Kawasaki Concours Owners’ Group 2009 National Rally

The Southeast Region of the Concours Owners Group is pleased to invite you to western North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee, and northeastern Georgia, for the 2009 National Rally, `Shiftin n Grinnin’. Now if you are wondering why three states are listed, Tennessee is less that two miles north and Georgia is less than 70 miles south of the rally site. This tri state corner hosts some of the most notable and challenging roads east of the Mississippi: Deal’s Gap, Tail of the Dragon, Cherohala Skyway, Foothills Parkway, and a lot more. That is the reason we named it `Shiftin n Grinnin’ as I suspect you will be doing both, quite a lot. In addition to all of the paved roads, there are even more dual sport type roads and trails.

If the two pictures above get your interest, this is North Carolina’s Highway 28. On top of that, this is almost the only way into or out of the hosting resort, Fontana Village Resort. The resort has accommodations that range from lodge rooms, suites, 1 to 3 bedroom cabins, a campground for tents and RV’s, and even houseboats. For activities on site, there are two outdoor swimming pools, one indoor pool, a game room, a billiard room, basketball courts, tennis courts, hiking trails, bicycling, skateboarding, disc golf, putt putt golf, horseshoes, shuffleboard, craft shop, fishing, playgrounds, and a day spa. Other activities nearby are: whitewater rafting, golf, a full service marina with rentals of all types, and also a stable for horseback riding. There is no shortage of things to do. After a long winter you are due a vacation and this is one great site for just that.

Ken Ford has already planned out a good number of road routes and all I can say at this point, they are fantastic. He has also planned a dual sport rides that takes in historical paths along with some amazing scenery. We are trying to get an ERC setup for those who need to brush up on their riding skills. If you have some request or for some organized activity or event, then please do let us know.

Also in the planning is a Monday Social, an event to meet and greet. Later in the week there is a `Women’s Breakfast’ so that they may learn more about motorcycling, Marcia Ford is heading this effort up. Former SE AD Larry Buck will host a Bike Show Contest, so start getting your bike ready. Then Thursday evening is the Banquet, a meal not to be missed. Ted Adcock, our Slave Labor, will be there along with the OTP visitior. Bob Sherwood, Vic Salisbury, and others are busy getting a big bunch of prizes and gifts for the Awards Program after the banquet dinner.

We envision the Recreation Hall being our `gathering place’ to organize rides and to `kick tires’. There is an adjoining `Cafe’ where coffee and breakfast sandwiches will be available. There is a fire pit in front of the Recreation Hall and each evening we will have a fire going for folks to gather around and share stories.

To provide more flexibility, we will have an ‘al a carte’ registration where you can choose the items you want. Unfortunately, the Banquet Dinner will be limited to the first 400 as there is limited seating for a meal. Afterwards things will be re-arranged for our Awards Program.

You may find that the Fontana Village Resort package to be a bit more expensive than some of the past COG rallies, but we think you will find it to be well worth it. The resort is a highly sought after destination for auto and motorcycling organizations, therefore it is highly important for you to lock in your reservations early. The entire resort is on reserve for our rally until March 27th, so to be safe, get your reservation in before that date. Be sure to mention the Concours Owners Group National Rally, `Shiftin n Grinnin’ to get the discounted rates.

What to expect? The June temperatures are mid 70’s to mid 80’s in the daytime with it falling into the 60’s at night. As for rainfall, since this is in the mountain area, you can expect sudden thundershowers at any time, so keep your rain gear handy. The resort lies in one of the largest forested areas in the east, cell phones do not work there but Wi-Fi is available in the main Lodge. You will have to ride several miles to get cell phone coverage, so plan accordingly.

Geographically, Fontana Village Resort is 62 miles south of Knoxville, TN, 95 miles west of Asheville, NC, 126 miles east of Chattanooga, Tn, and 178 miles north of Atlanta, GA. The Great Smokey Mountain National Park is just across the river from the resort. For a list of nearby attractions, please visit the National Rally web site at www.cog-online.org, as there are too many to list here.

A team of SouthEast COG volunteers are hard at work to make this a memorable experience for you and for your families. Fontana Village Resort and the tri-state area is an ideal area for our annual COG National. We look forwarding to hosting this event and seeing you there. Come on out and do some `Shiftin n Grinnin’, next June 8-11.