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Old 07-02-2014, 11:26 AM   #1
scbison OP
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Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Charleston, SC
Oddometer: 41
D.C. to Charleston, SC the longer way.

The Trip Home

As July 4th, 2014 approaches I find myself with a number of circumstances that have worked out to be in my favor. The are:

I am in Bethesda, MD
I live in Charleston, SC
I will be completed working the end of the day July 2nd.
I have made arrangements to meet my wife in Greenville, SC on July 4th.
We plan to spend July 4th and 5th riding the Blue Ridge Mountains.

how it starts -

So, after a weekend riding the roads in the mountains around West Virginia I found myself back in Bethesda with a trashed rear tire that was in no way, shape, or form getting me back to Charleston, SC.

Capon River Road. All of the roads out in this area I found are similar to this. No center line, no edge lines, no straight lines. Lots of these roads cover this area with the exception of the, umm 3 that turned to gravel and the most inappropriate time and one that had a river to cross with no bridge.







I had a Michelin Pilot 3 at home and I asked my wife to ship it to me. She was awesome and did so. I dropped my ride and tire off at Crossroads Cycle in Falls Church, VA and hopped on a flight home for the weekend. By Sunday I was back in Bethesda with a tent, a sleeping bag and a sleep mat. A few days later my ride was back in my possession and it now sits with 45 miles on the rear tire waiting for the journey.

My plan is to leave the morning of July 3rd and be in Greenville SC by mid day July 4th. I know I am heading well past some of the best riding and I have spent some time riding around the areas around Waynesville, Maggie Valley, etc. Yes, the Dragon too and I may head that way on the 4th before heading towards Greenville. Meeting my wife further south makes sense for a number of reason. Primarily that she is driving up to meet me and we both need to make drive home Sunday. I have been on the road for 5 weeks now and I don’t wish to have a long slug home on Sunday.

I’ll find a place to stay along the way to Greenville but I honestly have no clue where that will be. I am in no hurry. I have looked over maps and I plan to start on Skyline Drive, continue on the Blue Ridge Parkway and figure it out from there. I know I can take the entire Blue Ridge Parkway and could say “done that” but right now I think I am going to hop off the parkway at some point and explore some of the lesser traveled areas. I have the complete set of America Rides Maps, a collection of state forest campgrounds punched into my GPS and some time on my side. Once I am in Greenville we will be staying in a hotel. My wife will ride and she “may” camp once in a while but she won’t ride & camp.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:24 AM   #2
scbison OP
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The corner of this garage has been our home for the last few weeks. I'm ready to head home.




A nice new pilot 3 ready for action.

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Old 07-03-2014, 04:01 AM   #3
scbison OP
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So an hour in and I stopped already. I know not much of a trip. I rolled out of Bethesda at 5:40 heading west. I saw sign that said skyline drive take this exit. So I did. I stopped at a Harris Teeter for some breakfast and coffee and make figure out where my next road is and I knew I could get some Internet access.

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Old 07-03-2014, 04:23 AM   #4
manfromthestix
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Location: Lexington, Virginia
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I envy your freedom! I live in the middle of the gorgeous country you're riding through and can't find the time between work and other responsibilities to get out and ride it very often so I have to live vicariously. We had a HELL of a rainstorm here last night that cooled it down from 95*F to 70*F in 15 minutes; hope you weren't caught in that. The forecast for today is 65% chance of thunderstorms with torrential downpours and local flooding, so be careful! We live ~20 miles west of the Blue Ridge Parkway off Highway 60 (MM 45 on the BRP) so you'll zoom right past my back yard. There's brand new asphalt on the first ~15 miles of the Parkway, a vast improvement over what was there last Fall. If you like kettle corn, stop at MMZero (where Skyline ends and BRP begins) and try the vendor there - it's outstanding!



There's a great little restaurant just off the BRP at Floyd, VA that might make a good lunch stop, Tuggle's Gap at MM165.



Safe travels, stay dry, and drag a knee for me!

Doug
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Old 07-05-2014, 03:28 AM   #5
scbison OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post
We had a HELL of a rainstorm here last night that cooled it down from 95*F to 70*F in 15 minutes; hope you weren't caught in that.
Funny you would phrase it like that because I was thinking. "this is going to make a hell of a post if I get off this mountain." more later.
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:10 AM   #6
scbison OP
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The sign I noticed was an exit that would put me on the skyline a considerable ways into it. I wanted to start at the beginning so I got back on I-66 for another 40 miles or so to Front Royal, VA. From here the skyline was easy to find with plenty of signs to guide me. as I was riding through town I noticed my clutch lever mount was loose. I pulled into a parking lot and started to decide if I should ignore it or pull my bags off the seat and get my tools out. I noticed a repair shop across the street and decide to see if they would let me borrow a wrench.

I dropped in the shop and asked if they could help. One of the guys looked at me after I asked if I could borrow an Allen wrench and said "what are you riding?" I replied "Yamaha FJR". He said "oh sorry we only have tools for Hondas here". A few seconds later he smiled and said no problem!

I get comments like this all the time because I wear a Honda Racing mesh jacket. I bought it for a $100 it is bright red and can be seen from the other side of the earth and it fits me so well I am too frugal to care that I'm wearing Honda gear on an FJR. so I will keep answering the questions like "what kind of Honda is that?"

As we tightend the clutch and talked the gentleman was asking where I was heading. When he heard I was going down skyline he asked if I was going to take 211? I didn't know what he was referring to so I asked. He said "have you ever been on the dragon? It is our redneck version of it." I thanked him for the tools and info and said I had a long ride ahead and would probably need to skip it.

And off I was.


http://i843.photobucket.com/albums/z...pswqfu85il.jpg

I got onto the skyline and the riding was great. I rolled along for about thirty minutes and the sun was just getting over the trees giving me patches of sun and shade. As I came around a corner at around 45 mph I looked straight into the eyeball of a large deer. She was inches from the road and when I was twenty feet from her she retreated into the woods. I thought to myself "that would of sucked."

I continued down the road enjoying the ride for a while when I came to a sign that was the exit for Highway 211. I recalled my earlier conversation and now knowing the road was right here and I didn't need to travel far from the skyline I took the exit. 211 runs both directions from skyline and it is a great road with lots of tight curves. I ran it in both directions and it was a great pause in my travel. Definitely an excellent diversion. On both sides it is two lanes for the traffic coming back up the mountain so the road is three lanes wide. After I ran 211 I was back on the skyline and continued my journey.
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