After recently riding all of Skyline Drive south-north as well as most of the northern 200 miles of the BRP leading up to Skyline, I still have a desire to ride the complete 574 miles of these two connected scenic drives in a single, unbroken trip. I’ll leave after my early October concert and take two days just for those two scenic roads as well as a half day to get to the beginning of the route and a full day after to get to my next destination, Tallahassee.
The trip always begins with moving from home via highway five hours to the north entrance of Skyline Drive in Front Royal, VA. I’ll do that the afternoon prior and sleep a half-mile from the northern entrance. I can then forget about 4th, 5th and 6th gear for four hours as I roll 105 miles south at 35 mph taking in the views. Around 11am the Drive switches to the BRP in Afton, VA. I’ll spend the night on the BRP in Fancy Gap, VA. Day totals: 305 miles, about 9 hours with breaks.
Day 2 is the remaining 269 miles, also about 9 hours with stops. I’ll stay over near the BRP southern terminal at Cherokee, NC. Then it’s an 8 hour ride due south to Tallahassee the next day. I always need to remember that visiting Cherokee is considered international travel; it is a sovereign nation. Some Smoky Mountain friends find Cherokee a bummer, but I like stopping there, seeing the excellent art in public everywhere, and eating the local foods. Since it is at the highest local altitude, it is often cool there.
I will stay in motorcycle-rider/value-oriented chains (locally owned & operated) the night in Front Royal as well as in Cherokee at each end of my journey, but the middle night will be spent in a Mom n Pop motel right on the BRP with a cafe across the street and nothing else around. The owner was written up as motorcycle-friendly, prone to using duct tape, and welcoming.
Andrew and I got caught looking for gas and food in rural North Carolina one fine autumn Sunday in 2012. After several on & offs from the BRP to different towns, we finally got gas and settled on a Hardee’s lunch in a nearly deserted town.
Again, it will take me half a day and overnight rest to get to the start of Day 1 and another full highway day on Day 4 to get to my destination. The four day total is over 1,300 miles.