Fontana Dam

The ride described in this post occurred on Monday, 10SEP2012

After thinking for a couple of days about my last ride, and post, I decided to make this trips destination Fontana Dam in Western North Carolina.  As with most rides in this area, the trip was full of wonderful views and plenty of hills and curves.  Since I didn’t want to travel through the “Tail Of The Dragon” I chose to ride the Western-most portion of NC-28 which passes through the small town of Almond, NC.

A short distance from the Almond Post Office I came across the view below.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen an iron and steel railroad trestle.  This area never ceases to amaze me with sights such as this.

Approximately half-way between this bridge and Fontana Lake is a motorcycle campground called “The Kickstand Lodge“.

Panoramic Photo Courtesy Of Kickstand Lodge

In my opinion it’s one of the best motorcycle campgrounds in the area.  Some others may be a little fancier, but you’ll never find a more friendly, and accommodating, staff.

As I neared Fontana Lake there’s what appears at first glance to be a motorcycle exiting through a small motel’s doorway.

I suppose the point they’re trying to make is that bikers are welcome there, as they are at just about every business in the area.  Fontana Lake draws a lot of boaters and fishermen, but the Tail Of The Dragon brings far more visitors to the area than anything else.

Fontana Lake is a narrow, long lake with lots of “fingers” such as the one pictured below.

With a view like this I couldn’t resist getting at least one photo of my bike with the view in the background.

As you enter the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) controlled portion of the lake that surrounds the dam you’ll see a smaller road to your right.  This leads to a set of bathrooms (no showers) and the marina.

Continuing past this turn you will soon come to the Dam.  Vehicles are currently allowed to drive over the dam.

The Visitor/Information Center, gift shop, restrooms, and showers are all nestled closely together on the left side of the dam.

They’re situated on top of the underground tunnels that funnel water from the lake to the hydroelectric plant.The spillways that feed the tunnels are directly across from the Visitor Center.

Fontana has it’s share of islands such as the one pictured below.

When one is standing on top of the dam they can look past one of these islands down the body of the lake.

Those of us who grew up in the 60’s know what the symbol is on top of this door that leads to the inside of the dam.  Any idea what the circled sign means?  I’ll wait a couple of weeks to see if anyone knows, then I’ll post the answer here.

When I finished looking at the exhibits in the Visitor Center I headed home thinking about where I would like to ride next.  All-in-all this had been a great day for a ride.  The temps started out around 52 degrees Fahrenheit, and by the time I got home they had risen to 73 degrees.  There were a few clouds, as you can tell from some of the photos, but nothing that would bring rain.  Isn’t it great being a biker?!?

Click HERE For Full Size Photos, And Other Photos Of This Ride Not Posted Here

Happy (and safe) Biking!

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