louis hutton was a long time supporter of the trail of tears commemorative motorcycle ride. his devotion to the ride stemmed, in part, from his cherokee and choctaw ancestry. His great great grandparents died on the trail of tears and their daughter, leora was adopted by a christian family in kentucky. she lived there with her 3 white sisters and eventually married a ranch hand, jonathan Terpin hutton. so the trail of tears had a special meaning to louis. he was also an avid motorcyclist and had ridden motorcycles since his teen years.
on September 14th, 2017, louis was making his 12th ride of the commemorative motorcycle ride and traveling to cherokee with the other riders on that thursday before the official saturday ride. the collage above has a picture that states his birth date and the date of his death, and that photograph was taken mere minutes before he suffered a seizure and left the road and died. he is also pictured with his two brothers, frayne and michael, in some of the images, all of whom are also motorcyclists and together they enjoyed motorcycling and much more of life.
the photos in the collage capture snapshots of his life. he was a good brother and he is dearly missed by many that loved him. his support of the trail of tears commemorative ride is illustrative of many whose ancestors either walked or died on the trail of tears. we ride this route to remember all that suffered and died on the trail. for his family the trail now has gathered new tears.
A group of riders leaves san antonio texas every year, led by louis's brother michael on the monday before the ride. they make their way from san antonio to natchez louisiana to get on the natchez trace and ride it all the way, more than 400 miles, up into tennessee. in tennessee they pick up the cherohala skyway and ride it to deal's gap where they pick up the famous tail of the dragon with it's 318 curves in 11 miles. below is a picture of louis's brother michael on the triumph America that came from the restoration of louis's wrecked motorcycle, as he rides the tail of the dragon on the 2020 ride.
to see more pics of the louis hutton memorial ride visit the gallery and see the sections marked 'texas riders'. if you would like to join the louis hutton memorial ride anywhere on the route please contact michael hutton to coordinate with him.
The Louis Hutton Memorial Ride leaves from the parking lot of the circle k at bulverde Rd. & 1604 in san antonio on the monday morning before the 3rd saturday in september every year. riders gather at 7:30 am and ksu at 8:00. each days ride and the route taken are shown below. you will also find information for the hotels where the group will be staying at each stop on the route. each day of the ride is a full day, however the 4th day of the ride, running through the smoky mountains in north carolina, is a leisurely days ride with only about 4 hours of actual riding.
leaving san antonio at 8am we head up one of the few stretches of Interstate that we travel on the ride... up IH35 to san marcos where we exit and begin traversing texas via rural roads and state hwys. this part of the route crosses the sam houston national forest and the clear creek wildlife management area. this is a very scenic route through eastern texas and western louisiana.
we will stay at the La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham, Alexandria Airport
6116 West Calhoun Drive, Alexandria, Louisiana 71303 (5.1 Miles) +1-318-442-3700
Leaving Alexandria on Tues morning we will head for Natchez, MS where we will get on the natchez trace parkway at its origin. THIS DAY'S ROUTE WILL TAKE RIDERS ACROSS THE DEWEY WILLS WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA THAT RUNS UP ALONG THE CATAHOULA LAKE AND THEN ACROSS THE CATAHOULA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AND THROUGH THE BAYOU COCODRIE WILDLIFE AREA. the natchez trace is one of the best ways to travel through mississippi and into tennessee. And it is one of the smoothest bits of highway anywhere in the uS! IT IS TRULY A PLEASURE TO RIDE WITH SUCH SMOOTH RIDING AND BEAUTIFUL SCENIC VIEWS. tHE 300 MILES OR SO THAT WE SPEND ON THE TRACE IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE.
I’ve secured a discount rate for the lodging both in Muscle Shoals and at Tellico Plains. The rate for The Coldwater Inn is $99 for either a King or Double Queen. When booking the reservation you must tell them you are with the Louis Hutton Memorial Ride.
IN Muscle Shoals (Tuscumbia) WE WILL STAY AT The coldwater Inn.
712 US-72, Tuscumbia, AL 35674
DAY 3 HAS US LEAVING The Coldwater Inn FOR ANOTHER STRETCH ON THE NATCHEZ TRACE UP in to TENNESSEE. Where we exit the Natchez trace IS VERY NEAR THE END SO THIS ROUTE ALLOWS THE RIDERS TO NEARLY COVER THE ENTIRE SCENIC RIDE OF THE TRACE. tHE TRACE CONTINUES ON UP INTO TENNESSEE RUNNING THROUGH THE LAUREL HILL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA. tHE LAST 50 OR 60 MILES OF THE NATCHEZ TRACE HAS QUITE A BIT OF TWISTIES RUNNING THROUGH SOME VERY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY. WE END OUR RIDE ON THE TRACE near the laurel hills wildlife area, JUST SOUTH OF NASHVILLE, AND THEN CUT EAST on hwy 64, traveling across southern tennessee to iNTERSTATE 24, DOWN TO CHATTANOOGA. FROM CHATTANOOGA WE HEAD UP IH75 FOR ABOUT 35 MILES TO EXIT AT CHARLESTON WHERE WE HEAD EAST ON SH 163 INTO THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS FOR A STAY AT OUR FAVORITE LODGE, the tellico lodge, IN TELLICO PLAINS, THE GATEWAY TO THE CHEROHALA SKYWAY.
the lodge at tellico, 9436 TN-68, Tellico Plains, TN 37385•(423) 253-2506
when you call to make reservations tell the owner, brian, that you are with the michael hutton/texas riders group.
the texas riders have been staying at the lodge at tellico for the past 5 years. we keep going back there because the lodge is beautiful and extremely well maintained. but more importantly, we have grown to be good friends with the owner, Bryan , who's a rider, and about as hospitable a guy as you ever want to meet. we strongly endorse his very comfortable little smoky mountain lodge and his generous and warm accommodations. Bryan has a garage where, for a very reasonable fee, you can store your bike. And Bryan keeps the garage stocked with rags, a bucket, and other cleaning supplies so you can wash your bike and keep it spiffy. he also offers a discount if you pay in cash. what a guy!!
From Bryan's website:
Located in beautiful Tellico Plains at the beginning of the Cherohala Skyway near many other great riding loops, the Lodge at Tellico offers relaxing hotel accommodations. All 16 rooms are cabin style with private bathrooms, custom king-size beds, TV, AC, microwave, frig, coffee maker and semi-private porches. Guests can gather in the Lodge’s game room and play billiards and several other games or lounge at the covered patio area with BBQs and fire pit. Enclosed covered motorcycle parking is available in the Lodge’s bike garage. See more details at: lodgeattellico.com.
if you visit the lodge when you're not riding with the texas riders, tell him captain america sent you!
DAY 4 IS WHERE THE RIDE GOES FROM FUN AND BEAUTIFUL TO AWESOME! Tellico plains is known as the gateway to the cherohala skyway. The skyway is the first leg of the thursday ride of the louis hutton memorial ride, and it leads us deep into the smoky mountains of north carolina.
the cherohala skyway begins a ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in america. The smoky mountains present scenic views through twisting mountain roads and along crystal clear mountain rivers.
The tail of the dragon is a segment of us 129 that runs along the calderwood lake that boasts 318 curves in 11 miles! this bit of twisty road draws motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts from all over the world... literally! we take this opportunity on our trip to cherokee to run this every year as it is one of the most exciting and fun bits of motorcycle riding to be found anywhere in america. you can't miss the opportunity to ride a dragon while touring the smokies!
Our friend Bryan at the lodge at tellico also turned us on to some maps that are fantastic, produced by randy freeman. these maps give motorcyclists pictures of routes that are great rides all over the country. Randy is a great guy and he produces these maps at no cost to riders. click here to visit randy's website.
after riding the tail of the dragon we stop somewhere for lunch and then continue on SH 28 down to us 74 that takes all the way to cherokee. for information about lodging in cherokee, and at all other points on the route back to texas, see the rider accommodations page. When we leave cherokee on Friday morning we join the main group of riders riding from cherokee to Bridgeport, alabama for the official trail of tears commemorative motorcycle ride. be sure to check out the This page for more details on the friday ride from cherokee to bridgeport. Friday night the texas riders will stay in Kimball TN at:
Best Western - 205 Kimball crossing drive, kimball, tn, 423-837-2478
Following the saturday ride the texas riders remain with the main group for the sunday ride into arkansas on the Allen ward memorial ride (check for more info). From there we head back to san antonio.
anyone interested in joining the ride from texas, or at any point along the route, please contact Michael Hutton by email or at 703 638 4724, or by filling out the form below, to coordinate the rendezvous. we look forward to riding with all that wish to join us... we have a blast every year!