The 2017 Iron Horse Weekend Event is likely to be remembered as one of the best club camping events ever. Gorgeous blue skies, low humidity, fantastic roads resplendent with early fall colors followed by cool evenings with campfires, bourbon sampling and storytelling. Wow.
The weekend kicked off on Friday at 10 when a group of club members met at a RaceTrak gas station in Cumming to roll north to the Iron Horse Lodge. Mark Stiles planned and led a meandering ride that led up through the Aska Adventure area into Blue Ridge and then up through Tellico Plains, across the Cherohala and into Robbinsville. The riding group included Susan Benson, Joe Baker, Jim Maxwell, Kirt Pulaski, Michelle Quillin, Nils and Geoff.
We then took highway 9 north and meandered our way to the Aska Adventure area, and made a quick stop in Blue Ridge at a gas station for terrible coffee and stale donuts. Mmm. You know the saying "It doesnt get any better than this?" Well, that didnt apply.
When we arrived in Tellico Plains we had lunch at Kats Deli. The food was great and service was speedy for the first to order.
We rolled into Iron Horse Lodge, and the manly men spent the next 2 hours setting up camp as manly men do. Clearing out timber, surveying for a level site, unpacking tent, sleeping bag, cot, air mattress, Kermit chair, JetBoil, pillow, pokemon and star wars figurines and HDTV with gas generator. We're talking primitive camping BMW style.
The rest of the group checked into posh cabin digs with proper beds, electricity, wood fired fireplaces, Jacuzzis with stereos playing Enya or Yanni music, and covered garages. You know these people- they take their BMW to the dealer for an oil change. And probably have their butler ride it there for them. Elites.
On Saturday, a group went out on a ride that included two trps along the famous "Tail of the Dragon", followed by a loop on Happy Valley Road and then back to Robbinsville.
As usual, the Dragon was full of leaf peepers and SUV's that slowed thngs down but overall the trip was fun. The riders finsihed the Happy Valley loop and headed to the Dragon Pitt for lunch where we were entertained by the sonic cacophany of 25 Harleys parked in a row at the front of the restaurant and the joyful noise of loud-piped Harleys and Sport Bikes racing by the restaurant. The upside of this was I learned that if a chicken tender is wrapped in bread it can stop eardrum bleeding. So there's that.
Saturday night dinner was prime rib or salmon. The Prime Rib was awesome. Salmon was OK. This led to numerous members commenting that the food was significantly better than Blue Ridge MC Campground. Several described the Brunswick Stew at BRMC as being slightly above prison food, and just below Lunch Lady's cabbage and potato stew from 8th grade for reference. Since most of our members did not have any experience with cabbage and potato soup, just recall prison food from your 30's and you've got the picture. Iron Horse does a good job on dinner and breakfasts are fine.
Everyone at Iron Horse commented that the weekend couldnt have been better. Fun people, fantastic roads and scenery and incredibly good weather. If you wanted to attend and couldnt make it, you missed a great event. Hopefully you can join us next year. This is exactly what you bought your motorcycle for in the first place.