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  • Writer's pictureAnne Hartley

The Long Dam Ride

Hello everyone, hope all is well with you. The sun is shining with a nice gentle breeze. Its starting to look like Mother Nature is giving us some nice riding weather. The week I will tell you about the 7th of 13 rides listed in the Southern Dozen handout.

The Long Dam Ride (137 miles round trip) It’s no secret; the geography and landscape of Northeast Tennessee wouldn’t be the same without several man-made lakes. This tour takes you through rugged gorges and past rocky cliffs, mountain streams, tranquil lakes, unique sites, spectacular formations, and miles of roller-coaster dips and rural charm. There is no better place for motorcycle rides or in a jeep with the top down. The first stop is at Boone Dam, a hydroelectric and flood control dam on the South Fork Holston River. Continue via Bristol, where you can stop for a drink and a snack, to the next stop at the South Holston Dam, a hydroelectric and flood control dam on the South Fork Holston River in Sullivan County. Start “the Snake” a beautiful scenic and thrilling ride through the Tennessee mountains and Shady Valley into Mountain City. Stop for lunch at the Shady Valley Country Store; a Biker store and great deli with souvenirs available. Continue your ride through the Cherokee National Mountains via Damascus and Butler along lake Watauga to the Wilbur Dam, a hydroelectric dam on the Watauga River in Carter County. It is one of two dams on the river owned and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The ride continues up north via Elizabethon, where you can stop to take picture of the Covered Bridge, to Bristol Motor Speedway an NASCAR short track venue.

Here are the directions via the Southern Dozen handout starting at the Holiday Inn in Johnson City, TN:

Turn right at light 11E S, 250 ft. Turn right on I-26 W/ US 23 N, 6.6 mi. Turn right on Exit 13. Turn right on TN 75 N, 3.7 mi. Turn right on Boone Dam Rd., 0.8 mi. Turn right on Boone Dam. Turn left on Boone Dam Rd., 0.8 mi. Turn right on TN 75 N, 8.4 mi. Turn right on TN 126 E, 0.6 mi. Turn right on TN 394 E, 12 mi. Turn right on US 421 S, 2.9 mi. Turn right on Emmett Rd., 0.5 mi. Turn right Bear to Emmett Rd., 0.5 mi. Continue straight on Holston View Rd., 0.6 mi. Turn left on Weir Dam. Turn left on Holston View Rd., 1.1 mi. Turn right on Holston Dam Rd., 1.2 mi. Turn right on South Holston Dam. Turn left on Holston Dam Rd., 3.6 mi. Continue straight on Emmett Rd., 0.6 mi. Turn right on US 421 S, 15.3 mi. Shady Valley Country Store. Continue straight on US 421 S, 10.9 mi. Turn right on TN 67 W, 18.5 mi. Continue straight on TN 67 W / US 321 N, 9.6 mi. Turn right on US 19E N / US 321 N, 4.6 mi. Turn right on Siam Rd., 3.4 mi. Turn left on Wilbur Dam Rd., 0.6 mi. Turn right on Wilbur Dam Rd. /Visitors Center, 4.9 mi. Turn left on Wilbur Dam Rd., 5.0 mi. Continue straight on Steel Bridge Rd., 0.8 mi. Continue straight on Blue Springs Rd., 0.9 mi. Turn left on TN 91 S / Stoney Creek Rd,. 2.9 mi. Turn right on US 19E N, 8.6 mi. Turn left on US 11E S / US 19W S, 9.4 mi

Things you might enjoy along the way:

1. Rocky Mount - Experience the Living History Museum

2. Bristol Motor Speedway - Have an adrenaline-pumping good time

3. Shady Valley Country Store - A delicious deli with local souvenirs available

4. Wilbur Dam - Enjoy the impressive structure of the second-oldest TVA dam and watch the water flow

5. Doe River Covered Bridge - Appreciate regional history and relax

6. Jiggy Rays - Have a tasty slice at Elizabethton's #1 Pizza & Salad Bar

A Side Note For Pam:

One day when talking with Pam she told me that when folks say someone has a green thumb they are saying that person can grow anything (as we all believe) but where the term green thumb really comes from is when someone uses their thumb to sucker vegetable plants or to use their thumb to pinch leaves off plants

Useless Facts:

1. Neptune orbits the sun once every 165 years.

2. Dark Matter accounts for over 85 percent of the universe.

3. If the moon dropped out of the sky tomorrow, it would influence our oceans, the weather, Earth’s axis, and even the length of our days.

4. Fruit flies were the first living creatures sent into space.

5. Space is completely, totally, and utterly silent.

6. No one knows just how many stars are in space.

7. A NASA spacesuit costs a cool $12,000,000.

8. The footprints made on the moon will be there for 100 million years.

9. Scientists have found a mass of water vapor cloud 10 billion light-years away from earth that is

10 trillion times the mass of water on Earth’s surface.

11. The moon was once a piece of the Earth.

12. Venus looked just like earth two billion years ago.

13. The oldest known soup recipe dates back to 6,000 B.C. Among the ingredients? Hippopotamus and sparrow meat.

14. Did you know that modern sport bike tires don’t contain any natural rubber

15. On the 1970s TV police series, CHiPS, actor Erik Estrada suffered a very serious motorcycle accident while filming an episode. Until he recovered, he literally shot his scenes from his hospital bed.

Local Events:

1. 2nd Annual Veteran Flea Market/Swap Meet M21st – 9am to 2pm Greenville TN VFW Post 1990


1. The Crater Rally May 12th -15th Somerville TX

2. Myrtle Beach Bike Week May 13th – 22nd

3. Aspen Cash Motorcycle Rally May 19th – 22nd Ruidoso New Mexico

4. Red River Memorial Motorcycle Rally May 26th – 30th New Mexico

5. Wild River Boogie Spring Bike Rally May 26– 30 Maryville TN


On May 21st B.A.C.A. Nationwide have a 100 mile ride so hook up with the chapter near you

1. B.A.C.A 100-mile ride Redding CA May 21st

2. B.A.C.A 100-mile ride Monticello IN May 21st

3. B.A.C.A. 100-mile ride Shasta County May 21st

4. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride May 22nd at Stateline Motorsports

Bike Night:

1. Kingsport Moose Riders Every Wednesday

2. 19E Pit Stop Every Wednesday

3. Quaker Steak & Lube Every Thursday

4. Tulips Grub & Pub Every Friday

5. Peacemakers Bike Night 801 Boozy Creek Every 3rd Friday of each month

6. East Coast Wings Every Wednesday

7. Dog Tag Brigade Every Wednesday at Jonesborough VFW

8. The Pub Out Back Every Monday


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