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Old 04-17-2009, 01:56 PM   #31
tony the tiger
yeah - what he said...
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Location: secret owner of a Parmesan cheese factory
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:14 PM   #32
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Lil Warshougal
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good on yah for eating right and riding your britches off. You're welcome at my place if you make it to the Gorge.
May a piece be upon you.
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:23 PM   #33
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Southwest Missouri
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I'm Hooked

Looking forward to following your RR. What part of Missouir you riding to? I live in SW Missouri. If you make it this way let me know and I will buy your dinner.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:41 PM   #34
stitchergary OP
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Friday evening 4/17

Total for day: 335 miles and I'm at the destination of my scenic ride at Front Royal, Virginia, the beginning of Skyline Drive. I knew the first two days wouldn't look that great because it's just too early in the season. I just wanted to get out of the cold. I took a total of 2 pictures today and they aren't worth the time of uploading them. Northern PA looks pretty much the same as my home in Northern NY...Boring!!!!!! Not boring by it's nature, it's that this time of year it can be characterized as "dirty brown".

My brilliant plan was to use state and county roads to bypass the traffic of Scranton. Ok, I can't take all the blame for this snafu. I was ok until I was looking for a route 309 south and even though I didn't find it I kept riding and riding and riding knowing that it kept saying I was going west and that was OK.... Finally, I stopped at a lookout and asked a person sitting in his car. I had gone way past the point I was supposed to turn and instead of going west, had gone north-west and was almost as far north as when I started. That's not good!! I backtracked and still couldn't find route 309 so took route 29 south to Wilkes-Barre, PA. After about 10 miles the road had a Y and the left one said route 309. Why didn't those engineers put that number way back at the beginning?? I wouldn't have ridden about 30 for nothing...I worked my way south and finally got on an interstate. Route 81 south. I did my best keeping up with traffic and even tried Mr. Cob's drafting some.
I told you about the boring brown scenery. Once I got south of Harrisburg, PA it was like I entered the valley of green. My whole attitude changed. It was exciting seeing the green everywhere. Green on the side of the road, a carpet of green in the meadows and hillsides, crabapple trees in full bloom, a tinge of green on the bushes and trees. The landscape was transformed and so was my attitude.
So, after Pennsylvania I went through Maryland, then West Virginia, and now in Virginia. Observations about Virginia: I've come to the conclusion that I entered this weeks NASCAR trials to see the weekends starting lineup. Everyone is flying and weaving in and out of traffic. 2nd observation: If you have a desire to attend church, your within 1 mile walking distance of a church. Yes, I'm kidding, but I don't know how they can afford to build so many huge beautiful churches. And so many of the homes are the old mansions from a couple hundred years ago. Just Beautiful!!!!

OK, the last thing I'm going to say tonight. I received emails which I really enjoy and am so humbled by people's generosity offering a spot to put the tent, a night in their home, dinner, and beer. It's greatly appreciated and the number one purpose of this trip is making friends, so thank you. It's going to require a lot more organization on my part to get this information so I can contact those people. I have received a couple offers and questions about my accepting donations or setting up a paypal account. Thanks for the offer, it's appreciated, but I don't want this to ever be about money. I have to do this on the cheap, but I never want to take a penny from anyone. It's just one person enjoying, struggling, frustrasted, worried, anxious, mesmorized, curious, and whatever you might imagine, and your there for the ride. So let's just enjoy!!
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:15 PM   #35
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Location: NW PA
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Good on ya - I hope to take a trip of my own, wandering around in a couple of years...

"Human culture, the antidote to intelligence." Reg Morrison
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:43 PM   #36
stitchergary OP
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Saturday 4/18 - 205 miles today, 744 miles total

Déjà vu, all over again. Take a look at these two photos. I never paid attention until I was ready to leave this morning.

Yes, I stayed in two different motels two nights in a row that happened to have the same name. What are the chances???

Here's a photo I didn't upload from yesterday. I was driving down the road and saw this huge concrete expanse that I assumed was a railroad tresle at one time, but the condition was so bad I was thinking to myself, "I hope this stays standing until I get across to the other side." I ride a few miles down the road and looked up ahead to another of these old tresles, but to my amazement the train was crossing it at the time. Those brave souls.

See the train on the right side?? You didn't see the condition of the crumbling concrete.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:20 PM   #37
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Saturday 4/18 cont'd

As I was putting on my helmet I looked up to see this.

Nothing special, but I just thought the combination of the moon and the jet trail was interesting.

I had high expectations at the entrance of Skyline Drive by the bright colors.

Just to prove I was really there. Doing my Vanna White impression.

Right after this I rode to the toll collection point (They charge $10 for motorcycles) and purchased the National Park Pass for $80. This will allow me entrance to any national park for 1 year. Hope I get my money's worth. I should!!
I'm just going to put a series of pics up as I went down skyline drive and the beginning of Blue Ridge Parkway. When I got up on skyline drive I realized, due to the elevation, that it was too early for the leaves to be out. It was a beautiful day to ride anyways.

There are miles and miles and miles of these handmade stone fences along the 105 mile route. This road was made right after the depression and used the new CCC program to get people back to work.

Little civil war lesson. You will get your test tomorrow.

I filled up on gas just before the Skyline Drive. After completing the 105 miles I figured there would be gas close by. I started down the BRP and at the first visitor center, that was closed, I asked a couple motorcycle riders. They weren't sure but knew there was some 20 miles back. Hmmm, don't like that idea. I looked on a map on the big board and it showed gas near mile marker 30. That would be a total of 137 so figured I'd try that. I passed a turn off and when I got to mile marker 30 I didn't see anything. I drove an additional few miles and then decided maybe I was supposed to turn back there. Turned around and took the exit. This was the most extreme downgrade with hairpin turns. The brakes were heating up so I decided to let them cool. The smell of hot brakes from passingvehicles was wafting through the air as I waited. I decided to have a sandwich will I was waiting. Delicious: German dark wheat bread, spread horseradish, then salsa, then a little feta cheese, then spinach. My masterpiece:

See, I can put food porn on too.
Anyways I drove and drove seeing I went beyond the 189km when I had to switch to reserve while riding on the interstate. At the 222 mark it finally dawned on me that I never switched over from reserve after I filled up the day before. That means I might be using the reserve right now and I don't know it. The panic is setting in. I finally got to the bottom and no gas station. I kept on that road until I came to an intersection where a couple guys were working in front of a house. I stopped and asked where the closest gas station was. He said turn right here and there are three of them. So I turn and go over the hill to find nothing but pastures and cows. How far am I going to be walking??? After about 1/2 mile of this I could see a gas sign. Made it!!!! When I filled up I was amazed how little it took. Apparently riding an average of 35MPH on the Skyline Drive proved that slow driving really does save gas. I got 38.7 MPG on that fillup, way above my average of 28-31.

stitchergary screwed with this post 04-19-2009 at 03:46 AM
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:31 PM   #38
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Saturday 4/18 cont'd

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to John Suche at a rest stop. He just bought this Vstar last year and said he was putting some runnin miles on using the Skyline Drive. I was surprised when he said it was a 650. It looks bigger than that, and with it decked out with a bluetooth Zuma GPS, is a nice setup. John is retired military and now works in Washington D.C., but lives in Virginia. He explained how he uses his GPS alot to avoid delays from accidents and other delays going to and from work. I asked him how far he drove? 80 miles EACH way and some days he might spend up to 4 1/2 hours sitting behind the wheel, plus his time on the job. I just shuddered with the thought of spending so much of my time behind the wheel like that. Although I don't seem to have a problem spending hours behind the handlebars.
***JOHN, you should have told me the top of my head was starting to look like a lobster before we left.***
The sun was sure bright out there today and I certainly don't have much shade on my head. Didn't realize until I looked in the mirror tonight.
John, Enjoyed talking with you and thanks for the suggestion about the GPS.
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:15 PM   #39
Earth Wanderer
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Location: Leander, TX - R1150GS
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stitchergary, I don't know if you know about the Tent space list, but just in case you should check it out. It could save you a lot of $$$ and you could make a lot of friends in the process!

On another note.... I moved from Watertown a year ago. I think I was one of three guys who rode a GS in the area. Good luck with the trip, I know you will have a great experience!

Save $5 when you open a SmugMug account. Use the following coupon: 7ztkgApOHBurY
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:55 PM   #40
stitchergary OP
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Thank you Walrond

Thank you walrond for the tent list. I wish I knew about this before. I finally found a KOA campsite this evening and they wanted $36+ tax for a tent campsite, which included a $2 charge for WiFI. No Thanks!!! I left there and headed south towards Fairfield, VA and ended up in a hotel that cost me $66, but has everything I need. There are listings in the same area on the list you provided. That seems to be the problem. I never know where I'm going to be at the end of the day and at that time I have no internet access to figure things out. It's very frustrating, but I know this is a learning experience and take it as such. Thanks again..
Gary - from near Watertown in Gouverneur

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Old 04-18-2009, 08:18 PM   #41
stitchergary OP
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Just wanted to show you the inside of tonight's tent.

What is it with King size beds???? Is this a safety net for those having sex on a trapeze???? I guess the guy thought he was giving me a deal by upgrading me. I only need so many sq. ft. no matter how big the bed is.... OK, done with my rant!! Unless you know someone who likes sex on a trapeze, then give me the phone number...
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:28 PM   #42
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I am watching this and will send a pm. As i 2007 Ural Retro owner I will be looking forward to your tails of UDF.
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:27 AM   #43
lone rider
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Location: home is N.E. Missouri
Oddometer: 847

wishes for a continued safe trip. not sure what part of Mo you are
head for but you are welcome at my place. have a good shop....trailer and plenty of space. Northeast Missouri near Hannibal if you need anything. If this isn't an area you will need to stay over............I will be glad to treat you to lunch or dinner and a cold brew.
When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:52 PM   #44
stitchergary OP
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Sunday 130 Miles today 874 Miles Total

Sorry about the delay in updating. Didn't have internet.

Sunday morning and I'm ready to pack up and this gentleman, David Foster, came over to check out the bike. We find out that the grocery store he owned for 40 years was about 120 miles from my home town. He sold the store in Oneida, NY and moved near his family in Virginia Beach.

The ride Sunday morning was perfect riding weather. The temperature was just right, not too chilly, and not too warm. I worked my way south, filling up the tank, then up up and away for my return to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Remember how I had to get off because I thought I was on fumes?? Well, once I got back on I figured I only missed about 17 miles. You can tell because they have mile markers starting with 1 at the northern end. I traveled about 25 miles before I ever had a vehicle come up behind me. Just sheer bliss!! I just took my time because I knew this was going to be a short day. Normally I have no idea where I'll be at the end of the day, but today was different. I was going to stay at the Willville Motorcycle Campground.

On the way I stopped at a rest area with a fishing pond. Why do I know it was a fishing pond?? Because a father and three of his kids were having a ball fishing. I like seeing families doing enjoyable activities together. Memories for a lifetime.

Talked to the father for awhile, then took some pics around the pond.

I'm getting pretty artsy with my photos aren't I???

Back on the BRP....I'm hoping I can kind of keep these pics in order. Usually I do them one at a time, but tonight I uploaded them all at the same time and they are out of order.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:33 PM   #45
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Sunday cont'd

Misc pics of BRP

I then stopped at an overlook and Mr. Jim Tesi came over to check the rig out. He was extremely thorough in looking over every part. He then told me all the photo opportunities I missed where I had just ridden. Jim, I enjoyed our conversation...

So, I just road along enjoying the day and checking out many of the overlooks and the view on the green valley below. At mile marker 177.7 you leave the BRP and get on Route 58. Just down the road is the Willville Motorcycle Campground. I should have taken a pic of the sign, but I forgot.
Just a few as I came in:
My new neighbors, Richard on the Harley and Gilbert on the Buel. They arrived just befor me and we set up tents at the same time.

And just to prove I really do have a tent. Some of you may have been wondering.

A little brook for some stress releiving burbling. Which turned out to be some loud running water noise in the middle of the night after a downpour. Richard said he woke up in the night thinking I had a radio on before he figured out it was this little brook making all the noise.

Pic across from my site. There are no bad spots here. Everything is nice lawn, no site on gravel like I've seen other places.

Richard and Gilbert went about a mile down the road for some chow and I picked up my beer. After getting back I sat down here and transferred the camera pics to the laptop and did some manipulation in Picasa.

Heard some bikes coming in and heard the conversation. "is the cabin available? We'll take it!" John and John (I thought I had a pic of them, but somehow either deleted it or didn't take one. sorry). They rode from Tennessee on their Honda ST1300's in rain most of the time. I can understand why they took the cabin. Here is a pic I took the next morning in fog. See how the cabin has it's own garage on the side. Neat!

Richard and Gilbert came back from their dinner and Will, the owner of Willville came out on the seating area where you sign in, John and John came out and we just talked about everything. I really enjoyed everyone's company. Richard and Gilbert are from Georgia and John and John are from Philadelphia. Richard certainly has the southern drawl down to an art.

Once it started getting dark I happened to glance down the short hill to see Will starting a wood fire in the pit. It only took all of us a short time to get down by that nice fire.

I know I enjoyed myself so much I had a few more beers than I planned. Heck, when you're having such a good time, the time flys by...

Got tucked in and it started raining. And wind. And rain. And wind. And rain. How high is that little brook behind my tent going to get tonight?? Does the tent float?? All was good in the morning. The only place that was wet was where I climb in and out on the corner. Everything else was completely dry. The next morning it was foggy.

And finally a pic of L to R... Richard, Gilbert, Will

About 7 miles before I got to Willville I stopped to take some pics and a couple guys rode up on a BMW F650 and a KTM 990. When I mentioned where I was heading to they said they've stayed there many times and it's great. Just before John and John left I asked one of them if they had been there many times before. He said he's been stopping there for years and it's his favorite motorcycle camp ground. I can understand their enthusiasm. I thought it was great. So if you are ever in Virginia do yourself a favor and stop at the Willville Motorcycle Campground (and I'm not receiving anything for this endorsement. I just think it's a great fun atmosphere.) Here is their website:

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