Today was a play day, with my only plans being to ride Deal’s Gap and the Cherohala Skyway. I’ve ridden the dragon before, when I was out in 2005, and it was just as much fun as before. Despite the heavy police presence discussed everywhere, I only saw two cops. The first was writing a ticket at one of the turnouts at the start of the Tennessee side and the other was slowing everyone down and warning them about the semi he was leading through. I really wish that we could get the word out that the road’s no good for 18 wheelers, but I guess that’s just wishful thinking.
Stopped for lunch at Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort and picked up a book that has some nice routes throughout the southeast.
After lunch I headed deeper into North Carolina to pick up the Cherohala Skyway, which turned out to be one of the best routing decisions I made on this trip. It was absolutely beautiful, winding its way along the border with great views of the Smoky Mountains. It was a little on the rainy side so the mountains were a bit obscured but it still made for some great photography. I got a little wet riding through the sprinkles up there, and I had to keep the speed down because of the wet roads, but it was well worth the trip. Total riding time was around 6 hours to cover around 160 miles.