Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sunday Tour Of The Smokies


Sundays ride 75 miles

Mondays ride 15 miles

Mtd 156

I woke up Sunday wanting to get in a good ride. The problem, no one to ride with. So virtual Tony and I headed out for coulters bridge(above) see the nice parking area. This is where all good SMNP rides begin.

I had to snap this picture of river road leaving coulters. This is what the day would bring, great weather, little wind and lots of sunshine. Look at the vista, how perfect!
Along river road, sit many little cabins and houses. Some nice, some not so much. This property and house is about perfect. Sits back off the road with a nice yard and river for a back yard. Notice the steady hand as I pedal down the road.
At the end of river road you cross a one lane bridge over to Kinzel Springs. This is the view from the road. You might recognize Kinzel Springs as the home of HGTV's BLOG CABIN. Seems fitting I mention that on my blog.
As I make my way up to the park, I decide it is time to stop in Townsend at the coffee shop. I am very surprised to find it open on Sunday. The owner has just began to open up on Sundays for a couple of hours. A bagel for me and I am off. I did have a plan to stop on the way back for a cup of Joe and a muffin, but the shop had already closed.

As you enter the park, you come to hillbilly beach. This is the curve of the little river. We refer to this area as the Y. This is where you decide to go up to cades cove or head to Gatlinburg. Today I went west to Gatlinburg. 18 miles of the most beautiful road you could ever ride a bike on.

One example of the Little River

I took this picture as I crested the hill at Laurel Falls trail head. This has to be the busiest trail in the park. Very tourist friendly and paved.

I admit, I stopped to snap this pic. THE SINKS this is the location of one death per year. Very fast moving water at times and many dangers below. DO NOT SWIM HERE

I went down to Sugarlands visitors center and on my way back snapped this pic going back up to Laurel falls. This post is turning out to be more of a picture slide show and not a strong story line. Oh well tough luck.

As I made my way back into Townsend, I met up with two other cyclists. I think there names were Lance and Floyd. I names them this because they had just began to ride for the day and I already had over 3 hour on the saddle. I quickly sized up there strengths and weaknesses, and there were many of both, and decided to make them climb. I knew I could stay with them going up hill. We hit the Foothills Parkway. You can see a slide show of the parkway on the right hand side of the blogs front page. This is the best kept secret of Townsend. This has to be one of the top rides in America. There are five ways to ride to the top and all require lots of effort. I snapped the above picture as I road with the two disbelievers. They could not believe I was riding and taking pictures at the same time.

As you reach the end of the first climb, you get a grand view of Maryville, TN. I was right, lance and Floyd had no warm up and 3 miles into the climb they were toast and begging me to head back down.

Out of order a little, but I had to get the sign.

I headed back river road, but first I had to stop and cool off. This is the local pool for Heritage HS
Not sure they wanted there pictures taken.
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