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2023 Spring Trip Cherokee, NC

Brian, Randy, Scott, Jeff S., Jeff C., John, Clark, Joe, Dave H. and Dave W. converged on Cherokee, NC for a 5 days of excellent riding around the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  

Randy and Dave H flew to Fl to pick up their bikes and spent two days riding up from FL, while the balance of the riders either rode or trailered down from Ohio.

After the ride up from Florida, the K1600 enjoyed a fresh steering tire at Wheelers Performance Center in Robinsville, NC while Dave and Randy enjoyed a riverside lunch at the Topoco Lodge. 

On day one (Wednesday), while Randy and Dave were waiting on the others to arrive, they managed to meet up with Tom O and Tom R at CasaBlanca Cigar Lodge in Asheville, NC for cigars and a beverage.  It was an exceptional 39 year reunion with old friends for which  all are looking forward to a repeat performance  in the future.  

At the same time, Jeff C and Brian arrived and rode to the land of the broken promise down the Road to Nowhere, while the riders coming down from Wittheville joined Randy and Dave H at the Maggie Valley Brick House for a truly exceptional burger.  Upon arrival at the hotel everyone convened at poolside for cocktails and a cigar.  It was then discovered that the “protege” of the restaurant commissioner charged with the restaurant selections and reservations had totally failed to plan any restaurants for the trip.  Thankfully, the well seasoned commissioner stepped in and quickly quelled the disgust of the crowd by lining up dinner at the Osaka Sushi Bar and Asian Cuisine.  

Day two started with Granny’s Restaurant in Cherokee with the best breakfast buffet around.  With twisty roads in our sights, we headed to Robinsville to hook up with the Cherahala Skyway.  A stop at Bald Falls for a photo op was diminished by the broken arrow conduct of the two  missing riders.  They were found at the Iron Works Grill in Tellico Plains tuning up for a ride over to the Tale of the Dragon.  After everyone survived the Tale of the Dragon, the plan was to have lunch at the Topoco Lodge down the hill from the Tale.   Everyone except Jeff S arrived at the destination.  The second  broken arrow event of the day.  After much worry, concern and brief search for his whereabouts, he was later discovered back at the hotel.  Later that evening, everyone enjoyed a night of Bourbon, beer, cigars and Pizza catching up poolside at the Quality Inn.  The consequences for the broken arrow conduct was tabled for the secret committee to consider.

Day three started at Granny’s Restaurant again but quickly took a turn when Clark encountered an oil issue on the Harley.  After literally sucking out an overfilled oil reserve, the Harley threw a shoe and developed an oil related mechanical problem that ultimately sidelined the bike for the remainder of the trip.  Scott and Clark planned to stay behind to deal with the problem while the balance of the crew searched for some serious curves. Dave H. searched for a new front tire at Wheelers.That is when it was discovered that Jeff S. was broken arrow again; additional fodder for the secret committee consideration on the appropriate punishment.  After a great ride down Wayah Rd., the group lunched at the Motor Grill in Franklin, NC where everyone enjoyed a good lunch.  The return to Cherokee was via Moonshine 28 which did not disappoint. That evening we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Pasqualino’s Italian Restaurant.  Like a Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey’s circus act, the ride back from the restaurant proved that you could fit 10 clowns in a VW Atlas.

Day four started in the same manner except without Clark who was hiking in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  The ride took us to Fontana Dam then up the Tale of the Dragon and over the Foothills Parkway to Pigeon Forge where we lunched at the Alamo.  The ride finished with a trip up Newfound Gap to Clingman’s Dome and back down into Cherokee.  After more cigars and bourbon, dinner in Dillsboro at the Boots Steakhouse capped the evening. (Next time, we need to bring our own silverware).  

Day Five was the return trip home.  Jeff S. headed east to Roanoke and then to Gettysburg on a 3 day adventure and a rear tire failure while the rest of the crew proceeded home like horses to the barn.