Alright, I’m feeling better and ready to do some writing! I actually started feeling 99.9% better on Friday but yesterday we were out on the water kayaking (that will be in another post ) For now though, here is the trip in review!
The trip was amazing! Our original plan was Gatlinburg, TN for a couple of nights then head over to Chattanooga, TN and finish up whenever we ended up. It went kind of to plan. Although with me and The Doc, we get a base plan, then usual change it all around
We took off Sunday morning and rode up to Macon, GA when we stayed with some of The Docs college friends. It was nice to catch up with them.They were having a dinner party that night with some of their friends so we were fortune enough to get to partake in the celebration. Turns out the dinner party was to make a very special announcement to their friends…THEY WERE EXPECTING!
The next day they had to leave early for work so we had an early start on the motorcycles. So we hopped on I-75 North up to where we eventually got on to the Great Smoky Mountains Highway 441. This highway was truly beautiful. If you ever get the chance, you must take it. The road travels up, through and around the Smoky Mountains.
In a car I’d imagine it is a lot of fun but on a motorcycle, words cannot even describe the experience. The beauty of this road is it has pull offs so you can pull over and take pictures and admire the scenery There was a slight rain, very slight, and lots of fog. Made riding up in the mountains an experience.
There are a ton of pictures so this week I will be getting them up on the ole Flickr account.
Once we got into Gatlingburg we pulled into a parking lot and pulled up Expedia on the phone to find a hotel. Few minutes and 50 bucks later, our room was reserved. The Doc and I have the perfect system for finding rooms on the go (our personal favorite way to do it). Since we usually don’t know where we will end up exactly, booking hotel rooms way in advanced usually doesn’t work for us. So once we get to where we are going, we pull over, find a room online and by the time we find the hotel, the reservation is in the system and we are good to go.
The room we found was inexpensive, on the river and close to all the Gatlinburg action. We originally only got the room for one night but as we found more and more things we wanted to do, we would add another night each morning
We found some fun in Gatlinburg!!
We packed a lot of things in during our 3 days up in Gatlingburg. Aside from all the things above, we also took a day to ride the local mountain roads.
We checked out beautiful scenery:
The Appalachian Trail:
We found Fontana Dam.
After the dam we hopped on “The Dragon”. This section of road has 318 turns crunched into an 11 mile stretch.
There is a lot of information about The Dragon. It was an experience! This is a small 2 lane mountain road that runs from Tennessee to North Carolina (or vice versa depending on which way you are coming ) The horrible part about this road is on the Tennessee side semi’s are allowed to access it but from the north Carolina side it is illegal. So as a motorcycle rider, you have to be very careful and aware as you come around those narrow mountain roads.
We were fortunate as we did not encounter any semi’s on our trek. Not to mention, they have photo companies that set up their camera and take shots as people go around. A couple days later they post them. Here is our favorite shot courtesy of 129 Slayer:
While in Gatlingburg, we came across a company that does white water kayaking. We made some calls and booked a white water kayaking adventure for Friday down in Bryson City, NC. Check out part 2 of the Spring Break 2012!
7 days, over 1,600 miles on the motorcycles, almost an 11 hour trek home on the bikes today (oh my poor butt), zip lining and a rope course high up in the Tennessee Mountains, white water kayaking down the river and some tourist exploring. Spring Break 2012, AMAZING!!!!!
After the long push on the bike today I am exhausted but I’ll start posted about the trip tomorrow along with some stellar pictures!!!
Until then, enjoy the rest of your Saturday
While we were waiting for the storm to pass, we went to grab some breakfast at a local place. One thing about me, while I am out-of-town, I try to avoid chain restaurants as much as possible. Larry recommended this place called “Hungry House”. Conveniently, it was right up the street from his house.
It was good food at a cheap price. The owner was a funny, older man. He was working the counter near our table and joking around with us here and there. As we were enjoying our breakfast (french toast was my breakfast of choice), we pulled out our smartie phones for things to do in the area.
We came across Ruby Falls, take a cave down to the largest underground waterfall in the US. Sounds right up our alley. For Ruby Falls you could also go see Rock City for a little bit more $$$. Sadly, the coolest thing they had that we wanted to do opens back up in February. There is an inclined train that runs up the mountain. Oh well, just another reason to go back!
We got to Ruby Falls and purchased our tickets for that and Rock City.
Ruby Falls was very cool. If you are ever in the Chattanooga area, I highly recommend checking it out. Back in September, Sam and I did a weekend trip up to the Chatta area for some white water rafting, caving and zip lining. The caving we did then was more intense. The hard-core stuff where you wear head lamps, knee pads; climbing up ropes, dropping through small holes, crawling through little spaces. (eventually I will post about that trip and go into more detail about the caving experience).
Ruby Falls, was not that kind of caving. The beginning of the tour started in the gift shop, we were directed to an elevator that took us about 260 ft down. Once down in the cave, you watch a brief video on the history of the falls. How it was discovered, how it got its name, that type of stuff.
From there we were led by a guide down the cave until we reached the water fall, which is 1120 feet below ground. When the group all gets down there, the guide starts the falls light show. Pretty spectacular show. They have it set up to where you can walk to the back side of the falls and look up it. The force of the wind is crazy. I figured there would be a little puff of wind here and there, not so much.
We made our way out of the cave and headed up to the observation area. From there you could see on forever, at least it felt that way. The rain had stopped at this point, we were pretty happy about that! Granted the picture I am posting below shows our heads are in the clouds. To the left, clouds, to the right and straight on, pretty much clear.
From Ruby Falls it was on to Rock City!
This was a fun little place. The beauty of the rocks, little streams flowing through the rocks, another big waterfall was all so relaxing and scenic. We took a lot of pictures here and had a blast climbing around the rocks and passageways. There is a lot to describe about this place but it is mostly all summed up in the sentence above. I’m posting a few here but all the pictures on the ole Flickr account.