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Old 10-04-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
klaviator OP
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Six days of dual sport riding in the southern Smokies

The title of this RR describes what we're planning to do. My primary riding partner for the last 6 years, Steve, and I are going to get together and ride for six days. We've ridden in this area many times before so it won't be the most epic of adventures. What makes this trip different is I finally learned how to use my digital camera and I plan to use it. This will also be my first attempt to do a ride report. Here it is:

We started planning this trip several months back. I need to put in my vacation request way in advance. Although I seriously considered going somewhere new, I knew that this area had great riding so I did the safe thing and planned the trip to an area I knew. The fact that we could fit the Oktoberfest DSR into the trip was a bonus. This organized DSR ended up be cancelled but we have old route sheets so we can still ride the route.

On to the trip:

Day 1 Sunday October 4, 2009

I load my KLR650 and XT350 into my Avalanche



Then I add a trailer

And make the long 10 minute drive to Steve's house where we load his DR650 and DRZ250


Notice that I'm wearing shorts and a T shirt. After getting to Maggie Valley, I don't know if I'll be wearing that for awhile...It's cold up here!

After loading up we drove up to Maggie Valley. Nothing exciting about the drive. We stopped at Subway for lunch but I decided against taking any food pics.

Originally we had planned to ride out of Andrews, NC for three days and then go to Maggie Valley for three more. At the last minute we changed plans due to a less than desirable weather forecast. We also started the trip a day early. This was a challenge for Steve who had just returned from 90 days in Alaska.

We arrived at our home for the next three days, the AHoliday Motel in Maggie Valley. I would post a pic of the motel but forgot to take one. I'll try to get one tomorrow. We unloaded the bikes and headed out for a ride
Pics of day one ride to follow.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:04 PM   #2
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Day one ride:

Since we were starting this ride pretty late it wasn't going to be real long. On the ride up Steve mentioned he would like to ride the long one way gravel road in SMNP which we had done before. I basically planned out a route in my head during the drive up. We were both pretty rusty. Steve just got back from Alaska on the 1st. He hadn't ridden his bikes in three month's although while in Alaska he was forced to rent several bikes and do some riding. Yea I know, it's a tough job, but he was just the man to do it.
I also haven't been doing a lot of riding.

We needed a warmup. I have no GPS and no map. For those who know the area our route was: 19 south to Hyatt cove road to some some forest service roads.

This on took us under the BRP


Then it was some twisty pavement to this



Nothing challenging. Just a nice curvy one way 14 mile gravel road with some nice scenery like this

Steve posing by his DRZ





Me and my trusty 2000 XT350. This is the bike that got me into off road and dual sport riding. It may not be the latest and greatest but it's still a lot of fun.



Steve in action



At the end of this road we took a left on Big Cove RD to Cherokee. Then North on 19, Left on Jenkins creek, over some FS roads and back to 19 near the BRP. At this point it started raining so we headed back to the motel. Total distance: 68 miles. Total time about 3 hours. Nothing spectacular but it was a good warmup.

The plan for tomorrow is approximately 130 miles including Hurricane Creek and Buzzards Roost. The weather forecast is cold and wet.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:02 AM   #3
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Day 2 - Monday October 5th

We woke up this morning to this



It's been raining last night. Drizzle and 48 right now. Hurricane Creek is going to be interesting
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:02 AM   #4
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It looks like things are clearing out nicely for you guys....



Have a great ride.....

I'm looking forward to more pics.

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Old 10-05-2009, 09:44 AM   #5
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You've got some great riding in the Smokies!

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Old 10-05-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knybanjo
It looks like things are clearing out nicely for you guys....
Have a great ride.....

I'm looking forward to more pics.
It looked pretty ugly this morning. After a late start it cleared up and we ended up with a great ride. Now comes the hard part, downloading the pics and posting the RR for today.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:42 PM   #7
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If you are doing hwy. 215, look for Charlies Creek, south of the pky. comes out on 107.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shojac
If you are doing hwy. 215, look for Charlies Creek, south of the pky. comes out on 107.
It's part of our plan for tomorrow, as well as some stuff recommended by knybanjo.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:07 PM   #9
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Before we go, let me introduce the third member going on out ride:

Raptor Duck - he should have a great view from the DRZs front fender.



For todays ride we'll be following the route from last year's Octoberfest DSR. No GPS and no MAP. I've got all the high tech gadgets mounted on my XT. A roll chart holder and a case for my camera.


We finally get on the road sometime after 10, ride about 5 miles and.... ...I realized had forgot to put my tools and tube in the bikes tailbag. No better way to ensure a flat than to not be prepared so I turned around and and went back to the motel.

FINALLY, we're on the road again. Some nice curvy and scenic back roads. This one passes under I40




A little later it starts climbing and gets seriously twisty. Dual sport bikes are great for these roads. You're not likely to see a sport bike here because the road turns to gravel.



Both Steve and I love riding twisty pavement. Even with Knobby tires, these bike perform great, traction is not an issue, and at under 300 pounds, they are effortless to ride.

Eventually the pavement becomes gravel and after several miles of great gravel road we get to this:


This is the start of Hurricane creek "road" off of Max Patch road. It doesn't look to impressive but it's muddy and rutted. And as you go down it, it gets worse. I've seen people ride this road on large adventure bikes. They're better riders than me. This is why we brought the small bikes. After today we'll be riding the six fifties.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:11 PM   #10
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Hurricane Creek Road. We took a lot of pictures on this 6.2 mile long road. Steve took many of the pics on his camera but it doesn't use an SD card and we have no way to download to my laptop at this time. We'll do that after we get home. I have a new respect for those who have put together the great ride reports I have enjoyed reading. This is very time consuming. I suspect that my inexperience and cheap computer don't help matters. This is my second attempt to post Hurricane Creek. Here goes:

Only 6.2 miles but I lost count of the number of creek crossings. Here's one:



There were also plenty of mud puddles:



We knew we were getting near the end when we saw the first of two cabins:



This is the end of the road. Hurricane Creek road ends right at Interstate 40. Notice the Hurrican creek road sign.


Unfortunately we also discovered that we had suffered our first casualty. Raptor Duck was MIA. We think he probably bailed out during one of the creek crossings. Anyone going through Hurricane creek in the near future keep you eyes open for a little duck. He made it safely all the way from Alaska but Hurricane creek was to much for him.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:08 PM   #11
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Pictures

Pictures turned out good,guess you have photobucket figured out...Looks like you guys are having a good time.I will show Tim the pics tonight at the airport.See you next week,Steve.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSG650
Pictures turned out good,guess you have photobucket figured out...Looks like you guys are having a good time.I will show Tim the pics tonight at the airport.See you next week,Steve.
I'm not sure I have photobucket figured out. I'm getting the pictures to post but the process is taking way too long.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:07 PM   #13
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I've been having problems getting a reliable WiFi signal so I'll post this fast before I lose it again. We had a good ride today. Tomorrow morning we'll load up and move to Andrews, NC. The weather looks good tomorrow and Thursday. Friday may be OK too. I don't expect to have internet access in Andrews so I'll be finishing this RR after I get home on Saturday.
I'll try to get a little more of yesterdays ride done tonight.

knybanjo, thanks for info you sent, we put it to good use.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:22 PM   #14
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After Hurricane Creek we took a break and took some pics. I was soaked with sweat. We were dressed too warm for Hurricane Creek but just right for most of the rest of the ride.

After the break we jumped on I-40



The Harmon's Den exit was less than a mile. We exited, crossed under I-40 and rode 4.8 miles to Buzzards Roost.



There is nothing marking this spot except a rope handhold tied around some trees.



The view at the bottom of this path is impressive. It's about 1000 ft almost straight down to I-40



After taking in the view and a bunch of pics, we continued the ride.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:24 PM   #15
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Loaded up and drove to Andrews. The motel recently got WiFi but I need to sit outside in front of the office to get a reliable signal. Here's a brief update. Sorry no pics till later.

Wednesday: Beautifull weather. The theme of my ride: "where does that road go" The theme of Steve's ride: "where did my keys go?"

Thursday: Sunny and cold to start the day. Theme for todays ride: "curves, curves and more curves!!!"
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