June 2020 Tellico Overnighter

in 2020 Articles

After months of “COVID cooped up”, the guys were eager to get out of town for an overnighter, so… Seven riders (Larry, Dave, BobK, Dennis, Mel, Dan and Chuck) and one driver (Richard’s still recovering from a minor surgery) left Ball Ground for the beautiful Cherohala area near Tellico Plains, TN.  We took the fast lane to Blue Ridge, then 5 to McCaysville, before enjoying the scenic Ocoee River Rd to Chilhowee Mtn to enjoy a beautiful overlook above Ocoee Lake.  

After riding 3 sides of Chillhowee Mtn, we headed N on a lightly traveled backroad to our home for the night – Cherohala Mountain Trails Campground (CMTC) a few miles W of Tellico Plains.  We quickly set up camp (yay, lighter bikes!), then headed to TP for lunch before our Skyway trip.  Katz Deli right on the Tellico River served some fine sandwiches (come hungry or consider splitting them!). 

Across the beautiful Skyway we headed.  Truly a top 5 in the US motorcycle road.  Almost needed extra layers at the mile-high crest. 

On the way back to TP, we decided to visit Bald River Falls since we knew the area had received lots of recent rain.  To shake things up (literally), Larry, Dave, and Dan peeled off midway and took gravel Forest Service roads to the falls while the others took the longer, paved route – and both arrived at the exact same time! 

The falls didn’t disappoint as they were gushing.

After returning to camp, all took a well-earned break in the cool shade.  Dinner was mostly Philly cheesesteaks (owners are transplanted-Philadelphians) and burgers.  After a long day of riding, we’d have eaten anything!  The unseasonably cool, dry air (this can’t be June in the Smokies?!) made the campfire all the better.  While CMTC is a little less refined than TWO in Suches, all really liked the place and would gladly camp there again.

We quickly packed up to make the most our last riding day.  CMTC’s “grab and go” biscuits were just right!  Chuck and Richard had to head home for separate plans, but the rest headed to the infamous Tail of the Dragon along the SW edge of Smokey Mtn Natl Park - truly the curviest road in the land.  And with light morning traffic, the Dragon didn’t disappoint! A full video of the Dragon ride will follow, but for now here is a teaser trailer...

 

From the Tail of the Dragon we headed to a favorite spot in Robbinsville, NC for lunch, then home via NC 74 (Topton, Andrews, Murphy).  Mel split off for Athens and the rest continued on 60 to Blue Ridge where they took a light sprinkling.  But from there, it was a quick trip home down 515.

An awesome camp-n-ride it was.  470 miles for the 2 days and tons of fun.  Join us next time!

This could be you!