On Sunday, while we were in Tennessee, we decided to take a nice motorcycle ride and visit a place called Cade’s Cove. This was a community in the foothills of the mountains that was cleared in the 1930’s when the National Park was formed. Some of the original buildings are still there. The only access to this area is a one lane, one way paved road which loops around for 11 miles. There are two ways to get off the road, both of which are gravel roads that make a short cut through the loop so that you can get to the exit a little faster, if need be.
We started out with a leisurely drive at the beginning of the loop. There were a few places to pull off to see the various buildings. We stopped at one of the first ones. This is the original home of, what is believed to be, the first settler’s in Cade’s Cove:
It was set back from the road quite a bit, but you can get out of your vehicle and walk up to the cabin. We decided against it, since 1) it was a VERY hot day and 2) I didn’t want to hike while wearing my Harley boots. So I just zoomed in to take this photo:
This last photo is of the view of the mountains from that area:
That is all the photos that I have from Cade’s Cove. I didn’t really enjoy the rest of the ride. Nothing against Cade’s Cove at all; it’s lovely; but we did not make the best choice to go there on a beautiful, hot, weekend afternoon while riding a Harley and wearing long jeans and heavy boots!
Perhaps if we had made inquiries ahead of time instead of just going by the article about “things to do”, we might have done things a little differently. the trouble was that Cade’s Cove is, apparently, a popular picnic spot for families as well as a place to possibly spot bear and elk. There was so much traffic on a Sunday afternoon, and everyone was either stopping to find a place to picnic or looking for wildlife, that a number of times we had to come to a complete stop.
Those of you that don’t ride a Harley might not understand why that would not be good. The problem is that the cooling system for Harley motorcycles is air-cooled – the wind from riding down the road is what cools the engine. If you’re not moving, there is not very much air cooling the engine, which means that it gets overheated.
Then, the other problem with stopping was keeping the bike upright. Poor DH had to balance not only the weight of the bike (and, of course, we have an Ultra – one of the biggest, heaviest bikes that Harley makes) but he also had my considerably extra weight also!! Did I mention that the road wandered through foothills!?! Trying to balance all that weight while on a slope is pretty miserable.
Then, once we started moving again, we’d come up to the spot where someone had stopped to see the local wildlife, and we’d see a white tail deer!! Urg!!! I know they’re lovely animals, but we see them all the time in our neck of the woods – it’s not something we get all that excited about. To make it even more disappointing, we did not see one single bear or elk – something we might have been more excited to see!!!
And, did I mention the one way, one lane road!?! There was no way to go around any stopped traffic, you just have to stop and wait for them to move again. And the shortcuts were not something that we could use, since they were loose gravel – that’s a recipe for disaster on a motorcycle!
Well, like a said, I have nothing against Cade’s Cove. I would even recommend that you go there if you have the chance. But not on a hot, beautiful Sunday afternoon while riding a Harley!!!