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Road to the Smokies – Day 2

This is the story of my road trip from Pekin, IL to Gatlinburg, TN on my Honda CBR 600 RR motorcycle.

The first thing in my mind when I woke up this morning: holy crap every joint in my body is sore. It was an unpleasant way to start the day, for sure, but after showering and moving around a bit everything was just fine.

I packed up all of my junk, suited up and headed down to the check out at about 10 this morning. On the way, I ran into an old man in the hallway who told me how absolutely envious he was that I was riding a motorcycle. He went into a spiel about how he’s got his class M but hasn’t ridden in years because of all the health problems that plague him now, and made me promise to enjoy the trip enough for the both of us.

The view in Berea, KY. Starting to get some hills, but not quite mountains.

After loading everything onto the bike again I set out on the interstate headed towards Lexington. After I made it to Lexington I hopped on I-75 south towards Knoxville. I ended up cruising for a while behind a BMW Z4 M, that was a fun time. Eventually I had to stop for gas though and pulled over in Berea. After filling up I pulled over to an empty spot in the parking lot and started putting on my rain gear. An older couple pulling a trailer pulled up and parked near me. After they came out of the store I asked them where they were coming from/going to because I wanted to get some insight on how the weather was. I found out they were heading south also, and were actually hauling a Road King in the trailer. The guy and I (never thought to get his name) talked shop for about 15 minutes and finally parted ways.

I eventually made it to Knoxville and took US 441 straight through. I was about 15 miles from Gatlinburg when I took a wrong turn onto US 411. I’m sure I’m not the first person to mix up 441 and 411 while quickly glancing at road signs… haha. Anywho, 411 ended up being a pretty neat ride with a few twisties here and there. I went about 15 miles before realizing I was on the wrong road so I turned around and headed back. Once I found my way onto 441 again it only took about 25 minutes to make it to the motel in Gatlinburg.

The view out the window of my room in Gatlinburg.

I checked in and got everything hauled into my room. After getting out of my suit I unpacked all my junk into the drawers and collapsed on the bed for a bit. I didn’t feel like going anywhere tonight because I’m so exhausted, so I had Papa John’s deliver a pizza and now I’m well-fed and really tired. I know I said I’d take more pictures today but it was rainy and crappy for the most part so I only snapped a few. I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for tomorrow, but I promise — for real this time — to take more pictures.

Lessons Learned Today

  • Pro-tip: Speeding is a breeze on I-75 between Lexington and Knoxville. There is a barrier between northbound and southbound 90% of the way and pretty much nowhere for cops to hide!
  • Rain suit + sheepskin buttpad on the seat = slipping all over the place and super uncomfortable.
  • A man can accomplish a great deal of thinking while riding on the highway with ear plugs in, as you can hear the things in your head much better. And when I say “thinking,” I mean beat-boxing, humming and singing.
A quick panorama I made of my motel room. I'm too lazy to actually do a 360-degree one.

You can see all of the photos from my trip in my Facebook album: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2068810&id=197102025&l=9f9eff78bb

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