I love living in Atlanta. After all, Atlanta has professional sports, big name concerts, a colorful history, bustling nightlife, world class museums, and an extraordinary food scene. I could live a full and happy life here without ever leaving the city. But, as someone with the wanderlust gene and a having access to a midlife crisis mobile, getting out of town is something I have to do – even if it’s just for a day. So for my most recent adventure, I headed north on my #CanAmSpyder for a little frolicking in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
This trip was particularly exciting for me as it marked the first time I took the Spyder on the interstate. As a promise to my wife, my previous Spyder road trips had been on the back roads. But now with sufficient confidence and experience I was ready for the high speeds of the interstate! Unfortunately Atlanta’s morning rush hour traffic rarely let me get above 30mph until I remembered that I could drive the Spyder in the HOV lane where traffic allowed me to get up to a whopping 53mph. I could have gone much faster sticking to the back roads. But once I got through the down town traffic I was able to experience the adrenaline rush of speeds that I shall not publish lest my wife read this post. The only times I exceeded the speed limit were to avoid riding in the blind spots of other drivers. While BRP is compensating me for taking these trips and writing these posts, I’m not sure that they would cover a speeding ticket so I set the Spyder’s cruise control for the speed limit.
The first stop on my journey was in Braselton, Georgia. Located just 40 minutes north of Atlanta, Braselton is home to Chateau Elan, a luxury resort with an award winning winery, championship golf course, and spa. I always enjoy touring wineries, snapping pictures and tasting wine. Since I was going to be on the road for a while, I skipped the wine tasting and purchased a bottle of Pinot Noir to enjoy after I returned home.
The town of Cleveland, Georgia is hour north of Braselton and is home to Babyland General Hospital – birthplace of The Cabbage Patch Kids. Having two daughters who each adopted a Cabbage Patch Kid, I figured I’d better stop by and take a few pictures. The lobby of the Hospital is a mini museum containing the autographed photos of numerous celebrities who have visited the hospital or adopted a Cabbage Patch Kid, and the very first Cabbage Patch Kid that was originally adopted for $30 and sold back to creator Xavier Roberts for $37,000 in 2006.
I left Cleveland and continued about 10 miles north to the town of Helen, Georgia. Helen straddles the banks of the Chattahoochee River and is modeled after Bavarian Alpine village and gives you the feeling that you are in Germany. Helen is a shopper’s paradise where you can buy everything from one of a kind quilts, to cuckoo clocks, to artisan crafts. There’s even a beef jerky store! If you visit Helen in the summer, bring a bathing suit to go tubing down the Chattahoochee. If you’re not adverse to traffic, visit in the fall to experience the fantastic fall foliage of the Smoky Mountains and one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the entire country.
Hundreds of bikers visit Helen each year as it is on a popular bike route called the The Northern Georgia Scenic Byway Loop. It is challenging ride through the mountains with breathtaking views, countless hairpin turns, and steep inclines and declines. Several of the riders I met in Helen referred to the ride as “Georgia’s Dragon.” Unfortunately I didn’t have time on this particular trip experience Georgia’s Dragon, but I promised my Spyder that we would return.
Which road trips would you like to take on a Can-Am Spyder?
You can read about adventures on my Can-Am Spyder
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), is providing me with a Can-Am Spyder, accessories and compensation to take several road trips and write about my experiences. My views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Can-Am Spyder and its affiliates. For more information, visit your local dealer and test drive a Can Am Spyder!