February 2022 - A Chilling Tale

in 2022 Articles

After meeting in Olde Woodstock at the the newly available public parking at the the old Morgan Ace Hardware store, Larry, Dan, and Dave had a little brunch before heading off on a chilly ride into the hills... Eat to Ride, Ride to Eat!

The trio took Main Street to East Cherokee, to Cumming Highway, to Matt Highway, and Yellow Creek through Big Canoe.

First stop was the Wildcat Tract of the Dawson Forest, which shares the north border of Big Canoe from Steve Tate on the East and Monument Rd on the West. Here a short, but very enjoyable piece of forest service trail riding christened Dan's new Triumph Scrambler with "First Dirt". The way in was downhill and having forgotten to set the off road mode at the top of the trail, Dan discovered that the Scrambler can't be set into off road mode while the bike is in motion (all other modes can be engaged at the flick of a switch while moving).

Near the parking lot at the bottom of the trail the river was running high and fast and the ford crossing looked only be passable in a 4 wheeler. It was probably passable on a motorcycle too really, accepting your feet getting wet, but definitely not in the frigid 32 degree weather of this ride!

The way back up was great fun with some opportunities to get up on the pegs and whoosh over the whumps, and push through the loose surface of the trail. The route took a left at the top onto of the Wildcat Tract, heading North on Steve Tate and here Dan quickly learned the reciprocal of his down trail lesson... Yep, you can't take the Scrambler out of off road mode if the bike is in motion. Well you live and learn, don't you!

Heading West on Hwy 136 and up Monument the trip turned to Mount Oglethorpe. With the additional elevation the temperature dropped quickly and the road was soon decorated with a hoarfrost adorned tree line. It was like riding through a Thomas Kinkade Christmas scene.

At the top the bikes were parked by the lookout which presented a "then and now" photo op, contrasting this day to a ride here years ago. It seems the trees weren't the only things that had some white decoration on top today compared to the previous time we were up here!

The return leg of the loop took them through Jasper, Tate, and Nelson to Ball Ground where a brief break was taken for refreshments at Choate BBQ on highway 372, just north of Ball Ground Main Street. Choate had only been open for about 6 months, and talking to the co-owner they are a motorcycle friendly establishment aiming to expand to host events for motorcyclists in the restaurant and the parking lot outside. A return visit is in order!

Larry had heard tell of a butchers shop in the area that has the best brats, and the guy at Choate directed us to a sausage shop in Ball Ground Main Street. Larry went in to investigate and came back out with a selection of different flavor and style brats which he promises a report on at a later date.

Heading back from Ball Ground took them through Holly Springs and back onto East Cherokee where the group split as they took their own routes home. It was cold, but it was a great ride! Enjoy the video...