Picking up where Part I left off!
We left Gatlingburg, TN on Thursday morning and headed over the mountains to Bryson City, NC. Of course there was some nice rain to keep us nice and wet on the way over.
We got to Bryson City, found a restaurant, found a hotel and checked in! Once we were in and settled, we hopped on The Duc and cruised over to the NOC or Nantahala Outdoor Center. We wanted to check it out before Friday, ask what kind of gear we would need to bring and of course…just ride the Duc through the mountains!!
We decided to head back to the room and relax since the next day was going to be full of kayaking!!!
Friday morning we arrived at 8am to meet our private instructor for the day and get geared up!
The first part of the day would be spent at the lake to practice paddle strokes, edging and the roll over/escape!
After spending the morning at the lake, we headed over to the drop point of the Little Tennessee River for some white water kayaking. Since this was our first time white water kayaking, we were doing the part of river that went from Class 1 to Class 1 Plus. When you are just learning, this is perfect.
Back in September I did some white water rafting in some Class IV. That was awesome!! However, we had the guide in the raft helping out. With this, it was just us so starting out in some Class I plus was good!
This was amazing!!! If you ever get the chance or have been wanting to try white water kayaking, DO IT!!! You will love it. The Doc and I loved it so much we are actually planning another trip up there to do the week long white water kayaking deal they have. More details to come on that as we plan it.
Once the day on the water was complete, we headed back to the hotel to pack up the saddle bags and enjoy the storm. The next day we had a 10 and 1/2 hour drive home on the bikes so we needed our rest.
10 and 1/2 hours on the motorcycle and it was all interstate riding. I’m not going to lie, my butt was so sore and tired by the time we got home around 6:30pm. Every hour or so we would pull over and give our butts a break and stretch out.
What a trip though!!! Zip lining, ropes course, aquarium, mountain side putt putt, sky life, The Dragon and some white water kayaking! I would say Spring Break 2012 was a raging success!
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!
Sorry for the delay guys! Aside from great memories from the trip, I also got a killer cold. Sore throat and extremely out of it. My nights have been filled with Nyquil and my morning of lozenges and a Nyquil coma
I want to make sure that I give you the best of the trip so I’m hoping by tomorrow I will be feeling better and able to give you all 100%. For now though, here is a little teaser pic of our white water kayaking adventure!!!
Have a good night all
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