I have loved the Smoky Mountains since I first visited them with my wife and sons more than a decade ago as part of a trip to Nashville, TN. The region contains towns that are off the beaten path, away from the hurried life, surrounded by natural beauty, interesting back roads and, well, mountains. I love the mountains. Throw in some fairly common southern hospitality and you have the kind of place I could easily see myself living.
This trip had me covering roughly 1500 miles, over 6 days. I did most of the planning using Furkot.com and, while on the road, relied on Sygic as my iOS GPS app (BTW, in the event you haven’t read it, I gave up on my TomTom iOS GPS app when they moved to a yearly subscription model – so much for “free LIFETIME map updates”). Both Furkot and Sygic proved to be great tools and I trust I will be using this combination again (in fact, I’ve already planned several future trips on Furkot).
On this trip I encountered bone chilling damp weather, warm sunshine and nearly zero visibility fog. My goal was to see Gatlinburg, TN (an old favorite that has gotten far too touristy for my tastes), ride the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway (I didn’t ride the skyway due to weather), visit Cherokee, NC and Maggie Valley, NC, and ride a nice section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, taking in the Linn Cove Viaduct (which was entrenched in fog!). I also had a chance to ride US Rt 11 on the return trip and took in some of the pre-Interstate history.