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For all those that help me plan my trip in June - thank you. It was incredible, I spent 7 days, went 2100 miles, spent under $400, no cell phone, no camera, and didn't make a single reservation. My only itinerary was to leave and return safely.
I rode from central Jersey out to Gettysburg on backroads, stayed 1 night in central Virginia at my brother's house. He rode with me to Skyline drive, I paid the $10 fee - in the 1st 5 miles I had to stop and watch a momma bear teach 2 cubs to climb a tree not more than 10 feet off the road. Rode to Willville campground at mile marker 177 on BRP. paid $15 for a camp site (only about a mile off the BRP). The place was very clean, lots of hot water, quiet, and the owner is a nice guy. He gave me recommendations on the Parkway and the detour near the NC border. Plenty of places to eat near the campground - East carolina pulled pork and hush puppies. Local store sells six packs and ice. Sat around and drank a few cold ones, went to sleep, woke up - continued south. The speed limit is 45mph, I did 55 almost the entire length, only saw 1 park ranger on the side of the road. This road is in almost perfect condition, not a single pothole since I left NJ/PA. Every turn is banked the same and you just lean left, lean right.
Made it to the Blue Ridge campground south of Ashville the next day. Paid $12 for the night. This campground had alot more campers at it. The facilities were clean, but the ones at Willville were better. There was nothing located near the campground - nearest store was about 15 miles away, which doesn't sound like much, but after 300 miles of twistie roads. I met guys who have been coming to the Smokey mountains since the 70's and knew every road in the area. They offered to take me on a tour the next day, kickstands were up at 0700 and what a day it was. I did the Tail of the Dragon, Cherola Skyway (spelling???), and many other roads - another 300 mile day and worth every mile. I spent another night at the BRP campground for $12, it was nice not having to pack the gear up for the day ride. Sat around the campfire and watched our video from the day's ride - one guy had video goggles and had the trip on his laptop by the end of the day - alot more hi tech than me (I can barely use the computer). The next day we had breakfast at the campground, biggest pancakes I've ever had, you can only eat 1. Headed north the same way and same speed that I came south. Missed most major storms, did put the rain suit on for about 2 hours 1 day, but other than that, it was 65 degrees.
I took a tent, ground mat, my blanket, and a small cooler - kinda of travel light. The bike ran superbly; started it up everyday, put gas in it, did a few safety checks and off I went. This trip was in my bucket list for years and all my riding partners kept postponing it - so for my 50th birthday - I set off by myself and had the trip of a lifetime. No desire to move south, I like change of seasons, would visit at every opportunity to ride. Glad to be home again, I did miss the family.
Don't put the trip off guys - go for it.
 

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WOW...thanks for the post...sounds like a great ride

Been wanting to do that myself and my50th is coming up quickly

Would take the wife along, she loves to ride....however no camping for her, prefers a motel room and air conditioner after a long days ride.
 

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Jersey Tim, glad you got to ride and enjoy the BRP. This was my 50th birthday (turned 50 Thursday) planned get-away also with my wife and this past weekend we headed out for our first BRP trip and we live a lot closer than you. I told her we need to ride the BRP more often and hope to ride the Skyline Drive.

NJREF, hope you can make it to also. Wife wanted to pull the trailer and shot down about me putting in the tent and sleeping bags cause of bears. I told her no bear going to mess with us if I leave my feet hanging out the tent with toenails that the neighbor lady complains about scareing her cat! :eek:4:
 
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