2012 Articles

At Least It Wasn't Snow- December 8, 2012

in 2012 Articles

The forecaster said "slight chance of precipitation, less than 20%", and with the rays of sunshine peeking through just before we started out at 10 a.m., we believed him. Wrong! By the time we got just past Ball Ground we saw the pavement was wet. When we crossed Soap Creek the windshield gathered drops and on Salacoa Road it was full fledged drizzle.

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The Long Loop +

in 2012 Articles

Larry, Frank, Mike, Mark and Bob S. met in Ball Ground in the predawn light to start the ride north. The plans called for the group to ride together until they stopped in the tiny settlement of Dial to have coffee and breakfast at Van Zantz's store. This place has opened and closed a number of times in the past  but the lady behind the counter told the guys she just signed a twelve month lease so they should be there for a while. There are few alternatives available locally so they were glad to hear it will be there for a welcomed stopping point.

At Dial the group split with Mike, Mark and Frank heading up Aska Road to Blue Ridge, then down Ga 60 to Suches while Larry and Bob headed into the National Forest to take the dirt and gravel Forest Service roads to Suches to meet the others. Surprisingly everything went smoothly and the group reformed at the "biker stop" at Ga 180 and Ga 60. From there they headed over in the direction of Wolf Pen Gap, stopping at the 180 Diner for lunch. If you stop there sometime, order the hamburger but skip the fries, as it will be too much to eat. Their hamburgers stand about six inches tall and really fill you up. Good too.

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Triple Play-- August 11, 2012

in 2012 Articles

It was a good turn-out for the ride over to Traveler's Rest, Bull Sluice and Tallulah Gorge, ten bikes and eleven riders. Regulars Dan, Frank, Steve, Bob K., Scott, the two Bob S's, Mark and Abbey were joined by Mike on his Goldwing and Robert L. on a gleaming new Harley.

The weatherman had promised a sunny but cool day. Cloudy and cool, then sunny and hot, was what they got, but no rain, if you don't count the "mist" that dotted wind screens with droplets. After a stop in Oakwood for morning coffee the group headed up north on 365 to Toccoa and the Traveler's Rest, to see what greeted the stagecoach riders on the Unicoi Turnpike. The Inn was built in 1815, expanded in 1833 and survives today with only a little restoration required. Truly a tribute to the craftsmanship that went into the building's construction and the furniture that survived all the years.

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Up To The High Lands

in 2012 Articles

They planned an early start to get up in the mountains and back before the predicted late afternoon thunderstorms would arrive. It almost didn't happen as two riders didn't arrive at the appointed hour but were discovered to be checking out a different Chevron as a meeting place. Cellphones came to the rescue and no more than a half hour later the seven bikes with eight riders (Bob and Sally, Dennis, Dan, Frank, Larry and the two Bob S's) took off north to the high country.

Earlier showers and a persistent mist left the roads wet and ominous looking clouds had all a little on edge. Not to worry, only a few drops fell as they made their way up through Dawsonville, Dahlonega and Blood Mountain. At the stop at Neels Gap most of the riders donned rain gear, less for the threat of rain than to ward off the chill. By the time they made their way into Clayton the sun was blasting between the remaining clouds and sucking mist up through the surrounding mountains. A nice sight 

After refueling in Clayton they went out on War Women Road through the Wildlife Management Area. Just before Pine Mountain they picked up SR 28 for the run up to Highlands, North Carolina. The town was packed with tourists so they didn't stop but took a back road bypass on Buck Creek Road to the bottom of the Cullasaja River Gorge. Buck Creek Road presented a number of technical stretches with more than one  turn causing metal parts to reach the ground. One turn in particular, a blind right of deceasing radius brought a pucker to more than one rider.

The ride up the gorge was spectacular. The sun bounced off the cliffs and highlighted the whitewater in the Cullasaja. Bust-Your-Butt and Cullasaja Falls were at full tilt and Bridal Veil Falls gave them an unusual opportunity to ride under a flowing tributary. After the run up the gorge, now after Noon the group headed back into Georgia for lunch at Cupboard Cafe in Dillard.

After lunch it was over to the Bootlegger's Highway, down through Moccasin Creek State Park,  past beautiful Lake Burton and on to Cleveland, Dahlonega and home by 5 p.m. Total mileage, correct Chevron to correct Chevron, 295 miles.

All agreed, a great ride and fellowship; cool enough and dry.

Photos to follow after editing