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Old 07-28-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
jdrocks OP
Gravel Runner
Joined: Jul 2007
Oddometer: 4,586
These country stores are an essential part of the landscape out here, fuel and food, sure, but also a country song played on a continuous loop. Order your food, but ya need to take it outside to eat unless you want you want to smell like fried chicken for about a week. That chicken grease wiggles into your pores if you hang around too long, then ya have to take a shower with Dawn dish detergent, the same soap they use to clean ducks caught in an oil spill.

Thatís ok, heck, most of the entertainment is outside anyway. Youíll find the country song top ten subject material in a parade marching right on past, eat that chicken a la saturated fat, take notes for the song you always wanted to writeÖwe got the hound dogs, broken down pickups, couples in love, couples out of love, big rigs, Harleys, guns, beer, big hair with the credit card boobs, and the shine that the guy on the side is selling outta his trunk. Sorry, no trains. About covers it, man, I love these places.

My greasy chicken has been reduced to greasy chicken bones, and Iím seriously thinking about buying some for the road, that is until I look towards the mountain I need to cross, damn, looks like itís raining over there, ya know, yonder. Some of those roads can be a bitch when wet, time to get moviní, and it was just a short run to where it can get interesting.

Takes detailed paper maps, GPS tracks, or local knowledge to get around out here on a maze of roads, plenty of deadends, or you could ride out a road only to find it doesnít connect well with your next road. Might be nice to spend a day riding around on one mountain, but I donít have the time right now.

The road does end, but only for the family mini van, bikes and 4x4s exempt.

The gravel starts at the end of this pavement, no more hard surface for 40 miles, as I ride around and over the mountain before dropping back down into the first big valley to the west.

A drizzle starts just as the front tire touches the gravel, nothiní much, wonít hurt me unless it gets heavier. The road shows some use down low, nothing recent, but then decreasing use farther up the mountain.

Once past the one or two unimproved campsites, youíre frequently on two track. Iíve been on this piece of road several times, and have yet to see a vehicle, rarely a fresh track, mostly no tracks.

There are plenty of places to camp along these roads, if you donít mind a dry camp, any water is down lower. Bring drinking water, I donít go in here without 2L on the bike, Nalgenes work for me.

No use at this campsite, maybe it gets used in the hunting season. Somebody spent some time on this fire ring, good for a campfire, no good for cooking over a fire.

Once the leaves are on the trees, the foliage is so thick that photo ops of the surrounding countryside from the roads are limited, so find an op, donít miss out.

Bike running along fine, Iím running along fineÖthen this on a long ascent through a boulder field and over small ledges, damn.

Bouncing along boulder to boulder, ledge to ledge, one too many bounces and I was off the freakiní road. The bike landed on a huge rock, missed my foot, and after a short bout of cussing, I had it back up. Scapes and scratches, no damage.

(to be continued...)

jdrocks screwed with this post 08-12-2012 at 08:23 AM
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