I went on my first long distance trip on my Rogue this past July, traveling from Jacksonville, FL to central Vermont and back – 13 states, 3800 miles in 8½ days of riding. What a ride! What a trip! I love touring on this bike. People ask me, “Did you travel with anyone?” and when I tell them “No, I just went by myself” they look at me with disbelief. If you have to explain, they wouldn’t understand…
DAY 1 – Thursday, July 5th
Left Jacksonville FL for the Two Wheels Only (T.W.O.) campground in Suches, GA. I took I-295 out of Jacksonville to I-10 West, then I-75 north through Atlanta . It was mid-90’s going through Hotlanta in the early afternoon, but traffic was light. Picked up I-85 East just north of the city, went a few miles, then got on GA 400 North. After crossing I-285, 400 turns into 19, and I felt like my adventure really began since I was now on roads I have never traveled.
A couple of miles north of Cumming GA , the divided highway becomes a two lane road and the mountains start to beckon. Onward through Dahlonega where 19 shares the road with 60, into the Chatahoochee National Forest and on to Stonepile Gap. 19 veers east, but I stayed on 60 to the intersection with 180 and T.W.O. campground. That stretch from the 60/19 split to 180 was a teaser/warm up for the Dragon that I planned to ride the next day.
Well, T.W.O. looks just like the pictures on their website! Duh…
Closer to the road than I expected, but there was hardly any traffic, and it was very quiet. Parked in the lot in front of the lodge, walked around and spoke with some campers, got the lay of the land and figured out how to ride my bike into the cleared camping areas on the other side of the stream that bisects the campground. BTW, there are some rooms in the lodge, but the weather was perfect for camping.
You have your pick of campsites. Each has a fire ring and small picnic table. The shady spots were all taken but it was late afternoon and within an hour, my site was in the shade too.
I pitched my tent, changed into a swimsuit, and COOLED off in the swimming pool.
Could it get any better? Great day of riding, camping, tent pitched near a stream, a cool pool… I ate dinner and spent some time talking on the front porch with other campers/riders. It was mostly a combination of long-distance touring types and sportike riders who were there to enjoy the mountain roads and the Dragon at Deals Gap, about an hour away in NC/TN.
There is a small convenience store about 100 yds up the road, but no beer…This is a dry county. So BYOB.