2011 Georgia motorcycle trip

June 11

I had a good night's sleep after the long ride yesterday. I laid in bed until I heard foot steps upstairs, then got dressed and went upstairs to see what was going on. Normal morning stuff...drinking coffee...checking email (the cabin has wifi)...sitting on the porch in a rocking chair...cleaning the motorcycle windshields. I walked around the house and took some pictures.

The plan today is to ride east and visit Tallulah Gorge, then drop south and visit Traveler's Rest and Toccoa Falls.


We had a fine country breakfast of bologna and eggs. At 9:30 we headed out on the GPS-determined route. The cabin is only a quarter mile south of the North Carolina state line so we would cross state lines often.


9:54, mileage is 50,423 - We stopped for gas at the intersection with US76 near Young Harris. There are lots of bikes riding by. Goldwings, Harleys, sport tourers. It was nice to see people riding. The weather was warm...upper 70's with a mix of clouds. From here we'll head east towards Hiawassee and Clayton. The road is 2-lane and winds through the mountains. From Clayton to Tallulah Gorge it's 4-lane.


Our first stop was at Tallulah Point Overlook. This place is a combination store, restaurant, and historical center of Tallulah Gorge. We viewed the gorge, checked out the offerings at the gift shop, used the facilities, and hung out at the picnic tables. I bought a map of the Northern Georgia area.

There was a group of kids there from a church college who had came on a couple small buses belonging to the school. Seemed like a nice group of kids. But there always seems to be the one mouthy kid who has seen it all, done it all, and knows it all...all by the time he's 20. He goes on and on telling his friends his stories of this and that. I was glad when he got on the bus.


We found out the trails to get good views of the falls and the gorge were inside the state park on the south side of the gorge, so we rode over there. They had a nice visitor center with...pins and stickers! After checking out the indoor informational displays we took off to the overlooks. If you're prepared to ascend/descend over a 1000 stairs you can get closeup views of the falls and rapids. We weren't prepared to do that and were more than happy to to view from the overlooks.

In 1970 Karl Wallenda performed a tightrope walk across the gorge. One of the metal towers he used is still there, although not standing. The pathways were made up of ground up tires and were very comfortable to walk on.


When we were finished at the park it was about 1:30pm, and a little past time for lunch. We decided to head down the road and see what we could find. We actually had to go all the way back to Clayton to find something that was open. We decided to eat at the Huddle House.

I looked over the menu not sure of what I wanted. Then I saw it. Pork chops! Mmmm...mmmm...mmmm. I had pork chops with mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. It was heavanly.

After lunch we decided to forgo visiting Traveler's Rest and Toccoa Falls, and just meander back towards the cabin...stopping at places that might look interesting. Mike had seen a store advertising 'man stuff' so we would look for it.

We headed north, then I realized by looking at the GPS the road we needed to turn on was south of the restaurant. At the next intersection I did a U-turn and said on the CB that I had went the wrong way. Going back through town John and Mike got stopped at a stoplight so I continued on and pulled over in a parking lot at the US76 intersection. I could see them coming down the road but then they turned back in at the Huddle House. I tried to get John on the CB but to no avail. Eventually we called one another on the cellphones and got back together. They thought I might have had to make an emergency bathroom stop. Ha!

The CB radios John and I have are fun to use but they seem to have a lot of negatives. The range sucks...we're lucky to get a 1/4 mile out of them. The voice quality sucks and sometimes it's hard to understand what's being said. You get skip and radio interference blasting in your ears. It would be nice to come up with a better solution like GMRS radios. Several times during the trip we weren't able to communicate when we'd like to have been able to.

While we're talking about electronics, this past winter I replaced my Honda CB with a GL2way system. It is a communications unit that interfaces with the Honda CB connector. It uses a Harley CB module and provides for a second radio like GMRS or amatuer. It also had inputs for GPS and a radar detector. It works well but has a few issues I don't like.
(1) When you turn off the key it gives a large pop through the speakers. Not the end of the world but it's annoying.
(2) When I talk on the CB it bleeds through the speakers. Again..annoying.
(3) When you turn on the key and/or start the bike you get a full-volume static blast...even if the CB is turned off and regardless of the stereo volume. I don't like this at all. If I have my helmet on it hurts my ears. During our trip I got in the habit of turning the CB and stereo off before I shut down the bike, but I shouldn't have to do that.
The company says they have software fixes and I'm gonna see if they can fix these problems.


We found the place Mike was talking about ~5 miles west of Clayton. It was an antique/nic nac store. They had some interesting items and high prices, too. We spent about 20 minutes there. While we stood outside we heard a not-so-welcome sound...thunder. Storm clouds were quickly rolling in. We decided to get down the road to avoid the storm.

US76 through the mountains west of Clayton is a nice road. You can take most of the curves at highway speeds. We got sprinkled on a couple times and a big gust of wind blew off a seatpad I had setting on my passenger seat...but I didn't realize it until Jerri told me later.


As we were approaching Hiawassee the CB requested a restroom break so we pulled over at an Exxon station. It appeared we had lost the rain. The lake in the area was pretty. There's something relaxing about lakes. You want to find a lazy bank and pull out your Pocket Fisherman. The temperature had crept into the low 80's earlier, but the storms blowing around pushed it back into the 70's. Debby even got a picture of Brasstown Bald with her high zoom camera.


The dark clouds started to make their presence known again so we headed down the road.


As we were working our way through Blairsville our luck ran out. Just a 'normal' rain. It only lasted for several minutes and we didn't even bother with rain gear.

When we got home the girls made meatloaf...which was awesome. We did our normal nightly things...take showers, get into 'Hefner' mode (T-shirt, pajama pants, and slippers), hang out on the porch, dream of hitting the lottery. I also download my pictures and the track logs from the GPS. There is a pool table downstairs so we played a few games of pool. It didn't take long to see Mike was the best player.

We didn't get to all the places we had planned to visit today. This wouldn't be the only day our travel plans didn't fit the available time.



122 miles.

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10
Epilogue





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