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Long Road to Smokeout 2019 - Start point is Natchez, Mississippi June 9th.
The gypsies have a word, “Lungo Drom,” which translates into English as “Long Road.” Anytime there’s a road trip involved, there are promises and possibilities in the lessons that are only taught when you escape the rational and boot up for a long ride.
The Long Road is not a cross-country gut check race but it is a perfect fit for our chopper subculture. It is a chance to connect with old friends and make new ones. To paraphrase Rat Man Dave, “I can be in the middle of 50,000 people at a motorcycle event, but when I’m at Smokeout after Long Road, I’m with family.”
The Long Road is not a group ride where we all line up for a kick-stands-up ceremony, it’s a gypsy ride which means you can ride with a few friends, a group or take off by yourself at 5:00am or 10:00am.
During Smokeout, the first-time riders will be presented with the highly coveted, serial numbered, Long Road medallion which will be used to gain access to the fabulous Long Road Lounge which serves as our home base for all Long Road medallion holders and their friends. At the sign-in on Sunday evening, everyone will receive the 2019, 11th ride, Long Road t-shirt, map and map case. We will also have a list of repair shops located along the daily routes.
“Uncle Ben” has been doing phenomenal work over the years to keep Long Road as one of the greatest weeklong combinations of riding and partying experiences alive and kicking! We know the icing on the cake is ending the ride at the greatest chopper event on earth -Smokeout! Riding Long Road to get there has been what I looked forward to every year, and I feel especially privileged to be the one setting up the route this year and am thankful for a ton of input and help from Uncle Ben.
The Long Road party starts this year on June 9th in Natchez, Mississippi at Plantation Park, located at 1 Fredrick Street, Natchez, Mississippi. Check-in for Long Road will run till about 7:00pm. Other accommodations in Natchez include; Days Inn, 109 Hwy 61 s. 1-855-446-3972; Natchez Grand Hotel, 111 N. Broad St, 855-471-9492. There’s also the Magnolia Bluffs Casino Hotel, 645 S. Canal St., 855-753-0440
The next day we follow the “Blues Trail” along the Mississippi River to Clarksdale, where riders check-in at the Coahoma County Expo Center, 1150 Wildcat Dr., Clarksdale, MS. 662-627-7337, this is also the campground we will be staying. Other lodging options include; Shack Up Inn, 001 Commissary Circle, Clarksdale, 662-624-8329. This is a collection of sharecropper shacks that have had some upgrades like electricity, AC and plumbing added to them. There is also a nice selection of alcohol available. A night on the town in Clarksdale should include some live blues at Ground Zero Blues Club. Another lodging option is America’s Best Value Inn and Suites, 350 South State St, 877-962-0370. 215 miles on the recommended route.
Tuesday morning we head to Lynchburg, Tennessee for an after-hours tour of Jack Daniels Distillery, the tour is optional and the cost is $25. If you’re planning on the JD tour, add the $25. with your Long Road registration. The tour starts at 4:15pm and they want us to be there at 3:45pm. I’ll make sure our bikes/gear will be secured or supervised if anybody wants to do the tour before they check into the campground/hotel. Riders will be checking in to Tim’s Ford State Park 12 miles away from Jack Daniels at 570 Tims Ford Dr., Winchester, TN, 931-962-1183, if you call ahead mention that you are part of Long Road to get one of the camp sites already reserved. Each site is $34. and can be occupied by several tents to split costs. There are also cabins available that sleep 6-8 people. Another lodging option is the Lynchburg Country Inn, 423 Majors Blvd, Lynchburg, 855-223-8452. 313 miles on the recommended route.
Wednesday, June 12th, we ride the Tail of the Dragon before camping on the grounds of Wheels Through Time Museum. Another lodging option, a 10 minute walk from the museum, is River Point Lodge, 4102 Soco Rd., Maggie Valley, 828-926-4343. I am recommending waiting to tour the museum on Thursday morning when they open at 9:00am, because the recommended route through eastern Tennessee and over the Tail of the Dragon is almost 300 miles and none of that route should be hurried.
Thursday will be a perfect day for breakfast in Maggie Valley, then a tour of Wheels Through Time before riding into the mountains through Hot Springs, NC, on the way to Riders Roost, 100 Elk Creek Darby Rd., Ferguson, NC. 336-973-8405 for the last check-in before Smokeout. Riders Roost has several options for sleeping arrangements including; Camping, Bunkhouse, Cabins and private rooms.
Friday morning is only a three-hour ride to see what Edge has planned for the 20th edition of Smokeout at the Rockingham Dragway!
Keep watching for more details on Long Road costs, campground information, hotels and more about the recommended routes on www.smokeoutrally.com, SmokeOut Rally FB page, Legion of the Long Road FB as well as Instagram.
The registration fee will remain at $35. per person this year, this covers the printing of shirts, maps, map cases etc…
You can early register at PayPal.me/LongRoad2019 or make your check out to “Mike Allen,” write your t-shirt size in the memo section on your checks and mail them to me at:
Mike Allen, PO Box 742, Canon City, Colorado 81215