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Dan Hughes

Riding on down into Georgia

A Tuesday April 27, Mars Hill NC to Clayton GA

Threatening weather again today; cold, wet, cloudy, and foggy at the higher elevations. We decide to simply give up on touring in the mountains and to head South and lower elevations to see what we could find. We left Mars Hill and headed across Asheville aiming for Pickens County in SC on SC 11. This is very familiar territory because I played here before I had to go seek Gainful Tax-Paying Employment. We took US 25 South of Asheville to pick up SC 11 at Jones Gap State Park.

At the intersection of the park road and SC 11 we stopped at what was formerly a gas station to get a bite to eat. There are several places like this around Pickens County. Gas stations converted to be convenience stores and restaurants, well so-called restaurants, but they serve food. This place like many others in these parts serve breakfast and lunch and then generally close up. We were here for breakfast, especially the grits. As usual, the food was great.

We putt-putted on out Westerly on SC 11 to Walhalla to get SC 183 West into Georgia and US 76. The weather was indeed much better down here and we saw blue skies and fluffy white clouds again. And the roads are great. Smooth surfaces, twisty with many wide sweepers. A world-famous moto biking area.

Later in the early afternoon, the threatening weather returned and the temperature was a balmy 46 F as we were kind of up in the mountains of North Georgia. So we parked again and not long afterwards the cold rains fell.

Wednesday April 28, Clayton GA to Athens GA
No rain today and the temperature is recovering very nicely. Today we’ll head down to Athens to visit Grandson Will, and his mom and dad, too.

Putt-putted around the North Georgia mountains under deep blue skies in the warming air. Everything has turned green here already and the scenes are beautiful. Almost all the two-lane roads around these parts are a joy to ride and run. We traveled on GA 17 and GA 15, and a couple of local roads. Great great riding. Finally picked up US 129 to ride into Athens.

A few words about the new road-running machine. It eats up the miles with ease and in very good comfort. Very nimble in the twisties, always on-demand torque for safe passing, smooth transmission. A joy to ride, and Mary agrees that is is the best bike we’ve ever owned and ridden. We did about 1400 miles ( x 1.6 for those other units ) for what is nominally a 1100 mile trip. Could have done much better if the weather had been more cooperative.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday April 29 – May 1 in Athens
Wonderful visit and doing stuff with Will and family. Beautiful weather. Will is as exceptionally smart as his Granddad and a joy to spend time with. He has a t-shirt that says he is as handsome as his dad, too.

Sunday May 2, Athens to Pickens to Greenville
We’ve borrowed a car to ride up to Pickens, SC to visit my brother and then ride over to the airport in Greenville so Mary can catch a flight home. I have not been successful in getting her to change her mind about this Moto Road Trip. We’ll hook up a time or two for some together touring.

Monday May 3, Greenville and Athens
Raining hard today all over the East. I made it back to Athens but I’m stuck here for the day. The good news is that Grandson Will will be here this pm also. The forecast is that the rain will move out over night and I’ll have clear sailing tomorrow.

I’m still trying to decide on the initial direction to take; South to Florida to score a new State, or North back into the Georgia mountains. I guess I’ll decide after I get the bike packed up tomorrow morning.


May 3, 2010 - Posted by | moto touring |


  1. Think You would have enjoyed the nice twisty roads if you were on a nice loud Harley Davidson!!!!!!

    Comment by david | May 4, 2010 | Reply

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