Aarrffin' around Appalachia

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

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I'm gathering as much advice as I can but I'll probably wing it and make my final decisions as I go. I should be passing through your neck of the woods a week from Sunday, give or take a day. Your pics from WV are making me really look forward to the trip.
    #41
  2. JoeWannaB

    JoeWannaB Usually a nice guy

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    I've been up Buck Bald two times and both times I took Trail 82 to the gravel road. Never been up on just the gravel road. I was also following so I was paying more attention to the tail lights in front than the way I went. Very pretty view from up there.

    Wesser Bald is not accessible by motorized vehicles. The Appalachian Trail runs right by it so it would be a tough one to poach unseen. (not my style) The closest access is to take Otter Creek Road to the top of Tellico Gap where the AT crosses. It is a nice hike up (1.5 miles). Or you could keep riding down Tellico Road. It is actually more fun to ride up Tellico Rd.

    +1 on Rainbow Springs Rd, Wayah Bald, Tatham Gap & Needmore Road

    You might also try...

    FS 308 AKA the Gravel Dragon which runs from Andrews to Snowbird area

    FS 81 which is the gravel road that parallels the Cherohala Skyway

    Tuni Gap Road / Tuskeegee Road Loop (Big Choga Rd off of Junaluska Rd)

    All are gravel roads that are suitable for larger DS and Adv bikes.

    One of the best roads is lost to us ... Winding Stairs has been closed for over a year now and looks like it will not reopen. :cry:cry Sure the gate is easy to ride around but again, that is not my style.

    PM me if you want more specifics. I am uncomfortable advertising these roads on the open internet as we are losing access daily and the last thing I want is for masses of hooligans to cause problems.
    #42
  3. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Thanks Joe!
    #43
  4. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Had to put a a new battery in the GS. Mine seemed to be fine one day and GONE the next. Took it out of my bike and tried to charge it that way off the canbus and that would not do either. Another ride bud of mine had the same thing happen when his got about 2 years old. Anyway, so I will try and aftermarket brand that I trust since its cheaper than the Beemer version that I had and we will see....took the bike out fer a short spin to a road I had not been on in a long long time over near Rosman. Headed up 215 from my place...awful road..avoid it if you get this way:
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    There are several of these old Iron bridges in the neighborhood. This one goes to private property now and used to be about 5 miles down the river about 60 years ago. Bridge recycling I guess you would say. The bridge that replaced it has been on the NC TIP program list to replace for 25 years...hope yor motorcycle does not weigh over a few tons...no Harley's :lol3 ( kidding)

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    I need a better camera or help using this thing. I had it set for a fast shutter since I take stuff rolling but when I stop it all looks washed out. Maybe I need to try something else.
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    How's this from the BRP by mtngal:
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    Decent to Rosman:
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    Neat brick work in town...look at that chimney!
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    Old store:
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    East fork of the French Broad River:
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    My kind of place:
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    Think some other inmates have posted this yard art up too but here it is in case you have not seen this...funny stuff!
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    I must have scared the locals since they runnin' from me...
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    Now I am back on a road where the touristas travel as you can tell :lol3
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    On the way home now. Just before this shot, I came upon 5 deer on the edge of the road. They were totally unafraid and so I stopped and took good photos of the rascals not more that ten feet off the pavement. Can you believe, the shots are not in my camera!! I must have accidentally turned the darn thing off as I remember having to stop and reset everything just before this. You can't tell from my poor lens but the big mountains in the distance are up in the clouds ( ref my shot from the BRP earlier in the ride as I am looking at the same spot where I crossed over) Maybe some more ugly stuff in a few days...
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    #44
  5. steveb126

    steveb126 Adventurer Anonymous

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    Camped at the Lazy J couple miles up 215 from Rosman. They have an old iron/wood plank bridge at the entrance, its over the side and down the hill so you can't see it from the road. Owners are good people, they were considering doing another campground in VA somewhere. Last time I was there was '08.

    Again I say: great posts and Thank You !
    #45
  6. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Thanks Steve! I live on the other side of the mountain on 215 just below Lake Logan so I know that road pretty well and I do know the campground you mention...good place! Thanks for following along with me. I'll probably be out on a good ride for 3-4 days soon. Short one coming up this Sunday doubling up with mtngal. Take care and good riding!
    #46
  7. WNCSte

    WNCSte n00b - yep

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    Great fun. Thanks for taking us along!!
    #47
  8. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Thanks. Was out for a good day this past Sunday then again yesterday with a rear flat in Tellico Plains which ended up being an adventure with some fun too so I'll have all this posted up in a few days...got to go get a new tire today...more later.
    #48
  9. WNCSte

    WNCSte n00b - yep

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    Interesting - I had a blow out this weekend too over near your neck of the woods. No harm done other than major puckerage!!

    Guess it was a weekend for flats.
    #49
  10. _anatic

    _anatic Plated

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    That sux, what flavor this time? 'sIvan got K-60s in stock?
    #50
  11. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    It was Father's Day but my kids are away in either school or working a summer job so mtngal and I decided to go out on a little ride then end the day at my brother's place for a cookout with my 92 year old dad. mtngal wanted to see the yard art I ran across a few days earlier so the first leg of our ride was in that direction so some photos are like repeats but her camera and skill is much better than mine:

    Old homestead near my place

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    A little cloudy but actually a good day to ride

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    East Fork French Broad

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    Awful road full of curves
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    Relief station...now if you come over here to ride, hope you don't mind usin' the ol' hole in th' ground.

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    Yard art

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    We went south on 276 toward Greenville SC and hit the straight road 11 west by Table Rock Park

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    We finally headed back north on 130 then Wiginton Rd then 107 up to Cashiers where we had lunch and great BBQ

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    Bon Apetit! ( something wrong with the left side of her wide angle lens??) :lol3 Maybe I need to eat less BBQ?

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    Big tag collection

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    Then we took a lap through a community between Cashiers and Highlands:

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    Really huge Yellow Locust tree!
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    Showered off the sweat and here is Dad at the cookout. 92, totally independent and healthy. Has himself a new camper and big truck to pull it and enjoys his camping. I am waiting for a few more photos on this cookout and yes I am trying to not eat much this week :lol3

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    Next trip was yesterday to Buck Bald...beautiful place. Had a flat tire escapade, met interesting people, and I'll post it up asap.
    #51
  12. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Left here and hit 74 west to Murphy. It's about 2 hours for me to that point and I left about 10:30am. 74 is the main artery east to west through WNC and so I have seen that a gazillion times. Murphy is a neat little town and I knew the perfect place to get some great grub:

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    The daily Grind and Wine downown:

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    Forgot to take the pic before I ate most of my good hot turkey samdwich:

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    They sell a great hand cream at the register that mtngal likes so I purchased that as I paid up and hit the road west on 74 again into Tennessee

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    Over the state line

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    Then I hit 68 north toward Tellico Plains. There is a short cut on 294 but I like 68 better and here is why.

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    Nice flowing curves, nice countryside, so why don't y'all come ride this since its over here in Tenn :lol3 and avoid those NC roads.

    Headed up the gravel road to Buck Bald...big signs there so youz can't miss it!

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    Easy beginner gravel all the way up. One turn to the right near the top has no sign, stay left and up.

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    On the top

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    Saw this sign as I got back on 68

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    Must have picked up a nail somewhere up there I guess as my rear was going flat by the time I got to Tellico. Did not notice it until I wore the head off I guess. The main nail was still inside the tire when I finally got home. :lol3 Some nice riding all the way up 68. Trying to get the plug to hold but it was an odd shaped hole so it kept leaking down. Glad my bike has a tire pressure monitor giving exact pressure readings so I knew when to quit and air up but it was still tough work in this heat. Re plugged the tire until I ran out of plugs and spent 4 hours getting back as far as Murphy where I had cell service and gave up and called mtngal to bring the trailer and rescue me :lol3 It was over a two hour drive for her and through the Nantahala Gorge but she arrived safe and all smiles as always.

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    Once the tire problem started, I did not take time to take more photos and was just trying to get closer home. The last effort was to air up in Murphy at a gas station with 45lbs of air and I made it through 5 red lights and it was going fast so I ducked into the Super WalMart and found a little shade to share with some other folks while I waited for mtngal.

    Remember in the introduction to my thread, I told you that I like to meet people along the way in my adventures and learn something about a little piece of life from another perspective. So sharing the shade tree with me was Woody and his wife Susan.

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    Yes Woody is a Vietnam vet but he lost his legs later in life largely by not taking care of himself very well. His wife Susan is legally blind. I could see they had not had good medical attention for some time. Their home is probably the van they have along with two little dogs and a cat. They were here for a few days until some money was being wired into a local bank as he explained.

    They were a ball of fun with all kinds of funny stories about their adventures apparently they actually enjoy their life as best I could tell or they gave me that impression. So we swapped stories, tales and so forth while I waited for my lovely lady to rescue me.

    Herein lies the truth in adventure. I am blessed to be healthy and able to ride around on my expensive bike and see the world. Yes I have worked all my life for this time but still I am blessed. My day, while on the surface seemed a bit frustrating in that I was hot, sweaty from the struggle, and unable to complete the ride I had planned, but nonetheless, another great day. When mtngal showed up and I was bidding them farewell to go load the bike, I felt I had become enough of a parking lot friend to maybe find out if they had eaten lately. They had not and had two corn dogs left over from yesterday that they were holding out on until they just had to eat. I had enough in my wallet to share so they could go get a good meal and they were indeed very appreciative.
    So....now it all makes sense. There was good reason for my flat, and my struggle to WalMart...it all became a great day in the end with a purpose.....wonder if they are OK today?

    My lovely lady showed up with the trailer and happy to see me:

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    We went to a Taco Bell where I was able to wash up a bit, get some Tacos, drink lots of water, and chilled out as mtngal drove us like a pro to home..

    You can see Woody's van in the background..........
    #52
  13. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Hey! I got the last K-76 in stock but he has K-60's. I have been running K-60 front and K-76 rear and like that combo. Smoother cornering on pavement and all the traction I need for my graveling...
    #53
  14. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Wow! Glad mine went slow. Was it front or rear? Kind of tire? What caused it?
    #54
  15. WNCSte

    WNCSte n00b - yep

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    Rear (fortunately). Mefo Explorer, but it actually wasn't the tire but the tube.

    The only thing I can see is that the valve stem ripped outta the tube, but that doesn't usually happen unless the tube has gone flat due to a hole/rip. Can't find any hole but I can't inflate the tube to help find a leak.

    I dunno, but it's caused me to ride a bit more tentatively and that's never good.
    #55
  16. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    I have seen the same thing on other bikes running tubes. My dirt bike now is the only thing I have with tubes. They go fast! The valve stem may have popped off as it began to slip on the way down. The hole could be small and did not damage the tire much...hard to say what it was...know the feeling!
    #56
  17. KingJarhead

    KingJarhead Long timer

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    This is one of the top 3 best posts I have read on ADV!!!! A true inspiration!!!!
    Thanks for sharing your adventures!
    #57
  18. _anatic

    _anatic Plated

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    +1
    I agree, Aarrff, yunz good folk.
    #58
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Great perspective:thumb

    It's easy to get down when things go wrong but the fact is if you are healthy and wealthy enough to ride a motorcycle for fun, even if it's a cheap one, you are better off than most of the world's population.

    Having a lovely wife willing to come rescue you, and who is happy to see you, is an added bonus.

    Great posts. Keep it up.

    Also, What did you use to plug your tire? I have found that the sticky strings designed for car tires work much better than the plugs that come in most motorcycle repair kits. If one string doesn't stop the leak, two usually will.
    #59
  20. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Thanks everybody for checking in and taking time to read my story about Woody and Susan. Indeed I am so blessed that I was back out again today on one of my fun adventures and this time I made it home without mtngal having to rescue me :lol3

    Klaviator: Howdy again! How's your trip going? I used the black sticky ones ( strings) that I get at an auto parts. I had some red ones a few years ago and they seemed to do OK too. My kit has been used many times over the years but when I took the tire off the next day, I found the nail had started coming back out of the tire!!!... and after looking at this crazy thing further, it had made another hole from the inside with centrifugal force apparently...that nail was out to get me coming and going :lol3 I guess it did not appreciate me wearing its head off on the pavement...I had two leaks so no wonder my plug was not working :lol3
    #60