{mosimage}Western North Carolina is as beautiful a landscape as any in the world. It is as if God himself instructed the Department of Transportation to build some of the finest motorcycling roads in the country there.

I was recently invited to join a small group of guys from the Joint Communications Unit at Fort Bragg and spend a four-day weekend in western North Carolina. I love any reason to go to the mountains; plus camping and motorcycling ... well that is just fun. My traveling buddies were Jay, Del, John and O.T. Our Destination? Bryson City. 

To keep the cost down it was decided we’d camp out. The trip was planned out like a true military operation to include responsibilities, cost, times, locations, routes, riders’ positions and speeds. The forecast for the trip was 70 percent chance of rain for each day. This could have been a show stopper but we pressed ahead with the trip.

After the first leg Friday, we arrived at the Deep Creek Campground and set up camp. The guys went to work and Jay and I went to the store to buy food. We made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and pancakes and ham for breakfast. The weather was nice the first two nights. The stars were bright and shining. The warmth of the campfire and the sound of the creek beside us made it just peaceful.

For the Saturday leg the focus was the Blue Ridge Parkway. We arrived at the highest peak of the Blue Ridge, Mount Mitchell, where the altitude is 6,053 feet. If you have never ridden that part of the country you have to be prepared for everything. The climate will change in moments. You have to be prepared for all weather conditions.

We eventually ended in Asheville because the Blue Ridge was closed due to a rock slide and roadway failure around Mount Mitchell State Park. We returned to camp and O.T. and I decided to go over to the Cherokee Survivors Motorcycle Rally. Total miles that day were 235.

That night we decided to go for pizza at Anthony’s Pizza! A great break from camp chow. Our next destination was Deal’s Gap to ride the Tail of the Dragon. If you are not familiar with the Dragon, it has 318 curves on 11 miles. When we got there we hit a big storm. We rode the Dragon but it was just a hateful ride because of the rain and lack of visibility. We went on into Tennessee and looped around Fontana Lake to the Cherohala Skyway and the rain began to lift. While heading back to camp, Jay suggested we go back to the Dragon for another try. This time the ride was a blast and we found dryer conditions. We concluded the day with 230 miles under our belts.

We got rain the last night and it continued into the following morning.We arrived back in Fayetteville with a total of 1,130 miles under our belts in just four days. We spent a total of $244 for the weekend.

The worst part of the trip was the day after we got home. My heart was longing for the road, my body was missing the adrenaline surge, my lungs were hungry for the fresh mountain air and my soul missed my new found riding buddies. 

If there is a topic that you would like to discuss, please send your comments and suggestions to motorcycle4fun@aol.com. RIDE SAFE!

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