Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Clingmans Dome

Today was forecast to be a craptacular day so after we walked out of the Harley boutique in Cherokee and discovered it was raining, we suited up. As it turns out that wasn't necessary.  The light rain quit almost as soon as our stands went up and we enjoyed some cool temps on our way through the Smoky mountain park. For me that ride was almost mystical. Everything was wet and kinda gloomy with a light fog hanging in the tree tops. As we neared Gatlinburg the damage from the recent forest fires was visible. Once in town we were caught up in tourist traffic, or I should say we contributed to it, and decided to eat lunch on the outer edge of town where it was quieter. That turned out to be a good plan and everyone seemed satisfied with our "breakfast for lunch" decision. In past years, today's ride may have been a loop that included Deals Gap. None of us were interested in those shenanigans so I led the group to clingmans dome for a short hike up the hill. Turns out the other guys have been up there before so we split up and everyone took care of their own personal desires. It was a nice chance for us to do our own thing. Dan checked out some old guitars at an antique shop. Frank went in search of some eyewear needs and Ed stopped at a mill and picked up some ground up somethin or other.
My hike was nice. I did notice I was the only person stupid enough to do it in motorcycle boots but I also noticed I wasn't hunched over suckin wind like so many. The view was just ok as there was some fog up there.
The ride back to Maggie Valley was beautiful.  Bright Sun and no traffic. I stopped and set up the GoPro and when I get home I'll investigate whether it turned out.
  We've got dinner reservations at a nice Italian joint so I need to wrap this up.


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