Unega, the Great Smoky Mountains

Written by admin. Posted in 2012 Stories from the Road

I’m in Denver Colorado, the map spread out on the floor, it is too big to fit on the desk. I slowly start tracing a rough route with my eyes to the right and down dreaming of riding my motorcycle to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. It is such a long way on the map, further than I have went before but I have been thinking about this for a long time, let’s do this thing.
Unega, Cherokee for “White”, “Misty”, “Smoky”. The abundant rainfall, high humidity and always misty covers the mountains with a purple or blue haze that gives them thier name, the Smoky Mountains. I have never been, it was time, not to mention some of the top motorcycle roads in the United States.

These mountains are not high by Colorado standards with a high elevation of 5500 feet, barely higher than where I live, but when you start at 500 feet the feel is the same.

I had Tellico Plains Tennessee as a target on my map and that is where I started up the first road on my list the Cherohala Skyway. 21 miles in Tennessee, cross the state line in to North Carolina and end in Robbensvile 15 miles later. The most expensive highway construction project in history at $100,000,000.00 dollars bit at least they spread it out over 34 years because that is how long it took to complete. The road is made for sports cars and motorcycles and what a road it is.

Even the rivers have a smoky foggy steam emitting from them.

What a great ride that was, I stopped often to take in the views, do a little exploring and reflect on the ride so far. After Robbinsville, I took a road that followed a river full of rafters and lots of quaint little towns.

Can’t leave out trains!

I ended up in Maggie Valley which was also another major target on my map that is host to the Wheels through time motorcycle museum. Hey Jason is this your motorcycle, it has your name on it?

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Comments (3)

  • Hardtail

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    It must be my motorcycle if it has my name on it!!! Would you get it shipped back to me please, I misplaced it many years ago and have so dearly missed it.!! All kidding aside, what kind of motorcycle is that?

    Reply

    • admin

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      It is a 1913 Henderson Motorcycle, inline 4 cylinder. I think all henderson motorcycles were of the inline 4 cylinder variety. There is also another in the museum that was rideen from New York to California as part of an endurance test and record run in 1907. It made the 3296 miles in 6 days 6 hours. I just hit 3500 miles in 10 days on roads twice as good as they were back then.

      Reply

      • Hardtail

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        That is amazing! I never knew there was a Henderson Motorcycle. It is a very unique looking bike.

        Reply

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