Aarrffin' around Appalachia
I have been thinking about getting this thread started for sometime. I do a lot of this day trippin' stuff around Worstern North Carolina and surrounding states. About Thursday of next week, some friends are flying in here and I am going to show them a fun way to get from Asheville NC to Hunting, WVA. I wanted to get this thing set up so maybe I can find time to post up at night as we go. Their bikes are already down here and I will find a route back home after a couple days.
A little about me: I guess you already figgered that I am a hillbilly and you figgered right. This is me on Wayah Bald Tower. It had rained hard the night before and this was early enough in the morning that the fog was still rising in the valleys. Fog is another nuisance and good reason to avoid this area. Also, this rock tower was recently restored by the govermint and they removed each stone, mapped its location, and put it back exactly as before. The mortar was failing. You can see a number of states from here and a neat map at the various view points on the tower gives you the name of mountain ranges that you are looking toward.
I was born in a town very near the border of the Smokie Park, lived other places at times but back here now and semi-retarded soz I have more time to ride. I started out on little trail bikes as a kid over 50 years ago. My Dad has always been an avid motorcyclist but he gave it up when he turned 85 and now at 92 he just spends his time stretching fences and keepin' little widows in the area supplied with farwood. There were a lot of colorful characters in my life growing up, true hillbillys and such and I love to get out and explore now and find those type people. Nothing pleases me more than to find an old store, sit on the porch, swap a few lies, eat a moonpie, and pet a hound. So you'll find in my text a lot of little "Aarrffisms" that remain in my mind from those experiences.
Today, I am going to throw up a few pics from previous stuff and then you can decide if'n you want to come back from time to time and see what I been up to. My main reason for doing this thing, is for all you folks out there who might be thinking about coming into this area. I want to save you the trouble by posting up all this stuff over the next few months and that way you will know whats here and won't feel the need to come lookin' It is some of the worst ridin' that one can imagine. Everywhere around here, there ain't nothin' but these blind curves, water fallin' all around, a total Green Hell in the summer,and I think in some places we must have two rocks fer ever dirt! So I guess this is sorta my official invitation for you to not come here.
My Sweetie got me a GoPro Cam so I been trying to learn how to use it. Here is some ugly stuff so far: https://vimeo.com/user9794935
Here is my Sweetie and we do some 2-up stuff and she even likes to go on semi-technical dirt that most would not attempt on the big bike let alone 2-up. In fact, this is the top of Horseshoe Rock and we came up the steep side, between Highway 281 south of Cullowhee and Charley's Creek then went on through..
If'n I dont get out on a long ride, then I end up having to ride some crappie old dirt around here like this stuff:
Ride bud wearing his Great Pumpkin outfit :lol3
And then here is a sampling of the kind of stuff that we have here if'n yor into the more paved kind of ridin':
Back side of the Straightaway Cafe on Highway 9
Inside actually a good place to eat
So many curves the even the darn state doesn't know if we are a comin' er goin'
And just some general awful stuff and its hard to get through this;
Hooker's Gap...wonder how they got that name?
Lake Logan on 215
on Mountain Grove near Franklin
Across from previous barn...check out that old stone work!
One of our post offices...hope they don't close it!
A true hillbilly was born here
Check him out...a fine licker maker!
I went up to Worst Virginnie not too long ago:
And had to ride through some real sucky places to get there on highway 16
Well, this is about all I have time for today but I'll be puttin up more later and check in late next week if'n interested in the upcomin run up to Huntington and southern Ohio. and if'n you get over here by mistake or something we do have some good deals on high test gas....Super cheaper than regular...watch out fer the poison ivey on th' pump handles though...
Maybe I'll take a run up to Burnsville later today after I plant some taters...they say ther ain't much happenin' up there...see ya later :1drink
Love it, recognize some of it, keep it coming!
"popcorn" Sutton for Pets's sake! Was just talking about him and making shine last weekend..........:freaky
Sure, I'll tag along.
It's nice to see some interest in this. Just thinking about some of our more famous folks and other reasons you may not want to visit....remember Eric Robert Rudolph? The Olympic Park bomber? You can read about him on Wikipedia and remember how long it was that he kept the feds scratching their heads about where he was? Ha! They were caving and all kinds of stuff looking for him. He spent most of his time as I understand from reliable sources, right here at an old basically abandoned and grown over campground on Tuni Gap Road between Andrews and Tusquittee.
I'll see what else I might have if'n you like this stuff until we get a trip rollin'. Back later...
Oh, this is a gravel road and every time I go through there, it seems I encounter a fast old pick-up or two on my side and they are surprised to see a bike or anybody going through there...just not a tourist type area I guess, but then, I don't look for the tourist areas anyway....
Don't try to stop in hillbilly country. Interstates are just fer passin' thru so they don't give hillbillies any of those merging lanes. To get on an interstate, you must know the difference in left and right turns, you only look one way, git on it fast and go and then.... you may be gone fer days. You'll have to slow down at a town somewhere, turn around and then go all the way back to a town in th' other direckshun then head back this way and you'd better know exactly where to jump off.
Yeah, you'd better think twice about comin' to this country. And here is my ride bud takin' a look at the same interstate from my back yard.
Lookin the other way you can see th' river too and that is about a 1000 ft er better straight below where we are standing.
More later...just three days til we ride out...
Our retail business around here ain't quite what you might be expectin' but I bet this gal at the Smokey Mountain Gift Shop has some good deals. She is a neat person and lots to tell you about too so stop on by if you can't resist this stuff.
Her shop is just up the road from here but you'd better get direckshuns if yor goin' further..I bet she's got maps..
Speaking of some more of the kind of folks I like to find...here is one heck of a fine feller. He's over there in the Rosman area. I was passin' thru there and saw him a grinding and welding on an old Willys soz I just had to stop and say howdy!
Now, you know a tourist would just look over there at that shop and keep right on rollin'! No idea what they just past up in local history and just real interesting stuff. As an example, look at the wood work in the ceiling of his old shop.
And see that thingy hangin' up there, thats a far extinguisher that dates back into the 1800's! It's got a do-hickey that melts when the fire heat hits it, then that releases a spring loaded thing-a-ma-bob, which in turn slaps the tar outta thet glass globe which breaks it to release and pour out some far retardant concoction. Ain't that slick? See what kind of stuff people miss out on ever day by bein' in a big hurry.
Ok, that's all today. Gotta start packin' th' bike...
We got this ride under way this morning. We met up for breakfast at Denny's in Black Mountain NC. Here is Steve, Brad and Eric. Our goal today is to reach Marion Va on back roads.
We left Black Mountain headed east to Old Fort on Mill Creek which is a dirt road.
It passes under the train tracks a few times then we stopped to see Andrews Geyser.
This history lesson is there too.
Somehow, I got the settings screwed up on my camera and all had a terrible glare so I missed the passage thru Old Fort. So here is Lake Tahoma on highway 80 headed north toward Micaville.
Sorry but I am still not getting good photos but it gets better as the day goes. We continue on up 80.
This road is no fun so don't come ride it.
Ugly log house.
The guys wanted to stop for some religion. Here Steve breaks out one of his hymnals. :lol3
The approach to....Bakersville....we like this kind of traffic since we have all had involvement with this sport.
Smile...I think we probably should be doing this instead..
Sucky road to Roan Mtn.
Assault on Roan
Carver's Gap on Roan Mtn. on 261 north of Bakersville.
Heading off Roan north toward Elizabethton TN.
On the road to Shady Valley (91 N then 133 N)
The AT crosses here....oh crap...I should know better than to stop with theses guys. What is he doing to that sign?
Here we are!
Backbone Rock just south of Damascus
Well, I am tired and need to ride early. This is about half of today's ride so I'll put more of it up tomorrow night.
Thank ye Shaggie!!
Well we rolled into Damascus right after Backbone Rock
And Somehow I let the dogs out...they are in front...now what? Slow down soz I can use this camera!
We are in town darn it!
On th' sucky road again...58 east out of Damascus
Went right and on down 58 a few miles soz we could hit that ol' no good Whitetop Road. It has a nice ride on gravel up to the towers but we were being chased by a big storm so we just kept haulin' and dodged that Konnarock place too.
Closin' in on us...
I think we out ran it and now we are headed into Laurel Valley toward he big metropolis of Troutdale.
Troutdale and they have a PAY PHONE THAT WORKS!!!
Approach to Marion on 16
Ok, when this crowd rides, we ride in style!
The General Francis Marion Hotel on Main Street, Marion VA awaits us. Google'em and check it out. Parking in the rear private lot under constant surveillance too! The Black Rooster Restaurant is incredible and serves til 9 PM and bar is open later. I got to plug them, they were so nice and the old refurbished hotel is a treat..all kidding aside...great place!
Keri at the bar...neat person!
Steve in the lobby is thinking about buying himself some flowers or something :lol3
Main entree' for me
Yeah, we really roughin' it ain't we...went for a walk after dinner to pay our respects to the fallen who made this life style possible for us all!!!!!!!!!!!! They do a nice job here!
Ok guys, that all for yesterday. We are in Huntington WVA tonight and I have about a 150 photos and a GoPro movie segment that may have to wait til I get home. I may get back here later with some stuff in Hungry Mother Park before turning in but if not, it will be up over the next few days. Thanks for following us across these Appalachian Mountains from Old Fort in the flats to the Ohio border! Not sure yet about the routes over the next few days but I will make it fun!
Today was a beautiful morning of 5/25/12 as we rolled north out of Marion on highway 16. This is some of the worst roads I have ever seen :lol3
Before long we are climbing and descending one range of mountains after another on the way to Tazewell.
OOps,we found some road work on this route.
All the way up this segment is just awful stuff..can't you tell from these photos what a terrible time we are having!
These guys were trying to hand off a twinky bar but I kept missing it...
OMG! There is a poor rooster tied on or in every barrell...how is this crap legal? You know they ain't just collecting fly fishin' feathers!
That was a sad sight in the middle of this beautiful ride...really!
Here is a number that we took down just in case we get in trouble :lol3
Main Street in the pretty little town of Tazewell
Haulin' butt fer Worst Virginnie! Kidding, we like WVa!
And here we are by about 10 AM this morning.
Lots to show you of WVa later but its gettin' late and I gotz to roll out early and get on the big motor again so I'll see you tomorrow night with more. :wave
Coal country in WVa
Welch is a pretty neat little town for coal country and I like how they paint their water reservoirs.
See this big boy...they make a living draggin' the back end of that trailer over the yellow in left hand turns so
if you ride up here, ride way inside your skill level so you have margin of error to play with...you WILL need it.
Lunch here in Pineville,,it was fine just an ordinary burger and no indigestion so that's good...
This ol' boy showed up outside the diner and was showin' Steve how he takes his shirt off and on... :lol3
Actually a very nice guy and he rides a lot and was interested in our chromless machines...
Main street after lunch..pretty building
We went back an forth in town a couple times looking fer grub..decided against this place as it was not too busy in spite of the special deal they had on the marquee " Big Tator Special". :lol3 Uh...no thanks...
Guess I need to quit foolin' with this camera er these guys are goin' to run over me!
Haulin butt fer Logan
Somewhere out in Timbuk2 we came upon this incredible slab of road that ran out about as unexpected as it showed up.
Disclaimer: I have this little bitty tar on the back that distorts my speedometer :D
On the way to Huntington on these sucky roads
Well, it was about here that my camera battery died out so we were near the end for the day ( 5/25) I hate that as Steve and Eric decided to tread onward on their quest for northwestern Illinois. Eric is then headed on for his Minnesota home. So no pics of the "Fairwell Handshakes" Brad and I ditched it in a couple rooms at the Hamptoon Inn in Barboursville at exit 20B on I-64 and it was a good clean typical Hamptoon. Then we hit the road again this morning with new camera batteries..guess we'll head home and then get some needed work done til next time so here comes the fun return trip:
I-64West bound to exit 191
Headed south on 23 looking for Highway 80 somewhere down the road. This run was on 23/460/119/80... followed 80 once we picked it up.
Open road...feels weird...I did not realize this but I can't ride a straight line :lol3
Tried to hand this dude a twinkey but he would not even wave, no smile, no nothing, sinister like...what's up with that?
I guess since we have on helmets and riding sewing machines that our cool factor is too low :lol3
Is this a nuke?
Stuff on the way to Elkhorn
A fitting tribute this Memorial weekend...I think this was in the ATOR thread
You can google the whole story....interesting.
On th' sucky road again...http://aarrff.smugmug.com/photos/i-q...-qK4xqDV-M.jpg
All around the town of Honaker, there are these really high hills that appear to have an almost perfect funnel shape. We asked an ol' timer at the Subway how this happened...he just shrugged his shoulders and said they always been that way...:lol3 OKAY!
I bet this place will give you some bull..
I think this was in Honaker..could not pass this up so I grabbed the Virginia Tag game at Hayters Gap and threw this up for the new tag for our buddy Red Bud who ain't feelin his best after a little recent mishap..
Broke out again for about a mile or so on19 then right back left on 80
The old timer at the Subway warned us about this road...said it was real narrow...steep drop-offs all the way, not room for two cars to pass....soz we discussed that at the Subway...fer about 2 seconds with a big grin...
Guess this is what he was talkin' about final approach to Hayter's Gap
Some wrap up stuff on the way to Meadowview and Abingdon.
End of 80 for us...
We are only a couple hours from home so thought we'd grab a coffee or sumptin' here and discuss the situation as Brad is thinking about headin' on in on the slab and I ain't done wanderin' so time to talk...
While I was taking this photo, he went on inside....he came back out waving his arms and said lets go! It seems the guy who works there, we guess he works there, was sound asleep in the middle of the floor...we guess he was asleep. :deal That's when we realized that the bail bond number we got in Tazewell won't work in Meadowview :huh,,,yup...lets roll.
I am still in Virginnie and Brad called awhile ago to tell me he is home safe...so at least one more day of prowling around fer me soz I'll post up tomorrow night.
Meawhile,I had dinner in Abingdon at this place...great awesome food!
Heading on home
Heading out of downtown Abingdon this morning I hit 75 south...no way am I ridin' a super slab when I am surrounded by country like this. The planned route is VA75 / NC44/ 19E/ 173/ 107 / 352 / 212 /208 / 25-70 / 209 / Meadow Fork/secret path.
Just more sucky roads
For some time, the landscape is similar to what you see on the north end of the Creeper Trail
Caught up with a road grub
Everybody is in the Memorial Day Spirit
They will call your Bluff here
Approach to Elizabethton on 19E as home looms in the background
That train looks familiar
Just south of Hampton, I take a right on 173 then right on 107 and yes its another sucky road
Stopped at at a Wendy's for a salad in Erwin then jumped on a short section of I-26 to get away from the Sunday church crowd...this guy saw me get on the slab, thought he would sneak up behind me...followed a while hidden behind a car then he got bored with my pace...I did not dare take his photo when he was beside me checking me out :lol3 But I got him!
Took the Clear Branch exit which is a 2 minute pig path over to 352
Then a left at the stop sign and follow the 352 signs to the AT crossing and into NC where it becomes 212.
More awful stuff to ride and its worse on the NC side!
Now this road fits my style, just can't run a straight line...
Lets take this sucky 208
Hang a right on 25-70 and roll into Hot Springs. Some friends just built that log cabin you see above the river
I ain't stoppin' now...209 is getting too popular but it is an awful road. Don't come ride it. There is a store at the other end, 29 miles out the road, and they put up a sign callin' it the "Rattler" :lol3 Got'em a skull with a snake crawling through the eye socket, that outta draw 'em in here :lol3 I'll have to get a photo of that in a day or two....too funny!
My favorite driveway is near a mile long
Once I cross that hill, Imma gone fer a few days...
Hope you had fun riding with me. Your comments, pro or con are appreciated. I'll be out and about often so check by
A short time after crossing that little hill, this was set in front of me....is this special or what?
So until the next one::wave
That was GREAT!!!:clap
Lookin' forward to more Aarrffin' adventures!
It was, had a blast. We rode a little of what you just did, between the campground an Damascus.
Wish I could have swung it, y'all could've used another GS on the trip.:D
Have you seen this?
Nottarally *** Oct 4-7 *** Hot Springs, NC
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