My latest trip…a ride to Tellico Plains, Thunder Mountain, and Deals Gap where the legendary Tail of the Dragon starts or ends…depending on your direction of travel.
Met up with my riding buddy Tim at the Whistle Stop in Byhalia for breakfast and discussion over the route of travel. This country is all new to me so I will be following his lead. The route will be east to Chattanooga down Hwy 72.
Highway 72 through Corinth with a quick stop for fuel and water. Traffic wasn’t too bad but I struggled with breaking my road rules. I only have three of them…no freeways, no chain restaurants, no chain coffee shops. While 72 isn’t considered a freeway…it has 4 lanes of traffic so it’s a freeway in my book.
Who can go wrong eating at a place with this for a name. Lunch in Tuscumbia Alabama. The place was packed and lunch wasn’t fancy but it was filling and good. On to Chattanooga.
A couple of hours out of Chattanooga we stopped at this country store for a break and some cool water. Spent about 15 minutes there visiting with folks, enjoying the break and drinking some coffee. A fresh pot was made for us…very nice.
Our lodging for the night was a KOA campground cabin in Trenton Georgia. A nice place with a view of the mountain. After unloading we headed out for some food at Larry’s buffet (recommended by the locals). A large salad with some chicken tenders and extra cottage cheese hit the spot. Sleep is next on the agenda.
On to Tellico Plains as soon as we have breakfast. Tim had been telling me that the Maple Street Biscuit Company had the best sausage gravy and biscuits he had ever eaten. Well…my standard breakfast when on the road is sausage gravy and biscuits with an egg on top and I consider myself an expert on the dish. I have had some exceptionally well made sausage gravy and biscuits so I was curious. He was right…this plate is currently tied for #1 in the biscuits and gravy category…the reason is the sausage they use has a bit of heat to it and the gravy has mushrooms. Excellent breakfast.
Lindsey was the cashier when we ordered our food and I had told her how I rated gravy and biscuits in my travels. On a break she came by our table to see how their dish stacked up with others I have tasted. Great food and great people. Good luck to Lindsey as she pursues her education in Radiology. Now…on to Tellico Plains before the forecast rain hits.
Tellico Plains just a couple of miles from the cabin we have reserved at Hunts Motorcycle Campground. Look at those mountains….the roads are calling.
Hunts Motorcycle Campground…a great place. The cabin with 2 beds for two nights cost me $115 with a military discount. Below the cabins there are bathrooms with showers, lots of hot water, a covered cooking/dining area and a place to wash dishes. Inside the cabins there are boot driers made from PVC pipe, coolers (she provides the ice), and towels. I recommend this place to other riders…it’s reasonable priced and just outside of Tellico Plains. We made it in just as the rain hit.
The Tellico River and views from the Cherohala Skyway. Great roads and great views. We were up in the clouds early but as they cleared the views became spectacular. Logging was so heavy in the early 1900s that many of the forested hills in the pictures were laid bare resulting in heavy erosion. The government purchased the land to ensure a supply a timber in the future. This, of course, caused issues and is an interesting read for anyone who likes history.
Thunder Mountain General Store and Deli…my type of place. The owners, Ken and Melissa are great people, friendly, love their country and the military. Coffee is free for veterans and the food is good. My lunch was coffee and a fried bologna sandwich. Stop in if you are in the area and get to know them.
I made it to the Dragon…and no, I did not ride it. We visited with some old timers who suggested that we come back in the middle of the week to ride. That day there were already some riders who had gone down and more fast riders were doing their thing. Law enforcement was also there in unmarked vehicles handing out tickets. In the future I plan on spending some time exploring the area and riding the Dragon during the week.
Back on the Cherohala. This sign is at the entrance to the skyway and you can see the warning. It is a high incident corridor and EMS is often more than 45 minutes away. Be careful and stay safe.
Dinner in Tellico Plains. The brisket was not too bad. Tomorrow we head home with a 0700 wheels rolling start.
Due to some vision issues, Tim elected to stay in Chattanooga and have his wife come and pick him up so I headed home. This rest stop was just outside of Slayden MS (I think). I was a bit tired by this time so this came in handy.
The total ride was 975 miles. We made it without getting wet and the temperatures were comfortable. Stay safe and stay tuned…until next time.