The National Park Service is beginning an 18 month long project to repave 6.5 miles of Newfound Gap Road (US 441), the only road which crosses through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The section to be repaved starts at the south boundary near Cherokee and climbs to the Collins Creek Picnic Area intersection. Last paved in 1983, the road is in sore need of attention.
Road closures on Newfound Gap Road are nothing new. Sections have required maintenance resulting in lane closures for years. It’s been a rare day when you can make an uninterrupted transit from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. While this is one of those “must do” rides to see the park, it’s never been one of my first choices for a days ride. If you’re not pausing for road maintenance, you’re crawling along behind some lumbering RV straining to make the climb or smoking his brakes on the way down. Considering the thousands of miles of fabulous empty mountain roads in the surrounding area I prefer to go elsewhere.
Still, to see the park you gotta do the ride. If you haven’t done it, it’s worth the time and effort. Fill up, pack a snack and some water, bring the camera, don’t have a deadline, and take the time to enjoy the views. There’s a reason it’s the most visited national park in the nation and it is the Park’s 75th anniversary this year.
Lane closures will be staggered to reduce the impact on traffic. The contractor may close up to four areas at a time with delays at each closure which may not exceed 10 minutes. The park has a toll free recording providing details on lane closures at (888) 355-1849.
If you haven’t done this ride, you should. It’s included in one of the four loop rides on America Rides Maps “Maggie Valley to Deals Gap and the Cherohala Skyway“. However, if you crave more deserted roads that not only give you wonderful scenery but a challenging ride, there are another 600 miles or so of routes on that map that will keep you carving through the curves and rolling along the back roads where RV’s, Grandpa, and van loads of kids never tread.
Finally, we’ve had a bubble of warmth settle over the mountains after the last dumping of snow. It didn’t take long for the bikes to appear. It was nice to not only get out, but have some warm and sunny weather to make it more enjoyable.
Everyone seems to be looking for spring and the signs of it are starting to appear. The first blooms are adding a little color, and the buds are growing fat on the trees. It’s not here yet, and we know there will be more of winter’s bite, but little by little brown will give way to a youthful green and a shower of blooms next month.
Along with spring comes a bloom of events to attract motorcyclists to the area and distract them from why they really came long enough to liberate a few dollars from their pockets. Mostly, it’s charity events right now, but the rallies that rotate from venue to venue will crank up soon for those that need an excuse other than riding to justify the trip. It’s a good year to come with Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebrating it’s 75th anniversary and the sagging economy spawning discounts and package deals from the lodgers and merchants just to get you in the door. You’ll be welcomed and appreciated.
Start making your plans. The mountains are waiting for you with thousands of miles of fantastic roads to explore, more than anywhere else in the country. I know, I’ve been on most all of them. Come rediscover why you ride a motorcycle and what it’s meant to do for you. You deserve it. You need it. Now’s the time more than ever.
WHAT: Female Motorcycle Enthusiast Rally
WHO: Women Motorcyclists (Dudes Welcome)
WHERE: Maggie Valley Inn and Conference Center
70 Soco Road, Maggie Valley NC 28751
$10 Discount on Room Rate until May 15th
Toll Free: 866-926-0201 Local: 828-926-0201
WHEN: July 23-26, 2009
REGISTRATION: $35 May 15th, $45 after May 15th.
HOW TO REGISTER: On Line: www.mountaingoldproductions.com (paypal)
By Mail: 310 Loveland Drive, Maggie Valley, NC 28751
At the door: Maggie Valley Inn & Conference Center
**** Make checks payable to Mountain Gold Productions****
Thursday night welcome cookout at 6pm at the “Tiki Bar”
Maggie Valley Inn, Friday and Saturday, Live Music,
Fashion Show, Banquet, Vendors, Free T-shirt to First
100 Registrations, Maps with suggested Rides,
Discount Coupons for attractions, food, and beverages,
Prizes, and LOTS OF FUN!!
ORGANIZED BY: Mountain Gold Productions
posted by Wayne@americaridesmaps.com
>> Go To America Rides Maps.com – http://americaridesmaps.com
Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Central & Western North Carolina
“We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy”
POKER RUN RIDE & RAFFLE
Please come and join us for a fundraiser hosted by
A Holiday Motel & Café in Maggie Valley, NC
Cars are welcomed!
Saturday April 4th 2009
Registration from 9-11 am and last hand in by 5:00 pm
$15.00 per hand & $10.00 per additional hand
· PRIZES FOR BEST AND WORST HAND
· GREAT RIDE IN THE MOUNTAINS
· Raffle drawings @ 5:00 pm at the Holiday’s Café
· Affordable ticket prices for more chances to win great prizes
Holiday’s on the way Café
(Next to A Holiday Motel)
3253 Soco Rd.
Maggie Valley, NC 28751
For more information call 828-926-1186
or visit our web site www.holidaymotel.net
Posted by Wayne@americaridesmaps.com
>> Go to America Rides Maps.com – http://americaridesmaps.com
This the the third iteration of future shock I’ve encountered, the Brammo Enertia 5 electric motorcycle. At this point these things are oddities, strange quirks on the concept of “what is a motorcycle”, yet also an eery look into our future.
One of the others I came across was an off road bike, that despite looking like a bicycle overdosed on steroids, had performance figures that were comparable to a 250 cc modern dirt bike save the limitations on range. Then of course, there’s price, which right now is in the stratosphere in any sort of side -by-side comparison. For a few moments I though how cool is that, steal away to roost through the neighbors back 40 and he’ll never hear you. But we still have a long way to go with these things.
Back on the street, developement is in it’s infancy, and I wonder who would buy one of these. I thought the same thing about the hybrid Prius automobile. Since, I pay a bit more attention to this stuff.
With a name like “Brammo” (click here to read a motorcycle magazine review), I suspect technology isn’t the only hurdle to overcome. It sounds a bit too much like some cheap infomercial product you see at 3 a.m. Still, it signals the start of a trend, the beginnings of a movement. For those in a buggy downwind of a familiar steed, the automobile appeared a quirky annoyance and a folly for the rich. We all know they’ll never replace the horse.