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Old 08-07-2005, 01:13 PM   #1
gaspipe OP
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
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Gaspipe Goes to Alabama............

Day 1:

Even after last weekend's adventure in the Ozarks with DC950, I needed another ride. Gotta get into ridin' shape - I've been pretty lax on my dirt riding since Baja.

I got a Saturday off from work (two weeks in a row!), and decided to ride out to meet up with Iforgot and do a bit of dual sport riding around the Paint Rock, AL area. I'd never ridden around there at all, and Iforgot was kind enough to invite me for a look!

I left work in Corinth, MS at 1400 on Friday on the F650 Dakar (my KTM's 620 and 640 are both still waiting for parts ) and decided to take the back way to the Paint Rock area. I wanted to avoid the major two lane roads and avoid Muscle Shoals, Decatur, and the rest of the larger cities in northern Alabama.

Just outside Iuka, MS.



Rural Alabama! Farms, fields, and few folks.



The road names were highly entertaining.



The ride was hot and rather uneventful until a certain river in which it seems every bridge was out or the road LONG since gone.

Someone at Garmin was asleep at the switch here, as this road clearly has been gone for quite some time.



After riding in expanding circles for about 45 minutes, I found a way across, and made my way to the shores of the Tennessee River near Hobbs Island.



At 210 miles, I filled up the Dakar at New Hope, AL - with 3 gallons of fuel. Gotta love that EFI Rotax plant.

I met up with Iforgot, and had a few cool Budweisers and a thick steak, followed by a good snooze.

Total Miles: 215
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:24 PM   #2
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Day 2:

We took off up a beautiful asphalt road north through Nebo, Paint Rock, Francisco and on up to Huntland, TN for breakfast and a couple more cups of coffee. I needed them to get the haze of those Budweisers out of my brain.



We saw a Jeep trail and decided to take a look.



The Dakar is a tad heavy for this stuff, but handles it in kind. Iforgot's F650 Classic is shod with Tourances, so we need to be careful where we go. He does a great job piloting that F650 through the rocks.







[more in a little bit - making chili fer dinner!]
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Old 08-07-2005, 02:44 PM   #3
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We reacked a section which was proving to be tough with the low ground clearance of the F650 Classic and the Tourances, so we made our way back to the pavement, and sought another dirt path.

And we found it rather quickly - and asked for permission to ride - which we were granted.





After a few miles of rather nicely graded dirt, we came to a camp of folks drinking beer (at 1000 in the morning) on 4 wheelers, who rather politely told us to "go away", and they didn't care that someone else gave us permission.

With a sigh, we turned around and went back out the way we came in.

Hmm....what's this here in the road?



Closer....



That beauty was about 5 feet long and had *a lot* of buttons on his tail, which he demonstrated for ol' gaspipe........Rattlesnake chili methinks.....

Northern Alabama is plenty hilly, and quite pretty.




[more to follow]
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:01 PM   #4
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So far, we keep getting turned back. The State Wildlife Management folks seem to have a mind and agenda of their own. It's a bit disappointing, but undaunted, we keep trying.

We rode some back woods country roads and came across some old structures that have been neglected for a good many years. On a hot, humid Alabama afternoon, this little stretch of CR9 was cool and shady - and quite pretty.



What's next Iforgot? A jeep trail a way past Estillfork - at the dead end of a chipseal road.

A little way further north from Estillfork is a 'retreat', with the biggest satellite dish I've ever seen. These folks mean business when it comes to satellite TV. You could probably watch satellite TV from Alpha Centauri with this baby.



Once again, we're turned back, the area gated and marked NO TRESPASSING. . Now it's starting to be a bit of a PITA, but the roads we've ridden to get from place to place are fun, and we're still having a good time.

Back to Estillfork, we stop for a cold soda and a rest. Damn, it's hotter'n hell today.



A closeup of the sign...........



There you have it, why go further than Estillfork?

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Old 08-07-2005, 02:56 PM   #5
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All this riding is making me hungry too--------I'll take some cheese with my chili---makes you fart you know

And for desert---alabama tracklogs---if you could keep that GPS running this time----it's time to upgrade to the 276C with rechargeable battery GasPipe :grinner
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:03 PM   #6
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Beer makes it worse. C'mon over. I'll put the fan on.

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Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com
All this riding is making me hungry too--------I'll take some cheese with my chili---makes you fart you know
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:15 PM   #7
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We left the urban sprawl of Etillfork and took the 'other' road. In a few miles, we came upon a man and his two kids who were unloading a 4WD 4 wheeler. We asked them about the road ahead, and he looked at Iforgots tires and said, "Y'all oughta head back and take this road..."

That was all Iforgot needed to hear, and we went where he said to not go. I have no idea what's ahead, and what is in store for us, but I don't really care. The scenery is gorgeous, the company fine, and I'm having fun. Lead on, Iforgot - I'm with you wherever we go.



The trail meandered along the banks of the stream for a few miles, with occasional mudholes, sand, and dry washes. I was really impressed how well Iforgot was handling his F650 Classic (with Tourances) through parts of this area.



Babyhead rock trails! Fun!



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Old 08-07-2005, 03:30 PM   #8
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I will add a few of my pictures to this epic journey. The journey they said couln't be done.


After a hour on a great 2 lane road up to Huntland, TN then breakfase at the local cafe with some much needed coffee we headed out to find some dirt to play in.

This was the first trail we came across. We were headed to where I knew there would be good riding when I saw this trail. We had to try right?




Pipe shot on up this while I fought my tires up this rocky trail.

Here is the top of that little trail, it got what we thought was too tough for our bikes. Later we will learn that we were wrong.




Another shot of the snake road




This was on the way up to the Redneck camp, gee the head neck was a pleasent fellow.

I got many more to come
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:31 PM   #9
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After passing some guys on DRZ's and some two-strokers, we stopped and asked a couple of good natured and hilariously funny beer drinkin' dudes on quads which way to go.

They said, " The way you done came".
"Thar's some rugged trail on up aye-head".

Unfettered, we decided to go ahead. Worst case, we'll go back, right? Screw that, I never go back.

"Waaay-yell, if'n you boys are gonna go up that-a-ways, turn 'wraught' at dat cab-bean...an head on up that thar mount-teen.."

Yeah, riiiiight.... the mount-teen

And off we went. Towards dat cab-bean.

And we went "wraught", err, right twice, never seeing any cab-bean. There were a couple of tricky spots, and I rode Iforgots bike through one of the rocky sections when he got stuck. I've been in this stuff many times before.

My gawd, I can't believe he's piloted that machine in here. This guy's a tenacious rider.

And then there was that mount-teen - err - mountain. And then that's when it started getting difficult.



At the first of the rock ledges and the 20% grade climb..........



Hmmm...

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Old 08-07-2005, 03:34 PM   #10
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I just bought a 276C. My ol' 60C is dying on me. I killed it in just 15,000 easy gaspipe offroad miles. Who'd have thought?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com
And for desert---alabama tracklogs---if you could keep that GPS running this time----it's time to upgrade to the 276C with rechargeable battery GasPipe :grinner
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