely Lake. GPS didn’t completely agree about where we were here, so we were pleasantly surprised to end up back on US-129 north of Blairsville. We continued south until just north of Vogel State Park where we picked up GA-180 towards Suches.
This road was the hidden gem of the trip. It winds through switchbacks in the Chattahoochee National Forest. WOW! This may have been the best riding of the week. Great switchbacks, tight turns, and good views. We came upon a couple of eastern Europeans who went a little too fast for a curve…they were picking the leaves out of a bike but were otherwise unscathed.
We picked up GA-60 going northwest through the forest towards McCaysville, Georgia and Coppertown, TN.
At one point we turned in behind a 15-passenger walk-on bus. I think John and I both groaned a little bit to be on such a good road behind such an awful vehicle, but we were wrong. The lady driving that bus actually made us work to keep up with her. It was obvious she knew where she was!
GA-60 becomes TN-68 at the state line. It takes us through Coker Creek back to Tellico Plains.
We got in about 150 miles today. The pace was a little bit quicker and the roads were all new to us. Great riding!
Day 3 – Friday, March 27th
It was cold.
It was raining.
We already rode everywhere we really cared to see…
So we just went to a Mexican place in Athens, TN and toured the Mayfield Dairy.
Chocolate ice cream was a pretty good way to end the trip!