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MSSD 2018 – Trees, Trees, Trees Run (aka – Dragon – Cherohala – Joyce Kilmer Run)

This run is on Saturday October 10th.

By Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Welcome to the Third Annual MSSD “Trees, Trees, Trees Run”. This run, named in honor of the popular poem by Joyce Kilmer, is a run for those who like to see nature while driving with their MINI family. Eddie Slay will lead this event. He will need a good sweeper car. This route includes about 3:45 of driving, with several stretch stops to regroup, and a short drive through Joyce Kilmer Forest.

We will start from the parking lot adjacent to the Fontana General Store, meeting at 8:00am and leaving at 8:15am. Please eat breakfast and top off fuel before we meet. Since this is intended to be a “low to moderate” pace ride, we want to make sure you can ride comfortably (not full and queasy). We will head out to the base of Fontana Dam and follow NC-28 on “Skull Cracker Run” (part of “Hellbender”, which is part of “Moonshiner 28”) to Deal’s Gap, the start of “Tail of the Dragon” on the North Carolina side. We will NOT stop at Deal’s Gap (yet) so that we can get ahead of the Blimey run. We will travel the length of the Dragon (318 curves in 11.1 miles) at a reasonable pace. We will stop for a short regrouping at the parking lot at the Tennessee end of the Dragon.

From the parking lot on the TN side of the Dragon, we will continue on US-129 to TN-72 at “129 Motorcycle Pitstop”. There is not much room to park cars here, so we will continue on to US-411, turning toward Vonore, TN. We will make a bathroom / fuel / drink stop at Sloans Shell. (HINT: If you forgot to top off fuel before our trip, it is advisable to get fuel here – not much opportunity later.) After a short break, we will take TN-360 toward Tellico Plains. We will turn south on Cherohala Skyway and stop for an early lunch at Tellico Kat’s (http://tellicokats.com/). This is a small deli on the banks of the Tellico River. We should have an amazing view of the fall colors while eating on the deck overlooking the river. Since this is such a small place, we will expect to be there for a while.

After the early lunch, we will continue down the Cherohala Skyway to Santeetlah Rd., and then to Joyce Kilmer Rd., into the National Memorial Forest. There is a two-part hike in the forest that leads to some of the oldest and largest trees in NC. We will make a stop here: drive up the hillclimb road and stop at the top to walk to the overlook (beautiful view of the valley!).

After our hike / rest stop, we will follow Joyce Kilmer Rd. to US-129 back toward Deals Gap, where we will take time to shop for swag / stickers / etc. From here, it is a short trip back along “Skull Cracker Run”, back to Fontana, hopefully in time for those who want to go on the “Soda Pop's Ice-Cream Run & Rivers End Dinner Run”.


When: Saturday the 10th of October. Wheels UP at 8:15am!

Where: Fontana General Store parking lot.

Bring: GMRS Radios !!! Channel 20 sub 20

Approximate Drive Time: 3:45

Approximate Total Run Time: 7 hours (including stretch breaks, lunch, and a short hike)

Lunch: Tellico Kat’s Deli on the Cherohala Skyway

Pace: Low to moderate. This should be a relaxing, scenic trip through the fall colors.

Finish time: ~3:30 PM

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xCNwgtpQ33t

Please post if you are interested in attending.

Note: We will need to have a sweeper to make sure the group is kept together and to tell me. Please step up this year and help make this run possible.

Car limit: 30 cars

Eddie Slay (Run Leader)
Bill and Mary Lou Hightower in Wm Tell