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Old 09-24-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
Liberia OP
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Rock Island State Park - Tennessee

I'd been planning a day trip on my 1987 Yamaha XT350 that we've been working on and actually started out a couple of weeks ago only to discover that, once it had heated up a bit, it would start missing and, eventually, stop completely. LiberiaSon and I are still trying to figure it out. Next step is a new coil and, if that doesn't work, a stator. This is one of those projects where you can spend 50% of the bike's value pretty easily and still not have it fixed.

Anyway, last Saturday I decided that it was time to make the trip. It's hard to describe how pleasant it is weather-wise in Middle Tennessee right now. Upper 70's and not a cloud in the sky. Just a perfect day.

I planned to get away early, ride to Rock Island State Park and then over to Fall Creek Falls State Park as it would only add a couple of hours to the trip. Total riding time looked like about 5 hours. But things seldom go as planned. It was nearly 10am when I left the house for the office where I keep the bikes (warehouse). I got there and found out that the GoPro Camera, wireless attachment and remote all had very low battery charges. So I plugged them all in (it takes 3 different usb ports to charge everything) and cleaned up a little. Then, at 11am, I decided I might as well get lunch while the charging was going on and then head out. So off to Camino Real for some lunch fajitas.

Still charging when I returned so I made all the bike preparations, goofed around a little more and then it was noon and time to go.

So the bike choice was:

1987 XT350 - No way, not the day to be stopped along the side of the road waiting for it to cool down.
2004 Ural Troyka - Nope, Hole in piston due to premature detonation, parts scattered everywhere.
2008 Kawasaki Concours 1400 - A great choice but I made a trip to Cheaha Resort State Park in Alabama recently on it.


See the Ride Report here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...hlight=liberia

2008 Yamaha Roadliner - Yes, just purchased last Thursday, has <4,000 miles and is beautiful. More about it later.


Now that the bike is selected, let's get to the ride.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
Liberia OP
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On to Woodbury

I mentioned that the original plan was to go to Rock Island State Park and then over to Fall Creek Falls State Park. From there a different route home. Since I try to take the twistiest and least travelled road possible when on a bike, Google Maps said it would be 192 miles and 4 hours 42 minutes. The smartest (or least dumb) thing I did was to scrap that plan and limit the ride to Rock Island and back. It's starting to get dark a lot earlier and I would have had little time to actually enjoy the parks themselves.

So the trip turned into 106 miles and 2 hours 54 minutes (would have been a little less but I missed a couple of turns - happens to me a lot).

A shot of the bike before departing.


My office is a half mile off of I-24 in Murfreesboro, TN so the first leg of the trip is to get from there to Woodbury (about 21 miles). It's not a bad ride but is all 4 lane highway. Once you clear Murfreesboro you're on John Bragg Highway (70s), in the country and the scenery is quite nice. It's just that I've seen it so many times that it isn't that interesting. I guess, like the people who drive over the Golden Gate Bridge twice each day, it loses something because it's so familiar.

Here's the last intersection leaving Murfreesboro for Woodbury.


And the obligatory self portrait. In this case it shows just how dorky it looks to ride around with a camera stuck to the front of your helmet.


This is a GoPro Hero 2 camera that I picked up a couple of months back. This is only the second time that I've used it and am still learning. I bought the remote control thingy so that I could take pictures without having to reach up and find the button. It also lets me turn it on and off without feeling for buttons and you can select the mode and program it completely from the remote. Really some great features but also a lot to get comfortable with. As it turns out, I thought I had it on video when it was actually in single picture mode. So I did a good portion of the trip taking only 3 pictures thinking I was doing 3 long stretchs of video. It's what I do when I'm not getting lost.

Here's the map of the first segment of the ride, Murfreesboro to Woodbury.


Hwy 70s (John Bragg) is a 65mph road from Murfreesboro until you're close to Woodbury. It's also a very good surface. So you can move along nicely, see pleasant scenery and there's very little traffic on a Saturday.

I took a short video coming into Woodbury (about 40 seconds worth) that I'll try to post here. I'm not having much luck getting the video to show up as a picture with one of the arrows that you push to start it. We'll see this time but before it was just a link.



Just a word or two about the Roadliner. First, I know it's not an adventure bike but any ride I take turns into an adventure about the third wrong turn that I make. Second, it's a 2008, has less than 4,000 miles and has over $5,000 of add-ons (mostly wheels, rotors, pulley and pipes). Speaking of pipes, the prior owner took out the baffles (go figure) and his son cleaned up his shop for him and threw them away. So the bike is really loud right now. I'm looking for baffles to put back in as soon as possible. Third, it's a really nice bike. 90+hp with a ton of torque, a long wheelbase and very smooth. Finally, other than a 80 mile round trip ride on Friday to see a friend in the hospital, this is the first time I've ridden it.
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Liberia screwed with this post 09-25-2012 at 05:19 AM
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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Nice Roadliner! I'm just a few miles away from you,
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:42 PM   #4
Liberia OP
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Stumbling upon a car show

An interesting thing happened when I got into Woodbury. They were having their annual custom car show. So right at the begining of the ride, I stopped. (Another good reason that I didn't plan to go on to Fall Creek Falls State Park.)

Woodbury only has about 2,700 residents but they put on a nice car show and have been doing so for a number of years. I'm guessing there were 75 cars in it and, with very few exceptions, they were very nicely done.

Knowing that you guys are motorcycle guys and not necessarily car guys, I'll only post a few pictures here but add a link where there are about 40 pictures in total. That way you can look at them if you want but not be forced to page through them here.

Here's three pictures of lines of cars. They had cars along all the four sides of the courthouse square. A fairly wide variety in both styles and years.






Here's the link to the full album of approximately 40 pictures of the car show:
http://s721.photobucket.com/albums/w...%20Car%20Show/
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Four that I selected just for you

I did want to show you four cars that were there only because they were odd and didn't really represent the balance of the cars at the show.

Here's the Bac2Bac truck



I have a set of footpegs just like this.


Now this is the kind of car I expect to see in Woodbury.


And finally the car that made Ralph Nader famous.


Okay, enough of cars. Mine was the only bike within 10 miles of the town square and I think I figured out why. More on that in the next post.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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More! More!
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
Liberia OP
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Where oh where are all the motorcycles?

I mentioned in the previous post that I discovered why there were not bikers at the car show. Here's a hint.


The Short Mountain Distillery. I didn't know it existed. And it has only been in existence (legally) for about 23 months. I'm not a drinker but I'm surrounded by distilleries: Jack Daniels, George Dickle and now, Short Mountain Distillery.

Short Mountain is primarily known as an area inhabited by eccentric folks. It's also one of the most recognizable landmarks in the area because of it's elevation. I can see Short Mountain from my house (I live on a hill as well) and it's about 35 miles away. Oh, and it's also known because of its nudist colony. I try not to spend much time in the Short Mountain area.

Anyway, the Short Mountain Distillery is along my route today so I figured I would stop in and see what all the hubbub was about.

Here's the map of this segment of the ride.


I ride out of the far end of Woodbury on 70s and make a left onto Hwy 53, also known as Gassaway Road. It's a pretty ride with a two lane winding highway with hills along both sides of the road.

Actually I said I turned left but I actually turned right, after I missed the turnoff and had to turn around a mile down the road. Rural Tennessee isn't much on street signs and they were doing a little construction right at the turnoff and felt some requirement to take down all the road signs (in both directions).
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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Short Mountain Distillery

I'll only be on Hwy 53 for a mile and a half. Then I'll turn right onto Stones River Road. Another six miles and it's left onto TN146. Shortly after that I see the Short Mountain Distillery sign and turn right into the parking lot. Unfortunately it's gravel (I don't like gravel when on a street bike). But at least it's hard packed. Plus I've found the motorcyles that were not in Woodbury at the car show.


I park and walk down to the distillery. At the bottom of the hill there's a little creek running. We've had some rain in the last week but I'm guessing it stays dry most of the time.


Next up is the distillery building. It's probably 30 feet wide and about 75 feet long and is made out of wood siding. It's newly built but made to look older. Just as you get there is a vending trailer with a young lady standing inside with an inventory of shirts and stuff. I guess this is the gift shop. She tells me her name (I can't remember names very well - called my wife "Honey" for the first 6 weeks we were married until I could remember her name) but she was friendly and wanted to give me the tour. So I said "sure."

She pointed down to the left and said, "That's the old still. We don't use it to make our moonshine but it does work. The folks from the Discovery Channel was down here a while back filming part of their show 'How Booze Built America' and we had it fired up for them."


Then we turned and were looking into the next evolution of the whiskey making business. They still use this and had several gallon jugs of "moonshine" sitting on the floor to prove it.


She wanted to take me the 25 feet on down the porch to the "modern equipment" but I figured she needed to get back to the gift shop so I told her that I would walk down there myself. She encouraged me to try some of the free samples while I was in there. "If only I was a drinker," I told her.


So I look around for a minute at the modern equipment and glance around at the little free tasting and buying area and then it's back up the hill to the parking area.


You can find the information about the Discovery Channel special on the distillery's website: www.shortmountaindistillery.com.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
Liberia OP
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Heaven's Half Acre

I'm supposed to go 2.7 miles and turn right onto Half Acre Road. But I forgot to look at my speedometer when I turned onto 146, plus I had stopped at the distillary and, of course, there are no road signs.

So I get that nagging feeling that I've gone too far again and turn around. As I start back I find a yard sale with two women sitting in chairs under the shade tree. So I pull over and walk up to them while removing my helmet. "Is that a movie camera on your helmet?" "Yes ma'am," I say as I turn it around to show them. "See there, I told you he had a movie camera on his head."

So I visit for a minute assuring them that I wont be buying much since I have no saddlebags or luggage rack. Then I ask them if they can tell me where Half Acre Road is. They point across the road and say "take that road and you'll come to it." I smile and say "thank you ladies very much" and then mount back up and take off.

The road turns out to be Half Acre Spur Road and here's what it looks like. Not the ultimate street bike road but okay for a short distance.


And, sure enough, it intersects Half Acre Road. So I turn left and I'm back on track. Dropping the "Spur" gets me a better road to ride on.


Half Acre turns into Joins Road then, briefly, Banks Pisgah Road and then Newt Johnson Road. Newt tees into Hwy 287 and that's my road all the way to the Park. It's also where I'll make a wrong turn on the way back.

A few miles and I cross Hwy 56 (Smithville Hwy). Keep going with a fair amount of curves and I come to the intersection of Hwy 288. There's the first sign for Rock Island State Park.


Continuing on Hwy 287 for about 3 miles or so brings me to the entrance of the Park (Beach Road) where I turn left and ease down the twisting roadway past the Visitor's Center all the way to the end of the road.
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Liberia screwed with this post 09-25-2012 at 05:27 AM
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:25 PM   #10
Liberia OP
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The Beach

Here's a map from the Tennesse Parks' website: www.tn.gov/environment/parks/RockIsland.


At the end of Beach Road is the Badger Flat Picnic Area. It has a sand beach but then it gets pretty rocky right at the edge of the water. So swimming shoes likely are in order.


As I pulled into the parking lot a guy walked down and said, "Is that a camera on your helmet?" That started the conversation as he was interested in a camera that could take a picture a day automatically at a construction project. The GoPro doesn't fit the bill as it can only be set to take a minimum of 1 picture per minute. But he was a nice guy who lives only a few miles from me in the Murfreesboro area.

There's a tall bluff along the far side. This is all part of the Caney Fork River which eventually empties into the Center Hill Reservoir.


Here's a view back upriver.


And there's some folks enjoying a picnic.


One thing that was quite interesting was the covered picnic pavillion that was quite a ways up in the air. It was roped off so I guess it must have been reserved for a party.


And, finally, a picture of the Roadliner in the parking lot.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
Liberia OP
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Great Falls

After a few minutes I decided to head back up to the Visitor's Center to see how to get to the falls. Apparently there are two separate ones: Great Falls, which are on this side of the river and Twin Falls, which requires you to go back to the bridge, cross over and back down to see.


So the lady in the Visitors' Center told me to turn left on 287 and Great Falls would be down a road to the left. So off I went until I turned into the parking area. There were four Harley's parked there. So I parked there as well. I walked down to the far end of the parking lot where a couple of park rangers were standing at the overlook. There was a walkway that seemed to go down to the river area but the gate was locked. So I asked the rangers about it and they said due to the recent rains they were not letting anyone down there.




If you look closely down on the floor of the river area you'll notice a small group of people. Apparently they jumped the locked gate and went down only to be corralled by another park ranger. At least that's what the two rangers I talked to said.


So I left that area and walked back to the top of the parking lot near the bikes. It was only a 50 yard walk from there to the second overlook. Here's a few shots from there.




Here's a short video of Great Falls.
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Liberia screwed with this post 09-27-2012 at 02:14 PM
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #12
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Homeward Bound

After talking to two couples who were out enjoying the beautiful day, I saddled up and headed back home intending to take the same route back. So I turned right on Hwy 287 to backtrack.


Back at the intersection of 287 and 288, I decided to stop for something to drink and a snack. It was closing in on 4pm. There were three stores, a Dollar General and two convenience/gas type places. I picked the one on my side of the street. It's called Locke's Green Hills Deli and Market (tough to get that much onto a sign). The people there were nice. But one thing was odd. They had a pretty good sized food area with fried chicken, pizza, and several vegetables. But there was no place to sit. I found that unusual. So I bought a drink and some cookies and sat down on the seat of the Roadliner and called my Alaska Brother to see how he was doing. After a few minutes I'm off for home.


So, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I missed the turn off to the right on Newt Johnson Road. I think it was counter-intuative to go right when I knew that Hwy 70s was on he left. So I got to take a different route home after all, at least part of the way. Following 287 does eventually lead you to 70s but it's a little longer route.


Reaching Woodbury with the needle on empty but the fuel light still not on, I stop at the Farmer's Coop gas station and fill up. It took 3.583 gallons and my mileage on the tank was 150.5 giving me 42.0 mpg. These bikes are know for mid 30's so I felt pretty good. Likely the reason for the good mileage is that, other than the first 40 or so miles of the tank, I never went over 2,500 rpm's. The blogs I've read say the trick is to stay at 65 mph (2,500 rpm) or below. I guess it works.

Anyway, thanks for going along on the ride with me. I'll try to get to Fall Creek Falls State Park soon.
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Liberia screwed with this post 09-25-2012 at 05:32 AM
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:36 PM   #13
Liberia OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
Nice Roadliner! I'm just a few miles away from you,
Thanks Mr. Breeze, It's the first time I've been around one.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:44 AM   #14
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Thanks for the RR. I took my Connie out there this spring, and it's a beautiful place. I hiked down to the Blue Hole and doing it in touring boots was a mistake! I was gassed by the time I climbed back out.







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Old 09-26-2012, 10:35 AM   #15
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Thats a cool place.A few years ago while riding the TN. TAT we stayed at the campground and checked out the falls.
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