Aarrffin' around Appalachia

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Aarrff, May 18, 2012.

  1. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    You said it! W Va, W NC, East Tenn could not build a worth while road if they had too! Not to mention all the banjo music you'll hear if'n you even think about stopping for fuel....old stale fuel that is... :lol3
  2. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    I'm sorry...I'll try to do better next time...maybe take a trip into a town sometime soon and get pics of waffle houses,used car lots, and such...

    :rofl
  3. slowpoke69

    slowpoke69 Been here awhile

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    Welcome back to your place. I enjoyed the pix of the whole ride, esp. Big Bend area.

    It seems like most of the RR's don't get many of that area, you did real good on that, and the rest.

    Some of that ride back musta been a bitch, wind and all. Thanks for postin' it up.:D
  4. snowbilly

    snowbilly Been here awhile

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    556 miles is a butt bustin' distance! You da man! Glad you beat the really crappy days we had yesterday and today.

    Thanks again for posting this trip. :clap:clap:clap

    rw
  5. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    I know I could have made a regular ride report out of it and I may do that. I do have a few more pics I can add. I have not seen many reports on that area if any. It really would be a better time to explore Big Bend in Jan or Feb I think but that is the "on" season so you would need to reserve a camp spot and then the weather could be a bitch on this end too if you live anywhere other than really south. I learned there is a neat hotel in Marathon, about an hour or so north of the main part of the park, that would be a good alternative to camping also. It's called the Gage Hotel in Marathon TX and some guys I met at a shell station near there gave it a good report. I definitely want to go back and spend more time in there in cooler weather. There is plenty in there if you like gravel to keep you busy for 3-4 days. I just did not feel I could tolerate the heat very many days and it was tiring then having to ride in the cold was...well...weird to say the least and also tiring but it was a trip that I will always remember. Next time, I'll know more and be better prepared. I picked up a book at the visitor center on exploring the dirt roads of the park. They have lots of dirt roads and the ranger told me that dual-sporting was very welcome as long as you do not build fires and stick to the main tracks. Very nice people down there ! Hope you can see it sometime and thanks for following and commenting!

    Well Richard, I guess it was hard on my rump. It's too numb to know really...have to check a mirror then maybe I can say...:eek1...maybe I'll just keep that to myself :rofl Sure am glad I boxed up that German saddle and got a good Sargent on there and lots of anti- monkey butt powder too! :lol3 oh yeah, I have those new wider Fastway pegs on there so I stand up often ( almost always on gravel) and as long as I can anytime I get in a town or slow traffic and that helps a lot! I stand some too at interstate speed if not in traffic but the wind can be a factor then too. Just got to pick your spots to do that and hope you don't have to slam on the brakes!

    Of course there are a bunch on here who have done the Iron Butt thing but they do have to stop every 150 miles and I was doing 200-300 between stops but I am not interested in doing 1000 in a day. It takes night riding and I am chicken in my old age and I really don't think I could focus long enough.
  6. _anatic

    _anatic Plated

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    Shoot, didn't realize you were back or I would have hollered at you last night.
    Really enjoyed following along with you on this one. Great report as always!
  7. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Thanks! I came back a few days early as the weather out in the midwest was just not agreeable so found the best route home along the gulf and headed in. Looks like it was a wet day at the Meltdown. Hope we have good weather for Rick's RDV.
  8. tarbaby3

    tarbaby3 Adventurer

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    Hey Ed, looks like a good trip. Bike must have run well. Talk to you soon. Take Care, John
  9. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Love the bike. Perfect machine for this kind of thing. Good to hear from you. Let's ride soon!
  10. Blimey

    Blimey Smart Arse

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    You got some good pics in there.
    Nice ride report. Thanks
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Nice trip and good pics. While you live in the middle of some really grea........err crappy riding, it's always nice to go for a long ride and see something different. I've never been to the Big Bend area but it's on my bucket list.
  12. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    I know nothing about photography but it's hard to screw up a shot of something nice as Big Bend. Thanks!

    As you know, there is a a lot to see here in the east but my eyes always enjoy variety. I found Big Bend very interesting. Most remote national park we have and least visited so that should say a lot for us seeking new places. Hope you get to go there. I hope to go back maybe early next year. Getting pretty hot now. You been riding much?
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Been pretty busy buying a house, getting old house ready for sale and moving. I still put in about 500 miles/MO just commuting but no real rides this year. I'm hoping to get up your way later this year and maybe a trip out West next year.

    Until then I get my travel bug fix by reading RR's like yours.
  14. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Glad you enjoy the RR. I am posting up another little report from today which will have a lot that you recognize!
  15. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Well, back in Appalachia so no tumble weeds in this one :lol3 It was just a bit rainy as I headed out from the Haywood Hacienda toward Cataloochee this morning.




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    It was raining some in Waynesville and on Cove Creek but the weather experts seem to think it may improve as the day goes. Oh, who cares, its just water anyway.





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    And by the time I got to some warning signs about a recent slide, the rain was gone for the day. I am having to endure riding some really sucky roads today as I have some friends camping over in "catalooch" and they trailered their Husqvarnas to do a little gravel. They have never been to Buzzard Roost and so forth so I am going to show them that awful place. This is Cove Creek...sucks!

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    Headed up to cross the Cataloochee Divide and sneak into the Smoky Park.

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    Surely not...kidding right?

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    No way! 5! ???? My bike won't run that slow.

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    I am on my big GSA today. It's way overdue for service but I will take care of that tomorrow. I should be on the KTM but its all clean and thinking about selling it so....on the beemer.



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    The road is half gone but it does not matter...too foggy to see it anyway even if'n it was here. :lol3


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    I should prolly be paying attention and looking where I want to go instead of getting ride report pics but....

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    Good day to make a run of likker...revenuers won't see yor smoke


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    Descending down toward Cataloochee Valley

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    This is some terrible dual sport stuff...in fact...you would be better off watching some TV or playing checkers than reading this silly no good report about what we have to ride here in th' sticks.

    Huh? Ice? in May?

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    Found some eager looking machines down here in the camp....wonder if there are some metal jockey around to ride them?

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    Yup! Richard and Suzanne are being nice and following me but I bet I get blown away pretty soon....

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    Headed down stream toward Sterling and real moonshiner country! :1drink


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    Now this is unique access to the hay loft

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    Mutt lives in the yeller house and Jeff lives in the white house...

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    Suzanne checks out the one lane bridge. This was washed out a couple years ago.

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    See I told you I would end up at the back!

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    I begged them to let me back in front

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    I am surprised at the good condition of this road even though it's fairly narrow for a road

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    ye olde gaging station...down stream about 2miles is Waterville Lake that you can see from Ah- Fourdy.

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    Well, in spite of these terrible surroundings, we press onward....

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    Could this be the end of the road?

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    No,my good friends are 1,000 feet above I-40 where it passes through a tunnel way down there. Yes, it is a vertical drop off those rocks.



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    Oh, the agony of it all....


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    I have a Case pocket knife that I bought in that store one day when I was fly fishing Big Creek about 50 years ago! Last knife in the display case. Ask the owner if he would sell me the wooden case...said he'd think about it and for me to come back in about a week. I never did til over a year later and all was gone....often regretted not going back.

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    This road is nothing...zero is the number...Tennessee state line in fact and Appalachian Trail Crossing...not telling you this road number...keeping it to myself...:lol3

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    it sucks anyway as you will see...


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    At least 7 miles of this crap...

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    Shack

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    This darn road is so narrow there ain't room to change yor mind! You sure as hell won't turn around...you are committed and there is no shoulders...just creek on both sides :eek1


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    refuel and sammich and I forgot the food pic...SORRY!!!

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    Headed up through the "gulf". More interesting road with excess gravel in places and ruts and mud in others...

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    At the gap and another AT crossing...

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    These poor kids are hiking the AT... BUT they ran out of water. Asking me where they could find a stream. Said they had a water filter....I opened a side case and passed out free bottled water and they were so happy...I had plenty to do me in my Camel Bak...here they wave with the water...

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    Hope they survive til they got to Hot Sprangs!

    Ok, headed out of the "gulf" and down into Harmon Den

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    I broke off from Richard and Suzanne as all they had to do was ride down to and under I-40 on Cold Springs Road and then they knew the way back again by Buzzard Roost and on to their camp. I put the camera up and ground some gravel up to Max Patch Rd, then down a bit on the other side to see my Sweetie....:wave
  16. Bearcat

    Bearcat burg1

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    Just another sucky RR.:D Looks like even my Lardy could handle some of those sucky roads.
  17. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Hey there Bearcat! All this sucky stuff is ride-able with about anything and I have owned about anything you can imagine over the years. First time I sat on Buzzard Roost was with my dad and we were on some little trail machines with Briggs engines. 3.5 HP I think. The road was a lot rougher then and actually followed a different path altogether in some areas. I-40 was not there on that trip and under construction at other times I was there as a teen. Big time for a 10 year old kid!!! He took me everywhere and now I love to share as he always has. He is 93 now and doing great...

    Thinking about those days, before I-40, we were in some real backwoods down in that gorge!
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I recognize just about all the places you took pics of. I've had to suffer on those roads too.:evil I'm such a masochist I plan on riding all those roads again.
  19. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    There is therapy for people like us....like you, I just keep enduring the pain...
  20. snowbilly

    snowbilly Been here awhile

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    I don't care what you say, we're NOT buyin' that house from ya!

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    But ... we sure had a swell time despite the ugly scenery and boring roads. Thanks!!


    Richard & Suzanne