On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, we took another Day Ride. Our destination was Bryson City, NC.
Jeff talks about our ride in this short video:
We left our home in North Knoxville right at 10 am. The skies were partly cloudy and the temperature was 70 degrees. A good chance of rain was in the forecast so we had our rain gear handy.
We took Alcoa Highway (129) south through Maryville where we took 321 through Walland. We stopped in Townsend to fill our tanks and get a light snack.
We took 73 into the mountains. Our first scenic stop was at the Sinks, a rapid water fall.
We traveled up 73, turning right onto 441 just before Gatlinburg. We then took 441 up to Newfound Gap and over the mountain. As often happens this time of year, we were delayed by road work.
After the road block cleared, we headed on toward Cherokee, stopping first at Mingus Mill. You can read more about the mill HERE. It was built in 1886 and uses a water powered turbine. The mill has several markers talking about its history as well as a volunteer stationed inside. This is a great free landmark to visit when you ride this way.
After visiting the mill, we got back on 441, rode through Cherokee and got onto highway 19.
19 took us right into Bryson City, a quaint town. It’s got a terrific mix of small town appeal and tourist destination combined. We parked easily downtown and headed toward our lunch destination- Jimmy Mac’s.
After lunch, we walked around downtown.
After walking around awhile, we got back on the bikes, fueled up and got back on 19 south toward Fontana Lake. Eventually 19 turns into 28.
28 took us toward Fontana Village but first we stopped at the Fontana Dam.
The Fontana Dam is a spectacular sight of human engineering set in a wildly beautiful scene. It’s an absolute must see!
We were able to walk all around the dam and see it up close. Volunteers man the visitor center and the gift shop. Clean, spacious bathrooms are located on site. Next time you’re out this way, stop in at Fontana Dam. It’s well worth your time.
After the dam we rode through Fontana Village and then continued on 28 which took us right into the parking lot of the Deals Gap store on the Dragon.
We walked around both stores and looked at all the bikes, then proceeded down the Dragon. Killboy.com and 129Slayer.com both have photographers stationed about taking photos of riders. We purchased these from Killboy:
We took 129 all the way to 411, took Alcoa Highway back into Knoxville, and made it home a few minutes after 7pm.
Here is the wrap up video:
The day ended up being mostly sunny with only a few sprinkles. It was a great ride! Our total mileage was 208 miles.
You can see our entire list of Day Rides HERE.