MONTGOMERY, AL TO CLEMSON, SC
Wednesday morning I woke up before the alarm clock, excitement and eagerness pushing me forward to start the day. Harley and I were all set to start our five day and four night motorcycle vacation to the Smokey Mountains, with riding the Dragon's Tail as just one of the highlights. Knowing we were going to have many other exciting roads to ride, I couldn't wait to get started!
Our riding pals, the Lone Ranger and the Beav were meeting us on I-85 at a prearranged rendezvous point in Newnan, GA. They had a lot farther to travel from Panama City than we did from Montgomery, so we gave them a couple hours head start. Harley and I arrived in Newnan early enough to get a bite to eat and have something to drink. When our friends pulled in, we stayed long enough for them to have a stretch and a drink and off we went. Two beautiful Street Glides, a Road King, and me on my Electra Glide Classic. We planned to get to Clemson, SC this first day. We rode north up I-85 which was fast paced, but not very eventful. Other than getting knocked around by wind drafts from trucks and feeling the intense heat rise up off that asphalt ribbon and cook us like bacon, I feel like I'm riding on auto pilot, which is very boring. Except in Atlanta!
The Lone Ranger was leading our four bikes through the big bad metropolis of Atlanta. I hate driving a car here, so I was a little apprehensive about riding through on my motorcycle. At least the time of day was on our side. It was before the regular rush hour traffic, so it really wasn't that bad. We stayed in the commuter lane on the far left and we had no problems. When I realized things were rolling along smoothly, I noticed I was holding my grips so tight that my arms were getting tired! I chastised myself to shake it loose and relax!
As the Atlanta skyline came into view on my left, I recognized the Westin Tower among the structures. It looked like it still had several windows broken out from the tornado that hit downtown Atlanta a few months ago. (See my post "I'll Get You My Pretty...) I definitely had a night to remember there! We all continued on through the city and got moving up the interstate again in no time.
We turned north off I-85 not far into the state of South Carolina and made our way into the quaint little college town of Clemson, SC. We had no trouble finding a place to stay for the night and a bonus to that was the great restaurant right across the street from our hotel. "Rockhoppers" was an excellent place to get a good dinner, have a few cold beers, and enjoy a nice relaxing atmosphere as we unwound from the days ride. We went to bed this first night with full bellies and the need for a good nights rest. We had plans to explore all over this area for the next four days and enjoy some roads in the Smokey Mountains. We are taking Hwy. 178 north to Hwy. 64 north through the Nantahala National Forest tomorrow. Sweet Dreams!
To be continued...
It's like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 283 miles later, this first day didn't bring lots of pretty pics or interesting stories to share, but we are about to embark on the best motorcycle trip I've ever been on. This day just set us up to where the fun stuff starts. I can promise you the upcoming episodes will have a pretty pic or two. LOL!