Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lookout for Clay and Caves

I woke up to a glorious sun filled day. Steve is trying to sleeping in, but that will come to an end, we have places to go. Today will be a relatively easy riding day, but we will still cover 3 states, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

First Stop is Red Clay Historical Park for the Trail of Tears ink. When we arrived there was one pickup truck in the parking lot, the gates were open, the lights were on in the visitor center, but the doors were locked. We are out in the middle of nowhere, well it appeared that way. Since it was just past 8 (when the park is supposed to open) we decided to hang a bit. About ½ hour later 3 cars pull in and unload. It was the park personnel. My guess someone has a really easy job that no one ever checks up on and they were all home doing something else and someone called them and told them they better get their asses in gear and get down to the park.

On our way to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park we stopped at one of two Harley dealers in Dalton, GA. This place had a ton of bikes; there must have been over 100 bikes

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is a Civil War site. The battles here were considered the key to the railway center to the heart of the Confederacy. Lookout Mountain is also part of this military park, know as Point Park.

Steve was sick of getting his boots soaked when it rained and like the pull over I had for my boots, so we stopped at the Kawasaki dealer in Chatanooga. Harley dealers would never have the Tourmaster boot covers. Now it you read my "Beginnings" we just happened to run into one of the these. I still get a rise when I see one of these.

In New Hampshire we have firework stores, so I assume once you purchase them you have to set them off in the parking lot. In my travels I have seen plenty of these stores, but none this big. Can't you see this place being a scene from a movie like American Graffiti or Bueller's Day Off.

Two roads lead to Russell Cave National Park. Of course I took the hard one. Well Garmin picked this one, remember I simply follow the purple line. This road was one of those roads that goes deeper and deeper into the woods and just gets a little worse after every ½ mile or so, steeper grade, tar turns to gravel with patches of grass and narrows as you go. You know the kind of road I am talking about. After traveling this road down the side of a mountain, I just knew we were gonna get to the end and there was going to be a gate with the park right on the other side of the gate and no way to get there. I am sure glad I am wrong most of the time. One of the grounds keeper asked if we came from down the mountain, which we said yes, and he simply chuckled. I guess we are not the first to come here that way

Russell Cave was home to prehistoric people and is the most complete archeological site in the Southeast. This is a NP worthwhile visiting. The following is a 1 minute slide show of Russell Cave.

Click here to watch "Russell-Cave"

Russell Cave was the last scheduled stop of the day, so we had time to stop into Thunder Creek Harley. Now this place is owned by the same folks who own the Dalton dealership and has about the same amount of bikes on the floor. According to the people behind the counter, this is the better of the 2 dealerships. What say you Dalton, GA ???

Remainder of the day found us wondering thru the hills of Tennessee until around 9pm finding the Hog Heaven Resort. This place is in Tellico Plains and is owned by a couple from Florida, who is catering to the motorcycle community. They have 3 cabins built and plan to build about 15 or more as the years move by. The accommodations are very nice and comfortable. Price wise they are on the high side but not off the wall. Oh they have food on-site and it is pretty darn good and cheap.

Map of the Day >

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