Once I crossed the state line into Tennessee today, the weather started to clear up and get much better. It was still cool, but the sun was shining (I have the burn on my face to prove it). There’s just something great about Tennessee! Since I was blessed with sunshine, I decided to head south around the mountains rather than over top of them after going to Gatlinburg so I could ride the Tail of the Dragon today rather than take a chance with the bad weather forecast tomorrow. Gatlinburg was nice to see again. I came in from the north rather than the west this time. There are actually a lot of nice artsy shops off the main road coming in from the north. Gatlinburg has grown a good bit since I was last there with Lynda and the boys – about 10 years ago, if I’m not mistaken. It doesn’t look like it’s going to stop growing any time soon. I’m actually glad I didn’t spend the night. Even this early in the season, it’s too crowded for my taste. The Tail of the Dragon was a fun ride, but not a particularly pleasurable ride. 318 turns in 11 miles! And these are not soft turns; most are quite extreme, as the floorboards on The X can attest. Deal’s Gap Resort was a bit of a biker’s Mecca and too crowded for my taste. But, I’m glad I took the opportunity to go and now I can cross it off my to-do list. I’m staying at the Econolodge in Cherokee tonight. Walked into town to scope things out and then grabbed a meal to go from the KFC across the street. Most of the town was shut down for the night (I am thankful for the shop that was open which had aloe gel I could put on my sunburned face). Further up the road, where the casino is, I’m sure things are bustling a bit more. The hotel is nice, but the wireless is pretty weak and my connection keeps dropping, so updating the blog is a little challenging tonight.