2018 Back to the Ozark Mountains

Mr. Smith, Pedro, and I are headed back to one of our most favorite rides this year, through the Ozark Mountains (definitely hit Route 19 in Missouri, a roller coaster of a ride, which runs from Cuba, Mo. south to Thayer, Mo) and maybe ride the Bourbon Trail in the hills of Kentucky. Stay tuned for the fun!


Soo….Day 1 and most of Day 2 we rode through a sauna of interstates (temps easily in the mid 90s) that brought us into Valdosta, Georgia and then through Route 129 into Macon, Georgia.  Just when we thought that we would not hit any fun stuff until day three, we pass through Cleveland, Georgia in the afternoon of Day 2 and jump on Rt 19 which takes us into the mountains and turns into 20 miles of pure exhilaration with fun fast alternating left and right switch backs. Definitely worth the 850 or so miles it took to get there!  So fun in fact that we are going to ride it in the opposite direction in the morning. Spending the night in Blairsville, Ga and heading to North Carolina in the morning.


Day 3 A great morning with temps in the upper 50’s (full leathers for Dad). We loved Rt 19 so much that we headed back south through those great twisties on 19 and then north again on route 60 which is another fun road through northern Georgia. Route 60 turned into Route 68 as we crossed into Tennessee and continued north into Kentucky and onto route 127 into Danville, Kentucky after another 355 miles for the day. Tomorrow we head to Cuba, Missouri to set up for the Pig Trail on Day 5.



Day 4 What a great morning! Plenty of sunshine and temps in the low 60’s as we headed west on Route 150 out of Danville. The first hour or so of the ride was beautiful as we traveled along picturesque bucolic farm land in Kentucky. Since the plan was to get to Missouri today, the rest of the 400 miles was spent on Interstate highways through Indiana and Illinois to finally rest in Kirkwood, Mo, just outside of St. Louis.  Tomorrow we introduce Pedro to our favorite Ozark Mountain ride, Missouri Route 19.



Day 5 Rain came in last night, so the morning is cloudy as we leave Kirkwood on Interstate 44 West to Cuba, Missouri and then Route 19 South. There was a little drizzle as we reached Route 19, but the rain did not dampen our ride or spirits. Route 19 is nearly a 200 mile roller coaster ride that left all three of us with smiles on our faces. At Thayer we jumped onto Route 63 which took us southeast onto Interstate 55 into Memphis, Tennessee for a little Blues music on Beale Street.  Tomorrow we head to Nashville for a little more music.


Day 6 – 230 miles to Nashville from Memphis, storm clouds threatening to catch us from both ends and Reed Mapwell does it again! We headed out of Memphis on Route 64 east which was mostly a commercial thoroughfare to get to Route 100 east which Mr. Smith promised would be a fun ride taking us directly into Nashville. We made it out of the commercial traffic safe and dry, and Route 100 turned out to be a scenic and hilly ride with great sweeping turns and bordered by serene small towns. Best of all, we missed all of the rain! We’ll take in the music downtown music scene this evening after a well deserved shower and some grub. Back at it in the morning!

Day 7 Mr. Smith strung together 345 miles of country back roads to get us from Nashville to Athens, Georgia.  Our favorites were Tennessee Route 30 and we repeated Georgia, route 19 again.  That’s the Ocoee Dam pictured to the left. We did hit rain once we crossed into North Carolina though.  It seemed that the rain would stop long enough for our pants to partially dry and then start up again.  Freakin Pedro split off from us in Nashville headed back north. It turns out that he did 750 highway miles today! Mr. Smith and I are happy to call it a day in Athens, Georgia with less than half of those miles.

Day 8 More country back roads as we do our best to weave through the storms that are plaguing the east coast.  We started out of Athens, Georgia on Route 78 south and then jumped onto Route 80 south which was a fun road.  Nothing technical, but scenic with hills and sweeping turns.  Unfortunately, Route 80 dead ends just outside of Savannah with no warning (thanks Google Maps), so we took a couple of minor country roads into Jacksonville, Florida after another 320 miles.  Tomorrow we ride home mostly on expressways in what will surely be a traveling “waterboarding” of a ride.  In all, traveling 3225 miles seeing a little more of our great country and spending time with great friends.  It’s not the destination, it’s not even the journey, but the people you meet along the way!

Please check out the other pictures from our trip in the photo album below.  Either click on the “slideshow” or arrow down to page through the pictures one at a time.  Enjoy!  Don’t forget to sign in on our Guest Page!