2013 Georgia motorcycle trip
Day 8

May 25

Last night we discussed the route home. John mentioned he really enjoyed the ride up/down Signal Mountain so I included it in the ride back. Another place we had on our 'to do' list that we didn't do was visit the Falcon Rest Mansion. It was loosely on the way back so I added it to the route. The GPS surprisingly calculated a route that was 2-lane all the way to Kentucky. Sounded like a plan.

We also decided to leave around 9:30. We had a long Memorial Day weekend to go home to so there was no reason to get up early and rush home.

This morning I was awakened by Donna. She said everyone else was packed up and ready to go so I needed to get up and get ready. What time was it? 7:30. What happened to leaving at 9:30? I kind of chuckled to myself. We always seem to leave earlier than what we plan to. I had to chuckle again when I saw Donna had laid out my clothes so she could pack the rest. She had everything packed except what I needed. Such a busy bee. Bless her heart.

The packed bike set against a beautiful Georgia morning.

When I got ready everyone else had been ready to go for awhile and were milling around.

The bike warming up. 8:15. 55 degrees. Full tank of gas. Breakfast Coke on board.

A minute later we were leaving Viewtopia and heading down the mountain. As we were passing through Chickamauga John radioed me to pull over ASAP. One of Mike's trailer chains had come unhooked and was dragging. We took some of the slop out of the chains with a zip tie. John uses quick-links to secure his chains to the trailer hitch and he suggested Mike get a set.

This is the river area we walked on Day 3.

The Saturday morning traffic wasn't bad as we wound our way back through Chattanooga and up Signal Mountain. I'm glad I wore my jacket as the temperature dropped into the low 50's on the mountain. Soon we were down the other side and on TN-111. About 5 miles later we turned onto TN-8 and headed towards McMinnville.

As we wound through the back streets of McMinnville I thought my GPS had had a stroke, but it led us directly to Falcon Rest.

The owner of the mansion was in the store and came out to greet us. We checked out the store until the tour was ready. No pins.

The tour started on the front porch where we learned the history of the mansion and the community.

I love touring old homes like this. The architecture. The history. The simple grandeur. Picture taking wasn't allowed inside but I did get some of the exterior. Apparently this place is the site for lots of weddings and photo backdrops.

Donna Belle or Donna Vixen?

After the tour we went back to the store. Some purchases were made. We spent about two hours at Falcon Rest before heading back out on the road. Just a few minutes later and we were headed north on TN-56.

Green Hill, TN. 12:26, mileage 66,195 - A fuel stop. I thought this place had the potential for a shaded picnic area but it was not the case.

The farther north we went the hungrier I kept getting, and if I was getting hungry the others were, too. I saw some trees on the edge of a parking lot in Smithville so that became our picnic location.

Yummy, yummy.

After our nice picnic lunch we took US70 west from Smithville until we reached I-40. After we had gotten up to interstate speed John radioed me and said Mike's trailer was unstable. I wasn't sure if the trailer was swaying or if his wheel was wobbling like it did last year. We slowed down some and John said the trailer was doing fine.

Once we were back up to interstate speed John radioed and said to pull over because the trailer was swaying really bad. As I pulled over I noticed an exit ramp ~1/8 mile ahead and a Home Depot where we could have room to check it out.

When we started looking at the trailer the problem was obvious. The trailer ball was so loose it was flopping around on the hitch. Strike 2 for Southern Powersport's hitch installation. We didn't have a wrench large enough for the ball nut so we went inside. Mike got a wrench, some LocTite, and a couple quik-links for the chain.

When we got the bolt out of the ball the installer had put grease on the bolt?? John cleaned it off and slathered it with LocTite and reassembled everything. Soon Mike's hitch setup was the way it should have been in the first place.

Portland, KY. 15:48, mileage 66,286 - Fuel and stretch break at a Flying J just over the Kentucky line. Mike's trailer has been pulling good. While we were hanging out a couple on a tricked out Harley came over to look at John's trike. The girl said she needed something she could drive when her husband had had too much to drink. What?? We also had a visit from an English truck driver from Washington state who showed us some pictures of his custom chopper.

The route all the way to Sellersburg would have been a very long one so we took a break in Munfordsville. There is some history for us here as this is where we stopped on our way home from Nashville last fall.

You can see that weathergirl Donna is already checking the radar. Her prediction? We'll probably see some rain before Sellersburg. Donna & I donned our rain gear. The others did with some skepticism. A guy rode by on a pretty orange 2012 Ultra Classic.

Back home in Indiana. We got sprinkled on a few times so I am calling Donna's prediction successful. As we were riding through Louisville a limo with some girls in it yelled at us (in a good way).

Sellersburg, IN. 19:13, mileage 66,435 - Our last stop for gas and we are headed the wrong way. Sigh.... Donna is predicting more rain so the raingear stayed on.

John got stuck at a stoplight when we left. He radioed and said he would catch up. He was probably a mile away and he was loud and clear. I think the radio problems are solved. Now we need to get the radio gear swapped over to Mike's bike so he can talk, too.

It sprinkled off and on up I-65. When we turned onto IN-250 it started raining. Great...rain and crappy chip 'n' sealed roads. Thanks INDOT. The temperature has also dropped about 10 degrees. It was nice to get to Brownstown and normal pavement.

It was dark and raining slightly when we got to John & Debby's to officially end the trip. Mike & Jerri kept going until they got home.

Kyle got a new puppy while we were gone and Donna spent some time loving on it.

We offloaded some items from the trailer then Donna & I were off to redeem some Burger King coupons we'd gotten in Georgia. We unpacked at home, ate our hamburgers and watched TV. I still have a couple days off to unwind and get things done...Donna a few more than me.

406 miles.

Click here for thoughts from the trip.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8

E-mail me