Beating the Heat-September 14, 2019

in 2019 Articles

With about five record highs in the previous week, we weren’t sure what to expect on our trek to the Cherohala Skyway.  Saturday morning 5 riders (BobK, Dave, Larry, Mel, and Mike) met in Ball Ground for an early start north. 

For the uninitiated, the Cherohala Skyway is a federal road project to create a ridge-top road connecting Tellico Plains (in SE TN) and Robbinsville (SW NC) and crosses up and over the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests – hence the name.  While similar to Blue Ridge Parkway in beauty, its layout is less “tight and twisty” and more “fast sweepers” with wide open views and large, frequent scenic turnouts.  In other words… Who knew our federal government would create such a glorious motorcycle route?!  And since it starts and ends in such remote areas, it’s always lightly traveled.

Morning temps were almost cool as we made our way toward Blue Ridge the fast way (4 lane). After a quick bite, we headed N to Tellico Plains on TN 68 – a wonderful motorcycle road in its own right.  Another pit stop in the excellent visitor center and we headed East, enjoying the graceful curves and views.  And much cooler temps as we rose over 5000’.  Yes, sweatshirts came out!  As we neared Lake Santeetlah, Mike headed to Robbinsville and a fast return home for his date night, but the rest reversed course and rode it again for twice the fun.  Why not, we’re already here.

Lunch was at the excellent Tellico Grains Bakery and Deli in downtown - you can’t go wrong with anything here.  Our return home was the same beautiful route, just warmer.  Between Ellijay and Jasper we caught a popup shower, but then pushed through it and were able to ride dry skies home to Woodstock.  Mileage was about 325 for the day and home by 5.  Or, as Trump would say… a big, beautiful ride.  With fall colors just around the corner, keep this route in mind for your loved ones - they let autos use it as well!