Old Iron Run: Kentucky to Waynesville, NC via the Cumberland Parkway

 The Corbin Super 8 reminded me of a place where folks who are struggling to get by go to when they are in between a job, their foreclosed home and the street. I saw 'that' family, their minivan loaded down with all of their worldly possession's and a tired daddy carrying his sleeping child inside past me; I saw the strained look of a refugee father trying to figure out the next best move for his family. That 'look' is the same in Iraq as it is in the United States-don't ever bad-mouth the poor or homeless! I did not sleep to well-still sick and too excited to ride the road between here (Corbin) and there (Waynesville)Route  Ole Girl patiently waited for me to finish my free Super 8 coffee and then we roared off in to the inky Bluegrass morning. We made a quick stop at the Wal-Mart for oil. US25E provided us with our road surface through the twisty, steep green-gray rock-walls. Layers of thick and thin pearl white fog sheets made the emerald green hills appear as floating icebergs. Riding through small Kentucky towns nestled in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains was very pleasing to the eyes!
My belly was growling for breakfast and coffee. I found a small town that had a public park and carefully zoomed in and set up my Jetboil on an old concrete slab. Quaker instant oatmeal and Starbucks coffee put my mind and body in order. Ole Girl and I continued to chug along through Kentucky and even though it was early August, I was actually chilly-or was I becoming sicker? Well, I learned that Middleboro, Kentucky IS the hometown of the Six-Million Dollar Man, the Fall Guy, or to locals, Mr. Lee Majors! Cool! But he wasn't hanging out at the McDonalds talking to me while I put on warmer gloves! Perhaps he was looking for Bigfoot? I certainly was enjoying the beautiful scenery that continued on into Tennessee...
Tennessee did not last long since we were slicing the northeast tip of the Volunteer State off; North Carolina and Tennessee meet at a very lovely spot...
The French Broad River kept us company as we continued into North Carolina on US25E/US70. The road began to twist more and the tall summer green trees hugged those twists. Steep hills were starting to grow into the western edge of the Smokey Mountains. Ole Girl and I made three hard turns before finding NC209 in downtown Hot Springs, "... the only North Carolina AT town..." I was drawn to the town but the tight turns had my immediate full and undivided attention. WOW! Tight turns that rose and twisted with the steep elevation gains, an asphalt corkscrew! For the next 19 miles or so, I was treated to one of the best rides that I have ever enjoyed! I did not know that I was riding, "The Rattler" until I reached the end over at US276. Listen, if you and your freedom-machine are ever in the Maggie Valley area, do yourself a favor and ride NC209! Check out Google maps starting at Hot Springs and follow it over to Lake Junaluska.
Off of the "Rattler" I directed my attention to the directions in front of me; my next stop would be the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Camp
Ole Girl and I made all the right turns and found the camp ground in a nice shaded, private area of North Carolina. There was not much activity other than my grumbling stomach and fuzzy head. I found a piece of real estate good enough for a tent and a hammock. Soon after eating lunch I was down for the count. I wondered where mi hermano was as I drifted off into much needed rest.


  1. hi chris! i went to that blue ridge mc camp also. those are good roads around there