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Discussion Starter #1
Finally I worked out a free 3 day weekend to go for a ride. For Friday the plan is to ride from Chicago to St Louis, MO and than to sleep somewhere near the Mark Twain Forest area. Than on Saturday to ride from Mark Twain Forest towards Lake of the Ozarks, spend the night there. And on Sunday to ride back home towards Chicago area. This is kind of spur of the moment/need to get o way and push the reset buttons trip. Not a lot of planning done, just ride in that general direction kind of trip. Now I got couple of questions for the people that are familiar with this area. What are some cannot miss Restaurants/ food places that I should visit. Any must visit places that I should not miss. Also the plan is to use hotels/motels for sleeping . No camping on this trip( short on time). Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.
 

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You could hook up on old route 66 a lot of the way. But be advised if you do sections of it are in serious need of repair. Hwy 96 (IL side) or Hwy 79 (MO side) of the river from Hanibal (Mark Twains home) south are both nice rides. Hwy 21 south of St.Louis is a nice ride down to Taum Sauk Mtn (highest peak in MO) along with Elephant Rocks St Park and Johnson Shut Ins St Park. Perryville MO, close by there also has a full size replica of the Viet Nam Wall Monument. Hwy 94 west from St Charles is a good ride thru some MO wine country all the way over to Herman. Hwy 19 is a scenic ride north or south of I-44. One of my favorite rides is Hwy 28 from Bland west to Hwy 42 all the way to Osage Beach on Lake of the Ozarks. Wobbly Boots there is good for a meal. You would have to plot out your ride to get a nice loop in on your three days. Hope this helps. Ride safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@Stlburd2. Thanks for all the information. It is much appreciated. Only thing I will have to save it for my next trip. There is a change in the plans. Looking at the weather, they are calling for rain on Saturday, and on top of it a Friend decided to join, so We made a decision to go South to the Tail of the Dragon. I managed to take a full week of from work next week , so We are just riding South with out time restrictions. The weather looks great except for Monday, and I hope We will have some fun rides.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I’m back from a great 4 day trip down South.
Day 1 Friday 10/01/20. A friend on a 2015 BMW 1200 GSA and I starter from my Home in Countryside IL. Chicagoland suburbia. This was day of riding the Interstates. We took I 65 through Indiana to Louisville KY then jumped on I 64 to Lexington KY then on to I 75 to Corbin KY where We stoped and spent the night at Quality Inn .Total of 470 miles. Average speed75 mpg .
Day 2. Saturday 10/2/20. This was a FUN day. We started at Corbin KY South on I 75 to Knoxville TN , Here the interstate is quite fun to ride. Rode through Knoxville TN then jumped on HWY 129 to Chihowee TN. We stopped there for a short brake. Then the FUN part begin. We rode South on 129 . Rode the Tail of the Dragon, made it to Deals Gap , stoped at the resort enjoyed all the people, all the bikes the whole scene was great. Now for the Tail of the Dragon ride, riding it the first time was a challenge, not from a technical standpoint but more of a point of concern. What I mean is that I’m a 18 wheeler truck driver with over 2.5 million miles experience. I’m trained to look and predict potential problems. With all the approaching traffic from the South going North, especially the 4 wheelers, I was concerned that one can come in to my lane and put me in a position without escape place. That almost nixed all the fun, but it didn’t ti a point. At the Deals gap resort the people was saying that in general the attendance was low for the day.
Now , from the Deals Gap We continued South on 129 to Robbinsville NC, where We took HWY 143 the Cherohala Skyway . Now this road I loved, it was the best road the I have ridden a Motorcycle. Loved everything about it. We rode to Tellico Plains, We stoped and had a dinner at the Iron Works restaurant, which has a great outdoor seating with a great view of the river and the mountains. After dinner We head out to Eatowah NC where We spend the night at the Red Roof inn.
Day 3 Sunday 10/3/20. From Eatowah NC We took Hwy 411 South to Ocoee NC where We got on Hwy 74 East to Ductown NC , jumped on 68 South to the town of McCaysville GA( state line NC/GA) . We had lunch at Twisted Tomato Pizza . Great brick oven pizzas. From Here We took Hwy 60 East ( loved this road) , passed by Two Wheels of Suches Campground, then we took Hwy 19 East, Hwy 129 South to Cleveland GA, then Hwy 115 South to Hwy 23 North through Talluah Falls all the way to Franklin NC where we jumped on HWY 28( the northern portion of the Moonshiners Hwy.) We rode that to the Deals Gap( Tail of the Dragon) where we went back South on Hwy 129 to the Tapoco Lodge for a light diner. ( I recommend the Trout Nugets). After dinner it was around 6 pm and We rode out back to Tail Rolf the Dragon and this time We rode it South to North. It was a great ride because there was almost no traffic on it being late Sunday night. After finishing the Dragon We head out back North towards Home. Ending the day back at Corbin KY.
Day 4 Monday 10/5/20
This was the final day of the trip . Just riding Interstates 75 ; 64; 65; 294 . Nothing eventful.
In All Loved every moment of this trip. Can’t wait to go back in the area again. Great roads. Great Food . Great people wherever We stoped. Great experience. And in the end Love and appreciate the Beauty and the Greatness of this Great USA.
Sorry for the long post, just wanted to share my experience.
 

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Wish I had known you were going to stop in Corbin, that's my home town. Moved to the PNW almost 12 years ago. Could've recommended some good local eateries and a couple of really cool often overlooked spots not to far out of your way.
I agree I 75 between Corbin and Knoxville is a really nice ride for interstate. Great veiws from Jellico Mountain.
If you're thru there again 25 E from Corbin to Harrigate TN then 63 E thru Powell valley to I 75 brings you out in Rocky Top Tn South of the mountain. It makes a nice ride as well without adding a lot of time.
 
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I really enjoyed your photos. I used to live in Cleveland TN and rode the Ocoee and Tellico river areas nearly every weekend. The Cherohala Skyway is awesome on a bike. That one photo looks like Ocoee Dam #2.

I lived in Corbin KY until last year. Now I'm just up the road in London.

It sounds like you had an awesome trip.
 
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Did any of the roadside photographers get any shots of ya going by? Those make awesome keepsakes. If you know the website you can hunt by date/time to find yourself. You can actually print out your picture but it will have their logo/name across it vs clean if ya buy from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@cefox . Corbin, KY it is kind of a must stop for me. Exit 29 has the Love’s and Pilot Truck stops, being a truck driver it is one of those places where I always stop when passing by. I love that part of the country, people are always nice and friendly.
@TennesseeSmith . You are right Sir. One of the pictures is exactly at Ocoee Dam 2. There was a lot of Kayakers getting ready to go down stream, and that motivated us to stop and check out the scene. Later we found out that this is where they had the Kayaking competition for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
@Stlburd2. Yes they had the Photographers out on the Tail that day, I found the pictures and I will order some from both of the companies, because I like what they doing and also as you said it is a great memory. I also made some screenshots from my phone just so my wife can pick which ones she like the best. Thanks to all of you for the nice comments and suggestions.
 
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