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Old 04-24-2009, 04:08 PM   #61
caseylee
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I believe I had an Ural sighting today on the Natchez Trace around Tupelo.....Big cooler on the back, spare tire, and about 20 cars lined up behind it...that wasn't you was it stitchergary?
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:13 PM   #62
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caseylee

I believe I had an Ural sighting today on the Natchez Trace around Tupelo.....Big cooler on the back, spare tire, and about 20 cars lined up behind it...that wasn't you was it stitchergary?


That must have been me, but there was so little traffic I think I only had about 6 cars pass me in about 90 miles. We went through some rode construction near Tupolo so that might be where there was some backup. I have a lot to catch up on. The Birmingham/Barber day was my best so far. I just unpacked, will head out for a couple beers, then start working... Gary
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:23 PM   #63
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Haha yeah it gets a little busy around Tupelo from time to time. I was just messing around about the cars. Wish I would have knew you were coming through. I would have offered you some lunch

Everything is going pretty slow on the Trace the last few days. We had a bicyclist get killed this week.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:24 PM   #64
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Just a thought

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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Old 04-24-2009, 08:08 PM   #65
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Wednesday 4/22 211 Miles Today 1,540 Total

I got sick of stopping and checking my map all the time... This morning I decided to do some planning and put my route on a paper in my tank bag. I knew the motel was on route 138 so all is good.... It never seems to turn out that way...I went maybe 15 miles and the intersection had unfamiliar numbers. I park in a church to check out my map. Can't even find those numbers???? What's going on??? So I keep going until I reach a town...Can't remember what the name was but it seemed too familiar. Stopped again at a gas station and talked to a guy getting gas. Seems like my east/west gyroscope in my brain was malfunctioning that morning. I went the wrong direction. All is not lost and I plan a new route. This one will be perfect, I know. My main worry is getting through Atlanta. You know, the one that has traffic to make a grown man cry. I brought my handkerchief with me just in case. My first thought was go around Atlanta. There were so many little roads I knew it would take all day so decided to take Interstate 20 through the bottom section of Atlanta, which seemed shorter than Interstate 85.

At the beginning my anxiety was rising fast. I'm going maybe 60 and everyone is flying by, including big tractor trailors. It was never so bad I was holding people up but I was feeling uncomfortable. We went on like this for quite a few miles and I see a sign for the bypass. I'm thinking that might be better until I saw a sign saying all tractor trailors had to take the bypass. Forget that, I'm sticking with the first plan. Once they got off I20 it opened up so much there weren't enough cars for all the lanes. I think 5 lanes at that point. I'm relaxing now...things were good until I20 and the bypass come back together. I look to my right and that line of tractor trailers looks like a pack of wolves and I've got a slab of meat strapped to my back. This isn't good. Somehow I survived the line of tractor trailers merging into my lane. I didn't dare move over into the left lane because some of those lunatics were probably driving 90+ MPH.

I knew I wanted to take the exit at Villa Rica and take Route 61 south and go back to the secondary roads. Took the exit, got gas, and my personal rest stop at McDonalds, where a guy came over asking about my trip. He said his sister went to Dental school in Syracuse so knew the general area where I was from. We talked for maybe 20 minutes and then I'm off. Back over I20 for my Route 61. Except there was never any sign saying Route 61. What's going on? Good a bad feeling. Stopped and talked with a telephone lineman who wanted to check out the bike. He told me there are two exits for Villa Rica. I can pick'em can't I??? He said keep going straight, then turn right and I'll run into Route 61. It worked!!! Pretty uneventful crossing over into Alabama. The road was great. Nice and smooth and the traffic and my speed meshed just right. It was getting later in the day and I was thinking of finding a camp site, so I stopped at at gas station. As I was taking off the helmet this gentleman came up and we started talking

Meet Paul from Wadley, AR... What a nice guy. I told him I was thinking of trying to find a campround on another route and he told me he's driven tractor trailor down the road a long time and there is no campsites. That saved me a lot of gas and frustration. He then offered me a spot to put my tent at his home. I was very tempted but felt I could make some distance in the time remaining in the day. I reluctantly declined and trekked on. Came to Alexander City, Al. I thought this was a nice looking town. Lots of new office buildings and stores. Looked very clean and modern. I stopped at the Walmart thinking maybe there would be WiFi, but no luck. A couple of the Walmart employees were enjoying a smoke on the tailgate of a truck so I asked them about camping. They both agreed if I backtracked I could camp at the state park. I wasn't to enthused about turning back but decided to anyways. Good Decision Gary! You're Brilliant!

About 9 miles back I came to Wind Creek State Park. This has to be the nicest campsite I've ever seen. All the roads are paved, each campsite hasw a paved parking area, every site had water and electricity, every site had a picnic table and many had waterfront views. During checkin a German couple were getting a site. The employee asked if I knew what they were in and I said I've seen pictures, but didn't know the name. Here it is.


The driver said it was purchased in Canada and they took it to Sturgis during bike week and to Alaska. Quite the getup!
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:21 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by stitchergary
The employee asked if I knew what they were in and I said I've seen pictures, but didn't know the name. Here it is.


The driver said it was purchased in Canada and they took it to Sturgis during bike week and to Alaska. Quite the getup!


That would be a Unimog.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:23 PM   #67
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wednesday cont'd

I'm not trying to make you feel jealous, really I'm not. Let me clear my throat again.. Found my site and set up the tent. Let's check it out...


From my tent site and bathrooms and showers


Right behind my tent


Just walking a ways from my tent








They even had a sand beach within a short walk


So I look at the Ural, look at the tent set up, glance at the waning sunlight glistening off the water, listen to music on my portable radio, and take a sip of cold beer. Is life good????
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:40 PM   #68
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Wednesday cont'd

Who says Alabama doesn't have a liberal streak???


I still haven't quite figured this arrangement out.....


Just reporting as I see it...


I was able to make sure the laptop was charged up. Have to admit a mental breakdown at this point which will manifest itself later.


So I walked up to talk to my neighbors, Mary & Clyde. They are the ones who have the golf cart which you saw in a previous pic. They ride the cart to their boat, then when they come back on the boat they've got a ride back to their trailor.


They are the most dedicated fisher(people) I've seen. Check out the back of Clyde's truck


While we were talking this fowl friend came up behind me. I never knew it was there until Clyde said something


I left and after it was dark Clyde walked down to my tent site offering me his lantern. I told him I had a battery powered lantern so we stood around talking again. There are nice people all over if you treat them right and give them a chance. I really enjoyed talking to Mary and Clyde...

stitchergary screwed with this post 04-24-2009 at 10:15 PM
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:41 PM   #69
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I've always wanted a Ural. You're doing exactly what I want to do. Patiently waiting for more...
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:59 PM   #70
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Thursday 4/23 190 Miles Today 1,730 Total

I kind of slept good that night but woke up many times for some reason. I got up at 6:00 and put my running shoes on and walked around part of the park. I was kind of questioning how late the sun was coming up and went down to the shoreline to get some early pics... For your enjoyment...









Yum, breakfast..


These people, from Georgia came in during the last evening. I walked up to them and told them what a nice looking rig they had. I further explained it wasn't anything like my tent, but adequat. They didn't want to trade for the night. I'm still puzzled by that...



Stop on sloped ground? No problem. It self levels the whole motorhome


It's getting light out and I pack everything up. I'm worried about getting into Birmingham and getting to Barber Museum. I had checked it out a few days ago on Yahoo maps and knew it was at the east side of the city. I wanted to avoid the interstate but didn't know how to get there. I found some back roads that I thought would get me close. Off I go. I'm getting close and needed gas so stopped at a little station and store. A few houses but this was the whole town. When I asked if he knew where Barber was he said it was easy. I asked if he was going to send me down the interstate and he said no. Continure on the same road for 7 miles and come to a T. Turn left and travel 3 1/2 miles and turn left right after the two gas stations....Wow, I was so excited to have it so easy. And for once everything went as I'd hoped.









The outside was beautiful. The inside makes it pale in comparison...

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Old 04-24-2009, 09:45 PM   #71
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Thursday cont'd

So I park out front and get my camera out to take pics and an employee comes out to smoke. An older gentleman with a badge on his belt. I assume some kind of security. I check my watch against the opening time and all is good. They open at 10:00 and it's around 10:30. Not many people yet though. Only one BMW in the motorcycle parking area. Do my talking, do my pic taking, then it's check out this place. Glass doors on the front indicate entry on the right doors. Pull the first one and nothing.....Hmmmm?? Grab the one beside it and nothing... Am I looking like a total idiot at this time??? I knew the guy I was talking to walked out so I went to the center doors and like magic I was allowed entry. Credit card out of the wallet I walked up to be greeted by a really cute girl. If only I were 30 years younger. Who am I kidding?? One look at the ural loaded down with my worldly possessions and she's thinking Jed Clampett. It's hard to overcome that image. Credit card went through, thank God and she explains that once they turn the lights on I can go in. Ah Ha! It finally clicked that I must have gone through a time zone. That's why it was dark for so long this morning and why the museum wasn't open. It wasn't 10:50, but 9:50. See, even I were 30 years younger I'd still be a little left of plumb....I started taking pics near the entrance and after 10 minutes started walking inside. Suddenly someone walks up to me and asked if I was Gary. There was a moment there where I think my brain froze. It's hard to comprehend that someone knows you when no one is supposed to know you. Because I stayed at the campsite the night before I never read the ADV message from WallyBob in Birmingham to call him and he was going to be at Barber the next day. So suddenly I had an experienced guide. First I'm worried about getting there. That's overcome. Now suddenly I have another Ural rider with experience at the Barber Museum to be my guide. Can anything get better than this???
I took pic after pic after pic and the only thing I can say is someone who hasn't been there doesn't understand the sensory overload that you go through. If any one of us had any bike there it would be treasured for life. There are 100's of these perfect specimins. Bikes from all ages, even 100 years old, that look like they came off the dealer floor. There are 5 floors of this. I'm not into racing so I kind of ignored those, but the early bikes were fascinating... I'm not going to bore you with every pic I took. I'm only going to put up a very few. Here goes!






Suddenly my camera says the battery is too low to take pics.. Great!! Now we go back to the pic where I had the laptop in getting charged. Do I need my laptop at this point?? A general NO!! I need my camera which has a dead battery... Why didn't I charge the battery last night??? So WallyBob comes to the rescue because he brought his niffty christmas present.. Nice camera. Designed for mistreatment and shock and water..Just what I need.... I'm hoping to link and get some off that camera.... It's 10:41pm and I'm getting tired...think I'll get some sleep and try to continue this in the morning... I still have 1/2 day of activity and there is a big surprise where I ended up tonight... The best things in life are those unplanned... NO, I didn't get lucky if that's what your thinking....

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Old 04-25-2009, 06:01 AM   #72
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Thursday cont'd

So, after that mind boggling tour of the Barber Museum, Wallybob asked me what route I was taking. Hadn't even thought that far ahead yet. I was just worried how I'd get there. I want to head west but don't want to get on an interstate. My savior led me down streets where I wasn't scared I'd be run over by a tractor trailor. Lots of traffic lights and stop and go but that was much better than the alternative. One thing I didn't think about before we left was how warm it had gotten. Up to this point the focus was on keeping from freezing. Now we are going down the road and the temp was probably over 80. As I'm driving I'm trying to unzip the zippers on my leather jacket without much success. It's HOT! Then Wallybob stops at a gas station, I'm out of the city traffic, I'm safe. The first thing was change to the mesh jacket in the trunk. We said our goodbyes, a couple pics of me done by wallybob, and I'm off up Route 31 north with the breeze blowing through the jacket. Oh, that felt so nice. Suddenly I realized I had never taken a pic of Wallybob. If my camera worked I'd have done that automatically, but when you get out of your rythm you forget.
My plan now was to get to a campground that Wallybob showed me on the map up in the Northeast corner of Alabama called Joe Wheeler State Park. What an easy ride in that direction. A four lane divided state road so I didn't have to worry about faster traffic. Traveling along about 55. After Culman I headed west on a road that was the straightest I've ever been on in my life. Mile after mile after mile straight as an arrow. I could have put my head down on the tank bag and snoozed for 30 minutes, woke up, and still be on the same road. No, I don't promote trying that.

I'm not to far from my destination I went through a small town but the traffic signs just stopped. I stopped at a grocery store asking some kids if this was still route 130 to Joe Wheeler S.P. and they said yes. Great, I'm not lost yet. I decided to get some grub for the evening. As I parked a pickup pulled up and a guy hops out coming right over to the bike. He wanted to know eveything about the ride, where I was staying for the night, all about the bike. He said he wasn't sure if the first Joe Wheeler had tent sites, but did have cabins. David, as I found out his name later, said I might have to go over the damn and get a site at the second Joe Wheeler. Man, I didn't want to hear that. Suddenly he said, "you can put your tent up at my place if you want. I live about 6 miles from here in a log cabin by a lake. My son isn't with me tonight." I accepted his offer and said I'll go in the grocery store and get some beer. David said they didn't sell beer and the closest place is about 16 miles round trip. He said he had plenty in the fridge and I could help myself.
We went in the grocery so David could buy his package of meat and I got lettuce mix, bell pepper, and orange juice. But no beer!

I followed David for about 6 miles down some back roads, down a long driveway with rows of corn just emerging from the ground, to his cabin.
We walk inside and I'm amazed. The kitchen area was the original cabin built in 1832 using hand hewn logs.


How many people have a fireplace in their kitchen. Great for winter days..

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Old 04-25-2009, 07:11 AM   #73
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Thursday cont'd

Just off the kitchen is another room, but I found out this wasn't part of the orginal cabin. Another cabin of the same construction was purchased and moved 32 miles around the lake and attached to the original. You can see a door on the right which goes into a hallway to the upstairs and then the next room is the downstairs bedroom.


The bedroom


This floor was taken out of a funeral home and placed in the bedroom. David said it ended up being so much work he put regular hardwood in the rest of the house.

So this was the "old' section of the house. Onto the kitchen David added an addition.


See the comforter hanging from the wall?? That isn't some folk art. David was using his crossbow hitting a target inside and one arrow had a bad feather and, well, the glass in the right french door is history. He said now it's warmed up he can get that repaired.

Rember Clyde back at the campground who had all the fishing poles in the back of his truck. He has nothing on David in the fishing department. He could start his own tackle shop.






The one on the right deserved this certificate


BTW, the one on the right is a replica from Bass Pro using the measurements from the original. The one caught was kept in water until the DEC could document the weight and was then released back to the water. What a sportsman!!!

A view showing the meshing of old and new. This is a 2 acre property that was part of the original 800 acres.


David took what was a hunting and fishing camp and made it, with much work, into a beautiful home. What could make this any better??? Don't stop now. Take a look what David sees every day. I'm feeling sorry for the man.....







This is the newest additionn to the family and is named Panther. A present for David's son.



Another Panther sighting. You couldn't resist holding this soft cuddly dog.


David talked alot about his fishing, hunting, canoeing, but I don't think there was any more devotion to a subject than his son, who will have his 7th birthday next week. Happy Birthday!!!

So David told me to forget the tent camping. The house was empty so stay in a bedroom. And BTW, treat the house like it's yours. There is beer in the fridge. I'm doing a small load of laundry so if you have some dirty cloths just add it to the load. Take a shower, whatever you need the place is yours. So one minute I'm kinda lost in a little town looking for a state park. 30 minutes later I'm living in well crafted historic home on a beautiful lake. The Ural might be a little slow, but there are benefits to riding a motorcycle that puts a smile on everyone's face. Next we'll head over to see David's aunt who has, with her husband,another beautiful home just a short ways down the shoreline of this lake.

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Old 04-25-2009, 09:31 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitchergary
I still haven't quite figured this arrangement out.....

Just reporting as I see it...
disabled/handicapped access restrooms, notice the grab bars all the way around the room? they are great when you are in a wheel chair, except when you take a shower and your chair gets wet...

great report by the way!
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:52 PM   #75
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Great report so far... I am following this one.

When you get to Oregon I hope you make it near Portland. We typically get together on Thursdays and would enjoy meeting you.
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