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Thread: May Ride to Great Smokeys and back

  1. #1
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    May Ride to Great Smokeys and back

    Hello.
    I am currently planning a big adventure ride from Olympia, WA to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina in May and may carry over into early June. My thoughts are taking the Superslab to Salt Lake City then spending a couple of days in Moab touring Canyonlands and Arches. From there down to the Grand Canyon and an extra day there too. Then across northern New Mexico and into to Texas to make it to the "Texas National Picnic" Rally. After attending the rally ride into Louisiana and up the Natchez Trace to Tennessee. Then over to the Great Smoky's and attend the ROK Rally over Memorial Day weekend, perhaps doing the Tail of the Dragon. From there start back through Tennessee and Arkansas over to Kansas and attend the "Land of Oz" Rally. Then ride back through Nebraska, Colorado and into South Dakota. Then back through Montana and Idaho and into Washington and home. I want to see this great country. I'm pretty flexible. I want to be back by no later than mid-June.

    While I have a route I am very open to changes and adjustments to the route. I don't want to make this into an endurance trip so I'm trying to keep daily mileage between 250-350 miles, although there are a couple of 400 mile days as well as days with miles less than 250 miles. I plan on camping at state parks, county parks and a few commercial camps (e.g., KOA). I'm open to a few motel days especially when weather might be inclement. I've planned days off to recuperate. I like history and geology.

    I plan on riding my 2006 R1200RT. I prefer backroads (e.g., state highways, county roads, smaller US highways) versus Interstates. I like to stop and stretch, take pictures and enjoy myself. I'm not an iron butt rider. I have experience doing multi-day adventure trips through-out the US West and Canada. I've traveled extensively by car and car camping too. I'm a good camp cook and love to enjoy my evenings after a day riding.

    I'm planning on doing this solo but thought I'd post this adventure out there if anyone is interested to join me. If interested you can reply to this forum or PM me.
    -don
    #161988
    "If you don't treat yourself right, no one else will."
    '06 R1200RT, '13 F800GS, and '16 R1200GSA (wife's)

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    May want to rethink the Natchez Trace and head on to Birmingham, AL, and visit the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. By the end of April, their new addition should be populated w/bikes & cars and open for your viewing pleasure. Barber's is the world's largest collection of motorcycles and also the home of the world's largest collection of Lotus Racecars. (Info @ www.barbermuseum.org). After visiting the museum (located just a few miles from Exit 140/I-20), you have several choices to rejoin your original route. You can head Northwest of Birmingham on I-22 and pick up the Natchez Trace in Tupelo, then follow it on to Nashville. Or you could head north on US231 to Huntsville, AL (visit the Space/Rocket Museum there), then on up into TN. You can take US64 East on into the Smokies, or ??? Other options would be to follow US411 to Knoxville and enter the Smokies there. Or go up US11 towards Knoxville (through Chattanooga) and head for the Cherohalo Skyway and/or the Dragon (best ridden mid-week).

    Enjoy your trip!
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jgoertz View Post
    May want to rethink the Natchez Trace and head on to Birmingham, AL, and visit the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. By the end of April, their new addition should be populated w/bikes & cars and open for your viewing pleasure. Barber's is the world's largest collection of motorcycles and also the home of the world's largest collection of Lotus Racecars. (Info @ www.barbermuseum.org). After visiting the museum (located just a few miles from Exit 140/I-20), you have several choices to rejoin your original route. You can head Northwest of Birmingham on I-22 and pick up the Natchez Trace in Tupelo, then follow it on to Nashville. Or you could head north on US231 to Huntsville, AL (visit the Space/Rocket Museum there), then on up into TN. You can take US64 East on into the Smokies, or ??? Other options would be to follow US411 to Knoxville and enter the Smokies there. Or go up US11 towards Knoxville (through Chattanooga) and head for the Cherohalo Skyway and/or the Dragon (best ridden mid-week).

    Enjoy your trip!
    I'll second what jgoertz said . There are several nice campgrounds along the Trace with no camping fees. Just be careful if you go to Alabama because those folks are strange.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  4. #4
    Registered User Moto316's Avatar
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    I'm not sure of your route East from the Grand Canyon to Northern New Mexico? In Northeast Arizona, Indian 13 from Lukachukai to Red Valley is one of the best roads in AZ. You get a nice view of Shiprock New Mexico also. That is Shiprock in my avatar.

  5. #5
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moto316 View Post
    I'm not sure of your route East from the Grand Canyon to Northern New Mexico? In Northeast Arizona, Indian 13 from Lukachukai to Red Valley is one of the best roads in AZ. You get a nice view of Shiprock New Mexico also. That is Shiprock in my avatar.
    Yes, my plans are to ride that route. Thanks for the suggestion.
    -don
    #161988
    "If you don't treat yourself right, no one else will."
    '06 R1200RT, '13 F800GS, and '16 R1200GSA (wife's)

  6. #6
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoertz View Post
    May want to rethink the Natchez Trace and head on to Birmingham, AL, and visit the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. By the end of April, their new addition should be populated w/bikes & cars and open for your viewing pleasure. Barber's is the world's largest collection of motorcycles and also the home of the world's largest collection of Lotus Racecars. (Info @ www.barbermuseum.org). After visiting the museum (located just a few miles from Exit 140/I-20), you have several choices to rejoin your original route. You can head Northwest of Birmingham on I-22 and pick up the Natchez Trace in Tupelo, then follow it on to Nashville. Or you could head north on US231 to Huntsville, AL (visit the Space/Rocket Museum there), then on up into TN. You can take US64 East on into the Smokies, or ??? Other options would be to follow US411 to Knoxville and enter the Smokies there. Or go up US11 towards Knoxville (through Chattanooga) and head for the Cherohalo Skyway and/or the Dragon (best ridden mid-week).

    Enjoy your trip!
    Thanks for the great suggestions!
    -don
    #161988
    "If you don't treat yourself right, no one else will."
    '06 R1200RT, '13 F800GS, and '16 R1200GSA (wife's)

  7. #7
    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    DeSoto MO
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    I'll be heading to Oz myself in June, so hope to make your acquaintance once arriving in Kansas.....

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