Smoky Mountains 2017 - Entry 1


This post is the first in a series.  We hope you'll come along for the ride.

A couple of months ago, I stopped in at Cycle Works while in Goshen.  During the course of conversation, Matt mentioned that he wanted to take Allen to the  Smoky Mountains area to ride the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway, visit Cades Cove, etc.  He proceeded to describe two previous trips from years back, places that he had visited and the great memories that he wanted to recreate with Al.  

Map of the Smoky Mountains Area with Highlights

Since my one and only trip to that area was when I was in elementary school, I didn’t have much in the way of detailed memories.  There is, of course, YouTube and Facebook where I’ve seen many pictures and videos of these places.  Since I had recently added a newer and bigger bike to my collection with the goal of being able to do some traveling, this seemed like a perfect opportunity.  

Riding the new-to-me GS home from Fishers, IN.  (IN-13 north of Elwood, IN)

I expressed an interest in tagging along almost immediately.  It didn’t take more than a day or to to add my son Justin to the wish list.  Justin and Al are close in age and the four of us spent quite a bit of time together when Justin and Al were in their teens.  Life and school took Justin away from home very shortly after high school graduation and he hasn't lived nearby since.  This trip seemed like it might be a chance for a bit of a reunion.  

While I liked the idea, it came with some complications.  Justin moved to Atlanta this past June.  While he is only about 3.5 hours from the area, his bike was in Elkhart and it need of some work.  It hadn't been ridden since Justin left San Diego to attend Purdue University four years ago.  Classes and Internships took priority and his ZRX 1200 accumulated some dust and a bit of a to-do list.

Fortunately, the ZRX ran, stopped and had current plates and insurance.  I picked it up one evening and carefully rode it from Elkhart to Goshen where I dropped it off at Cycle Works.  We worked out punch list of items that needed to be addressed to get the bike ready to go and let Cycle Works' Technician Todd Delp do his magic.  

With those gears turning, I began looking at maps and roads and also watching YouTube videos where folks had recorded their travels while working on possible routes.  Can you say "Road Trip!"?

Until next time,