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|Toy Hauler Mountain Trip
|Day 1 Riding
|Well our first day went pretty good. Two RVs 4 motorcycles, 4 adults and 4 dogs on our way for our first RV adventure. We made all our stops pretty much on time,.first for fuel and lunch,
and again for a fuel stop. Our plan was to overnight in the Walmart parking in Charlotte SC. We rolled into Walmart at about 630 thinking that we were stopped for the night but....we were
told we could stay but we had to be out of there by 6 am, hmm that was not going to work. just a side note while tooling around the parking lot in close quarters be careful of the yellow
concrete poles they will leave some marks on said RV, yellow was not in our color scheme. Anyway we found that there was a rest stop about 30 miles down the road so off we went.
When we pulled in we instantly knew this rest stop would not work, I think it was the smallest rest stop I had ever seen, what to do. It was decided that we would travel another 30 miles to
the next rest stop and finally this would be our resting place for the night. Quickly we set up the units fired up the generator and cooled them off. First we walked the dogs and then parted
to get a bite to eat, then meet up and have a couple of adult beverages and talk about the 1st days adventure. Michel and I decided on pizza, and prepared to put them in the oven, but no
fire, nothing, the three burners worked fine but the oven would not light. So I cut the pizza up and stuck them in the microwave, the crust was not as crispy as we like but the rest was
yummy. Karen and Ed came over and we toasted to our new adventure, talked awhile, walked the dogs and then parted to get some rest so we would be ready for the next day.The rest
stop was not so bad..with the generator we had all the comforts of home, shower, a/c, hot coffee and a great breakfast courtesy of my best buddy Michel, oh and the puppies enjoyed it
too. We were off just after 9 am and headed north on I-77 and then I-81 at Ft. Chriswell , it was really beautiful, traffic was brisk but manageable, the truck and the toy hauler performed
well. I could not keep my eyes off the foot hills and the countryside, again beautiful. Its funny we drove over 200 miles, didn't even stop for lunch, and finally we were near our 1st RV Park
and needed to get fuel so we stopped at what we thought was a big gas/diesel kind of truck stop. Well we were very surprised, it was not accommodating for our rigs. Michel had to get
diesel at one station and gas for the generator at the station next door. But not to worry our destination Walnut Hills RV park was close by.
We followed the GPS and in no time we were there and we were setting up camp again including unloading the bikes. We took the pups for a walk and did a little exploring then back to
camp for some dinner. Karen and Ed and Michel and I took the pups for the final walk for the night, said our our good nights. Here's some pictures......can't wait until tomorrow.
|Marcia's Write up
First ride in Virginia, we had a little change in plans. Ed had a little problem with his eye, so he had to make an appointment to get evaluated. He was seen pretty quickly and should be on the mend. So
Michel and I decided to do the ride we were suppose to do on our last day at Walnut Hill RV Park.
Michel and I took off and headed towards Middle brook, Va. the roads were rolling and exciting to ride. The scenery was beautiful, many farms with silos and barns, and then rivers and creeks along side
the road. We would climb the two lane roads and you could feel you ears pop and descend and they would pop again. Loved seeing the small towns, we stopped at a couple of places for a bathroom
break and drink, Michel's favorite peanuts and Coke.
We let the time get away from us and did not get a chance to stop for lunch at the place we had planned, but we were enjoying ourselves and decided to just finish as much of the ride as we could. It was
fantastic until.....we got stuck behind a truck painting the yellow lines in the road, to say the least it was painful, being in the friction zone for over what we thought was a 100 miles, but in reality it was
only about 6 or 7, wow my clutch hand was over worked. Finally we made it back into Staunton, stopped at the store to pick up some things we needed, and then headed into the RV park. We met up
with Karen and Ed walked the puppies had some supper and retired for the night. We will be ready for the next day.
|Day 2 Riding
|Marcia's Write up
Great ride today, first half of the Skyline Drive. We started out by going to Martins Grocery to pick up our picnic supplies for lunch on the Skyline. We traveled north on 340 for about 97 miles, the ride was
beautiful, small towns with rolling hills, farms, barns and silos...just like a painted picture scenery like none other. Just before Front Royal we were on the entrance of the Skyline Drive, I was so excited.
Michel and I went through and paid the fee...which by the way will get you back on the Skyline for 7 days, cool.
Off we went, at some points the road looked like it was carved out through Sherwood Forest. and at some points the lowest temps were 68 degrees. I think the temperature was perpetuated by an
impending storm that seemed to lingering just ahead of us.
At one of the pull offs just after Mary's Rock Tunnel, we stopped to partake in our carefully selected picnic lunch. It was pretty yummy, even had s come over and take some pictures of us, with the picnic
done we moved on. We never got rain except for a few drops but we did ride through were it had been, that made the temp seem even cooler. At Swift Run Gap we got off the Skyline drive at US 33 and
made our way back to the RV park. Our puppies were happy to see us and got a much needed walk. We had dinner with the Harvey's. It was a great day.
|Day 3 Riding
|Wednesday July 20 2016
Marcia's Write up
Today we headed out to finish the Skyline drive, making our way there we found ourselves on the most incredible back roads. When I was making the route maps I was not able to see the road up close, but
was able determined it was hard top, so I took a chance and made the route anyway, so glad I did it was a really nice ride at times there was no yellow divider lines on the road which would make you think
it was going to end up being, as we call it “dog road” but that never happen it just got better and better. At one point we came upon a little country store that had a small grill, with a decent menu. They also
sold many odds and ins, including dog food, chicken feed and even livestock feed and oh yeah they sold gas too. We bought something to drink and sat outside in the rocking chairs for a bit and then jump
back on the bikes towards the Skyline drive. I would like to mention one thing, when you pay your initial entrance fee for the Skyline it is good for 7 days, what a nice perk. Unfortunately it did not take long
before we finished the Skyline Drive, really sad it’s such a beautiful piece of highway hope to be able to ride there again.
Lunch was next and then on to ride a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, nice roads again, but I think the curves are a little more challenging, but fun. The scenery was outstanding, we wished we could pulled
over on every one of them, then the ride back to Walnut Hill was pretty exciting too, what a great day and place to be riding our bikes .
Back to the RV Park and we set to task of breaking camp to prepare to leave in the morning towards Dillard, Ga, and 3 days at River Vista RV Park. Stay tuned.
Toy Hauler Mountain Trip Day 3
Michel's write up
This playing catch-up with our trip gets very confusing with all these pictures and videos trying to do my best here this was our third day riding Marcia had found this road what a neat route we had getting
back to the Skyline and then continuing to some of the Blue Ridge this back road she found is where we took most of the pictures of us riding I think we spent about 30 to 40 minutes on this road, and it was
as country as you can get it, we had a blast and I gotta tell you I enjoyed it more than any of the skyline or the Blue Ridge don't get me wrong you definitely need to check those other two out they are
beautiful in their own way but this little road she found was my favorite. I will show it once I get to making our web page I will put a Google map of the route. We brought our coolers again and we were
going to stop and get some food but with our route we were never near any grocery store so at the end we ended up eating at a Golden Corral which was just fine with me I gotta say time really flew by fast
I was enjoying just looking at these pictures as I was editing them it was a nice ride well I need to move on and like to make one of the videos tonight maybe have it ready tomorrow but this is our day 3…..
|Last 2 Days Riding
River Vista RV Resort
|Thursday day 6 -7/21/16
On Thursday we left Walnut Hill and traveled southwest to our next destination, Mountain Vista RV Park near Dillard Georgia. The trip was really uneventful until we needed to stop for gas. Oh
my goodness finding a gas station that has diesel and can accommodate 13 foot high RV is not an easy task, so after pulling into the third station we got everything we needed. We also grabbed
a drink and a snack for lunch and cruised on through Johnson City Tennessee.
The mountains around us are beautiful and seem to be higher and curvier as we got into Ashville, traffic had picked up and then it began to rain. This navigator was a little concerned, but the
driver was not worried, he had his tractor, the navigator just pushed on her imaginary passenger brakes a little harder. Finally we were nearing the RV Park where we would make our home for
the next 4 days; unfortunately there was a little question about where the Park was located. Finally we worked that out and we cruised into the River View RV Park, we were impressed and
really excited that it had nice paved roads. We had arrived after 5pm, and the office was closed, so we had to find our way, they left our check-in packet with a map to guide us to our RV site.
Hmmmm…it took a little doing but we finally got the RV’s backed in, the bikes unloaded and hooked up, thank goodness for the walkie talkies, a good tool to communicate with the driver to help
them navigate into the site. Next on the agenda was to walk our puppies, then get an adult beverage. Nobody felt like fixing an evening meal so we opted for PIZZA, so we placed the order, and
had about 15 min to get there before they closed. So we were off. As luck would have it we took a wrong turn out of the park and started climbing up a steep mountain road geese what to do
finally we found a turn around and headed towards Clayton it was a few minutes after quitting time but thankfully they were waiting on us, big tip and thank you to these guys. Back at camp the
garage was turned into our dining room/office and we sat down to our evening meal……..life is good.
|Friday July 22 2016
The night before we all decided, that we would sleep in and be leave by at 10am, so we adjusted our ride to be a bit shorter. Next morning we were ready, had an easy breakfast left over pizza,
“it’s what’s for breakfast”. Ready to ride we headed east on 246 and immediately, started climbing the mountain and got into some great twisty roads that skirted in and out of North Carolina.
First stop was at Bridal Veil Falls, and we got the “picture”. Kinda. You used to be able to ride just under the falls but it was blocked off, oh well maybe next time. Sky Valley was the next town
we traveled through, it is known as Georgia’s highest city, at an of elevation 3500 Ft., and then through Scaly Mountain North Carolina. The roads are incredible and the weather just perfect. On
the outskirts of Highlands we turned northwest on SR 28/64 and you travel north where the Cullasaja River was on our left all the way through the Nantahala National Forest. Traveling west still
on 64 we pass by Franklin, even though it has been years since we were last in the area, some of the roads and landmarks look familiar. Near Hayesville we rode along the shores of the
beautiful Chatuge Lake, it is huge, and very inviting and we followed it back into Georgia right through Hiawassee, as we rode through Michel talked about our memories here, the apple festival,
and on another trip where it was our starting point for a long ride home to Alachua, and yes we made it home before dark.
Not knowing, somehow our route went right through Helen; I had no idea when developing the route that we would be going through Helen….again. We were there just this past May, when we
were on the Antebellum Trail ride, not very crowded then but today it was. It was noonish so we decided to stop for lunch, we lucky we got a parking space right on the main street, we chose to
eat at the Bohemian restaurant and bakery. The food was very good with good portions we were all very satisfied. Time was spinning so we rode east out of Helen on US 17/75 with the Unicoi
State Park on the left and to the right the Chattahoochee River, it is really beautiful. Moving on south we pasted on the outskirts of Clarkesville, then north on 385 or the Historic 441 route and
then on to the “new” 441. We pass right by Tallulah Gorge State Park and Falls not even knowing it, we had hoped to check that the next day. Just past there it started to rain a bit, and we got off
the road to put on some rain gear by the time we got it on the rain had almost subsided. Oh well we got a good steam bath on the way back. It was a good day of riding. Back at the Park the pups
got a walk and then we all went for a swim and then a relaxing sit in the biggest hot tub I have ever seen……Life is good.
|Saturday, Day 8 July 23, 2016
Our last ride before we leave on Sunday for home………had such a great time riding here in North Georgia and Virginia. Having the RV’s and having the dogs with us made this trip one of the
best, can’t wait to do it again.
So we started out on the on Hwy 116, doing the twistys again, such fun. We turned northwest and rode just on the out skirts of Highlands, then about 2 miles west of Highlands we stopped at Dry
Falls, very nice area with a great parking lot, understand that they had just remodeled the area to make it more accessible for the many that come to enjoy the falls. There is a very nice stair
case all the way down to the bottom of the falls. You can also walk behind the falls, which makes for great pictures and you get cooled off from the spray, my goodness it was hot that day it
really felt good. After climbing back numerous stair cases we could of used that waterfall spray then. Continuing on and enjoying curves and twistys we followed the Franklin bypass, still lots of
sweeping curves and climbing, and descending the mountains, did I say how nice the roads are. Just past Dillsboro we turn northwest on 441/76, and road just inside the Great Smokey
Mountains National Park, very nice! Turning north we rode into tourist town of Cherokee, now when I was a kid my family came here many times on summer vacation, Karen was telling the
same story, Cherokee seemed so much larger and seem to have a lot things to do, mmm maybe it was because we were kids, anyway it was fun, and what a treat there was a Harley Davidson
shop there mostly clothes and some motorcycle accessories, we parked the bikes and went in to take a look see, and yes a shirt and a chip. Next was to find some lunch, not many choices for
food in Cherokee, in fact there was only one place so we took a stroll up the street to the Burger King. Lunch done we started walking back to the bikes, but Karen spied a mechanical horse and
had to take a ride, it was a blast.
We saddled up and head out of Cherokee and pretty took the same route as we did coming in but headed south on US 107, still nice riding. We made a big U dipping down into South Carolina. At
this time we decided to cut the ride short, we had had a long day and it was unbearably hot so we started back towards the RV Park. It was time to start singing the m i c k e y……. Back at the RV
we start packing up for the trip home, sad for our adventure to come to an end but not to worry there are more trips to come.
|Sunday Day 9 July 23, 2017
We pulled out of the RV Park around 9am and took the
direct route back home. We arrived home around
5pm. Now to unload……….All I can say is I am ready
to go again.