Rust – a strange theme, but… Despite the long string of rainy weather, we lucked into the only “below 50%” day in what seemed like weeks for our August ride. Eight riders met Saturday morning for a run to the Foxfire Museum and Appalachian Heritage Center in far NE Ga (Larry, Dave, Garrett, Richard, Dennis, Bob K, Mike, and Dan). It was great to ride with a few who hadn’t joined us in some time.
( l to r) Garrett, Mike, Bob K, Dennis, Dave, Richard, Larry
We plowed thru 90% tropical humidity as we worked our way toward Cleveland where we met our 9th rider, Mel. Thankfully we didn’t stop long or the oppressive humidity would have rusted us in place. We continued on back roads thru Clarkesville, Tallulah Falls, then up 441 through Clayton. After a handful of missed turns (I’m rusty with my GPS!), we had to shake the rust off our off-camber stops and turns on tight mountain roads as we worked our way to the heritage center in Mountain City.
t was interesting envisioning Appalachian life as we toured the old log cabins and viewed the rusty farm relics so vital to them. As I was learning about “hog scalding”, I was amazed to hear stories from two of our riders who grew up helping their families with that activity around the holidays. Although we thoroughly enjoyed the chapel UP the hill, the humidity was taking its toll – time to roll.
We headed back south to Clayton for lunch at The Rusty Bike Café, a new stop for everyone. Food and service were excellent and we’ll certainly be back (maybe in Nov when we visit Tallulah Gorge for the water release?) My plan was to head SW by 1 PM to avoid the certain afternoon storms, but… As we left a little late, we could see the clouds building and begin to smell rain.
Rather than taking the busier 76 hwy toward the N end of Lake Burton, we tried a new route thru Tiger which took us on some gorgeous, lightly-traveled, curvy country roads skirting Lake Rabun and Lake Burton. Very pleasant and I’m sure we’ll add those to our redo list as well. One minute we were headed toward a dark storm, then we’d curve toward beautiful skies, only to curve toward rain again – both beautiful and nerve-wracking at the same time! After Lake Burton, Mel peeled off toward his home in Athens (and taking a dousing in the process). The rest of us managed to skirt all the storms as we worked our way to a well-earned ice cream break in Dahlonega. By this point we’d passed the most active storms and enjoyed a clear (and warm!) trip home via the back roads.
Here are a few clips from Dave's video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lZm_vfA3H4
Mileage was 220. Join us next time.