2014 Blairsville Motorcycle trip

Day 9

May 23

Last night we decided we would meet around 9'ish and get ready to leave. So why was Donna rustling me awake at 7:30? Everyone else is up and ready to go. I had to chuckle because we always seem to do that on the last day. We're usually long gone by the time we planned to leave.

Odds and ends were packed up and some final time was spent on the deck we'd come to love the past week.

John hauling trailers down the hill. The girls walked down the hill to the trailer assembly area. I was the last one to leave. Bye cabin!

Booger Holler, GA. 9:40, mileage 71,716 - Gas and T-shirts. With the bikes full and souvenoirs bought we started the two day journey back home. We'll be stopping in Bowling Green, KY, this evening.

We took US76 to Blue Ridge then headed north on GA-5. This leads to McCaysville where the train ride ends. I thought we might see a train on the way but we didn't.

Passing McCaysville I was surprised to see the railroad connected to a commerical operation. Most tourist railroads dead end. Several miles later we interchanged with US64.

Eventually US64 follows the Ocoee River and becomes scenic. John requested a stop so Debby could deploy her camera. Donna also had to use the restroom.

While we were here three other motorcyclists pulled in and conferred with each other. I thought about seeing where they were from but they left without any acknowledgement.

Since we were here in 2011 I've been fascinated with this plume system. It transports water from a dam for several miles to a generating station. There is a large pullover at the Parksville Lake dam I thought about stopping at, but by the time I saw it we passed it. Oh well.

After the dam the road straightens out. We were passed by two motorcycles then a third. The third guy had poorly timed his pass and had to squeeze by me to avoid an oncoming car. I didn't care much for his poor judgement. A little further up the road the three bikes that just passed us were pulled over with the three bikes that had stopped at the pulloff.

Donna has been wanting to find a truck stop to try to find some ornery T-shirts for her dad. I thought we might see one as we approached I-75. Nope.

Cleveland, TN. 12:06, mileage 71,800 - Fuel stop on TN-60. We got outside the city before we stopped. We're not that far from Chattanooga and Viewtopia. Can we take another week off?

We have leftovers and lunch meat and the plan is to find some place to stop and have lunch.

When we got to Dayton we found they have a 'visitor's park'. That'll work.

Lunch is served.

The park was a nice place for a picnic. Tables to sit at. Restroom facilities. I heard a train go through town. It was overcast and the temperature was pleasant. We watched the kids play on the monkey bars. About the only negative thing was my Coke fizzed on me.

After lunch we continued on our journey. We're on GA-30 now. The common theme for roads around here is curvy going up and down the mountains and nice relaxing roads in between.

Passing thru Pikeville, TN.

It was a nice ride but as we got to Spencer the GPS caused a few issues. As we neared the bridge over TN-111 it wanted me to turn right onto a road that by appearances hadn't been there for years. We had to take some side streets to get on on TN-111.

When we reached Sparta the GPS directed us off the highway. I zoomed in to get more street detail and I saw the GPS was performing a common routing issue. I had used Sparta as a waypoint when I created the route and by default the GPS had used the Sparta post office as the exact waypoint. It was taking us to the post office then directing us back to the highway we just exited. I kept going straight to avoid the post office turn. By the time I zoomed the GPS in farther to see all the roads we were on a dead end road. The GPS sucks as a map. We did a U-turn and got back to the main road.

Sparta, TN. 14:53, mileage 71,882 - When we got back to the main road we came out by a gas station so we stopped there. By now the clouds were thinning out and it was time for some sunscreen.

Leaving Sparta we had another GPS issue. The above picture on the right is what the highway interchange actually looks like on Google maps. On the left is what the GPS maps thought was there. As we were going up the service road I was watching the road and talking to Donna. I looked down to see the GPS telling me to turn left and go across the lower overpass. We turned around and did the overpass. Then it wanted me to turn right onto the next road. In the real world this road is dead ended now but according to the GPS maps it goes to TN-135 that we wanted to be on.

The maps in the GPS are the latest available but they are still behind the times. It wasn't the end of the world as we went west a short ways then north on another road to get back onto TN-135, but it is these kind of issues that make me distrustful of blindly following the GPS. The new interchange has been completed long enough that it should already be included in Navteq's quarterly updates.

We took TN-135 passed Burgess Falls Park then turned on Ditty Road. As Ditty Road neared I-40 we passed a graveyard of buses. The interesting things you see when you ride the two-lanes.

Gaining altitude in Gainsboro.

From I-40 we took TN-56 to Gainsboro. It was a nice 55-mph road except for the occasional slow poke. Sooner or later they turn off and you get back up to speed. In Gainsboro we turned on TN-262 and immediately started climbing up the mountain.

Coming down the mountain we stopped for a few minutes at bridge construction over the Cumberland River. From here TN-262 meandered along the river and its tributaries. Lots of water. Lots of little bridges. Peaceful roads and little villages. I told John it would be nice to pull over and pull out a Pocket Fisherman. He agreed. Leaving the river valley the roads became curvy until stretching out across farmland. At one place a guy was using a four wheeler to try to corral a loose mule.

Lafayette, TN. 16:44, mileage 71,948 - One hour thirty-two minutes and 66 scenic miles later we arrived at our last fuel stop for the day in Lafayette. Next stop will be our hotel. They had an outdoor restroom with a monster key. Someone had killed a large brown recluse spider on the wall. It's an enjoyable feeling when you are on the last leg of a multiple leg trip.

It felt nice to pull into the Bowling Green Staybridge Suites. We went to our rooms and cleaned up. Later we met at the fire pit in the courtyard and ordered from Dominos. We sat there until it started getting dark.

When we were checking in there were a couple different people complaining to the hotel clerk that their GPSs had taken them to some odd location. They seemed kind of whiney and clueless to me. Don't they understand the hotel has nothing to do with mapping software? My GPS led us right to the hotel. Maybe they needed to update their GPSs?

The air conditioner in the room was quite a ways away from the bedroom and Donna thought it was hot. We used our fan to direct the cold air into the bedroom and soon it was nice and cold. I watched TV for awhile and did my computer downloading. Donna was sawing logs in no time.

Tomorrow we'll visit the Corvette Museum and a distillery before heading home.

286 miles.

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