3 months to explore the USA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mon the biffy, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Obviously i do speak English, but i still definitely feel foreign here. Probably as much as my travels into Europe.
    It's excellent though. I know I've only really met people from this forum, and other tourists in DC and on the blue ridge. But so far everyone has been incredibly nice.
    The nature, scenery and variety of cultures are exceptional, and I haven't even left Virginia yet!

    I can't wait for the rest of the trip.

    If I do go through Oklahoma I will definitely get in touch.
    #21
  2. raz65man

    raz65man Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    171 Ridgecrest Dr. Monroe VA 24574
    It was a pleasure to meet you and thanks for making us part of your trip. I wish you the best of luck and safe travels on the rest your journey. I will be following along to hear all of your adventures. We did forget to get a picture for your ride report.:fpalm
    Raz
    #22
  3. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Day 6
    More of the parkway. I went from Lynchburg down to the Willville motorcycle camp ground.
    I think I've said it before. This road is great, but once you've done part of it, it's pretty much the same all the way along. Not that it's a bad thing, I'm sure I'll be wishing for road like this when I'm bored on a highway heading west.
    The view are still spectacular though.
    [​IMG]

    On my way down the parkway though. They closed a section to clear some fallen trees. Without a detour sign, I just set off finding a way around with my gps. I didn't fancy just following the highway so tried some back roads. Now that was fun! The trees that has fallen on the parkway has obviously also fallen on these roads too, but no one had really cleared them. I was therefore weaving around all these fallen logs, sometimes on gravel. I started to fell like a real adventure rider.

    I arrived at willville with plenty of time to set up my tent and chat to a few guys who turned up there as well. It's a great place and well set up.
    A few guys turned up for the GS giants run out. I starting chatting to a couple of them and then I realised my earlier expedition in gravel roads pales to what some people have done.
    In definitely getting the bug now and my next trip will definitely be more adventure orientated with probably a dual sport bike.

    Day 7
    From willville I carried on south down the parkway again. some interesting stuff the further down you go.
    The Linville viaduct is great and an amazing feat of engineering. It looks cool too. I took the quick walk underneath to have a look.

    [​IMG]

    Just a bit further south from there is Grand Father Mountain. I rode to the top and walked the swinging for the photos. It's a cool place and worth a stop if you have the time.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    From there I got the highways to get to Asheville where I stayed the night at ADVrider kennyanc's place.
    We went out for a few beers at The Wedge in Ashville where I met a couple more forum members and has some delicious beer. It's not all Budweiser and Miller out here then. ;)
    I was treated to a huge steak, beer and a few games of pool back at Kenny's place. I let Kenny win at pool obviously! ;)
    Late that night another ADVrider, icecold Dan turned up on his way back home from a fishing trip. So more beers and pool was to be had. :thumbup:

    This ADV community is amazing and I'm hoping to take it back home to the UK and spread the word.
    #23
  4. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Day 8

    Rain!

    The day started out with miserable weather. Luckily Kenny and his girlfriend PJ laid on a gorgeous breakfast to make an excellent start of the day. They also kindly let me hang around while the rain passed over.
    I then set off with the skies looking clearer onto the blue ridge again heading south.
    Wow. The blue ridge south of Asheville is extremely beautiful. It goes up higher and the overlooks are amazing.
    Unfortunately due to the rain I didn't stop for many photos. I got a couple when the clouds broke though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The Great Smokey Mountains living up to their name.

    I then came off the blue ridge at US 215 going north, which is a great fun road down the hill. Although in the rain I was definitely taking it steady.

    The plan was to go to the Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley. However when I got there it turns out it is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays :confused:

    I carried on west to eventually get to the Iron Horse motorcycle campground. That is a great place to stop if you're traveling through. Excellent facilities and everyone there was very friendly. It's in a dry county though, so no beer!! :eek:

    While I was there it was the International Brotherhood of Motorcycle Campers annual meet. Therefore there were loads of people to chart to about their previous trips for some inspiration and excellent advice.

    I managed to get my tent set up in a brief dry spell, before food, and then sitting down and watching some basketball with a guy who seemed to know absolutely everything there is to know about the sport!

    I'll try and put more pictures in my next post.
    #24
  5. Woodenveins

    Woodenveins Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    558
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Enjoying this thread, keep it coming. You have already went by my neck of the woods.
    #25
  6. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    147
    Location:
    Warrior River, AL
    A couple suggestions for you:

    Just north of Atlanta GA you should visit Stone Mountain. From Wikipedia: Stone Mountain is well-known not only for its geology, but also for the enormous bas-relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief in the world.<SUP id=cite_ref-GeorgiaGov_1-0 class=reference jQuery18303359375="6">[1]</SUP> The carving depicts three figures of the Confederate States of America: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis

    From there hit 1-20 heading west into Alabama and visit Barbers motorsports park just east of Birmingham, AL. There is one of the best motorcycle museums period!

    Enjoy the ride!
    #26
  7. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,924
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Welcome to the US, sorry I missed you in DC would have gladly bought ya a pint or two and played tour guide. Ride safe.
    #27
  8. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,194
    Location:
    Out There Somewhere
    Ah man, I am SO in.

    Nice country you've been thru so far. I rode down thru there - coming down to Western NC via West Virginia, back in mid May. BRP can be either good or bad. Weather-wise, that is. Looks like you had a nice few days on it. When it's good, it's pretty good. When its bad, it totally sucks. Back in May, we had over 50 miles in pea soup fog & rain! It was an organized ride, so it was what it was. Nothing I'd volunteer to do otherwise, yet once you survive it, there's an excellent story for later in life- when you can look back and laugh!

    Another great motorcycle campground, if you get a little farther south, is Two Wheels Only, down in Georgia. Nor sure if Pennsylvania is on your return leg, but if you come thru PA look me up. We have a bed, some nice ales, and a good meal or two for you.

    Cheers!
    #28
  9. Macsplace

    Macsplace Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sherando Va
    Awesome. Enjoy your ride. I am near Crabtree Falls and what a beautiful place it is ,also RT56 is a fun road.
    #29
  10. Icecold Dan

    Icecold Dan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    696
    Location:
    Cape Fear Coast
    It was great meeting you at Kenny's place. I'm glad I got to share in a small slice of your adventure. Have fun and be safe.
    #30
  11. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    628
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Sorry I missed you coming through Northern VA. Enjoy your ride! East Tennessee is a lot of fun.

    If I'm not too late and if you go across Tennessee, consider visiting the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg. They do a good tour, and seeing the giant rooms with a 4 year world supply of Jack Daniels aging is hard to forget!

    Plus, many of the souvenirs (barrel staves and such) are made by a really colorful local fellow who is a neighbor of my grandparents.

    John
    #31
  12. Ritebike

    Ritebike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    He has arrived in the ATL. He is getting a proper tour. He is going to stay an extra day, he feels that it will be worth it. I will do what I can to make it so. He definitely likes BBQ.[​IMG]
    #32
  13. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,536
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    I so do hope you make it through Mobile and New Orleans and other places along I 10. Even venturing to US 90 when can to really see the country and people.
    I'm off the bikes for a bit with with a separated shoulder but can give you good roads not to miss while coming though Louisiana if you get down towards the coast.
    Really enjoying your take as to the country and roads your seeing. :clap:clap:clap
    #33
  14. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Day 9

    I left the iron horse campground and headed straight to 'The Tail of the Dragon'. 11 miles of tight twisting tarmac. :)
    I got there and I was amazed at the number of people, bikes, and cars in the area. Especially for a Wednesday.

    [​IMG]

    I stopped at the bottom and looked around at a few bikes and said hello, but I was itching to try the road.

    I set off at a steady pace, but the road just got better and better, so by the time I was a mile in, I was really giving it some. Hanging off the inside of the bike to try and stop the boards from grinding too much. I was grinning from ear to ear the whole way along.

    There were photographers along the way and I managed to find myself here. There are a few more either side of this one too, which show the limited lean this bike has.
    http://killboy.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=04RK01XI042155&po=2155&pc=5998

    I got to the end and turned around and happened to bump into a couple of other Brits. Father and son who were doing the same as me but had set off a few weeks ago.

    On the return down I was going to give it some again, but at the second or third corner in, there were crowds of people waving to slow down. I came round the next corner and there was some guy laying on the floor at the site of the road. He was alive and moving but looked like he was in a lot of pain. He was riding a Harley and only had a t shirt and skull cap helmet on. :confused: I didn't stop as there was already a huge number of people, so thought it best to just get out of the way.
    After seeing that I definitely slowed myself down as I want to see the rest of the country and not the inside of a hospital ward.

    I then went to find Two Wheels Only campground. I rode around the area where I got the address for, but there was nothing to be seen. I had been told it closed down and moved to another location in the past, so maybe I had the wrong address. I went to try and look it up again but i had no signal on my phone. :mad:
    It doesn't turn out to be a problem though as just around the corner there was a state campsite. it had no facilities, but it was somewhere to lay my head for the night.

    [​IMG]

    I have to share my camp ground with a massive spider though!
    [​IMG]
    I'm not usually bothered by spiders, but I definitely left this one well alone.
    #34
  15. mon the biffy

    mon the biffy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Day 10-11

    Atlanta

    Thanks for giving me a place to stay and showing me around Dean. It has been great fun!! :)
    [​IMG]

    I took a slow ride over to Atlanta from my camp in northern Georgia.
    I stopped by Amicalola falls for some more hiking.
    Everywhere I've stopped within the Appalachian mountains has been absolutely beautiful. And this is no different. The mountains around here are a truly gorgeous part of the world.
    [​IMG]

    I arrived at Dean's place in the evening. After negotiating Atlanta traffic! :banghead:
    I was taken straight to an excellent BBQ joint, Fox Bros. BBQ, for baby back ribs, collard greens, and Frito pie. We don't get these things back home (apart from the ribs), and they are definitely no where near as tasty.
    A night of drinking and talking about bikes etc ensued. With plenty of these going down.
    [​IMG]

    The morning after was a bit slow but I managed to get myself up and go and explore Atlanta.
    I spent some time riding around checking out the sights. I then pulled up by the aquarium and Olympic park area.
    There isn't any great place to get photos of the city, so these will have to do.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Because of the slow start I didn't have time to see many of the things in town. I chose the aquarium as it is apparently the largest in the world.
    I wasn't disappointed.
    [​IMG]

    It was quite expensive to get in, so I spent a good time looking around there. (And waiting for the rush hour traffic to die down!)

    It was then back to Dean's place and pizza before calling it a night, after only a sensible couple of beers this time.
    #35
  16. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    538
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Sounds like you are enjoying your ride! That's the important thing. Thanks for the great pic's and report. Looking forward to more.
    #36
  17. FMFDOC

    FMFDOC Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,146
    Location:
    Mount Airy, (Not Mayberry, the Maryland one.)
    :clap
    #37
  18. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,659
    Location:
    Lost Coast, Cali
    If you come through north east Ohio we would be happy to put you up for a day, even if you ride a ridiculous cruiser motorcycle! :lol3
    #38
  19. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,605
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Heya,

    Assuming you're still there....I'd suggest you join the KoA and get one of their brochures, maybe even DL their waypoints into your GPS. It'll make it way easier to find campgrounds and should save your a penny or two.

    And keep an eye open for Moosedrool, bloody awesome beer :)
    #39
  20. DecaturDave

    DecaturDave Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11
    Glad to see dean introduced you to frito pie, that place has a beef short rib so good it'll make you weep.

    Enjoying the RR, keep it up!
    #40