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I finally took the trip I'd been planning for a while with my wife and her parents. We trailed my CTX and my wife's father's Harley down to NC, stayed in a cabin west of Asheville, did excursions from there, and then rode home 1-up.

Thursday we made a loop of leaving NC via the Cherohala Skyway and returning via US 129 and riding the Tail of the Dragon, then meandering our way back to the cabin. The day started off cold with heavy fog, which burned off by noon to give way to a gorgeous afternoon. I have to say, overall the day involved about 7 or 8 hours of the best riding I've ever done.

Here we are on the Skyway, as captured by the roadside photographer.

And here we are on the Dragon a bit later:


I have to say, I much preferred the Cherohala Skyway over the Dragon. It was far less crowded and a slightly more relaxed ride, perfect for 2-up enjoyment of the scenery and just being outdoors. I found the Dragon over-crowded and just technically challenging enough that it became all about just navigating the road and staying clear of other riders, more so than enjoying the ride. But that's just me. I've never been a particularly aggressive rider and I don't love crowds. It seemed like there were a lot of yahoos out. Saw at least one rider down with a mangled bike on the way through (he already had a bunch of people tending to him so we didn't stop). I take it that happens dozens of times per day. In the direction we went, we ended at Deal's Gap and pulled over into the motorcycle resort at the "beginning" of the Dragon, which I have to say was nice. Despite being sick of seeing so many people around, it was nice to hang out there for a while and admire bikes and watch people take off (even if I rolled my eyes at a lot of the noise and wheelies and stupid antics).

Friday we got rained out and explored Asheville in a car. It was just a downpour with high winds for the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon. Saturday we rode from the cabin to Roanoke, VA on state highways, following but not actually using much of the Blue Ridge Parkway because it was really cold, staying in the 40's for most of the ride. Gorgeous but cold. Really glad I got heated grips installed prior to this trip.

Saturday we rode mostly interstate from Roanoke home to southwestern PA, since we know that route pretty well and honestly even the interstate in WV is a gorgeous ride (I-64 to US-19 to I-79). Again a cold day but absolutely beautiful.

Over 800 miles of riding in 3 days. I feel like the CTX is pretty much an extension of my body now. :)

Jeff
 

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2014 Honda CTX1300 Deluxe
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Jeff,

Great story! My wife and I did the same thing last May on the Fury. I wish we had the CTX1300 then. We drove two-up from Burlington NC. I believe we tallied 1500 miles in four days!

I must agree with you, the Cherohala Skyway is much nicer than the Dragon.

Keep it safe!!
 

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You look like you're having way too much fun. Have you wiped that grin off your face yet? No, I suppose not. :D

Great story -- thanks for posting. ;)


PS: I can't help but notice how phenomenally awesome that bike looks in motion.
 

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Great story and great picture!
The wife and I took my truck down Skyline Drive this past Saturday. The plan was to take the bike, but since it was a 5 hour drive just to get there, and we only had one night to stay in a hotel, it didn't work out. Still... it was an awesome day, and I will be back that way on the motorcycle soon. Next week, I have to attend a 2-day workshop in Roanoke, and I'm going to head out early enough that I can get to Waynesboro by noon and ride the Blueridge Parkway south until it smacks into Roanoke. It should be a great ride, assuming the weather holds out. I love living near the beach, but sometimes I wish the mountains were a leeeeeetle bit closer. :)
 

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I have to say, I much preferred the Cherohala Skyway over the Dragon. It was far less crowded and a slightly more relaxed ride, perfect for 2-up enjoyment of the scenery and just being outdoors.
Jeff


Jeff,


My wife and I have done the Dragon Tail a couple times now (got the cap and T-shirt and pictures to prove it), but have never done the Cherohala Skyway. From your review, I think we will for sure take that loop next time we go up there (for us it is only about a 4 hour trip).


Love the smiles on your faces! Somehow it makes it seem like I already know you guys. You know, you meet the nicest people on a Honda... :wink:
 

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When y'all are riding the Tennessee half of the Cherohala Skyway be sure to check out Bald River Falls. 35.324719, -84.177583

River Road is a Forest Service road that runs from the Skyway up to the North Carolina state line. The road is paved, but it does not have a center line. The scenery is among the best on the planet. The CTX is perfect for this road. You can just take a nice relaxed ride up to the top and then back down. It takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half if you just ride. But you'll want to stop often for the scenery. When the traffic is light, you can park your bike on the Bald River Bridge and get a photo with the Falls in the background.

CTX1300D - TennesseeSmith
 
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