Today was our last working day on the trip, as such we worked in the room until 10:30 before packing up the bikes and departing. The Microtel Inn & Suites in Robbinsville has a decent breakfast although not the caliber of a Hampton Inn. With work complete we headed up Hwy 129 toward Deals Gap. We road the “Dragon” northbound first and the turned around to ride it southbound. There was heavy law enforcement today, likely due to the recent fatality of a sportbike vs. semi. From what I was able to gather, the sportbike was in the wrong by crossing the line, the semi truck driver is being charged and the sportbike rider is dead.
We stopped at the Deals Gap Resort for stickers, patches and a meal. Then we decided to ride HellBender (Hwy 28) around to 143 and head back into Robbinsville. There was a gas stop in Robbinsville to top off Reagan’s tank and we stayed there longer to cool off as the temperature was rising after lunch.
At this point, it was time to point the bikes toward home, but not without one last scenic detour. We left the area via the Cherohala Skyway and for a while, escaped the high temperatures. When we reached Telico Plains we turned north on 68 then west on 39. In Etowah we took another break to get out of the heat and cool off. Then it was south on 411 to 64 west which took us to Cleveland, TN. We took the Hwy 60 bypass south to I-75. Then it was a short run on the superslab down to Chattanooga. After being on back roads for so many days I actually had to push myself to get the bike up to 70mph again.
We arrived at the Comfort Inn and checked in. We were done for the day. We travelled 187 miles today.
After showers and a little break we headed across the street to the City Cafe located in the Best Western Inn. It was one of only two choices we had within walking distance. The other was Waffle House and that really wasn’t a choice. OMG!!! The City Cafe at exit 7 of I-75 is a top notch restaurant. Their food is great, their menu is extensive and the prices are fantastic. If I’m on I-75 in the future I will definitely stay at a hotel within walking distance of the City Cafe. It was one of the biggest surprises of the trip.
Tomorrow we plan to make Slidell, La. Heat is of course a concern so we are starting early and plan to keep our stops short. If all goes as planned we’ll get to the hotel between noon and 1. If they won’t let us check in early I’ll just kick back in their lobby and wait. Two hot, sweaty, smelly motorcycle rider should be motivation enough to allow us to check in early. :)