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Herb, BBT Guide


Hi guys, Another big lapse there, I know, the fact is I didn't mention it in the last report, but I've been out of town for the past 10 days with my wife and some other friends riding in the Smokey Mountains among other places. Managed to put two thousand four hundred and seventy four miles on the newly fixed up bike from the deer suicide by Harley incident during that time. All is operating perfectly, but I digress...

Basically put, if it's a fishing report you're after it'll have to wait until I get a few days/nights on the stream and hopefully, that will be with a few of you looking to take advantage of the summer special while it last! I wound up spending more than anticipated on the trip and seriously need to re-stock the coffers... Please, come on up, we'll have a blast, maybe learn a few things and enjoy the river and it's fish for a while!

So, seriously, those of you that really like to ride or just really don't have anything better to do should read on from here, but it's just about our trip and a few photos from it. I actually did bring along an eight piece fly rod in my saddle bag to do some fishing along the way, even bought a license in Tennessee, but circumstances beyond our control kept me from actually wetting a line. In hind sight I could have/should have on a few occasions, but I planed on going back to the spots I picked out and then couldn't...

The trip went like this... My brother in law rode over from South Dakota on Wednesday the 9th, we managed to get my bike back from the repair shop on Thursday and then on Friday Mark, (The brother in law.) my wife Karen and I saddled up and rode all back roads to Toledo where we met up with my oldest and best friend in the world Kirk and his wife Hailey.

Ready to hit the road from Baldwin!

On Saturday we hit the freeway for a good while, ran into some decent rains for about fifty miles and called it a night in Corbin near the bottom end of Kentucky where we found an excellent Mexican restaurant, ate dinner and decided to hit back roads for the remainder of the trip. I75 was pretty nice toward Corbin, but it's still a freeway and it was a wet one at the time, so on Sunday is where the real scenery started and I actually felt like I was on vacation.

We took 90 West from Corbin over to 27 South on Sunday morning and headed on down to where it meets up with 68 East in Tennessee. During that time we had maybe another 10 miles of rain that was to be, the last of the trip and quite manageable. The roads were beautiful and absolutely made for touring on! 68 took us to our destination of Tellico Plains Tennessee where we stayed, for the next 4 nights at the Cherohala Motorcycle Resort, a great little place off the main drags.

My good friend Craig and his wife Lisa who own and operate Ivan's Campground and Canoe Rental right here in Baldwin (Please support our friends!) were supposed to meet up with us late on Sunday night after trailering down (They can't get away during the weekends right now, it's like our salmon season to them.) ran into some serious vehicle problems and were delayed, so on Monday we rode without them and went on over to Gatlinburg for a day of playing "Tourist".

The route to Gatlinburg was very fun to begin with as we got our first "slow" taste of 360 North out of Tellico, but the traffic and other tourist picked up on 411 and 321 making the ride not "quite" as enjoyable, but with some good parts along the way. We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and looked in on some cool shops for a tee shirt or two, but the REAL fun was the return trip into Tellico on 360 now having "a feel" for the road. My brother in law and I both LOVE the twisties and took full advantage of knowing what to expect. At the end we sat and waited on the others with grins locked on our faces like a couple of kids at an amusement park!

The afore mentioned car trouble kept Craig and Lisa from joining us until around 2am on Tuesday, but Kirk and I managed to stay up and greet them in "fine shape" after having retold old war stories for hours on end. We actually managed to have everyone up and on the road by noon on Tuesday after a great meal right in Tellico and it was off on the adventure! We did "the loop" that day and to try and describe the beauty of the roads, mountains, roads, scenery, roads, etc, is beyond doable. You just have to go if you haven't already... First stop was a short side trip on River Rd. off the Cherohala Skyway to Bald River Falls, We "should" have stopped along the way to fish a few times, but thought we'd hit it later or the next day...

The group at Bald River Falls.

From there we went back out to the Cherohala Skyway and headed east. I am convinced at the moment that this is the number one road in the United States for a Harley rider. No stores, no houses, no nothing for 50 miles! There's a few real good switchbacks along the way, but mostly bigger sweeping curves with awesome scenery allowing you to take your eyes off the road enough to look at it as well as stop at the many pull off points along the way. This was absolutely the warm up we needed (Especially my wife who is a new rider this year.) before tackling the famous Tail of the Dragon/Deals Gap along 129.

After turning north on 129 we ran into a detour that took us down by Lake Santeetlah and the Cheoah river, a great little ride before Stopping at the Tapoco Lodge and the Cheoah Dam (The dam from the movie "The Fugitive".) and hitting "the Dragon". I can not tell you how proud I am of my wife for even making that run. She did so at her own speed as we all did and everyone should, but this is a road that scares many experienced riders to the point of turning back and she "slayed it" so to speak. The map does not do it justice in grade or in showing the blind switchbacks one after the other...

"Fugitive" Dam.

The Dragon...

Karen on a "mellow" part of the Dragon.

The Overlook...

Karen & I with her bike after the dragon by Chilhowee Lake...

After 129 we took 72 out to 411 and then had the big scare of the trip... Karen's bike, that had been intermittently giving her trouble shifting during the day (We all thought this was in her head since it wouldn't do it for us when we test rode it.) decided to quit shifting at all and made a metallic sound just before stalling at two attempts!! Thankfully, this was at the gas station just before hitting 360 and not in the middle of the mountains, but we were certain it was very bad and could even possibly mean a new transmission.

In short, she had to ride on the back of mine just like old times (Something she was not thrilled about.) thru 360 and back to camp so that we could pick up the trailer and go get her bike. This is also where the plans for the next day changed and we never got to do the southern loop we had planned. Wednesday morning found us on the way to the Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson shop in Maryville instead with everyone riding except Karen who had her bike in tow with the support vehicle (The same one that almost didn't make it!) preparing for the worst.

Once at the shop Karen and I went back to the service area, described the problem and dropped off the bike. At the very same time Craig's wife Lisa was picking out a tee-shirt and before she could even do that........ My buddy Kirk and his wife had picked out a new Harley. WOW, they are all of our new impulse shopping heroes!! We went to breakfast and ate while I waited on the "Well, Mr. Fraley, I've got bad news..." phone call and marveled at Kirk and Hailey's sudden decision to trade in his Road King and Upgrade to an Ultra.

Finished breakfast and headed back to the shop with no call yet and a pit in my stomach, but once back we got the word that "Your bike will be ready in about five minutes, he's just cleaning it up..." NO FREAKIN' WAY!!! Turns out it was just a bushing (That Craig had earlier thought it might be before the metallic sound) that needed reaming and a lube. It was preventing the bike from getting properly in gear and would stick in between.

The best part? $42.00 for the whole thing! I didn't think a Harley shop would even glance at your bike in the parking lot for less than a hundred (HD stands for Hundred Dollar) and here they are charging us forty two dollars and handing us back a bike that shifts better now than it has since we bought it used.

We walked directly into their shop and spent a few bucks we shouldn't have out of gratitude and I actually got a 10% discount on that stuff for having served in the military to boot if you can imagine that! (I think I have a new favorite Harley Shop, too bad it'll be a year before I can go back.)

Unfortunately it was too late in the day by now to go do the route we had planed, but fortunately, Kirk had firmly made up his mind to get the Ultra and he was going to have to stick around to seal the deal. That meant that Hailey could drive the truck and trailer back to camp, Kirk could ride his new bike back and the rest of us could still go for a ride! We decided on a short loop thru 321 to the Foothills Parkway (Another awesome road!!) back to 129 up to 72 around to 360 for a big fast finish and home early for some celebrating and some fishing that evening!

Once back at camp we discovered that they weren't back yet, but we decided to start the party early knowing we would have a DD once they got back to go fishing... Not going to happen! By the time they got back all we had time for or were in shape to do was stand around and talk about our good fortune with Karen's Bike, stare at Kirk's new one and build a nice fire to sit around in the evening while a few of us learned to play some native American Flutes that a couple of other campers had brought along.

It was an extremely fun and festive evening to finish off our time in Tellico and since we only managed to touch the tip of the iceberg as to roads in the area it was decided we'd have to do it again next year with a few more day's to ride. Craig and Lisa had to head out the next morning to get home for the weekend and Mark, Karen, Kirk, Hailey and I had to leave to go visit a sick relative of Kirk's in Western Kentucky (Hopefully the Mayo Clinic will figure it out Kirk and all will turn out well...) before swinging over to the Little Sturgis Rally in Sturgis KY.

A little bit of the area...

I found a nice little back road route over to Glasgow that was an awesome ride in itself by way of 68 to 70 to 135 to 53 to 90 into Glasgow (More or less with a few more jogs, but you'll kind of see it on a map.) We enjoyed the hospitality of Kirk's family and tons of great food that Thursday evening, then on Friday we made the ride over to Sturgis, again on secondary roads rather than freeways via 68 West over to 41 North onto Alt 41 then a jog over to 109.

Turns out, Little Sturgis Rally might be a lot of fun, but we only had a few hours to kill before heading toward home and they only had a weekend pass that was $40.00 a head. No way we were paying that for a couple of hours and they are missing the boat by not having individual day passes. As luck would have it there was another smaller rally just across the river in Old Shawneetown with a reasonable fee so we got to hit a rally after all. Spent a few hours there looking at vendor stuff and getting an eye full of the usual rally shenanigans before heading back over to Kentucky and north for us, north/east for Kirk and Hailey.

A couple of shots from the Rally, can't show 'em all here... ;^)

We (Mark, Karen and I) basically took 41 straight north that night just till Princeton and stayed there. On Sunday however, we did 41 north up to 16 east (before Gary) on over to 39 North that would let us split the difference between going thru Gary or South Bend. Not the twisties that Mark and I love by any means, but there's something to be said for driving thru all the beautiful farm country and meeting great people. We found a cool little Motel in a town called North Judson I believe with a very nice place called the RT10 Bar and Grill right next door. Great people, great food and they even had a live band later that night, but we were to tired to go take advantage of that.

The home shot yesterday (Sunday) took us away from the freeways again. 39 North ran us into 12 East right on the coast on over to 60 east to 40 north. A short stop around Paw Paw to visit some friends then back on 40 North to A37 in Allegan on to I196 where we did make a short freeway shot over and around to 37 North and a few stops later, home...

There you have it, more or less the whole trip. I'm sure I bored most of you to death by now if your still reading, but I'm also sure some family and friends will appreciate the life journal update and ride info. I'll try and have a "fishing" report for the rest of you soon!

PS. I can't believe I didn't get a good shot of Kirk's new bike!!! :^(

Tight lines all,

Summer Guide Trip Special!

Book a trip anytime between now and August 1st that you are going to take during the same time frame and save $50.00 to put toward the gas, lodging or whatever! In other words, a full day (8 to 10 hours, shore lunch, etc...) would be $275.00 instead of $325.00 for one or two anglers and a half day trip (4 to 5 hours) would be $175.00 instead of $225.00. Trout fishing is heating up on all fronts so we sincerely hope you'll take advantage of this and come spend some quality time on the water with us!

Come on up!

Some More You tube Clips and Destination Travel Information.

We have two spots left for this summers trip to Alaska (August 9 - 16). The package price per person based on double occupancy is $1,795.00 and includes:

· Six full days guided fishing
· All your lodging and meals
· Lodge boats that are available around the clock for personal use
· Transportation to and from the Airport in King Salmon, AK

We also have three spots left for our first week in Argentina (January 17 - 24) and two spots left in the second week (January 24 - 31). The package price per person based on double occupancy is US $2,995.00 and includes:

· Six full days guided fishing (with expert, local bilingual (Spanish-English) fly-fishing guide)
· All your lodging, meals and beverages. (Including Beer & Wine)
· Transportation to and from the Airport in Bariloche

Please contact John or I for more details and/or if you would like to reserve a spot on one of these great trips!

Ready to hit the road from Baldwin!

The group at Bald River Falls.

"Fugitive" Dam.

The Dragon...

Karen on a "mellow" part of the Dragon.

The Overlook...

Karen & I with her bike after the dragon by Chilhowee Lake...

A little bit of the area...

A couple of shots from the Rally, can't show 'em all here... ;^)

Other reports by Herb
May 5, 2017 Bike
September 6, 2006
July 27, 2006 07-27-06
July 20, 2006 7-20-06