2009 East 50 motorcycle trip
Day 6

September 9

I woke up this morning in my cozy cabin bedroom. The fan was humming. It was soooo nice to be here on vacation. I love staying in the Smoky Mountain cabins. Motel rooms are okay, but a cabin feels more homey and is peaceful and private.

Click on the above picture for a larger version.

My favorite part of the cabin experience is the awesome view. If this place had high speed internet I could stay here forever.

I laid in bed for awhile just being lazy. I eventually heard Mike moving around upstairs so I started moving around myself. We both piddled on the deck for awhile. He checked the hot tub and it was still very hot so he turned it down some more.

We'd done a lot of miles getting here so today we'll do a more relaxing pace. Mike was interested in going to Smoky Mountain Knifeworks. Then we'll hit several of the motorcycle dealers in the area to see what we can find. For me, that's the Fieldsheer jacket. After that we're gonna look around the shops in Pigeon Forge.

We cleaned our windshields and fired up the bikes. It's such a nice, light-hearted feeling...being here on vacation. The bikes humming. The cool, fresh morning air. Just having fun and getting ready to ride the bikes whereever we want and do whatever we want to do.

Mike's caffeine level was low so that was our first mission for the day. We took Goose Gap Road north to US411. Have I mentioned how nice and curvy the backroads are? From there we headed east and came to a Hardees. When we parked I looked up and saw something delicious advertised on their sign. That's what I would be having!

After a heavenly fried bologna and egg biscuit we headed north on TN66 to Smoky Mountain Knife Works. The store is huge and has a bunch of other things besides knives. Click on their link to see. We spent an hour and seventeen minutes (per GPS) in there just looking. The one thing that really impressed me was a rattlesnake someone had skinned and mounted. It looked to be a shade over six feet.

According to my mapping software there was supposed to be a Yamaha dealer located close by. Peeking out of one of the windows there was an empty building down the road a little that looked like it could have been a motorcycle dealership at one time. Now it was deserted. I asked one of the guys who worked at the knife shop and he said it had been absorbed into a dealership up the road.

Our next stop was 'up the road' at Smoky Mountain Motorsports. They are a Honda/Yamaha/Kawasaki/Suzuki dealer. The roads near the dealership were pretty wet but we avoided any rain. Mike was taking a hard look at a yellow Goldwing they had. I told him the cute sales girl would probably sell it to him. We went upstairs to check out their apparel. They didn't have any jackets like I wanted. Mike looked at some helmet speakers on the clearance table.

We got on I-40 and headed to Knoxville...eventually ending up at Honda & Yamaha of Knoxville. I can usually tell pretty quickly if they have the jacket I'm looking for. They didn't. We checked out the bikes a little, then rode back down the street a block or so to the Harley dealership.

I haven't been to a Harley dealership for a long time. I thought they might have a good selection of jackets. They had a large selection, but they were all Harley-branded. They even had some orange ones that would match my bike. We checked out the bikes for awhile. They had some Heritage Softail Classics...my favorite type. They had some nice Ultra Classics, too.

We went to their break room and used the facilities. While we were there we saw a poster for a bike rally in Cherokee. It was the upcoming weekend. Motorhead was playing. Between the hotrod show in Pigeon Forge and the bike rally in Cherokee things should be busy.

We headed south on US25, picked up I-275, then took US129 to Honda of Alcoa. They didn't have any jackets like I wanted, but they had a beautiful blue Kawasaki Voyager. The picture doesn't do the color justice. They had a Kawasaki Concourse 1400 and a Yamaha FJR that Mike was looking at. They had several girls working there and they were all cute.

This was the last motorcycle dealership I had plotted so we headed into Maryville enroute back to Pigeon Forge. A couple cars got ahead of Mike but now he is found.

Pretty soon we were through Maryville and headed east on US321 which snakes between the mountains. The highway is 4-lane until you pass the turnoff for the Foothills Parkway, then it narrows down to 2-lane for several miles. When you get close to Townsend it goes back to 4-lane. We passed a cop sitting along the road running radar. I was going a little fast but not fast enough I guess.

US321 turns east at Townsend and is a nice 2-lane road. Nice scenery. Nice curves. Unfortunately, after only a half mile or so we were behind a slowpoke minivan. Notice the color? Silver. Is there a "silver = slow" conspiracy afoot?

I'm not a speed demon. I rarely go 10 mph over the speed limit. But nothing aggravates me more than someone poking down the road below the speed limit holding up traffic. Especially when they pass one pulloff opportunity after another. When you look in the mirror and there are a dozen cars backed up behind you...be COURTEOUS and PULL the hell OVER!

A curvy section of US321...and still following the pokey silver minivan.

Midway between Townsend and Pigeon Forge the road straightens out for awhile and you come to Wear Valley. The scenery is beautiful. There are lots of shops to stop at. The silver minivan finally pulled into one of the shops. An elderly driver? Nope...just a dork.

The bridge in the picture is part of the unfinished portion of the Foothills Parkway. There was a police officer standing alongside the road. We guessed he was gonna direct some school traffic.

US321 intersection in Pigeon Forge.

It was close to 3:30 pm when we arrived back in Pigeon Forge. We went through the intersection above to Teaster Lane to check out the stores and factory outlets. Nothing appealing there, so we went north to the outlet malls in the Walmart area. Nothing there looked worthwhile, so we cruised down Collier Road. Strike three. Maybe we weren't in the mood to shop.

We decided to punt and grab some dinner instead. Applebees was close so we went there. I had steak and shrimp scampi. I'm not sure what the 'scampi' means but it sure tasted good. Afterwards we went across the road to Walmart and bought some more supplies for the cabin...laundry soap, etc. The traffic north had been bad and the traffic south was even worse, so we headed to the cabin via the backroads.

When we got back to the cabin Mike checked the hot tub and said it was still awful hot. I called Fireside Chalet and asked them about the temperature. Within the hour their maintenance guy was there and checking it out. He messed with it awhile. He said the pump was stuck on which caused it to constantly heat. He reset a breaker and it started working normally again. He also added some water and said the hottub company would come out tomorrow and officially check it out. Great service! He was a nice guy and very informative about the area. I sat on the picnic table listening to him and taking in the beautiful evening view.

Tomorrow we'll be covering some ground so we lounged around. Later there was a storm rolling in over Pigeon Forge. I sat on the deck and watched the lightening off in the distance and got an excellent night picture of the storm and the Pigeon Forge lights.

Day 6 pictures

118 miles.

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9

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