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Old 06-20-2009, 08:17 PM   #1
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Highfive goes Dragon Hunting

You ever notice how the best of trips seem to take on a life of their own? Events just occur that you never could have predicted, and shazaam, opportunity is knocking at your door! The only question that remains is whether or not you seize the moment. Well....I'm proud to say, for once in my life I actually heard that knock, opened the door wide, and ran through it.

My oldest son graduated High School this year. And, for various reasons of sorts, he is going to college in Virginia starting this fall. Momma's not totally happy about it....we live in Oklahoma for goodness sakes!

She said to him, "why such a big change"? The boy replied, "In reality Mother, it is barely even a discernible change. I am just an Okie becoming a Hokie. It is but one additional letter, you see."

Hhhhmmm.....that boy is ready for college. Nuff said. So now, I have to take him (way) out there for his Freshman Orientation. Its a long drive. Its gonna last a couple of days. What's dad to do? Sit thru the painful parent orientation? Not a chance! I'm loading up R and going riding em them there hills. I've never 'been there and done that' before.

I'm formulating a plan. Why, I'm going Dragon Hunting! My wife says "Do What?" Oh yeah...I'll be chasing some mighty fine Tail, sweety. Needless to say, I had some explaining to do. About the "Tail of the Dragon" at Deals Gap, and all that.

What's R? Well....I'm glad you asked. I give you Exhibit 1:

Just my trusty dusty, little blue engine that could. My fuel injected Yamaha WR250R. Lots of folks call it a WRR. But I named mine R And it seems to have kind of caught on....globally. But I digress.

The big day came, and I told the boss I was leaving work and don't know when (or if) I'll ever return. That went over about as well as it did when I told the wife the same thing. Use your imagination....

Stuffed R in the back of my pickup truck, stuffed my boy up front (would have reversed it....but R couldn't seem to suck in enough to get the back door shut. So, she'll just have to get wet if it rains.

Away we went. Before long it looked like this:

Ok...I skipped the Oklahoma portion. That was the "before" part. I've already seen it too much.

Then, later it looked like this:

And much much later it finally started looking like this:

After a grueling 1,100 miles of driving we finally stop near Roanoke, VA so I could get some gas. And I tell you....things are looking promising, real promising...

I figured I'd have a looksee around these Virginia hills for a bit, then get some REAL satisfaction when I scoot back through Tennessee. That was The Plan, anyway. But what happened in Virginia was.....shall we say...."unpredicted". More like WOW² Stay tuned...


HighFive screwed with this post 06-20-2009 at 08:28 PM
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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I really wanted to go . . . but I was stuck . . . workin' . . .

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Old 06-20-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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"We wish your trail a long one" - Darlene "Sid" Dowd ~ Never run out of traction, ideas, and real estate at the same time.
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Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:20 PM   #4
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By the way....I forgot to mention....this is kind of a "Live Report". I'm actually on the trip right now. Just a few days into the riding. I'll be posting updates each evening, if I can get a Connection on my Aircard wherever I end up camping.

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Old 06-21-2009, 06:23 AM   #5
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As Plans go....they didnt'. My favorite Wingman couldn't make the trip. I'm flying Solo! That has its advantages and its disadvantages, as you'll soon see. Riding the bike Solo is a real FREE feeling. There's no discussing or debating where to go or what next. You just go! Wherever, whenever, into whatever. Its great!

But I need to backup and share what happened in transit from Oklahoma. Knowing I was coming thru Memphis, Malibu Dan invited me to a meet and greet at the famous Corkey's BBQ. Being a new WRR owner, he's had plenty of inspiring questions about this DS stuff. This would be a good time to meet face to face. And since it included good food, well...I had a PLAN!

Dan actually purchased TWO WRR's. We thought one was for spare parts, but I soon learned different. I beat him to Corky's by 7:30 pm, then he & his son coming riding in on their purdy blue twinkies. We have a nice time eating lots of famous ribs.

That's Dan & his son on the left, me & my son on the right. While time stood still, we closed the place down....literally! Now, I point out Exhibit 2 (above): Keys in the hand of Dan's son.

Time to go....but things don't go as planned. While Junior was self-sufficient, Malibu Dan couldn't t seem to find his KEY.

So, the hunt is ON! Every pocket....

Every square inch of parking lot....

And, for some reason....that only Dan can explain....under every bush.

No luck. He's stranded! So now, I've become the Search & Rescue of Memphis, TN. Got to shuttle people back & forth from Corky's to Rancho Malibu to Corky's, and all that. After about another hour, all is well, as Dan actually knew where his SPARE key was. Go figure...

Its so late now, my son & I bid farewell and just decide to keep on driving. Too much adrenaline in the blood from all the excitement to go to bed anyway. So, onward mush....


HighFive screwed with this post 06-21-2009 at 06:30 AM
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:05 PM   #6
Jimmy the Heater
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HighFive and R on an adventure....Subscribed!
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Old 06-21-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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You're doing the Dragon on the that bike?

Let's see what you've got!

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Old 06-21-2009, 05:48 PM   #8
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Okay, okay...enough with the chit-chat! Let see some riding!!! BTW, the bald spot in the picture is much steeper in real life.

This is just peaches; doesn't matter how fantabulous my exploits are from this point forward. Everywhere I go, people are going to ask me if I have my keys with me? Do I know where my spare key is? You sure you've got them with you?

Oh, well, I'm in anyways; don't want to miss a HF RR. Let's see some some R in it's natural habitat!
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:32 PM   #9
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Alright...alright...I'm getting there. I promise it will be worth the while. Somebody's anyway. Now where was I?

Oh yeah....we leave the gas pump and pick a tiny twisty backroad for the mad dash down to town. R starts beeping at me, so I pull over for a looksee. Apparently, she wants to take in this scene for a moment. She thinks she sees a Dragon! I've got proof, here's the photo. Looks like there's several of them hiding down in that valley:

Still jealous of our budding relationship, College Boy wants his turn. Fair enough, since it is Father's Day weekend and I'll be all alone....sort of.

Check out all that smoke. Gee....I could of had a V8! It was everywhere. This must be why they call them the "Smokey Mountains". Ok, I'm slow on some things....just not the trail.

Within mere minutes of arriving in town, I dump College Boy at the campus curb and say "Adios!" Then, pick a basecamp, unload, & gear up even faster than humanly possible. Man, if the Krabill could have only seen Flash Gordon move...

Off I go into the wild green yonder! Just pick a road...any road to nowhere. It didn't matter.

There was lots of this:

And, lots of that:

Plus an absolutely endless amount of these:

Yeah....I can get in to this. Beautifully gorgeous countryside, with immaculate road surfaces, and only one glaring concern: No Traffic! Nope! None! Nada! It kind of got eery feeling. But then I got used to it, and just let her rip! Gadget Boy proud knee dragging on a knobbied up WRR. Believe it GB...


HighFive screwed with this post 06-22-2009 at 04:01 AM
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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I actually had a Plan to go ride some route that Bluepill suggested. Apparently he had recently been through that area and found this perfect little jewel. So, I'm winding my way Northward when, for one fateful reason or another, I encounter an inquisitive local who feels the need to interrogate me:

Where you from, Stranger? What you doing here? Where you going? You got a Plan? (No joke...he really said it).

I leveled with him, told him about College Boy, and how my real PLAN was to go ride around Deals Gap in TN. His eyes get as big as frozen pizzas! "Why you don't need to go down there. We've got our own Dragon right here in Virginia!"

Now, my eyes draw tight, my palms getting a little sweaty. I'm listening....continue.

Says its "Tuggles Gap". over yonder a good bit (pointing off into the distance). Turn at Pete's, down the white gravel (for a shortcut) to Floyd, follow the creek long way....and find the old cabin. Then, you're good as there.

That's about all I squeezed out of him. But I'd heard enough. Who needs a gps anyway? Sorry BluePill. I'm Dragon Hunting! I've got a new PLAN...

Down & up yonder:

Passing Pete's...or maybe Floyd's? (I know its a No Passing Zone, but the Man said...)

Could be this white gravel?

Maybe even this old cabin?

And happens! I pass through some weird old looking rock frame tunnel around the road and stumble upon this:

Its real..its really REAL! That was the craziest wild goose chase I've ever been on in my life. I had just a few clues where I was going. And 60 something miles later, I found it. And these roads....oh my....these fabulously beautiful roads with no traffic to speak of. Its just insane! Who cares if I don't find it. Its just so worth the never before.


HighFive screwed with this post 06-22-2009 at 04:06 AM
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:17 PM   #11
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i've been riding around Va for the past month now, look for the state highways that are in the 600s or 1200s. Those seem to be the narrowest, twistiest ones.
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:54 PM   #12
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This right here....this is awesome!

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Old 06-22-2009, 05:46 AM   #13
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Good stuff!
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:19 AM   #14
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Inspiring ride report HF ... keep it coming!
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:50 AM   #15
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Hey Dan, I guess we all have our own senior blonde moments, huh?


Thanks for taking us with. It's always much better when you don't stick with the plan, no?

We'll be waiting for more.

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