Aarrffin' around Appalachia

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

  1. mle52

    mle52 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    slaton, tx
    Thanks for posting, I have wanted to ride this area for a long time but several attempts to locate routes have not been very successful, I usually get replies listing the tourist areas. We like back roads and no time table. Finally gave up and went to Alaska last year. Your report gives me a lot of information about the area and I think I will try again to list out some routes you have described to try. Hope to to east next summer, living in the Texas Panhandle we always seem to travel west and northwest.
  2. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Ol' Smokie
    Thank you for checking by mle52! I will be glad anytime, just send a PM, to help you or suggest routes in the NC, VA area. On this trip, we basically followed 58 east through VA to a town called Franklin. We did detour, north out of downtown Hillsville, VA to see the shot tower and explore some dirt roads just east of the New River State Park near the Shot Tower. I can give you specifics on those if needed. When we left Franklin in this segment, I went just a few miles east on 58 then turned south on 189 then L onto Gates Road, that became something like Camp Pond and we crossed into NC and the name changed to Sandbank, then I think we picked up 158 east at a 4-way intersection and stayed with 158/17 through Elizabeth City and stopped at Coinjack on the way to the OBX. Just before crossing the bridge leaving Elizabeth City, you may want to explore a few streets just to the right prior to the bridge is the older part of town, Mariners Warf, etc. Some shops and restaurants there. It was Sunday morning when we went by there and the churches were busy but nothing else looked open. Take Care and hope you get this way!
  3. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Continuing on with day three, 9/23/12, we pulled out of Coinjack with a lot of riding to do yet, and headed on south on 158.


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    mtngal had never been north to Duck and Corolla so once we got over to Highway 12, we headed north to see the sights in that direction, and maybe the wild horses on the beach north of Corolla.

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    It is very developed down that way but both Duck and Corolla are really nice little towns with lots of gift shops if you like that. Our main interests were to see if we could find firm sand to ride up the beach above Corolla and to see the Corolla Light House. Considerable traffic at times so expect it to go slow and slow speed limits.


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    Here we go out onto the beach at the north end of Corolla.....No anything allowed here, no peeing in the sand, no pooping, no nudity, no drinking, no...well...if you think it might be fun, you can't do it...so..


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    Here I am after not going very far :lol3 Found out later some folks tried it on small bikes and no luck either. The only firm stuff was right in the water and I was not into getting that much salt on my bike this early in the trip.Oh yeah....I am not supposed to stop here so....just had to get a pic :D No stopping for any reason too!!


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    Up the beach, on a zoom lense, we could see some wild horses and people.


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    Ok, so we did not brave to loose stuff and it was really more loose than the last time I was here. Back in town, we turn off to see the Corolla Light house.


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    mtngal had been spattered already with seagull doo as we headed to Corolla, and then these things kept hitting her in the head ....what next??



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    We then headed back through town and they have some tame horses: or Pegasus' or is the plural Pegasuii :lol3


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    Enough of the congestion so we head back south and a quick stop at the Wright Memorial. They were closing soon but we just wanted a few pics anyway and my Old Geeezer National Parks Pass got us in free anyway.


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    After a brief visit there, we hit the road south toward Hatteras and encounter little traffic as the day wanes. There were these two really slow bikes that we came upon and so we blew them away on short order :lol3 As you will see, we meet up with them later...on the ferry :lol3


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    Somewhere different for my hands I guess...did not know she was taking photos of this...


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    Stretching my back I guess...on cruise control...


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    Pea Island



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    In Avon, we pick up a snack, blueberry muffins, coffee, and gas....ain't cheap.


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    Late evening kite flying on the beach as we approach Hatteras


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    OK, taking a break from this posting up. Next segment, maybe later tonight, will be a fun stop at Hatteras even though the buildings are closed, then a beautiful sunset ferry ride over to Ocracoke, and dinner there before we turn in at our reserved B & B.
  4. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Final segment of day three 9/23/12:

    Just down the road, we pull into the Hatteras park.


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    In a few minutes I heard mtngal laughing about something. She had taken a photo that I did not realize what she did until later...she said that I was just totally excited to be on this trip.....:rofl


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    Just down the road, we arrive at the ferry to Ocracoke just as the sun sets on another great day...


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    Old Glory watches over us


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    Boarding now


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    mtngal did some photo shop work to get enough light on some of these photos...here I am talking to the two guys we had passed earlier. They are brave souls, cousins, traveling thousands of miles on these small engine bikes and their top speed is only 50 :eek1 Not me, not on the open road like this...they were neat guys and we had fun talking to them and they took a photo of me and mtngal which she doctored to get more light as well...


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    One of their bikes had these really huge tires and they tried their luck in the sand at Corolla and did not get far either..


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    Another ride similar too ours...


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    Prop wash as we pull out


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    mtngal enjoys the evening breeze as we head across


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    Having a fun trip as we always do!!!


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    Docked and unloading


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    A short spin in the dark and we are in town, checked into our room and back out fer grub,,,,room photos tomorrow in the daylight.

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    Inside and the guys we met on the ferry were here too...well...this was about all that was still open. This late in the year, lots of places close up a bit early.


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    The menu and the food and beer was good!


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    We had a long and fun day so next up will be day four 9/24/12, but it may be a few days before I get time to post it up. :wave
  5. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    It's early morning of day four, 9-24-12.

    I emerge right after mtngal for a morning stroll before breakfast is served. Dang! I just noticed something...I match the B&B with my green t-shirt :lol3


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    We stayed at The Cove and it was a very good place to stay and the host and hostess were the mostest!


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    Just down the street is a nice nature trail out to the surf so we check it out...


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    Another view of the B&B:


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    We met some really nice people on this trip and this couple met with us for breakfast. We will remain in touch with them as with several other people we met. It seems the motorcycle just keeps putting us in contact with the best people on earth and from so many different walks of life! That makes our horizons truly unlimited.



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    A few history lessons before we head for our lunch and the 2PM ferry reservation for Cedar Island. I knew we would be late getting to Ocracoke, so this gave us plenty of time to explore the little harbor, check out the local history, and find ( what else!) good grub!


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    Did you know there is a British Cemetery on Ocracoke?



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    In case you can't read the above, the British trawler was sunk by a German submarine in 1942.German subs were very active in WWII. I will show you some photos from Topsail Island,south of here, from the next day having to do with the same subject.

    I know nothing about "Old River"except this on his grave marker.



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    Ocracoke Lighthouse and our B&B was just a few blocks away.


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    Lunchtime!



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    Bon Apetit!


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    This fine ( and I mean that!) place to eat has taken their restrooms to new heights! :lol3


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    Oh man, no wonder I have gained some pounds. Between this trip and my recent trip to the coast of New Brunswick Canada and Maine, I think I have eaten my way from Shediac N.B.to Charleston SC :eek1 Good thing I have my favorite buddy on this trip sharing stuff like this with me or it would have been much worse...



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    Silly bird at the ferry lot:



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    Prop wash from the ferry as we pull out of a long ride of over 2 hours to Cedar Island:


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    In the above photo, we have noticed that mtngals camera has developed an "orb" in the lens. We have tried to clean it but apparently the Lecia Lens is leaking and these orbs are getting worse as the trip goes. She has doctored some of them out with photo shop but its a lot of work and not here so pardon the orbs...

    Happy dance...


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    I was trying to figure out this orb too in this shot but no clues at this point......



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    Favorite ride Bud!!!!


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    We are happy even if we have caught a case of the orbs....



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    Obviously not a busy ferry today being Monday. One of the crew told me that for the state of NC to breakeven on the ferry rides, they would have to charge $35 or more per car so THANK YOU TAXPAYERS!!!



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    Here I meet a super nice guy from Germany. His English was just a bit tough for my ears at first but the more I listened the more I understood. He was obviously a neat guy and he and his traveling companion were on this same ferry. Now, I had no idea we would meet up with them again a few days later...what a small world so there is more to this story and we just swapped e-mail with them yesterday ( 10/30/12!!) See...we meet the greatest people riding the bike!



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    This bird has a really advanced "green home" here with his solar installation running all his appliances and even charging the batteries for his night flight homing beacon:



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    Keeping watch on his property...


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    Well, after a long ride, time to disembark and there is a lot more to this day so I will break here and start segment two later tonight or tomorrow....


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  6. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Continuing day four, 9-24-12:

    After leaving the ferry, we find Cedar Island to be mostly a rural area and some fun roads actually.


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    Moving the wind on the big motor....thinking about Willie Nelson singing "On th' Road Again....


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    Some neat sweepers along the channels...



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    Hard times maybe?



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    Think they could use a little paint...



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    Thinking about an afternoon snack on the way to Morehead City but maybe not here....


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    The Sanitary Restaurant? :lol3 Uh, ...no thanks! It may be good, just does not sound like it...



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    We run a few errands in Morehead City so unless you want to see WalMart or the CVS, we'll skip that :lol3 we check into our room for the night then go hunting for dinner. We stumble, well, not that happy yet, on this place and it was absolutely fantastic. Great awesome food!



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    We split a great salad and order a variety of small menu items and got to meet the owner and chef. We enjoyed his food, the service was great, and he brought us desert on the house...wow! It was a chocolate creme crepe or something but it was sooo good! Well, that's all for this day and the next day will be a big run down through Salter Path, a lunch stop in Snead's Ferry, and a bunch of fun on Topsail Island. Will post asap....


    :wave
  7. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    So we rise on the sixth day of our journey. The trip today will take us through Wilmington, down by Kure Beach to see a friend, across the Fort Fisher Ferry to Southport and finally late in the day we find our room in Charleston on Meeting Street just across from the old slave market.

    Leaving Topsail Island, we see more of these strange looking little concrete buildings:


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    I have been a regular visitor to Topsail for over 30 years. Locals have told me these were observation towers that used to be several levels higher when this island was occupied by the military in WWII. They were watching for the German Subs that continually tried to enter the ports in this area. When the military left, they lowered these by several levels and now many of them are used for homes or office space.

    Up at Surf City, we turn west to cross off the barrier island to the mainland:



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    A boat rack. Neat storage system....


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    Crossing the draw bridge:


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    Needs a little TLC?? Or just give up and let it be a flower pot :lol3


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    You decide......


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    We had breakfast at Jimbo's where the tree resides in the parking area very near UNC-W and it was a great breakfast!


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    We rolled on down to Kure Beach to visit one of Barbara's high school classmates, Dave, and see his motel which is his pride and joy and he works very hard to make it super nice. What a neat guy he is!


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    The Kure Keys Motel. Check it out if you want a nice place to stay, a JAahhhhhCuzzi, and the best of hosts.


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    Our trusty horse tied up outside:


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    It was a fun visit but we had to eventually roll on toward Charleston so we hit the Fort Fisher Ferry for a brief ride over to Southport:


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    Here comes our ride:


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    We disembark from our third ferry ride this trip:


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    mtngal gets a photo behind as we leave the ship:


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    We find a lot of water towers it seems:


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    Having problems with her ear rings in that wind I guess :lol3 Obviously we are in SC where helmets are not in vogue...


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    Another shot of the ever-present and growing orbs in mtngal's camera!


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    We enter Charleston. What an awesome bridge they have here!



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    Great camera work by mtngal!



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    That's right, she took these right in the 5pm traffic mess..timed our entrance perfectly! I was about nuts by the time we got to our room as I had this traffic, full of idiots, and the sun setting right in my face....ugh!!!


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    Finally we enter the old part of town near the water and our room on Meeting Street: The architecture here is incredible as you will see form a few select shots tomorrow. We spend a couple days here. Just to nice to fly through town without enjoying the culture and food.


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    Here ye go, at our room, valet park this! :lol3 This was an awesome place to stay and the porter helped us get all the cases to our room then led me with his golf cart to their private parking and brought me back. Simple even on a bike so this gave us a great room right across from the market and a fun town to share with mtngal for a few days:



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    While we were unloading and our cameras were not handy, guess who we meet right outside the entrance? Remember the nice guy from Germany that I meet on the ferry? He and his friend were staying here as well! What a small world.


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    Beautiful courtyard and more photos of this to come as this is a small section of it:


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    View from outside our door:


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    Yes we splurged here on the room but it was the best deal in town for parking our bike, the room is obviously elegant, and right in the shops and market for my lovely lady to enjoy ( and FOOD what great FOOD :lol3 )



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    We went out for a stroll and I was ready for some beer and FOOD! Headed down by the market, we again run into our German friends and they had eaten at AW Shucks and loved it so we headed there. After a round of their bacon wrapped shrimp, we had dessert :lol3 Yes, this fall I ended up eating my way from Shediac, NB Canada to Charleston and loved and as I sit here posting this up, I am still trying to starve the pounds off my butt !

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    Ok folks, tomorrow is a big day so I'll show up with that in a day or so....:wave
  8. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    The seventh day of our trip, 9-27-12, is to be a fun rest day in Charleston. We start the day out by having breakfast with the nice folks we met from Germany...so funny...we kept running across them all the way down from OBX to our hotel in Charleston.:lol3


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    Another view of the courtyard where we ate breakfast and was back in the afternoon for a wine and cheese reception....terrible ain't it....


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    Our room here was very nice but it reminded us of Delft blue antique dishes :huh But it was very nice and the bed was big enough for my long legs...


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    I did see a good deal on a sport bike down here....kid was riding it on a back street and was concerned about the police chasing him...


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    Eh...don't think it would fit me too well anyway.



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    Now here is a sampling from our day of browsing the shops and hanging out near the waterfront. Lots of neat architecture and equineitecture ( I made that up) if you like that sort of thing...if not...scroll on :lol3 I'll post up more of the trip in a few days.


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    photo of mtngal taking a photo...



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    Neat tree bark



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    I have no idea how that plant got up there...



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    Great food here!



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    The market



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    I think you may want to tilt your computer to look at this next one...

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    Wow,getting dehydrated just looking at this, time for some refreshments at the Noisy Oyster...



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    Ok, enough of this and tomorrow we head down to see the Tea Plantation, Angel Oak, and then head north toward Newberry SC where we encounter a poltergeist at dinner :eek1 and we have the photo to prove it...
  9. localmoto

    localmoto Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    hey,
    was fun rideing with you, and all on sunday...hope to do again!!!

    but as wanted to ask you,, if you have ever heard, of MotoQuest.com ???

    think you ,an other's (who like/flow your thread) would like ,to get up with them too..
    there are based out of Alaska. that do tours ,in alaska and ,around the world.. also have rental shops across the US now,,alot on the West coast :puke1 = :lol3 (one in tenn) ,,,with mostly bmw or klr's rentals !!!
    or go on there world tour ,an pick up ,that country' best known bike,, when you get there!! =some time never made/shipped to the USA !!!!!

    Point being:: they will have a Civil War tour,,, starting/ending in D.C making a loop,,down into Va/ W Va area ,, and back,,est week long.. mostly slab = but most all on dual-sports type = some have BIG road bikes (dont think ,ever see any gravel) !!!!!!!!

    THIS March 2013 !!!

    main stoping points:deal
    battle grounds of - Manassas -Antietam -Getteysburg -CrossKeys -Port Republic
    Harpers Ferry
    Appomattox Courthouse
    Museum of the Confederacy Appomattox
    and the White House of the Confederacy

    i hope to join them, least part of the trip.. as last time we rode (they came out here WNC) an had nice group stay the weekend, out on hwy28,, that rode some 200-300miles day..

    PLEASE look them up,, an or hope to see ,you there too...!!!!!...????....
  10. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Will do !! Sounds like a lot of fun and neat things to see soz I'll check into it.

    Yup! Good ridin' with you too and seems like you can take that KLR bout anywhere :lol3 I had a blast and it was good to get out on the KTM for a change. Been wiring up my GPS mount and switch for it on the Adventure tonight and think I got it done. Going to ride it some over the Holiday then I have a Clearwater aux light system for more front running lights ( can't have too many I guess :lol3 ) and they are dimmable soz that'll be a big job and I have to figger out where to mount them so I won't leave them on a stump somewhere....you take care and lets ride again soon. Thanks for checking in on my trippin thread!
  11. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Now finally getting a chance to post up the next day of this trip. It is Friday 9-28-12 and we are loading up to leave Chucktown ( Charleston). Since our bike was just a few blocks down the street in a private lot for the Hotel, their bell hop took us in the cart and our luggage to the bike. Very helpful and offered to stay until we were on our way but I assured him that we would be OK or I'd call back to the desk.



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    So we are on the road out of town and headed south to see the only Tea Plantation in the US and since the giant Angel Oak is in the same area, we plan to stop there as well then it will be northward bound toward home with some neat stops along the way.


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    Incredible place and worth a visit. Free visit unless you want to take the bus ride through the whole farm.



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    I thinks I'll stay out of this bed, old age is doing that for me anyway :lol3



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    Custom designed, only one like it in existence.....not a cotton pickin' tea picker, just a tea picker.



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    Lots of huge Live Oaks here jsut like the Angel Oak we are going to visit next. The tea plantation makes different types of tea. We learned that teas are different only because of the curing process and not any difference in tea plants.



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    OK, back north a few miles up the road, we turn into see the Angel Oak. Disclaimer, don't go here on a bike unless you are accustomed to riding off road and in very soft loose sand. The road is flat but total sand and so is the parking lot. Loaded and 2-up was a bit tricky even for an off-roader like me!



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    Maybe 1/2 mile of this sand....



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    Awesome tree!!!



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    mtngal in the pic and I guess you noticed they keep some limbs propped up out of the sand.



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    We tried some back roads in the general direction of I-26 but did not seem to be making much time. We wanted to get north of Columbia before stopping for the night so I got on I-26 early on then we went looking for the neat little town of Newberry SC.


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    We found a Hampton in Newberry and decided to stay there as it was convenient, new and built to match the famous Newberry Opra House next door. There is also an excellent bistro just up the street and as an added bonus, we found out it is haunted as you will see.


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    Opra House...


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    Newberry downtown was a pleasant surprise. Beautiful spot and we headed for the bistro to see what the chef has cooking. We asked the waitress to take our photo and she said it may not work because we had just been seated and the spirit usually joins the last guests seated but she would try and if the camera would not work, she could come back after the seated someone else. Well, me being the brave skeptic handed her my camera and ask her to shoot away....oops she said...



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    She tried another angle but the spirit is still there.....I think mine and mtngal's eyes are the most spooky thing in the photos :lol3



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    maybe this is just an indication of how much we have had to drink ( we are fuzzy right :lol3 )

    OK, she came back after they seated some other folks and I handed her the same camera....now this is the same camera in all pics and not the one that gave us problems in the first half of the trip. Ghost gone now.



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    This bistro was an old medical building and they did have a patient die there and so it been haunted since. The food was absolutely awesome!!!


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    OK, that's about it for this day as we took a brief stroll then off for rest. Saw no more ghosts either. :eek1 The next day we head up toward Mill Spring on back roads, a stop in Black Mountain for pizza then on home near Max Patch.....I'll post those up asap.


    :wave
  12. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    Location:
    Ol' Smokie
    The last day of our little trip to the coast is here. It's been 8 good days. Looking a bit rainy but I guess that's the odds since we have seen very little. We roll out of the nice town of Newberry and head generally north with a brief run on I-26 then off on US 9 north through Mill Spring NC and on toward Black Mountain NC.



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    Home looms in yonder distance



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    I hope this little guy was not abandoned! He wanted to go with us so bad.....



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    The golden rods are in full color now and the Joe-Pye is 10 feet tall..



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    We approach a favorite ride location for cruiser bikes.



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    The lake is nice today even though its a damp day.



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    I wait patiently :lol3 as mtngal gets a few nice shots from the last day



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    What's that pretty girl doin' with a sasquatch??? Definitely a happy couple!



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    Rolling on toward Black Mountain we pass through Chimney Rock.



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    Now we are back on the sucky crooked roads! At least nobody can tell how poor I am at riding a straight line.



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    Lets roll.......



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    dang it never ends..........



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    We had planned to get lunch at a great sandwich shop but....



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    No water????!!!!


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    Well, too bad...guess it's on to pizza in Black Mountain.


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    Ain't no straight roads around here!



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    Pizza order is in!!!


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    It's looking wet and stormy



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    They are moving us inside cause the umbrella can't handle this...



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    Just like our whole trip, everything has just worked out perfect. Some good left-over pizza and since it's time to roll, the sun is back out for us....wow!


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    A shot of the depot as our BMW train leaves town....



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    A brief run on Aye-fourdy...


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    Patton Ave. in Asheville as usual a mess as we try to get on 63 north.



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    Back to Madison er' Bloody Madison as some say.... ( it ain't really...just a lot of nice folks like us :D )



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    Ah... home at last........


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    :lol3 Kidding



    Ugly place ain't it?


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    Wet again but we don't care as we are close to home...


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    Darn these roads!



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    Getting tired of seeing these roads yet?




    Oh just one more....



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    The top!! Now we get to do the same back-down....


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    Ok...I'll spare you the grief...now bottomed out at Trust....only one more mountain to cross then up on the next one :lol3



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    In the driveway....



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    Oh no! We are being attacked...or...Murphy wants to checkout all the smells on our pants


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    Somebody is happy to see us home!!!



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    Thanks for following us along. Your comments are welcome and hope you enjoyed our trip. It is now early December and we have a few more little one day rides to post up. Also, the wonderful GS you saw us riding has been traded off for a demo new GS Adventure which is working out just great so far. We have more range with the extra fuel, some lower low gears for the hills and larger cases so we are looking forward to a good trip in the Spring. Til next time...oh...Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or whatever you celebrate just do it!


    :wave
  13. _anatic

    _anatic Plated

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,179
    Location:
    trUSt, NC
    What a great trip! I've throughly enjoyed following along. Thanks for taking all the time to post this up!
  14. KingJarhead

    KingJarhead Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,973
    Location:
    Not at Work...Pinnacle, NC
    Ditto
  15. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,130
    Location:
    Western Piedmont, NC
    Wow. Nice photography. Carolina.
  16. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,669
    Location:
    Ol' Smokie
    Thanks _anatic, KingJarhead, and Gaston Gagne! We did have a good trip and mtngal took most of the photos. She would have put more of the shots through photoshop but there was just not enough time with so much material. We enjoy being able to share with you guys and all those out there who followed along but did not say anything.

    I have the new ( almost new...a demo with 2K on it) Adventure pretty well dialed in to fit me now with a few handlebar and pedal adjustments and it feels just as comfortable as the GS did so I am looking forward to 2013 being a good riding season...maybe a few short day trips this winter weather permitting :evil
  17. Mtn Man

    Mtn Man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    213
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Good job, brings back lots of good memories! :clap
  18. FishHunt

    FishHunt slow poking...

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,353
    Location:
    Asheboro, N.C.
    Thanks for sharing your pics and your ride. It looks like you had a fine time. I enjoyed seeing old familiar places from a different perspective. I really enjoyed seeing new places that I now want to ride to so I can see them for myself. Thank you for taking us along!

    <>< Fish
  19. CharlestonRider

    CharlestonRider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Wow, great trip! Thanks for sharing all of the great photos of Charleston (I recognized most of them :D). Did you make it over to the College of Charleston campus? It is a beautiful campus with great architecture.

    Cheers.
    CharlestonRider
  20. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,669
    Location:
    Ol' Smokie
    Glad you enjoyed the report Mtn man. We will have more later and a short half day report on an area close by that few have been in I think.