Around midday, Southern Draw suggested we ride over to Tapoco Lodge for lunch. Tapoco (pronounced ta-POE-ka, I was told) was just across US 129 from the Cheoah (Fugitive) Dam. We debated what time to leave and settled on 2:00 PM. Bill figured this would leave time when we got back for the Putt Putt Golf Tournament before departing at 5:30 for the Fontana Lake Boat Cruise. Bill is not always good with time.
If I were going to Tapoco, I would go up US 28 to the Crossroads, turn left on US 129 and ride down the hill. I had known there was a back road over the mountain from Fontana but had never tried it. Tbone (Tracy) arrived just as we were leaving and joined us, as did Mark and Wanda in the car. Bill led us over County 1246 and 1247 to US 129 right in front of our destination. We took a short side trip on the way to see a power station. For anyone who thinks The Tail of the Dragon is twisty, this road makes it look like a freeway.
After lunch, which went later than we thought, I met a fellow in the bike parking area with a silver 2005 GoldWing. We didn't have time to talk much but he had good taste in motorcycles. Bill led back the conventional route at a good clip. I eased back on the acceleration in the short straights because my passenger had been complaining about the fore and aft G forces associated with full throttle and hard brakes. Bill and I managed to pass a Saturn Sky who tried to keep up with us the last winding stretch to the lodge. Better luck next time.
We rushed into the Putt Putt Tournament where Cheap B, Sandy and I played as a threesome. We didn't do too well but I blamed it all on the golf course superintendent and greens keeper. Too many loose impediments. Any resemblance between this and real miniature golf was just a coincidence, but we had fun and, in the great humidity, sweated a lot. Mona cleaned up.
From the golf emporium, it was a rush over to the marina to catch the Miss Hazel for a water tour of Fontana Lake and the dam. Our captain/helmsman/crew/tour guide gave us the history of the area, the dam and the lake in great detail. The lake was created during WW II when the Little Tennessee River was dammed to provide power for the ALCOA aluminum plant as part of the war effort. It was the second highest dam in the USA at the time and was still the highest dam east of the Mississippi.
After the cruise, we returned to the resort and settled around the Kaw Pasture by the pool. As the sun went down, Toj (V~13 ad keeper of the numbers) and his friend Bob from Pennsylvania arrived. Then Big Grouch (Roger) and his friend Bill from the Windsor Ontario area joined the party. It was a happy evening, with the last of us toddling off just after 11:00 PM.
Today's Route (22 motorcycle miles):