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  Author   Comment  
jay bates
In June of this year a jeep went off the road at Mount Antero. The riders all got out safely. Previously, other crashes have resulted in fatalities. What some people will do for some funny looking rocks?

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Bob Johannes
They were very lucky to get out of the vehicle before it went over. That road up Antero is not for the faint hearted. Been up there several times and between the pounding heart from the fear that road put in me and the altitude, I never can do much hunting.

I had a friend that got up safely but the shift cable on his transmission broke when he started down and he had to back a Suburben all the way down the mountain. I think I might have left it up there.


Well.. a little bad road scare ya!?

Well... Let me welcome you to Tennessee!

This "get'n to be well know" highway is between Tennessee and North Carolina, it's in Deals Gap.

It's got a few curves.. only 318 in 11 miles!
It's a nice drive...sometimes.

But, ya got to be careful, many bikers and sports cars has tried to master it...and the body count keeps growing!
This highway is 129, it doesn't go by that name much anymore, it goes by the name..."Tail Of The Dragon"


Jim Fetty
I am told that if the three pines hadn’t stopped the vehicle, if would have landed in Brian Bussie’s camp where his wife and two of his son’s were. Brian and a couple of his older son’s were just to the right of the picture on their claim, and heard the father telling his son to jump. Luckily he did just before it went over. If you remember the pictures of Aquamarine I sent in last year and Gem Hunter posted for me, the claim is to the right perhaps a 100 yds. And up about 800 ft.
Jim Fetty
WOW Jim that was close then. Yes they are lucky to get out in time. I sure wish i could of made it up there last year with you Jim. I was hoping to get out to MT, ID and CO next year but right now I don't see it happening. KOR

PS Jim I sent a E-mail to Cindy to see if she had any more of the MT Antero Aquamarine's but I haven't heard from her yet.
Mike Streeter
Hey Wayne,

That road reminds me a little of old Hwy-19 from Erwin, TN over Sam's Gap to Asheville. Before US-26 was completed, that was pretty much the only way into the Asheville basin from the North - even for truckers, who must have hated that route. The very first time that I visited Asheville about 20 years ago, I came in from that direction. Climbing up the mountain takes a while when you are stuck behind a truck doing 15 mph. By the time I winded my way up and over the pass and back down into the city, I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. It wasn't until later did I realize that Asheville, with its many major roads and highways, is hardly an isolated city.


Hey Mike,

Have you driven the Cherohala Skyway yet?
If you like the fall colors it's hard to beat!

The Cherohala Skyway was completed in the fall of 1996 after being under construction for some thirty-four years. It is North Carolina's most expensive highway carrying a pricetag of $100,000,000. Winding up and over 5,400 foot mountains for 15 miles in North Carolina and descending another 21 miles into the deeply forested backcountry of Tennessee. The road crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests thus the name "Chero...hala". The Skyway is becoming well known in motorcycling and sportscar circles for it's long, sweeping corners and scenic views.

This road enthusiast's dream connects Robbinsville, North Carolina with Tellico Plains, Tennessee. It can be desolate at night and extremely dangerous in the winter months. There are no facilities other than restrooms for the entire 36 miles so make sure you have enough gas to make the crossing. There is little evidence of civilization from views that rival or surpass any from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Beginning at Santeetlah Gap on the North Carolina side (mile marker 0, at elevation 2660 feet), the road quickly twists and ascends to Santeetlah, an overlook at mile marker 11, the highest overlook at 5390 feet. Along this section you will ride the mountain top for another seven miles to the Tennessee state line. It can be cold and cloudy riding the mountain ridges, so make sure you dress properly, even in the summer months. We have been caught in pea soup fog, thick clouds, and bone chilling temperatures. The mile-high ride is always a new and unforgetable experience.

At mile marker 16 (still in North Carolina) the descent starts into the Tellico River basin. There are a few more spectacular scenic vistas on the Tennessee side. A detour to Bald River Falls on paved Forest Service Road 210 is well worth the short trip. Water cascades over 100 feet onto the rocks below - all which can be seen from the comfort of your motorcycle/car.

WARNING: The Cherohala, with its sweeping curves, will tempt you to ride fast and one of the occassional tighter curves can surprise you. There are more deaths on the Cherohala than on the Dragon. Many of the worst curves have guardrailing that we guarantee you do not want to hit. Emergency help on the Cherohala can be 45 minutes away and then a 30 minute helicopter transport. Please ride the Cherohala with extreme respect and use caution
Aw heck Wayne to us folks from the north being on the top of the pass when cool up there feels great to us. LOL That would be like being in WI where when your in the middle of the day when it is in the 60's in mid summer. LOL Now if you want to know what it's like in the Rockys in summer that is where you might need a coat mid noon. LOL KOR

I have a friend I was in service with, he came down for a deer hunt one winter. I took him to the Tellico Mountains, the first morning was rain, snow, and sleet. The temperture was floating between the teens and lower 30's, the wind would be calm one minute then 30 mph the next, as it often does in that area.
By the day's end, he told me he was ready to go back home to get warm!

Oh.. Home was Bismarck, North Dakota!
Man Wa9ne he wasn't no true northerner. Up he we go deer hunting when it's windy, -20* and I could here my Buddy's fake teeth a chattering LOL. Now that is a true northerner that can stand the cold LOL.

I don't know Jim...
He said he runs trap lines down river on ice skates and hunts fox in the winter because the coal company shuts down for the winter where he works.
He was born in ND, said he's seen -40 a few times, walking around with only a short sleeved shirt at 32 was nothing to him.

Said the cold down here felt different, it wasn't just around you, it went through you!
Wa9ne the coldest we ever got that I can remember was back in the 80's when one night we got down to -99* now that was cold berrrrrr. cars that was out side that night didn't start in the morning. We go ice fishing when it's -20* and the wind is blowing. Sure could of used some of that moon shine right about then LOL.

You sure that wasn't "wind chill"?

In the lower 48, Rogers Pass with an elevation of 5500 feet in Montana got down to –70F on January 20, 1954, for the coldest recorded temperature in the United States goes to Prospect Creek Camp in the Endicott Mountains in northern Alaska. On January 23, 1971 the recorded temperature was 80 degrees below zero.

Oh.. moonshine won't make you warmer in cold weather, it will keep you from staying warm!

Hi Wayne yea it was with the wind chill. I got to fast in posting I forgot to say that LOL. It was -58* that night regular temps.
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