Sunday morning, I left my tent set up figuring I would be staying for a few days, and took the Cherohala Skyway to Robbinsville, NC. It was nice to ride without 100 lbs of luggage on the back, and the road was windy and beautiful.
I made it Robbinsville, wondering where I had missed the turnoff for the rally. I entered the address into the GPS and went back to the Skyway. With the GPS giving me an idea of where to look, I spotted the KR sign and went down to the Treetops.. and no one seemed to be there. I walked around the place and knocked and waited, but it seemed like everyone had already left. I was writing a note to leave behind when "the wind" showed up and told me everyone had already started on the big loop. We started down the Skyway for a bit, then rode Joyce Kilmer to US-129 to see if I could catch the main group. After reaching a small tourist station along the Dragon, we split up, and I rode the Dragon some more before making my way back to Tellico Plains.
I stopped off the Skyway to rest for a bit, and while sitting around, I saw a couple Katanas go by. Figuring they were KR members, I jumped back on the bike and tried to catch up. I eventually found them near the restaurants in Tellico Plains, md86 and another guy on a yellow Kat (sorry, I'm terrible with names!) After some lunch, we rode around for a while and eventually made our way back to one of the houses. After a little work on the bikes, I left for my third ride down the Skyway that day. It was pretty dark when I finally left the Skyway, and for a while all I could see were the little reflectors in the road. I made a mental note to get back to camp a little earlier next time.
Monday morning I got up early so I could get to the Treetops before the groups took off. The ride started out pretty foggy, but it lifted as I got closer to the rally.
I arrived early enough to hang around as people get their bikes prepped for the day. My tire pressure was a little low on the rear, so I got it aired up a bit.
I took off to roam around for a little while, and eventually stopped and had breakfast at a McDonald's, and then went next door to the convenience store to pick up a razor since I had forgot to pack one. When I walked out, I found a large group from the rally in the parking lot about to go in to McDonald's. I hung out while they ate breakfast and tagged along when they took off. The roads were fast and exhilarating -- there's so much more in the region than just the Dragon, you just need the right people to show you where they are.
After a good day of fast riding, we went back to the houses. I couldn't stay long since I needed to start my ride back to Tellico Plains. I decided that since I couldn't really stay at the rally because of this, and because I had a lot of miles ahead of me, I'd start on the rest of my trip the next morning. I headed back down the Skyway in the setting sun.
The next morning I packed up and rode the Skyway on my way east. While I was pulled off to the side taking a picture, a couple KR guys passed by, woobie and another guy. I later saw them at the entrance to the houses, so I pulled off and said goodbye.
Copyright (c) 2009 Paul Miner <$firstname.lastname@example.org>