Deals Gap visit - no pics
A friend at work bought a slightly used BMW K1300 (traded in a Triumph Triple) and to celebrate the occasion said he was taking Friday off to ride up to Deals Gap. I checked the weather (perfect) and decided to join him since I have been in the that area several times, but not there. We left pre-dawn for a one day loop out of Greenville. My friend is even geekier than me, and proved so plotting out a route in google maps and putting on his gps. The route he came up with approached Deals Gap from the south and left to the east - looked good to me. After 2 hours we stopped in Clayton, GA for breakfast. The temperature was around 50 but rising fast on a beautiful cloudless day. At breakfast I noticed his route had us taking 28 north out of Franklin, and then looping south again to get to Robbinsville. I proposed an alternate I know well, taking 64 west out of Franklin to Wayah Rd - which is a more direct shot to Robbinsville. Wayah is a favorite ride for me, it's got the nice country sweepers, a ride through the national forest, switchbacks and a climb over a peak, and a nice mountain lake on the other side. My friend loved it!
Going to Deals Gap on a Friday in October was pretty nice. We mainly were un-impeded on all the nice roads getting there. Judging from the parking lot at Deals Gap, which had about 30 motorcycles or so, it was not very crowded as they had room for way more. Riding 'the dragon' was still a fairly busy affair....on the way out we caught up to a van/car combo, and had 2 speedsters come from behind that would not wait to pass. They sqeeked through and the van/car pulled over to let us go. I was amused at the number of photo stations set up - I think there were 5 or 6. We stopped at the overlook for a bit and took in the area - really beautiful area. We then headed back for the return trip and had an unimpeded run which was nice. As advertised this road (at least that section of the road) is quite twisty. I can see why it is set up as a commercial enterprise. You can look on google maps and find others similar, but without the congestion.
We took 28 to the east out of Deals Gap.....that was a very enjoyable run along the lake.....it really is quite beautiful up there (did I say that enough?). After finally making it to Bryson City for gas and lunch, we took the high speed route of 74/I-40/I-26/25 back to Greenville for a 10 hour loop for the day. I have to admit of feeling some wonder about my friends K1300....how the seat and grip heaters felt during the cool morning....or how the cruise control was during the high speed slog on the hiway.....but in the end I love my Wee - it does everything great and really fun through all those mountain roads! After we got back, my friend texted me to say Wayah Rd was the best part of the trip.