Monday, August 31, 2020

The Cherohala Skyway: An Epic 2 Day Run to a Motorcycle Mecca

Start of the Skyway
There this road in East Tennessee that I can't get out of my mind. So it's a two-day motorcycle ride to get it done. All the stars aligned; the weather, the time off. It was a perfect 2 days. So it's a ride to the motorcycle mecca that surrounds the Great Smoky Mountian National Park. The Cherohala Skyway is the destination. It was constructed in 1996 as a link between Tellico Plains, Tennessee, and Robbinsville, North Carolina.

Cherohala Skyway 
"The Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile National Scenic Byway and National Forest Scenic Byway that connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee to Robbinsville, North Carolina in the southeastern United States. Its name is a portmanteau of Cherokee and Nantahala, the two national forests through which it passes."
The Smokies

On the way there, I'm going to take the scenic route that crosses the Cumberland Plateau. This takes me on some of my favorite roads in Tennessee. Two of my favorite are US Highway 70 and TN State Road 30. All these roads are fantastic Motorcycle Roads in their own right. I arrive in Tellico Plains for the start of the Skyway. I stop to take it all in. I get some pictures, and then it begins.

2 Day Route
After riding the Skyway, I have to say this is my favorite type of motorcycle road. Lots of twisting turns, but you do get a break every so often with a straightaway or two—also, some long fast gradual turns. In my opinion, it's a much more enjoyable road to ride than the Dragon. After getting to Robbinsville, North Carolina, its another hour to Cherokee, my stop for the evening.

On the Skyway

The next day its rinse and repeat for my journey back home. Today it's the Dragon, this road is a test, a technical route. Sure it fun, but about halfway through, I'm thinking I wish I was on the Skyway. This is my third time on the Dragon, and I know there are a lot of great motorcycle roads in Tennessee. There are a lot out there that I have yet to ride. To me, there are some better, more technical roads up by the Cumberland Gap; the Tennessee Lost Highways are much better.
The Dragon

So I get home with my ich scratched and the Cherohala Skyway under my belt. In a few months, Terri and I plan to travel back out to East Tennessee in the fall to ride some more of these roads and to see the leaves change. I really can't get enough of this.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Riding America's Roads: Trenton Kentucky a Quilters and Knitters Paradise

Quilt and Sew at Golden Treads
So who out there is sick of this pandemic?   We are and need to get out of the house before we go stir crazy.  We heard that a new restaurant was opening in Trenton, Kentucky.  So we decided to take a motorcycle ride in the morning before it got too hot.  Trenton is a small farm crossroads town that sits about 6 miles from the border of Tennessee.   Over the last few years, it has become a Quilters and Knitters paradise. 

In the era of COVID, we are rediscovering some of the closer places to visit that don't require a hotel stay. Trenton, a place that Terri visits often, is always a great trip.   A better trip on a motorcycle with the winding Kentucky and Tennessee roads.  

Chocolate, Strawberries & Cast Iron
The Chocolate, Strawberries & Cast Iron Cafe located in an old gas serves up, great southern fare.  This morning I had the Eggs over easy with biscuits and gravy. I hear their chicken and dressing are to die for.  Along with the great food, they are the friendliest restaurant on this side of western Kentucky with a warm welcome and eventually, a hug once we get through the COVID.

Afterword, you can walk across the street for some Ice Cream at the Traveler's Lantern Market & Cafe, another excellent restaurant in town. What really anchors this town are the two craft stores.  Where many a person goes to full fill there Quilting and Knitting itch. 

The Wooden Needle
Quilt and Sew at Golden Threads has been an anchor business in town for a long while.  Selling quilting fabric and making draperies for home interior designers.  They also offer classes and sewing space for quilters who want to get out of the house to sew and socialize.   

The Wooden Needle offers up knitting supplies and so much more.  This shop offers; machine embroidery and vinyl designs, custom longarm quilting, fiber arts, repurposed home decor, and furniture. It is a fun place to visit. 

This little southern crossroads is such a fun place to visit.  It is everything that you would imagine in a small southern town.  So if you're headed down Interstate 24 towards Nashville, make sure you get off on Exit 1 in Tennessee.  Make the short drive back into Kentucky to Trenton; its a trip you won't regret.