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Old 06-13-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
MeanStreaker OP
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KY: Red River Gorge & Daniel Boone Natl Forest

Many emails and conversations over the past year can be summed up about like this:

"Hey Tim. Man, I freaking love my KLR. You should get one too. Check out this ride report of some idiots attempting __________".

Thankfully, a short time ago, Tim (aka DryFire) looked past my incessant nagging, the stars aligned, and he now is the proud owner of a 2007 KLR650. So, since we are

1) Scheduled for a week-long dual sport trip at the end of July following Cannonshot's UPAT

2) I have almost zero miles on dirt or gravel despite logging tens of thousands on pavement in the past 15 years, and

3) The KLR is DryFire's first motorcycle, he doesn't have his license yet, despite logging a lot of hours on quads in the gnarly stuff...

We thought a quick shake down trip in search of gravel would be in order to test out our gear and see what we were getting ourselves into. Here's a quick recap of an overnight trip from SW Ohio to the Red River Gorge and Daniel Boone National Forest area of central KY. I noticed there isn't much in the ADV archives about this area, so maybe these few pictures will help someone else out.

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Old 06-13-2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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All told the trip was just under 600 miles, some great stretches of gravel, a few little challenges, three or four small water crossings, one long one, three bacon cheeseburgers, one primitive campsite, zero mechanical failures, and only one KLR dirtnap.

Our rides began solo early Thursday morning, June 9, with DryFire heading east through Cincinnati and myself traveling southeast on SR 741 and 123 from the Dayton area until we met up in Blanchester, OH.

Here we are at 0830 ready to roll.



We continued east through Blanchester on 28, then turned south on 134 and a small piece of 68 until we saw the turn off for a twisty piece of backroad recommended on RideOhio.org - Chicken Hollow Rd. We then took that to Wiles Rd, which promised some gravel and a creek crossing.



Wiles Rd certainly delivered! It starts and finishes rather tame and quickly turns to something a bit more technical throughout the middle.











As the gravel turned to small rocks, which turned to large rocks, which turned to small boulders, it certainly put my newbie skills to the test.

Then we arrive at the "creek crossing". As you can see, DryFire gets across relatively easily.








I did not have as much luck, stopping my momentum against a large rock every now and then and spinning my tire on the slime covered shelves.
But finally.... success!!!




Maybe that's easy for some on a loaded KLR650, but that stretch was definitely a challenge for me.

As we continued on Wiles Rd, we passed the "No Outlet" sign warning folks to not enter where we're coming from, then it turns into rather tame gravel again before transitioning to rougher pavement.



We turned south on SR 763, enjoying the nice twisties it has to offer, and crossed the mighty Ohio into Maysville, KY and lunch at Delite's Diner, a great little Mom and Pop place with two older Greek folks in their 60s or 70s (I'm guessing) consisting of the entire staff.



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Old 06-14-2011, 05:01 AM   #3
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Subscribed...keep it coming.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:30 AM   #4
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looks like a nice ride
appreciate that you shared it with us
thank you
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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Gearing up to leave our lunch spot, I noticed a memento from our creek crossing earlier:



I guess it's here that I'll mention I could not be happier with my Sidi Adventure Rain boots. I had a pair of Sidi FlexForce SRS, precursors to the Crossfires I believe... and boy were they uncomfortable.

The Adventure Rains are comfortable(ish) to walk around in and seem to have great protection in all the right spots. I read a lot of the long threads on here, including the grand debates between the overseas Gortex offerings vs the stateside AdvRains. After hearing me rave about them after a few hundred miles, Dryfire picked up a pair as well.

After standing in water above the ankle during the creek crossing, plus standing in a few mud bogs later in the trip (pics forthcoming) , plus slabbing about an hour and a half in pouring rain for the final leg of my trip home... both sets of our AdvRains were 100% bone dry.


We continued south out of Maysville through beautiful country and stopped for some water at this covered bridge.












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Old 06-14-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
AviatorTroy
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Nice! I'm born and raised in Clermont and Brown county, and I didn't know about that Wiles rd you found! Check out North Pole pike, the next road down from Chicken hollow, it has a covered bridge on it you ride through. RRG is an awsome area! If you want tons of gravel road that's an easy day ride, check out Shawnee state forest.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tip! I've ridden around West Union, but need to do more exploring in Shawnee for gravel.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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Continuing on down south from the Ringos Mills bridge via beautiful roads (801, 60, 211, 36, 480)... we finally hit the very twisty and scenic 77 entering the Red River Gorge area.



The red tracks are still Thurs June 9 and the blue tracks are the following day.

I wish more pictures were taken, but the riding was just too incredible to stop and dig through the tankbag. Guess I need to figure out the best way to snap a few shots while on the move.

We burned around 77, 11, 15, and the other great pavement to get to gravel and were having a great time.







The Gorge is definitely a beautiful destination. It's nice knowing there are a few scenic locales a mere day ride from home.







All of these overlooks were reached from maintained gravel with a few potholes.

It's amazing how after a short time we both started feeling more comfortable. Standing on the pegs and shifting my weight on the turns felt really weird at first... but before I knew it, we were running down these nice roads and taking turns in third or fourth gear.

After just a few minutes I realized how everything had turned upside down from what I was used to. Staying seated at any kind of speed on these roads is what felt out of control. I didn't expect that shift so quickly.

I think we were getting the hang of this stuff.



After playing around for a few hours, stomachs started growling and we made our way to Miguel's Pizza. I hear it's about your only option you ain't cooking yourself.

DryFire had been talking this up for a few days, got himself an Ale 8, and ordered us a pie just in time.





It was definitely popular as the place was packed. We arrived just in front of a huge church youth group. You ever seen way too many clowns get out of a tiny car? Imagine that with the addition of teenager appetites. Glad our order was already in.



After finishing off the pizza, we hit up the nearby Shell station and each purchased a $3 one day pass for camping in the National Forest. Then we backtracked to one of the gravel roads we explored earlier - Tunnel Ridge Rd.

We parked the bikes, set up our tents more than 100 yards from the road as required by the man as our light faded to black, collected more firewood than we ended up using, hung a bear bag (even though I think I'd successfully do the mauling if something went after the Oreos).... and turned in for the night.

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MeanStreaker screwed with this post 06-14-2011 at 07:40 PM
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:44 PM   #9
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Thumb

I've spent a fair amount of time in that general area as my Dad was from Danville & we would roam around his old stomping grounds whenever we went up to visit family. There is a lot of pretty country in central Kentucky.

Don't know if I am doing this right, but here is a link to something of interest to me at least that is not far from the area you rode in your report. If it doesn't work I'll come back and edit it:-)

http://tinyurl.com/6ehs4l4

And IIRC, lots of twisties in getting to it.

Ride safe.............John
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:47 AM   #10
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Enjoying the report. Keep it coming.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:20 AM   #11
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The area just behind Miguel's is used as a camping area for a lot of college students and others that come to the area for rock climbing. Always an interesting place to meet people from other countries. Good pizza also. The lodge at Natural Bridge ST Pk also has a good restaurant, excellent place for breakfast. Do have to be a little careful while down in that area this time of year....snakes. Lady got bit twice while in RRG area last week. They will leave you alone unless threatened, but ALWAYS wear your boots when walking around, especially at night. Good report.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:55 AM   #12
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Friday, June 10

DryFire kicked my tent around 7AM.






I crawled out of the REI HalfDome and had a cold breakfast of a granola bar and an apple while waking up. I never sleep well the first night in a new place - doesn't matter if it's spent in a Hilton or a tent.

Looked like it was shaping up to be a beautiful day for riding.










We broke down camp, carried all of our junk back to the bikes, and had kickstands up around 8:30.

Backtracking down Tunnel Ridge, we circled the Gorge via 715, hitting a few other gravel roads as we went... on our way to what was, by far, the highlight of the trip.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:47 AM   #13
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I havewanted to visit that area eversince I read an article about it in Backpacker magazine some years back. I am following looks like a good time so far.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:21 PM   #14
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Not very far from that area,been down that way several times and always find something new.

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Old 06-16-2011, 07:23 PM   #15
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Looks like fun, I've done a lot of four wheeling around Slade over the years.
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