The ride described in this post occurred on Friday, 07SEP2012
A Longer Ride – AKA Popcorn Overlook Ride
Business has now slowed down to the point where I can spend more time riding my bike. Last night I went over the chrome with a soft rag to remove the little spots left by the rain splashing in the mud next to the bike’s cover. If you don’t remember my discussing the cover you can click HERE to catch up on that. Once I was satisfied I got them all I put together some snacks for the upcoming ride, made sure my rain gear was in its place, checked tire pressures, the oil level, and the lighting. I also checked to see if I had placed the little repair kit I had put together in the side bag next to the Honda tool set, and made sure the spare oil and brake fluid were in the other side bag in case I needed to top something off while I was out. Everything was as it should have been so I shut off the lights, came inside and went to bed.
After a restless night’s sleep, probably due to my excitement about the upcoming ride, I got up at 6:30am, had breakfast, then double checked the bike’s lighting. I know I had checked that last night, but since I was starting out a little before dawn, in fog, I felt it wise to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. I also put on my lime green safety vest with wide reflective strips. I felt a little silly wearing it, but safety comes first, pride second. Before I took her off the center stand I reset the previous trip information in the travel computer, turned the key and pressed the start button. She fired right up as I expected her to, revved up a little to add some more charge to the battery, and warm the engine, then slowed to its normal idle speed. Time to ride!
As I turned onto the 4-lane highway the brisk morning air felt good. It’s been hot here recently and the brief coolness was welcomed. My bike accelerated quickly to the speed limit, then purred softly as our speed evened out. Being on the road this early in the day is nice. There’s not a lot of traffic to contend with, and one can hear the rushing of the water in the nearby river along with the soft song of the tree frogs and insects. As contented as I was to dwell on these thoughts it was now time to decide what today’s destination would be. I prefer to just ride and go where my thoughts and desires take me, but this time I wanted to time my return to a time I could meet my bike’s PO (previous owner) since he was wanting to see what I had done with his former baby.
I already knew I wanted to head South, but did not have a particular destination in mind. After considering the different ride times to/from several points of interest I decided upon visiting a place called Popcorn Overlook in North Georgia, a few miles West of Clayton, GA on US-74. Since I’ve been past there a number of times in my car I knew the ride on my bike would be especially scenic once the fog lifted.
Popcorn Overlook is a nice little rest area that overlooks the Southern spine of the Appalachian Mountains, more specifically the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are 2 concrete picnic tables and some “interpretive” signs.
When looking out over the split-rail fence, if it were possible to see through a few ridgelines, you would be looking at Fontana Lake somewhere near the hydro-electric dam.
As I pulled into the parking area I was greeted by a Harley owner who was en route to the Georgia State H.O.G. rally a few miles further to the West in Hiawassee, Georgia. After exchanging pleasantries, and looking over each other’s bikes, he headed off to enjoy the rally, and I decided it was time for a drink and a couple of the snacks I’d packed.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later I cranked up my bike and headed back to Clayton, GA. A few miles West of the city limits I stopped at the Jones Bridge Overlook near the shore of Lake Burton.
The overlook is actually a tiny picnic area with only two tables, one on either end of the parking area. What the overlook lacks in size it makes up for in its view of the lake.
After watching a couple of fisherman ride past in their boats I continued my journey toward Clayton. At the Western edge of the city limit is an old abandoned elementary school the town has put to good use as a City Hall, Police Department, and several other city offices.
A little further along, at the edge of what locals would call “The Square”, which is Clayton’s downtown area, is an appliance resale shop. This isn’t just any resale shop, it’s one that specializes in antique appliances.
The items for sale there have been restored to like-new condition. This shop is a “must” for those who are decorating their house, or business, retro style.
From here I went to the local McDonald’s for some sweet tea, then resumed my trip home. All in all, fog aside, it was a great trip with little traffic and some wonderful views of the Appalachian Mountains and Georgia farm lands. The weather cooperated nicely with the temps averaging around 75 degrees Farenheit and blue rain-free sky dotted by a few non-threatening clouds. I could ride a lot with conditions like this! 🙂
Click HERE For Full Size Photos, And Other Photos Of This Ride Not Posted Here
Happy (and safe) Biking!