Appalachian Twisties 2012

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by eSONG, May 31, 2012.

  1. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    10 days, 3000 miles on my 2006 KTM 950SM. :clap

    This year, our crew (Mike, Tony and me) will head south in search of the best roads possible along the Appalachian....from Philly, PA to Asheville, NC and back.

    It's only 3 of us this year (normally it's about 5-6 of us) so we're changing things up a bit. Instead of making reservations at certain spots where we'd spend 2-3 days at a time riding locally, this year, we've made one giant route with no preplanned stops for the night. We'll just find a cheap motel when we feel like stopping. In the morning, we'll get an early start since we won't have tents to take down/repack, have breakfast and ride most of the morning, hopefully find something interesting to stop and check out during the middle of the day, and then ride most of the mid/late afternoon through early evening until we feel like stopping and/or find something good to eat. Hopefully we'll be able to find some good BBQ.

    I'm in Western Massachusetts so I'll be high tailing it tomorrow night after work to meet up Mike and Tony in Philly. This is the route we have planned.

    PA though a bit of DE, then MD, and glorious WV...a bit into VA (although I'm not really fond of most of VA), and then back into WV....:D

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    We will continue through western WV....some of the best twisties I've seen along the east coast. We continue along the yellow route south..

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    We will cut through VA....amazing roads all thoughout this area. We've been through this area before. If you're in the area, look for War, VA....nothing but tight twisty roads.

    We'll continue south towards Ashville, NC through TN and back into NC... Then we'll follow the pink route back north, hit up the Blue Ridge for awhile and then back through VA where we'll just have to pass back through War. :D

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    Can you tell we are fond on WV yet? We'll continue north following the green route through WV.

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    Just in case we run late, I made the route towards the end near the interstate, although our goal is to avoid the interstate whenever possible. Tony has been known to nod off on the bike while droning down the interstate so for his safety, we'll have to comply. :D Anyway, we'll ride east along PA's country side toward Pottstown, PA.

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    From here, Mike and Tony will continue east towards Philly, PA and I'll continue heading north (pink route) back towards western Massachusetts through eastern PA, Catskills NY, and then finally MA.

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    This'll be my setup for the 10 day trip. Since we're not planning to camp at all, my luggage is much lighter. Tony say he wants to find the dingiest cheap ass motels, which is fine by me, but I just hope we don't pick up any bedbugs! If we do, I might have to burn all my stuff before I go home.

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    10 days / 3000 miles of twisty asphalt, good food, and the company of great friends...a perfect combination for an epic moto trip. :deal


    Stay tuned for pics..
    #1
  2. DougZ73

    DougZ73 Fading off.........

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    Subbbbbbbscribed. :clap
    #2
  3. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Wooden Indian

    Joined:
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    Philly, Yo!
    :rofl

    I see you broke up the 2 long routes too. See you tomorrow night, ride safe.
    #3
  4. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Northampton, Mass
    Trip officially starts for us.. It was supposed to be 3 of us, already down from our usual crew of 5-7 regulars for our annual week long MC trip...but I was disappointed to see our 3rd having to drop out d/t work, life, the usual bullshit that gets in the way, sometimes. This year it would be just Tony and me. I'm posting some pics Tony took...you can see his ride report and pics here, great moto site. Check it out. http://2wheelslittletime.com/?cat=5

    First, I'd like to say I installed ADVMONSTER's LED lights...and boy am I happy I did. Check it out.

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    OEM lights
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    With LED on low setting...i'm guessing about 30%
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    OEM and LED on high beam / full power....wow is all i can say. the high beam bypass relay is absolutely worth it. i had someone merge too close to me on the highway one night. i flicked the highbeam and s/he immediately got back into the original lane.. that sold me right there.
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    Saturday morning, bright and early, we head off. Not many pics this day as we are making our way through to the promised land...West Virginia.

    Yea, I can't wait to hit the road too.
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    first break
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    lunch time.. chicken was awesome.
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    West Virginia...finally.
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    Dinner
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    Dirt cheap but tasted great. I think it was about $12
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    Tony noticed my rear sprocket was a bit worn and my chain loose.. This would soon become my nightly ritual.
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    ...but I wouldn't be the only one. Tony discovered an oil leak, which luckily turned out to be minor.
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    End of Day 1...and some much needed rest. An awesome start to our trip. Stay tuned for more. :D
    #4
  5. DougZ73

    DougZ73 Fading off.........

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    Good start Song. How did you take the pics while riding?
    #5
  6. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

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    left hand.
    #6
  7. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    weather was amazing. low/mid 70s!!! wish everyday could start like this.

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    Saw this at one of our stops.. and no, it was not a pet store. Seems the only smart one is the one in the back.
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    these are the roads we seek on these trips. a sign of good times to come.
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    Was surprisingly good, although I was famished.
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    back on the road! we covered about 300 miles a day. the skies literally looked like this all day long. temps steadily climbed to about the low 80s by mid/late afternoon. the awesome views, the cool breeze going through my jacket, smooth twisty pavement, and little to no traffic to speak of.. we were a bit worried before the trip about the usual hot steamy weather this time of year. it's hard to believe how lucky we got on the first week of june. i think we hit Virginia tomorrow...
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    Can't wait for Rt 16 South, just before Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia.
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    Took a break here to check out this mystery hole.. no cameras inside so no pics. it's worth checking out. i learned there are only 4 kinds of poisonous snakes in the US. we got in with the last tour of the day.
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    i wonder how long this was here...
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    back on the road!!
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    has nice rooms and great views
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    powdered organic wheat grass. 2x per day. good stuff.
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    hawk's nest lodge restaurant. it was about average.
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    like i said, amazing views from our balcony.
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    End to another great day on the road..
    #7
  8. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 3

    Just minutes from the lodge and we're back onto some sweet roads
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    I've been here once before. Across this bridge, if you turn left, it goes through some seriously gnarly trails where it looks like only jacked up 4x4s have been. It's also where our group got split up. Anyway, this year, we turn right. ^_^
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    On our way to one of our scheduled stops...a ghost town.
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    looks like an outhouse
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    ...but upon closer inspection.. wtf??
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    later, we came across this random little building with all these signs
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    next stop...coalwood. not much to see here.
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    on our way towards war, wv.. there are some awesome roads down by here. skip va, and head towards southwest parts of wv for great roads, very little to no traffic, virtually no leo.
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    dinner! finally some bbq.. unfortunately it was not very good, especially by the local standards around here. it was called smokey mountain bbq & grill in bristol virginia (i think). it was a long day and we were starving so it was better than some fast food joint.
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    time to adjust my chain again and pass out for the night.
    #8
  9. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 4...Bristol, VA to Ashville, NC. A good day of 350 miles.

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    We hit up IHOP for some food. I don't often have pancakes but when you're at IHOP, it almost seems like a sin not to.

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    Yet again, another beautiful day...as you can see in the photos.

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    and we soon come across a road we have never traveled, although we've ridden around this area many times. Route 421. It is awesome.

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    simply gorgeous...i love it.

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    notice, they have no ethanol in their gas! perfect. i wish more stations would at least offer this. i'm sure many riders would pay for it.

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    wanna race?

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    couple random Indians at the country store.

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    our next stop.. i just could not get over how awesome the weather was this week. first week of june in TN/NC and we were having low/mid 70 temps, slightly breezy, and thousands of friendly clouds. doesn't get better than this.

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    we found a little note left for the 2 of us.

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    209 south is AWESOME...very tight, very twisty, and very smooth. no traffic. i didn't get a chance to take my camera out on this section.

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    these tires have amazing traction, and were wearing very evenly...

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    Disappointment. It was Tuesday.

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    that sucks.

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    Oh, well. No biggie...because we were heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway next...one of my favorites.

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    here we take a break and regroup. Tony thought I was riding a tad bit too fast; I thought I was riding reasonably (fast in the corners and within 5mph of the speed limit in the straights). We settle on him taking off a few minutes before me so I can catch up later. Works for me.

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    There should be more of these signs on the roads we often travel.

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    since we didn't go through Deal's Gap this year, Tony took an action shot of me. Too bad by the time I came back around, there were cars driving ahead of me. Notice my awesome LED lights. They were flawless.

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    OMFG....dinner time, finally. We are absolutely starved. We settle on this little joint.

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    my mouth is watering just thinking about this meal. they were the absolute best hush puppies i've ever had, and I've had quite a few during the years living in Atlanta, GA.

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    it was so good, I decided to have another. yea I know, a bit excessive, but it all made sense in my mind at the time.

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    and now, time to finally head back to the little motel, adjust my chain (again), and pass out for the night. what a great day of riding today.
    #9
  10. DougZ73

    DougZ73 Fading off.........

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    Good stuff Song. Rt 421...is called the snake, isn't it?

    Looks like you guys had a great time and great weather.

    Funny how part four comes out after a weekend at Catskils?
    #10
  11. 1MUDDY1

    1MUDDY1 Got a Hose?

    Joined:
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    Great pics keep them coming. really enjoyed
    #11
  12. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Location:
    Florida Keys
    Really enjoying this one, not least ebcause I love that countryside. Taking the BRP at the speed limit is a bit tedious surely, especially on those lovely machines?
    #12
  13. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

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    Thanks! Next day coming right up..
    #13
  14. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

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    Day 5...

    This is as far south as we go this year. From Ashville, NC we start heading back north and eventually end at Pineville, WV. Another glorious 350 mile day coming up..

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    But first, we grab some breakfast.

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    Really, I don't eat pancakes this often...but hey, I'm on vacation!

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    And we head back to one of my favorite roads...the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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    So many thick clouds, it started to remind me more of the Smokies than BRP..

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    As you can see in the breakfast pic, the pavement is dry. It was cloudy today, and at the elevations of the BRP, we're basically riding in those clouds, and hence the 100% humidity turned the roads wet.

    Yea, it got thick in some parts. And yes, that's a car in front of us. Kinda hard to pass when you can't see past the car right in front of us!

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    Still, it was a great view at one of the overlooks we took a break.

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    Damn...it's like a wall.

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    The other side of the overlook...we could literally see the clouds moving through.

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    We decide to give it another go and hope it clears up soon....but we find otherwise. We didn't come up here to do LESS than the speed limit...this was getting ridiculous.

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    And now, it was starting to rain. First rain of the trip, so we put on a rain jacket and cover our gear.

    It's nice to be parked on *THIS* side of the LEO. Seems every year I end up finding myself having a [not so nice] chat with an LEO, but I'm happy to report this year the streak has been broken! It's about time. Here we met a nice couple heading back south (Alabama I think) from their trip up north. Nice Honda, although the newer one looks butt ugly IMO.

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    Soon, we decide to head off the BRP (sadly) in search of dry pavement. And sure enough, once we got off the Blue Ridge, it was dry.

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    random bumper sticker I saw at a gas station.

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    lots of nice smooth pavement.

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    cloudy but dry. good enough for me.

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    Truly, this is what MC trips does for me. My religion.

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    Hell yea, we love Rt 16 by Hungry Mother State Park so much that our route back home goes through it again.

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    Gorgeous. I could hang out here all day, going back and forth on this section of Rt 16...but we must continue north.

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    We finally make it back to War, WV looking for a hotel for the night. We hope to find a room at the War Hotel... little did we know, it turned out to be the worst piece of crap run down hell hole half way house wanna be building. Seriously, it was bad. I wish my camera battery didn't run out by this point bc I would've loved to take some shots of this place. Obviously, we decide to head up the road to find another place.

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    last picture of the day. the next hotel was something like 70 miles, as the crow flies, according to the GPS. we ended up riding another 130 something miles after we were already quite tired when we got to War, WV. Oh well, good thing my ipod hadn't run out of juice. We settle on a 2nd floor motel above a commercial building with a subway downstairs, which we had for dinner. It was about 10pm at this point. We inhaled our food basically, and then I proceeded to lube and adjust my chain again. By this point, I was getting pretty good/quick about it.

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    Through it all, another great day.
    #14
  15. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

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    XLNT RR, Song ....
    #15
  16. murdock84

    murdock84 Been here awhile

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    Nice trip and pictures.
    #16
  17. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys! Day 6 is coming right up. :D
    #17
  18. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

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    Day 6. Today we travel 275 miles from Pineville, West Virginia to Arnoldburg, West Virginia. It's always a great day when you can spend the entire day riding in WV.. As you can see, we try to avoid big cities and interstates like the plague...even it if takes us the long way around.

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    As I mentioned earlier, we were holed up in a dingy motel above a Subway, so that's what we had for breakfast too. I wasn't too excited about it, but we didn't have many choices. It was this or the gas station across the street. Their breakfast sandwich was surprisingly good.

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    Time to hit the road..

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    we traveled through man country. weird name. we didn't stop to find out why.

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    One of the roads was going through some resurfacing. No one was around so I rode the left side most of the way. i think this went on like this for about 3-4 miles.

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    lots of these on the main roads from all the coal mining going on around here

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    Seriously, how can the weather be so awesome for so long during the first week of June!?!?? I don't know and I don't care. I'm just thankful.

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    The roads in this section were awesome. Houses were scattered about every so often, but the pavement was smooth and very grippy, very little traffic and no speed limit signs (just turn speed warnings). state speed limit is 55 so no worries.

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    yes, please keep the kids fenced in and out of the road.

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    we've never been on this road before. it just seemed to go on and on and on...

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    and on...and on... this stretch went like this for about 20-30 miles!

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    We finally take a break at a local 'have everything' store. it was a grocery store, deli, hardware, auto parts, lumber, and anything else you might need in a pinch kind of store. I asked to use the bathroom and was directed to the storage/employee-only section of the store. Nice friendly people. You don't get hospitality like this (usually) anymore...too bad.

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    later we hit up some tight side roads. it was a nice change as the temps started to climb to the mid 80s. yea, we were spoiled by the mid 70 temps.

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    Route 16 is a damn fine road.

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    It about about 7pm by now, and we could see some dark clouds moving in ahead of us. Luckily, we came upon this Y intersection in Arnoldburg, WV. We saw some cars and bikes parked in the center of the intersection and hoped this meant there was a restaurant nearby...and sure enough, there it was....the Y Restaurant.

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    And literally next door, the Y Motel. The waitress told us that if no one was at the office, to simply use one of the rooms with a key still on the door, which meant no one else was using it. Move the room number off the board and pay the lady later. This was a first for me. The owner later told us that she has never had anyone use the room and run off w/o paying. They recently had a couple dirt bikers from Canada come through here who were riding all dirt roads/trails from Canada and only getting off to get gas, food, essentials. Sounds cool. I've never done that kind of dirt biking trip, but I put it on my bucket list. We're need to keep this on our route for next time.

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    but first, we get some much needed food. the bbq pork sandwich was not the best in the world, but for just a couple bucks, it's worth a try. i'm usually not a salad-appetizer kind of guy.

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    the steak dinner was a whopping $12..

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    Tony basically brought a tankbag worth of clothing on this trip and he ran out of clean socks. After washing them in the sink, he hung them up to dry. I suggested he try microwaving the wet socks to steam the moisture out of them vs. drip dry (read: wet socks in the AM). pretty funny seeing hot steaming socks come out, but it worked!

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    After adjusting my chain yet again, it was time for some much needed rest. Life on the road is awesome.
    #18
  19. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

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    Northampton, Mass
    Day 7...almost over.

    Friday, June 8. We leave Arnoldburg, WV and make our way to Bedford, PA. This would end up being our longest day of the entire trip. When it was all said and done, we did 455 miles this day. We headed back to the Y Restaurant for a quick breakfast and hit the road. I think it was about 8:30am. The biggest downside to the entire day had to the be that middle section of the route that's a straight line.. it went through all these towns and we had the unfortunate luck to hit it about 4:30pm.

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    Great way to start any day..

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    Why did the turtle cross the road?

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    Another gorgeous day

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    Unfortunately, we saw too many of these..

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    some crappy road food.. the iced tea was the highlight of the meal.

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    That'll buff right out.

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    As the sun starts to set on my left, we continue to ride..

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    This was not a good food day. We're going to have make up for it tomorrow.

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    #19
  20. eSONG

    eSONG Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    438
    Location:
    Northampton, Mass
    Day 8...[unexpectedly] the last day of the trip for me...read From Bedford, PA to Saylorsburg, PA

    This is Tony's gps route. We basically split up about half way. He continued towards Philly and I made my way northeast towards Saylorsburg.
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    Today's our last day together on the same route. I think we were both starting to feel the miles and looking forward to our own beds. I had another day of riding scheduled before I would make it back to Northampton, MA.

    Tony remembers when this OJ was a normal serving at restaurants. This was their "small".

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    the regulars

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    A proper breakfast.
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    Nice eye candy, but I'd hate to be behind a line of these Sunday drivers.

    http://2wheelslittletime.com/?p=787
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    After a good night's rest and a hearty breakfast, it's finally time to hit the road again. We head west through the backroads of PA..

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    more downhill twisties coming up. i prefer downhill over uphill.

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    there was rain in the forecast for this general area, but somehow we were able to skirt around it the entire way.

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    I finally make my way to Saylorsburg, PA where I would spend the night. I planned to ride one more day from here to western Mass...but my rear tire would dictate otherwise.. at first I thought I might be ok for another 200 miles...

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    BUT, i thought better of it, when I noticed THIS:

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    I considered myself lucky to have made it this far and did not want to test my luck any further. I would have to u-haul it back the rest of the way a few weeks later.

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    overall, this is exactly the motorcycle trip format that i prefer....select the best possible roads as top priority, then see if there are any potential interesting stops along the way, avoid any sight-seeing detours that alter the best route for a lesser quality route, and have a good mix between camping and hotels, occasional stealth camping if possible, and try to eat at only quality local restaurants. try to avoid chain restaurants and fast food places. no preset reservations for hotels, campsites, etc so we can set our own pace/distance. to account for delays, we routed the last leg of the trip somewhat parallel to a major highway/interstate so if needed, we could book it back home.

    all in all, it was a great trip. it's not often that i'll return from riding so many days and so many miles, and find myself daydreaming about being back on the road on another trip. usually, these bike trips beat me up a bit and the rest is welcomed. this year was quite the opposite. i think the 950sm is the perfect sport touring machine for me.

    well, that's all folks! hope you enjoyed the report!
    #20