Saturday, June 17, 2017

Two Wheels of Suches (Facility Rating)

Overall Rally Facility Rating: B

I'm just back for the two day Hooch Rally (short for Chattahoochee National Forest) up in the North Georgia Mountains. It was a two day weekend rally on June 10 and 11, but I rolled in a day early on June 8 and got a great 90 mile warm up in with some good guys on Friday. I checked out on Monday, June 12.

The Hooch was based at the Two Wheels of Suches Campground and Lodge in Suches, Georgia ("TWS"). TWS offers primitive camping, connected camping, cabins and a few lodge rooms. See the linked website for more details and a map.

I had my toy hauler set up for primitive camping at $15/day.

While I called well in advance, they advised that I would not need to make reservations unless I was staying in a supported camp site, cabin or lodge.

The overall facility is quite large, but unorganized particularly for those who have never been there before (and this includes having the campsite map in hand). When I arrived Thursday, late afternoon, the lodge was closed and there was no one to give me any guidance on where to park and set up. There were two entrances...wasn't sure which one to use and some of the camping areas were only accessible by foot or motorcycle. I parked in the trailer parking area which really wasn't where I would have liked to be...but it worked okay.

The campgrounds have a quite time of 10 PM. The area roads did not contribute enough noise to wake me in the middle of the night. The hooligan level for this rally was pretty low.

One of the most important amenities that I consider at rally facilities is the bathroom and shower. I like to take a hot shower every day and I do not like to either walk a long way or stand in line to use a bathroom. A short wait for shower use is reasonable considering that the whole rally group is rolling in off the trails at about the same time.

TWS had an outstanding shower and bathroom facility. Very clean. There were also two bathrooms at the lodge so bathroom facilities were reasonably spread out. Half a dozen shower stalls and each shower was private. That was nice!

Another important amenity is access to food...seriously. TWS has a restaurant, but it's neither open all the time nor does it offer a complete menu. The restaurant was not open the Thursday night that I arrived or my last night Sunday night. It was open for breakfast, including on Monday morning. It provided the Saturday night group dinner (spaghetti) but nothing else.

Rallies do not generally offer every meal to the participants. No problem...go someplace else. Well, easier said than done in the North Georgia mountains. If you need to go find food, get ready to drive a long way. There is just nothing in the mountains unless you like gas station pizza and microwave things that they try and pass off as burgers.

I'll be better prepared next time I go back to TWS, I'll be taking a cooler of stuff to supplant the rally meal schedule. Suches does have ice and firewood!

Overall, TWS is probably the best place I've ever stayed during a rally. It was the first time I got to use my toy hauler as a camper and that really worked out great. I gave the facility an overall ranking of B. TWS bathhouse facilities are positively off the chart! The lodge is large and extremely comfortable. My only frustrations were being hungry and not have a place to get (decent) food...yes, I did eat one of those pizzas from that joint across the road on Thursday night...and I would have liked to set up some place better