Day Three

Today began with a quick wipedown of the bikes. Can’t ride a dirty bike can we?

And then we headed out.  We took a scenic route through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Again enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery.  The road wasn’t fun in the adrenaline rush, amusement park ride way that the Tail of the Dragon was, but it was fun in the sense of a leisurely, beautiful ride with big sweeping curves and wonderful mountain vistas.

Not long into the ride, the mountains explained why they’re called “smoky”…which proved to be a precursor for the remainder of our day.

It is my personal opinion that anyone who lives in this part of the country who doesn’t own and regularly ride a motorcycle on these roads should be cited and fined for wasting natural resources.

But that’s just me.

While passing through the park, we took a detour to Clingman’s Dome. We had periods where the clouds cleared out enough that we still thought there was a chance of getting some semblance of a view from the tower, so we trudged up the steep hill

And even, although it was obvious by this point that there wasn’t going to be much of a view, climbed the circular ramp up to the tower

And enjoyed the view.

What it’s supposed to look like
What we saw.

Oh well.  At least we can say we went up there.  And trudged back down.

It was actually a little surprising to me how many people made the trek even though it was pretty obvious they weren’t going to get their money’s worth as far as the view goes.

We quickly got back on the road, made it through the park to Gatlinburg TN, home of the skylift..   What  a madhouse.  Personally, I don’t see the attraction, but it seems to be a pretty hot tourist spot.

Skylift climbs the mountain in the background

It was a little crazy navigating the crowds downtown, but we made it through.  Shortly after getting out of town, however, our resident psychic, Cousin Keith, decided to pull over and don the rain gear.  None of the rest of us was convinced that it was necessary, but we humored him.

Oh we of little faith.  Pretty much the rest of the day looked a lot like this.

Not much more in the way of pictures.  Driving through the rain is pretty monotonous and looked much the same as the above until we had finally had enough and stopped for the day in Statesville NC.

The Masters Inn fits our primary criteria…cheap as dirt…but isn’t exactly a four star establishment.  Heck, it isn’t exactly a one star establishment for that matter…but at least the internet works.

Greg’s BBQ right across the street, however, was quite acceptable for some pretty good North Carolina Barbecue.

Uncle Ron was a little confused when our order came.  “I thought we were supposed to get some cole slaw with this?”   “Oh, it’s on your sandwich” replied we old hands at NC BBQ.

I don’t think the Hoosier knew what to make of it, but he ate it and seemed to enjoy.  Always gotta be willing to take a chance and try new things.

Anyway, we’re getting settled in for the evening.  More rain forecast for tomorrow so there may not be much to post;  we’ll just have to play it by ear.

Until next time.