This is a summary of a Motorcycle trip that we took in May of 2015. This was our longest trip to date of any type and almost twice as long as our previous Motorcycle Trip. It was 12 days and just under 3000 miles, and included Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
We decided to leave on Wednesday and headed East to Louisiana to avoid some predictions of rain across North Texas and Arkansas. On our first day we ended up in Natchitchoes LA. We had just been to Natchitoches in April for the LSBMWR Club ride and really liked the town so we made it the first leg of our trip.
On our way we had a breakfast at the Shed in Edom and then had a light lunch at Clear Springs Restaurant in Nacadoges.
On our 2nd day we rode from Natchitoches up to Vicksburg and then road the Great River Road up along the Mississippi River into the Mississippi Delta area and to Clarksville MS. There we spent the night at the Shack Up Inn. This is a place that has turned some old Cotton Gin and Grain bins into Hotel rooms. It also has a restaurant and they have live Blues music. They even provide you a guitar if you want one to take to your room. This was a place our good friend Leonard had used for a recent trip he took and we wanted to try it.
The Great River road was cool but really didn't see the river since it was all behind a levee system.
Shack-Up Inn Clarksdale MS
Day 3. We headed out of Clarksdale and rode a leisurely ride to Jackson TN. We rode back roads and found that part of Mississippi with rolling hills and farms was quiet beautiful. It was cloudy be we were fortunate to not hit any rain. Although a few minutes after we checked into hotel in Jackson it did come a nice shower.
Day 3 Clarksdale - Jackson TN
On Day 4 we slept a little later and after a quick breakfast at hotel we headed out. There was rain moving in from west to east but we stayed ahead of it all day. We headed southwest and picked up the Natchez Trace and followed it north east toward Nashville.
We stopped on Trace at the location where Meriweather Lewis died and is buried. The Trace was an interesting ride with great road thru the forrest and not interrupted by side roads, business or much traffic and no commercial traffic.
I missed my turn and we ended up going further into Nashville than I intended and we did encounter some traffic, but worked our way through it an headed out of Nashville.
Shortly after we left Nashville we later hit a very nice road, TN 30 between Mcminnville and our destination of Dayton TN. This was really some enjoyable riding.
Day 5 Dayton TN to Gatlinburg. We rode from Dayton to Telico Plains and then over the Cherohala Skyway to Robbinsville and then to Cherokee and across the 441 of Great Smoky Mountains Nat Park to Gatlinburg.
The Dragon get's all the notoriety but in fact I like riding the Cherohala more than I do the Dragon.
The 441 across the GSMNP was great but this was a Sunday and there was LOT's of traffic and so it was really slow going.
We had never been to Gatlinburg and we found it a very busy tourist town. Fortunately the hotel was close to the edge of town and there were ample places to eat within walking distance and the Hotel had a closed in courtyard with nice parking. Our room had a balcony that looked out on the banks of the creek that ran around the hotel. We enjoyed our stay here.
Day 6. After a night at Gatlinburg today we rode thru the Great Smoky Mountains Nat Park on 441 over to Cherokee and then a loop that came back and picked up a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway back across the Nat Park back to Gatlinburg.
We did a side trip in Park to Clingman's Dome and it was a nice ride for several miles but when we got the Dome (highest point in park) it was foggy and cloudy so didn't stay long and headed back to main road of park.
We really did enjoy our ride across the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even though speed limit was only 45, it didn't feel like we were constrained and the road and the scenery were great. We only did a short section of Blue Ridge, may 30-40 miles.
Day 7. We rode from Gatlinburg to the Deals Gap Motorcycle resort today. We headed out of Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge and then across Foothills Parkway to US129 and then to Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort. We went in to Robbinsville and ate a late lunch at Huddle House and then back to Deals Gap to check in to the room there..
The rooms were very basic, with not Internet or Cell phone service. But there was Dish TV and there were of course motorcycles everywhere.
Day 8. We were going to take it easy and hang out today but decided that we would ride anyway. I wanted to ride the Cherohala again so we rode up the Dragon and then 360 to Telico Plains where we had a 2nd breakfast at a small place there.
We rode the Skyway, which is a great ride and to Robbinsville and then over to Fontanna Dam and back to Deals Gap.
Day 9. We rode from Deals Gap NC, to Georgia thru Dahlonega and then over to Alabama to Birmingham.
Day 10. At Birmingham, we slept in and had a quiet morning at our Hotel which was quite nice. There was some showers in the area but we rode over to Barber Museum around noon and stayed until about 3:30. Enjoyed our visit to the museum. When there there was a Historic's race going on and we got to see some of the old race cars running the track.
Day 11 and 12. We rode from Birmingham to Vcksburg MS and then from Vicksburg home. We just came home direct on Interstate. We did stop briefly in Vicksburg and went to the Civil War Military park there.