Day Five - Highlands, North Carolina to Bryson City, North Carolina (337 miles)

The day began heading west on U.S. 64 we were back into the foothills. We headed south on St.Rt. 75 just east of Lake Hiawassee in Georgia. Only a few miles into the state we turned onto St. Rt. 180, otherwise known as Wolf Pen Gap Rd, that took us to Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest point (4784ft.). St. Rt. 180 was actually a real nice road. It had very tight turns, most of them blind, but we did not see another car until we reached the parking lot at the visitor's center (and then there was only a handful). After a few scenic moments we were back under way. St.Rt. 75 led us south to the small town of Helen, GA. This town is a picture out of Bavaria, we didn't stop, but the town sure did look worth exploring. When we got to U.S. 129 we went west, and at the corner of U.S. 129 and U.S. 19 we had lunch. The place was called Turner's Corner Restaurant, I read about it in a Rider magazine article. They have the state's record largest bear stuffed in the dining room. A local pick-up ran into it, and had it stuffed. The restaurant was a couple ticks better than a truck stop. The best part was we experimented with our newly learned skill of negotiating with the restaurant to allow us to bring in our own beer. It worked again! I think were onto something. After lunch we proceeded north on St.Rt. 60 through the Suches area. This is touted is one of the best motorcycle roads east of the Mississippi. It proved to be! Twenty Eight miles of the most wonderful road I have been on. Tight left and right twisties, big sweepers, everything but straight. When we got to Morgenten I had to get off the bike and calm my nerves. A brief trek on west U.S. 76 brought us to St.Rt. 5 where we headed north toward Tennessee. When we got to McCaysville they were preparing for the Olympic torch to be brought through later in the day. At McCaysville they would conduct the kayaking portion of the Olympics on the Ocoee river. In Tennessee the road turned into St. Rt. 68. Turning north on U.S. 411 we were positioning ourselves for a run down the Foothills Parkway. With a brief turn on east U.S. 321 we turned south on the FH Pkwy. This Parkway is very similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Speeds were higher on this Parkway, and in no time we were at the end. South on U.S. 129 took us back into North Carolina. U.S. 129 starts out rather tame, some twisties but nothing like what is about to come. Just before the NC border you come upon what is called the Dragon's Den. This stretch of road has 319 curves in just eleven short miles (see map). I absolutely had the time of my life on this road. We don't have the right bike for this road, but let me tell you I can scrape the pegs fairly well. You have to get in a trance to run this road as fast as you can. At the end of the twisties is the town of Deal's Gap, NC. We went in and got the t-shirt to prove we rode it. FANTASTIC!!! Shortly after that we came into Bryson City on St.Rt. 28 where we found a nice motel and stayed. We were only several mile from where we began the day. We had dinner in town, and tried to talk them into the beer thing, but it did not work this time (loosing our touch?). The Scenic View Motel, on St.Rt. 28 had just that, and a nice front porch to enjoy it on.
Day Five - Highlands, North Carolina to Bryson City, North Carolina