Today is Friday and our last day before heading back home. The trip has been amazing so we decided to play today by ear. Our original plans had us doing just a Jeep day today, but the weather is fantastic and we both decided that we wanted to take advantage of that and do some more riding, before spending the rest of the day in the jeep. We jumped on the bike and headed for breakfast at the Dragon. It was a great way to end our time on the bike in this area. We did Cherohala again before arriving at the Dragon.
We got back to camp and jumped in the Jeep and headed back down the Cherohala and the Deals gap area to do more exploring, but this time in the jeep.
We stopped at the Tapoco Lodge for a great lunch over looking the river. The food was great and the atmosphere was amazing. The temps were comfortable and I don’t think we could have asked for a better day.
We talked with one of the wait staff and they recommended a forest road that would be fun and took in some great scenery. So we decided to give it a try. It was a great day of sight seeing.
Our next destination was the Natahala Outdoor Center. This was a large drop off for all of the white water rafting excursions for the area. We did a little exploring and then jumped back in the Jeep to find more trails.
We stumbled along a kayak trail nicknamed the “Junkyard”. We were driving down this forest road, we had not seen anyone in 10-15 miles when all of a sudden there were 15-20 vehicles parked on the side of the road. We watched as a number of people were walking with their kayaks up to a drop off point. We later learned that the TN dam system, filled this area everyday from 4PM-7PM and so all of the locals took advantage of it. The nickname was earned as this part of the river had a good 20-25 foot drop that the Kayaks would do and then it hit rough water. This would cause damage to the kayaks or worse yet get them stuck. The only way to get them out is to wait for the water to be diverted at 7pm, wait an hour until the water dropped and then you could go get your kayak. It was awesome watching these young athletic people tackle the rapids. Fun stuff.
It was a fantastic day of exploring on the bike and the jeep. We are sad to be leaving the area, but it has been a wonderful trip.