Dick showed up in my driveway about 9:20AM dressed for winter
(I think only about 42 or 45F - not bad).
We left for Townsend via usual route west (Wye Rd, etc.) and then Hwy 73 into the National Park. Took a run up Tremont Rd (3 miles of gravel) to the bridge (horse or people bridge) for a break. A fellow there new the history of that place -- it was a temporary logging town (box car homes unloaded and set up for workers homes, had a PO, the metal foundation almost in the water at end of the bridge on up stream side was a setup for generator for electricity, the bridge was a RR Trestle for logging trains. I walked up river a bit for a picture (ask Dick about that :-)). Anyway, a good picture.
Then we headed for Cades Cove Loop to get to the Cross Over, a two way gravel road that we rode both ways - 4 miles gravel total and offers some of the best views in Cades Cove (best part is not much tourist traffic on it). Then back on the loop we went to Rich Mtn Road and rode it (one way 5 miles of gravel - good condition, but there are a few BIG POT HOLES). Ended up Hwy 321, asked Dick of he wanted to head home or go to Townsend and then Homestead Mtn. He was game for that, so we stopped in Townsend for Dick a Subway while I had snacks I brought with me.
We rode the East Homestead Mtn First as Dick had never been there. Came back out of East Homestead (it dead ends), then continued to E Miller Cove via Long Rifle Road (runs thru Homestead and I call it Homestead Mtn). BY THE WAY -- The slide area has not been repaired. However, the road was narrowed and extended away from the slide and a guard rail set up (see picture).
Dick split for home at Goose Gap Rd and I went to Harley in PF to kill time. A one in 10 million chance (Small World), I met a couple (riding Honda Ruckus 250 cc Scooters). Struck up a conversation and found out they knew Jim/Karen (WI Folks) and Dave Bond. They all stay at same RV Resort on FL during most of the winter. Really --- A one in 10 million chance of meeting.
I mentioned Bluff Mtn to them (pointed to it from Harley) and discussed how to get there. They were interested in doing it - so, I took them up Bluff Mtn by way of the Summit and back down Bluff Mtn Road to Goose Gap. The stopped by their motor home for a picture of them, some coffee, and a short BS Session. I goy home late at 6:30PM, Betty pulled in the driveway at the same time.
Note Townsend - not much leaf color.
Then Tremont Road (Paved with 3 miles of gravel at end) to the Horse/People Bridge and trip into the woods.
Back out to the road to Cades Cove (tunnel and traffic Jam -- would you guess a Bear and Tourists do not mix). Rangers trying to move folks on, but gawkers are gawkers.
Then the two way gravel road (Cross Over Rd). We rode to the cabin (paved and turned around.