Monday, April 26, 2010
Chattanooga, TN to Cherokee, NC – April 26
More crazy weather today, as yesterday’s wind has brought in a cold front with lots of rain. We rode north from Chattanooga in 55 degree drizzle, a bit of a shock after the last month of 85 to 105!We took the Cherahola Skyway across the Great Smoky Mountains and into North Carolina. The Skyway is supposed to be impressive for it’s combination of dramatic curves and even more dramatic views. The curves were good, the view not so much, as low wet clouds had socked in the pass. Visibility in the higher elevations was reduced to a matter of feet at times, and we were turning blue until the elevation dropped again.From Robbinsville we headed for Deal’s Gap to run the “Tail of the Dragon”. The Dragon is a famous stretch of Hwy 129 that contains 318 curves in 11 miles. There’s a restaurant hotel right at the start of the dragon where we stopped for lunch just as the skies opened up. By 2pm the rain had let up, but in the mean time we had learned that although the road was open, it was not a through road. Apparently there was a rock slide further north during the winter and the road is still blocked, but they’ve kept the twisties open for enthusiasts.After being “forced” to run the dragon twice, we rode some backroads to Hwy 74 to continue north. The weather was still against us as heavy rains started again. Once we were sufficiently soggy and cold we stopped for the night in Cherokee, just outside of Asheville (where the Obama’s spent the weekend). We’re back on the main roads tomorrow, riding north into Virginia.