164 miles

Day 2 started nice and early, a hot breakfast and out on the road! I used the BMW Navigator 6 for the first time (I had pre-created my route in Basecamp and imported into the Navigator, but for some reason it didn’t like the trip file). The navigator was also having issues connecting with my Cardo PackTalk, so deleted all the connections and started again, this time it worked out fine…

The initial route that the Navigator wanted to take me on was mainly highway (I’m assuming that it was trying to get me to the starting point for the days trip, so another 5 mins and a new route was created (curvy roads :))

Within 10 minutes of leaving the hotel I was on the Blue Ridge Parkway and being early on a Saturday morning, I felt as though I had the road to myself – I honestly couldn’t stop smiling. The sun was out, it wasn’t too chilly and the road was empty – who could ask for more…

The scenery is truly breathtaking and it would have been easy to stop at every overlook to take in the views. I stopped pretty regularly to take some photos, but mainly just enjoyed this amazing road

I followed the Blue Ridge Parkway almost to the end in Cherokee, NC and jumped on 19 to head out towards Robbinsville and the days main attraction… The Tail of the Dragon!

The ride up to Deals Gap from Cherokee is lovely, a mix of good county roads and highway (past Bryson City) and then amazing county roads through Almond and Stecoah, past Fontana Dam and eventually bringing you out at the Deals Gap Motorcycle resort.

I arrived at the start of the Tail of the Dragon around 3:00pm and even though it was busy, it wasn’t long before I was on my way. 11 miles, 318 corners to the Tennessee side…

What can I say, even though I felt as though I was driving Miss Daisy and staying around the speed limit, it is still one of the most amazing roads I have ever ridden. Its not for the faint of heart, but treat it with respect, take it easy and its easily do-able. Fortunately I made it over and back without incident and stopped for a break back at the Deals Gap Motorcycle resort before heading back towards Bryson City and my camping spot for the night.

My camping spot was at the Smoky Mountain Meadows Campground, high up on a hill above Bryson City. The campground is a mix of RV and tent sites, was clean, quiet and very well maintained. I chose a tent site next to the stream that runs through the camping area which is at the opposite end where the RV’s are located. They do have wifi and the bathhouse is centrally located, has hot running water and was extremely clean.

I got to try out my new Jetboil stove for the first time and a Mountain House Adventure Meals Chili Mac with Beef (which is my new favorite)! Built a fire (they sell firewood at the Campground office) and sat down and enjoyed a beer before climbing into the tent for the night

So to try and sum today up would be simply amazing, the roads were some of the best in the world, the campground was awesome, the bike didn’t put a foot wrong and the scenery! Just amazing – I will remember this day for a very very long time…

The last light of the day

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