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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on a trip from St louis to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway in late summer. probably around September. Anyone interested? Any one else ride the parkway and give me any ideas? Halfway decent hotels? I'll be taking a week vacation so I'll have plenty of time. :bmw:
 

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try to fit in the skyline drive that leads to the blue ridge on the northeast side. just as good. just try not to push the LT too hard. they are kind of picky about that speed limit thing. plenty of camping or hotels nearby.
 

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You need to be careful riding the BRP in late September - high elevations cold and icy -
falling leaves - slippery - rainy weather and foggy can present issues.

There are two motels on the BRP that are part of the official Park System:
- Peaks of Otter
- Pisgah Inn

Need to make reservations early!!

Check them out the Official Site:
http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/lodging.htm

Tons of motels off the BRP, places to eat and sights to see. Running in early September
would be better regarding weather and most anytome after August the tourist traffic dies
down especially during the week.

If you are running W to E - I would recommend you drive from St. Louis to Ironhorse Cabins
in Stecoah, NC and then head for the start of the BRP eastern start just north of Cherokee
NC

http://www.ironhorsenc.com/

A group of about 30 to 40 rider from this form has a spring and fall get together every year at
Ironhorse. Look it up under the Ride Section - Here are the dates for the 2013 Spring
Training Camp (STC) and Smoky Mountain Fall Reunion (SMFR).

STC: Put Taxes behind you and come to the mountains April 18, 19, & 20.

SMFR: Get ready for great foliage in the mountains October 17, 18, & 19

You might want to visit as a pre-ride to your fall trip however it is about 540 miles one way
from St. Louis. There will plenty of riders at the event that know the BRP backwards and
forwards. BTW the owner of the Ironhorse Cabins (John Powell) is a K1200LT rider as well!!

Good luck in your ride planning . . . :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the advice difanzzo and I'll definitely look into modifying my ride days based on your input.
 

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A few thoughts...

1. The BRP is almost exactly 500 miles long, its a big 1 day ride because of its windy nature, a nice two day ride.
2. Forget about the Skyline drive for three reasons; more crowded, lower speed limit and riddled with cops. Northern end of the BRP therefore starts at Staunton/Waynesboro.
3. If you came into the northern end after lunch from St Louis (64E, then 81N to Staunton), then it is a nice easy run down to Roanoke with a big selection of motels. You might also have time to visit the D-Day Memorial at Bedford. I still wear my t-shirt from there over here in NZ.
4. On exit at the bottom end, you can go straight over the hill to Dollywood/Gatlinburg and on to Maryville and the 40 home. Alternatively, adding probably an extra 1/2 day, and particularly good if the day is a week day, from Cherokee area I would:
a. 441 towards the west and stop off at Clingman's Dome, magic views.
b. 73/321 toward Maryville to Foothills Parkway, and take the Parkway south.
c. 129 eastwards (the Dragon), it is a fun ride on the LT, especially if the traffic is light so you aren't held up.
d. Then continue east on the 129 and take the Cherohala Skyway (a road made in heaven specifically for the LT) south (143/165) to Tellico Plains. Aim to have lunch here. Then take the 40 or 24 home.There are some nice runs south west of Tellico in the direction of Chattanooga that would incline me in that direction, but time may be pressing, it is longer on the Chattanooga route..
 

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My brother lives in Spartanburg, and rides the Parkway a lot. If you plan to ride down to the southern end, I'm sure he'd love to run a few miles with you!

Email me if you're interested.

Jerrold
 

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My buddies and I did the North to South ride of the BRP in October. While the views were awesome it was an extremely frustrating ride. The Senior Citizens and the Mommy vans watch for every f*cking squirrel and staring at every shade of red in a tree full of leaves meant lots of traffic going below the speed limit. Most of the BRP is a no passing zone.

By no means am I a speed demon. Do I like to go fast- yes! But I ride an LT, my other buddy rides an LT and my third buddy rides an RS. Even with these fat pigs, we racked up 5 speeding tickets on our ride to the SMFR this past Oct.. I got nailed for 60 in a 40- illegal- YES. Dangerous- no.

As a result, while I loved the ride, I will not be riding the BRP in the Fall ever again. It's such a beautiful road but the low speed is just too frustrating for HOURS on end.

That being said, we've done the Spring trip to STC and have never had a problem. Actually, I think I've seen one or two rangers in my 6-7 trips to STC in April.

Good luck on your trip and be safe!
 
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