Smokin the Smokies

Written by admin. Posted in 2014 A True Sabbatical

Don’t like the influences from the north corrupting your youth, then build your own college. In this case the southern 10 dioceses’ did just that. History of the school called them dioceses but in reality it was 10 southern states; Al, Ark, Fl, Ga, La, Ms NC, SC, Tn and Tx. The called it University of the South now normally just called Sewanee. It sits on the Cumberland Plateau and is one of the most beautiful college campus’s in the United States. Me being a Westerner I did not have a clue what I stumbled on when I pulled off the main road and entered the campus. I didn’t know if it was a school, a town or a seminary. Turns out it is all three. Oh by the way, during the Civil War the North influenced their young again by blowing up a lot of the newly constructed college.


The best places are those found by accident and just like the University of the South was found by just following an interesting looking road, so was the road deep into a canyon where I found a moonshine still. A really large moonshine still operating legally  today. I have never tasted Dickel, but after discovering this beautiful place at the end of the road in Cascade Canyon, a bottle is in my future.

gorge dickel

All of the workers were smiling too, even the gate guard, must be a great place to work. I am sure they wouldn’t be smiling if they still had to work these old mechanical smashers.


dickel brewery

I am riding through the Cumberland Mountains and now in Georgia and start noticing all these marble buildings. Turns our this area is known for it’s very desirable rose colored marble. The Tate house now used for weddings and other functions was built with this beautiful marble.

marble house

university of south church

Seems like all the old rail road depots have been restored or converted into something else. This one still exists without restoration. You just know it has some stories.

tate depot

university of south church Almost forgot, if you want to see the Chattanooga Choo Choo, take money! I fought my way downtown Chattanooga just to see the train and take a pic. Downtown was really cool but the train is hidden from any street views and after checking out a few public parking spots, I could not find one I trusted with all my gear packed on so I gave up. Disgusted, I went to the park on the river instead and changed the name of the Delta Queen to the Chattanooga chug chug paddle boat. Somebody write a song about it.

delta queen

The Rockies are not the only mountains in the United States, yes they are the biggest but you have the same feel down here except instead of pine, aspen and trout you have 100 different kinds of trees and fish.  Event though the highest point in Georgia is less than the elevation where I live in the flatlands, this view feels like on top of the world to me.

pass in Ga

Again the tail of the dragon calls my name. 318 curves in 11 miles and often called the best motorcycle road in America. Somehow I made it to Deals Gap without a map (I just followed all the motorcycles), the official unofficial start point.

deals gap

Doesn’t hurt to take a pass by the tree of shame to see all the broken parts gathered from wrecks on the dragon, should keep me slowed down some.

tree of shame

I have friends who should never attempt this road since they can’t stand to be passed. I was passed by many a crotch rockets and I thought I was zipping along pretty good for a bagger! I did test the abs brakes more than once. Once you make it to the end, the reward is this view.

dam on tod

I was in this area a couple of years ago and so impressed with the Smokies  I just had to come back. It is pretty easy to see where the name came from. This is my home for the next 3-4 days.

smokies smokingAlmost all of the tenants in this motel are on motorcycles. It is just a beautiful area to ride and hang out. If you need me, I will be in this place for the rest of the day and probably tomorrow!

wheels thru time

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