“It’s my favorite road!”, I responded.
“I know, but it’s still dangerous” she reiterated.
We talked a bit more about it and the things she finds most dangerous are the things I enjoy as an added challenge.
“I still like it, it’s just a dangerous road” says Jackie.
Jackie’s no lightweight. We rode dual-purpose bikes all over the country years ago, she can throw a motorcycle around. Now, astride her Beemer, she often gives the boys a run for their money on the twisty roads. She can handle herself and I enjoy watching her flow through the curves. And no, we’re not talking about the infamous “Tail of the Dragon“. That’s just another ride for us compared to this.
Photo – Wayne prepares to get some lean on in a curve on Charlie’s Creek Road
What makes Charlies Creek Road a challenge is it’s unpredictability. You just never know what it’s going to throw at you next, and it throws everything in the book along it’s 10.1 mile length making it seem a whole lot longer. Mixed pavement, potholes, bumpy repairs, loose gravel, climbs, descents, first gear hairpins interspersed with sections of relatively straight road that lure you to roll on the throttle then snare unsuspecting riders with turns which shut down on them the deeper in you get. Cresting a rise you never know what lies on the other side, which way it will dive. Is there a patch of loose gravel in the next corner, a flock of turkeys in the road, will the tires maintain their grip on that concrete bridge littered with sand and rocks, what’s with this freakin turn, it’s getting tighter? How many seasons before some bear hunter discovers my rusted bike and bleached bones if I lose it out here in the middle of nowhere?
It’s a handful it you approach it cautiously. Come at it with vigor, and it will test everything you’ve got. My kind of road. Beware of Charlies Creek Road, it’s the most dangerous road we ride. It’s also my favorite and I do it as often as I can. Just don’t try to keep up with me. I know it pretty darn well. Respect it or it will eat you.
_______________________________________________________________________________– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com See “Map #6 – The Best Motorcycle Roads EAST of Great Smoky Mountains National Park”