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After riding for over 11 years, I finally got the opportunity to take a real overnight road trip with two other friends. A 76 year old on a 2020 Indian Chieftain, a 62 year old on a 2012 HD Ultra Limited, and me, 54 on the 2003 Volusia.

The other 2 met up a week before I joined them and rode all around Branson, MO and gradually worked their way back east to meet me on Wednesday in Sparta, NC.

Here I am loaded up, ready to leave Wednesday evening. We ended up staying in a vacation home in Sparta and hotels the entire trip, so I guess I packed and toted a tent around 5 states for ballast.

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Day 1 was a short ride for me from Salisbury, NC to Sparta, NC. Only 90 miles, mostly straight riding. Met the others at a vacation home we were able to stay for no charge.

Day 2 Sparta to Maggie Valley, NC via Back of the Dragon, south through Abingdon, VA and Bristol, TN. We planned on riding further, but the Indian had throttle issues. He bought the bike used and whoever installed the aftermarket grips, didn't install them correctly and wore out the fingers that engage the rheostat/potentiometer in the throttle assembly. He had to press in on the grip while twisting the throttle to get it up through the gears to be able to set his cruise control, so riding was sedate from Hot Springs to Maggie Valley. We had supper in Hot Springs, NC at Big Pillow Brewing. The beer was good, the food was meh.

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Day 3 Maggie Valley, NC to Helen, GA. Spent half the morning hanging out at Smoky Mountain Steel Horses in Waynesville, NC waiting on repairs on the Indian. The Indian needed an oil change too, they were too busy, but nice enough to allow us to use their facilities to preform the oil change.


All fixed up and ready to roll! (I sent this picture to my friends grandson, he said he looked like he robbed a homeless person 馃槀馃ぃ馃槀 )

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After a beautiful ride to Helen, we had a fantastic meal at Hofbrauhaus Restaurant washed down with some authentic German beer followed up by apple strudel and ice cream. It was between the main course and dessert that I missed out on the most interesting event of the whole trip. A young lady came to our table and asked if we had "b1tch" seats on our bikes?! She offered to ride with us. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) all of our bikes were loaded down with luggage, so we had to decline her offer. Ah, to be young again.

Day 4 morning: Loop west of Helen, GA on Hwys 348 and 180. Must have met 100 sports cars in packs of 4 to 30. Too crowded for my taste, but it was Saturday morning. Probably less crowded during the week.

After a short stop to part ways, I headed back North on my own. The other 2 were heading on to AL for some more riding Sunday before heading back.

The ride home alone was uneventful and melancholy, since my first overnighter was coming to an end. I did however turn over 42k miles on the Vol and had nearly 43k by the time I got home.

Total miles was 899.8 with only a short stent on I-40 on the way to Maggie Valley with the malfunctioning Indian throttle and on my way to meet up with them on I-77. Not to bad for my first overnighter. Next fall they're planning on another trip, but this time to NH, VT, and ME. Hope I can join them.

Sorry I don't have more pictures, I'll do better next time.
 

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Wish I had known you'd be in Helen, I'd have tried to ride out and meet you. Beautiful area to ride in. Glad the trip went well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wish I had known you'd be in Helen, I'd have tried to ride out and meet you. Beautiful area to ride in. Glad the trip went well.
Thanks Whiskey. I'll have to remember next time. I was just along for the ride. The other 2 guys do this every September. Last year they did Sturgis after the rally, not during. And the rest of the trip was made up as they went. They were really staying close to home for me this year so I could join them.
 
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good write up and glad you got to do it especially with fellow riders...glad the indian issue was not too bad and that it was able to be repaired and the group was able to resume the trip...from the look of the pic of the loaded Indian, i can see why some get trailers to load their gear in...if you plan on being in the Gettysburg, Pa area next fall...sept/oct...would love to have you stop by and join us for our rally...info on that ...date and place to be posted by Duglaura when he decides on a date. If your unable let us know when you'll be coming thru new england and maybe we can set up a lunch meet and a ride.
 

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Good for you. :)
Careful...Motorcycle trips can become addicting.

I'm considering a trip to the Back of the Dragon this fall.
How was it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
good write up and glad you got to do it especially with fellow riders...glad the indian issue was not too bad and that it was able to be repaired and the group was able to resume the trip...from the look of the pic of the loaded Indian, i can see why some get trailers to load their gear in...if you plan on being in the Gettysburg, Pa area next fall...sept/oct...would love to have you stop by and join us for our rally...info on that ...date and place to be posted by Duglaura when he decides on a date. If your unable let us know when you'll be coming thru new england and maybe we can set up a lunch meet and a ride.
Thanks DC! I'll be sure to check out the fall ride next year. Thanks for the invite!
 

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Good for you. :)
Careful...Motorcycle trips can become addicting.

I'm considering a trip to the Back of the Dragon this fall.
How was it?
I don't have a lot of the well known rides to compare to, but it was fun. I didn't feel overwhelmed in the least. It was somewhat technical, but very little traffic, but we were there on a weekday, so take that into consideration. I'm certain the weekends would be more crowded. I've never been on the Dragon's tail even though I live in NC, but the other 2 riders both like the BOTD better than the Dragon's tail for what's it's worth.

I actually prefer roads like the BRP. I like long sweepers and smooth roads. My 2 buddies have ridden much more than me and they ride pretty hard. I have a hard time keeping up sometimes. In GA we rode the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway (GA 348) and I really liked that road. It reminded me of the BRP, just too short. We also hit GA-197 and I really liked that one too. It was another road that reminded me of the BRP.

From what I've read and seen on YT, I really want to go to SD and ride those roads around Sturgis.
 
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I don't have a lot of the well known rides to compare to, but it was fun. I didn't feel overwhelmed in the least. It was somewhat technical, but very little traffic, but we were there on a weekday, so take that into consideration. I'm certain the weekends would be more crowded. I've never been on the Dragon's tail even though I live in NC, but the other 2 riders both like the BOTD better than the Dragon's tail for what's it's worth.
....
Thanks for the info, I could use a fun ride.
I've ridden the Tail of the Dragon many times over the years and, although it's a great ride, I'm ready for something different. I'm hoping to get to the BOTD later this October. If that doesn't happen, it will definitely by on my list for next year. I hate running out of Summer.

From what I've read and seen on YT, I really want to go to SD and ride those roads around Sturgis.
You'll love the riding around Sturgis. I've gone the the rally every year for the last ten years and there's always enough there to keep me coming back.
 

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I remember my first overnight trip. I live in one of the suburbs of murdermore I mean Baltimore. My brother and I were going camping in Harpers Ferry like we often do. I put a couple of things in his truck and then pack the rest in my saddlebags and a large duffel bag that had my tarp hammock clothes and other items. I need to find a picture of it. I even took one of the folding camping chairs in a bag and strap that to the top of the duffel bag. This was a few years ago before I bought my Boulevard. It was a Yamaha V Star 650 2006 model. And even though it was only 650 I went up and down the mountains with no hesitation and still had room to get down on it to pass someone going up a mountain. It was awesome and I loved it and has done it ever since. Actually the first time I did it was before I even had a cruiser. My first motorcycle was a 2017 Honda cbr300. At the time it seems very logical to buy a starter bike but then within 3 weeks after I figured out how to ride it I was bored and it was like riding a tricycle. Lol. Anyhow I put some stuff in the backpack and put it on my back and put the rest of the stuff in my brother's truck and headed to Harpers Ferry. When I got there and got off of my bike I knew that I was going to buy a cruiser. I'll be damned if I was going to spend another trip hunched over the gas tank of a crotch rocket. Lol. I wish you the best and the other readers the best in future camping!
 
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