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Old 10-08-2013, 07:13 PM   #16
Jocassee OP
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Mountains do not need men, but men need mountains.



There is never a *bad* time to go up Caesar's Head (except maybe when it's foggy...a mere 50% of the time) but today was definitely magical.

Stuff like this is how I know God loves us.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:12 PM   #17
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The Road is the Law. Stay between the lines, or you will find it hard and unforgiving.







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Old 11-12-2013, 06:00 PM   #18
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green with envy...

Great pictures and RR. I love to ride that area. I go up there every year to ride the bikes (DRZ400 and DL-1000). I will retire in Salem, SC in another 8 years (or so). Looking forward to the day when my biggest decision will be deciding what road or trail I will ride that day...
In the meanwhile...I ride the scenic area's around FL.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:09 PM   #19
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Thumb Not everyone knows about upstate SC

You have taken some fine photos. I ride in the same area and know about Altamont; but I will need to do a bit more exploring.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upstate1951 View Post
You have taken some fine photos. I ride in the same area and know about Altamont; but I will need to do a bit more exploring.
There are some truly fabulous roads in within a couple of hours. I can and have gone on pretty much endlessly about them. Pretty much anything north of 11 (and a few south of) is excellent.
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:09 AM   #21
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Hi All, a great thread. I live a little east of the area Jocassee describes, where hwy 11 & hwy 14 cross. I got back into bikes about a year ago on a KR 650 to get my license, then got a Wee Strom. My girlfriend and I love to ride these areas, and often run the area with a group of BMW riders on Sundays.
I'll be retiring at the end of Nov this year (Whoopeeeeee !!!) and my girlfriend got me a DR400 - to get me out of her space I think.!!
So with so much more time on my hands I'll get to know these roads even better.
You got any plans this weekend Jocassee ?
Bob
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:55 AM   #22
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I love that ride along 11, with the mountains looming close by to the north. You can take just about any turn that direction and be in the midst of a lot of fun riding. My brother lives in Inman (very close to scbob), so I get up in the area quite a bit. Whole family is going up in a couple weeks for Thanksgiving, unfortunately, I will only have a car.

Cheers,

Mike
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:35 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbob View Post
Hi All, a great thread. I live a little east of the area Jocassee describes, where hwy 11 & hwy 14 cross. I got back into bikes about a year ago on a KR 650 to get my license, then got a Wee Strom. My girlfriend and I love to ride these areas, and often run the area with a group of BMW riders on Sundays.
I'll be retiring at the end of Nov this year (Whoopeeeeee !!!) and my girlfriend got me a DR400 - to get me out of her space I think.!!
So with so much more time on my hands I'll get to know these roads even better.
You got any plans this weekend Jocassee ?
Bob
I go through Gowensville all the time riding my Saluda/Tryon loop

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Old 11-17-2013, 10:03 AM   #24
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Not sure if ballsy or just stupid.

OR: "Why am I the only one out here?"

I woke up yesterday morning and called Travis, my usual riding buddy. Travis's only flaw is that he doesn't like riding when it's cold or rainy, which in this state is about half the time.

*phone rings*

"Hello?"

"Travis. It is 50 degrees outside. Is that too cold to go ride? It's dry out." (this wasn't so much an outright lie as an incorrect assumption. It was soaking wet outside. I didn't know that because I hadn't left my bed. Apparently neither had he.)

"Uhhh...I'm laying tile today."

"Really."

"Yeah. For the bathroom." (Travis isn't married...the only reasonable assumption is that he would rather lay tile than ride in the cold and wet. With friends like these...)

"Alright. I'm headed out. I'll see you tomorrow."

And that's how I ended up on the road by myself...

Didn't see another bike for 4 hours. In Upstate SC and WNC, that's pretty unusual.

The long and lonesome highway....



I had a rough plan to hit Deal's gap then head down to Suches and spend the night at TWO. All that was left was to pick a route. I opted to go over escarpment on 178. I've already sung the unbounded praises of 178, but it was nice.

I've got a new Michelin Road 3 tire on the rear. It's a dual-compound tire that's harder in the middle and sticky on the edges. Thanks to a hard rain, 178 and most of the roads yesterday were wet but not slick, and the Road 3 handled them with ease. Since there wasn't a lot of other traffic I focused on smoothness and picking good lines. I didn't lean in quite as hard as I do when it's dry, but the Road 3 did everything I asked it to do with no drama. I have a Pilot road 2 on the front with about 6 thousand miles on it and it kept the front end planted just fine. On a 300 mile or so day there were no real scary moments or close calls.

Once I got to Rosman, I got on 64 and headed west. Usually I tell people to stay off 64 because traffic is so slow, but it was almost deserted at 9:30 on a rainy morning so I had free reign, and pushed pretty hard all the way to Cashiers. I did take a short detour up 281 but a side road popped me back out on 64 at Lake Toxaway.





Cont'd...
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:19 AM   #25
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I stopped for lunch at subway in Cashiers. I would have liked to try something local but was short on time.

The SV taking a break...


From Cashiers, I rode north on 107. 107 is a beautiful drive. Most of the time though, there's just too much traffic to go quickly. Instead of taking it all the way to Cullowhee and Silva I turned left in Glenville on Pine Creek Road, which turns into Walnut Creek road, which runs over Walnut Gap and dumps you back on 64. Walnut Creek is one of the hidden treasures of the area. The surface is pretty good and there's not a lot of through traffic, and the descent on the west end of the road is quite beautiful.





Then I came up on Franklin...



And followed 28 up to Bryson City (with a couple of short detours)









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Old 11-17-2013, 10:32 AM   #26
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I finally popped out on 74. I had a wish to go back into the woods and check out Waya road, but by the time I got through the Nantahala Gorge I was bingo fuel and thought it would be best to keep going to Andrews. That turned out to be a good call since I had less daylight than I had imagined.

Couple shots from the gorge:





Andrews was an unexpected treat.





A little bit of exploring brought me to the head of the Tatham Gap trail, which I learned at the Andrews visitor center is part of the Trail of Tears.

I checked the time in Andrews. Daylight was running short, so I hauled on down to the Georgia line. Not long after I crossed the Nottely Dam.



And a vanity shot...



I finally came out on 60 by way of Skeenah Gap. As I turned toward Suches the rain that had been holding off all day set down in a drizzle. The Road 3's continued to perform perfectly and I made good time toward the lodge.





Day 2 to be posted later
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:34 AM   #27
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Riding in the Rain

I arrived at the lodge at dusk on Saturday. I'd logged about 250 miles since I left Greenville. Route here.

I was the only person from out of town at Two Wheels this weekend. Everyone else that wandered in for supper was local. We had a good evening talking and the food was delicious. I called it a night around 2130 and sacked out...

After a sound sleep, I woke to the same thing I saw the previous night--low-hanging, clingy, impenetrable fog. At 0730 it wasn't raining, and I hoped it would hold off a little longer.

It didn't.

However I did get a good breakfast in, which is worth something.



The Lodge is quite cozy and I really didn't want to leave.



I rolled out at half past 8, hoping to make it back home in time for lunch.

It wasn't really raining...more of a southeastern fog with fat, sticky water droplets hanging in the air that stuck to my visor and killed my visibility.

Coming over Wolf Pen Gap on 180 wasn't so bad. I took the uphills relatively quickly, letting the rear tire grab the wet asphalt. I picked my way through the hairpins coming down, not trusting my front tire to survive a brutal combination of wet leaves, gravity, and an uneven surface.

I came out on 129. The could ceiling had lifted just a little and visibility was better. I lit out with a good pace for the Richard B Russell Scenic Byway, foolishly counting on the continuation of improved conditions.

The west end of that road is a nice little climb from 2000 ft to 3200. The machine was running like a scalded dog and traffic was light (wonder why, LOL).

I passed a female hiker at the top of the ridge. She waved sympathetically at the only motorcyclist stupid enough to be on that damned mountain...but I don't do sympathy. I beeped at her, gave the and hauled ass down the other side of the mountain. And that was when things got sucky.

The fog lay on my glasses like a blanket. Visibility dropped to about a hundred feet as little droplets hit my skin like ice picks. I had to slow way down. I wasn't afraid of wrecking so much that they wouldn't find my body if I did.

I finally dropped down on 75. The air was still saturated, and would be until I got over the line to South Carolina.

I followed the signs to Lake Burton, then Clayton. It's a very, very nice ride, and I found myself having a genuine good ole time despite the fact that I was getting very, very wet (my gear is water resistant, not waterproof and it usually does just fine). The plus side was my new AlpineStar gloves and an improved snap arrangement kept the wind out of my jacket so it was much more tolerable than it might have been.

I stopped for gas in Clayton. I've been battling a terrific cold, and the wet and wind made my nose run like crazy. I had about 4 nose-blows worth smeared all over my face and backed up into my ears. I got that cleaned up and managed to fuel up the bike without taking my gloves off. The linings had gotten wet from water dripping down my sleeve and I wasn't sure I could get them back on. I was tempted to take a breather and get some coffee, but with 70 miles to go I decided to go like hell instead.

I know 76 pretty well. Traffic was a little heavy, but the road surface was clean and wide so I made good time.

From there home was pretty anticlimactic, but I enjoyed being in the cold and wind. The harsher the elements, the louder I sing. And being the only ballsy or stupid enough to ride entitles one to a small amount of pride.

Living on the road my friend, keeps you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron, breath as hard as kerosene


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKnoKSDwY3A

All in all I had an excellent weekend. My personal drama is still ongoing, and is challenging my faith and making me grow as a person. The motorcycle is a welcome, if temporary reprieve. I don't think too hard, mostly just worry about how not to wad the machine up in the next corner, and surviving a November rain with my hide intact.

Y'all keep riding.

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Old 01-08-2014, 07:51 AM   #28
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Lousy weather, flat tires, and dead batteries have all conspired to keep me out of the mountains for the last two months and I am irritable as all hell.

Here's hoping for sunshine soon.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:28 PM   #29
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I haven't been out in two months. Everything I've tried to ride either wouldn't start, wouldn't stop, or had a flat tire.

I took my new ride out and did a little ADV work this afternoon. Still not sure how I feel about her. She may be a little bit much bike for me. I call her the Infinite Lean Machine.

Saluda Watershed Road












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Old 01-20-2014, 09:14 AM   #30
Upstate1951
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Glad you are back

I enjoy your pictures. We both ride the same general area, but you're able to stop and enjoy the journey.
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