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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ArmyJoe, May 20, 2013.
I'll be home at the end of October. Let me know of you need a test rider.
Actually, hopefully I'll be riding the TET followed by the TET-S then the SL back up to Tellico starting early October followed by scouting that section up the western edge of Ohio (from Bellefontaine OH to Mackinaw City MI)
Probably just before you get home... but if you want, I'll send it to you for a second opinion!
Chameleon FSR, RG31 FSR, M-ATV FSR
Nothing planned for today, so I went out exploring. Prepping the photos for this thread, I found a few from June 22nd, my first Saturday down here.
Most of these are from just across the Savannah River in the Long Cane district of Sumter National Forest, South Carolina. Out riding around, I found a mountain biking area.
Above the fall line, the sand gives way to this stuff.
A view of the Clarks Hill Dam from the Georgia side.
I see you watching me.
Three shots of the same old house. Normal:
The old timey filter:
And the blue-only filter:
I think I like the last one.
Towards the end of the day, I found a huge mud pit on one of the Forest Service Roads.
Even the bypass looked shitty.
But someone had created a second bypass on the right.
I was debating which way to go when a butterfly landed on my tank bag and pointed to the right. OK, right it is!
It's really nice not riding on sand. I need to get back over there.
My new Alpinestars Scout WP boots arrived yesterday, so of course, I had to go break them in. There's so many old roads here, my quick trip turned into a 4 hour ride in an area about 4.25 miles in diameter.
This 180-degree panorama show four roads. The maintenance level varies from maintained, to overgrown, to "are you sure this is a road?"
It doesn't look like anyone has been down some of these roads in a while.
I'm not alone.
I discover an old recreation area, slowly being reclaimed by the forest.
Even with mud and the rain, my feet stayed dry. I love these boots! I can't wait to get back out.
That road that crosses the Tallulah River is one of my favorites! ...but it definitely would have freaked me out if I had come across it alone the first time. Way to go for it!
Thanks! I saw your vids in the AARSE thread and need to meet up with you guys. I'm booked this weekend, so no riding, but maybe the weekend after.
Thorpe, CrazyCajun and I are heading to Silverton, CO soon so we'll be out the next two weekends, but I think Jman is itching to ride again or when we get back. Fun conditions out there right now!
This video is a month old, but I finally had a chance to edit footage from my first AMA-sanctioned DS ride, the Long Cane Dual Sport, near Abbeville, South Carolina. It didn't go as smooth as I had hoped, but I survived, even if parts of my bike didn't.
From what I'm told, the route was tame by Ohio standards (not a single log crossing), but the first and last stages were slicker than snot. There's a reason potters refer to liquid clay as "slip."
Towards the end, I was heading down a line of phone poles at a decent pace when I came upon a 90 degree left turn. As I came around, the bike started coming out from under me and I was heading for two trees. I managed to get the bike upright at the last minute and aimed for the space between them, but I was too wide.
To add insult to injury, the impact caused the handguards to lock my throttle and I went on a wild ride.
...slip sliding away...
Know the feeling.
I love to ride forest trails, and like your video. Thanks for posting.
Hey ArmyJoe. This is the other Chris. Wanted to say we enjoyed meeting and riding with you on that ride. We need to hook up and ride some more. Keep up the great thread!
Thanks for checking in. I appreciate you guys letting me chase after you.
I'm slowly exploring the back roads and adding onto my adventure track. I'm up to 13 miles with very little overlap. While it may not be the best terrain, the fact that it's only a mile from my room is a big plus.
The best things about these old roads is that you never know what you're going to see around the next corner and that it changes from week to week. This is my first successful log crossing. It's slow, but ya gotta start somewhere.
I took a break from studies and explored another area of Fort Gordon today. The GPS says 7 miles, but a lot of that is overlap. I'm hoping to add at least 4 or 5 to the 13-mile route I've already established.
While on the ride, I found a chimney in the middle of nowhere. I wonder how many families were displaced when the post was founded.
In preparation for the long weekend, I've been doing upgrades. The front end got a new D606. In the rear, we have a whole new drive system.
Not having a lot of tools, I was scratching my head to come up with a solution to get the OEM chain off. In a flash of inspiration, I went to the Company Supply Sergeant and signed out the 36" bolt cutters. After getting started, I found I needed a 27mm socket for the front sprocket. One trip to Sears and $30 later, I was back at it.
Glad a bought a new slider
Final product includes a 47-tooth rear.
While I had the bolt cutters, I also cut 1, 2, 3, and 4 link sections to keep for emergencies. I took it for a test ride and found that the on/off throttle snatchiness is gone. This is the way the bike should have came.
How's this for drama?
When I arrived at Fort Gordon in June, Labor Day was a four-day weekend. Then sequestration happened, forcing government civilians to take off one day a week without pay. In order for Soldiers to cover down on those missing civilians, September 30th (tomorrow) was turned into a work day. With a hole in the training schedule and nothing on the calendar, the staff here decided to do some mandatory training, to include motorcycle training and a "mentor ride."
Then sequestration was cancelled and civilians were back on the job. The Army decided to go back to a four-day weekend, so they cancelled the mandatory training...
except for the motorcycle riders.
That's right, we're giving up one day of a four-day weekend so we can ride 80 miles round trip to lunch. To pour salt in the wound, my class was dismissed at 1PM today, effectively giving them a 4 1/2 day weekend. I could be on my way to the Smokies by now.
ETA: I was just notified via text that the training is now optional. I replied back, "See you Tuesday."
Heading north in the morning. Stay tuned.
I'm having a nerdgasm.
I received my Gen3 SPOT Satellite Messenger today. After registering it, I created an account on http://www.spotwalla.com. If this works correctly, you can track my progress below. I have no agenda for the weekend, so I'm just gonna wing it.
Kills me how this fiscal year they still have more money than last year, but have butt loads of problems with sequestration. Just don't get it my friend. Retired from the military myself and I know how "Budgets" go and how the units try to get more and more money every year. Can't have any money left over at the end of the fiscal year, spend, spend, spend! Fill up those gas tanks The bleeding has to stop somewhere. At least it looks like the sequestration is working in your favor
Thanks for doing such great reporting. One more quick thing. I was watching your video you shot, and when you went under that tree, I ducked! Made me laugh. Gotta stop drinking so much Scotch when I read these.....Really good, keep em coming Soldier!
GTFO 2013 - Part Deux (Day 1 - Aug 30)
I woke up around 8 AM and packed a few last-minute things. On the spur of the moment, I imported an additional waypoint into my GPS, which I later found would have a big impact on the trip. After a quick stop at Burger King for breakfast, I was on the road about 10 AM.
About an hour into my trip, I stopped to check my tracks on Spotwalla and was surprised to find I didn't have any. I sent an "OK" message to see if that would jump start the process and continued traveling. An hour later, I stopped again, but still didn't see any tracks. At that point I realized I had to press a button to enable tracking. D'oh! So when you look at the map, that's why tracking doesn't start until I'm 100 miles from the start.
Since this will probably be my last big trip in Georgia, I wanted to check out a few historical sites. The first would be Camp Toccoa, where WWII Parachute Infantry Regiments trained, including Easy Company of the Band of Brothers miniseries. There's not much there expect for one block building and an empty field, but here's the memorial at the site:
From there, I took a three mile ride up to the top of Currahee Mountain. The actual peak is covered by communications antennas, but the secondary peak offered an impressive view.
Heading down the mountain, I rode into the town of Toccoa for gas and saw this huge mural.
After gassing up, I discovered my GPS mistake. When you import data into the GPS, it overwrites the previous import file. So here I was two hours from my start and I had no tracks, routes, or waypoints from my previous TET / Southern DS Loop trip. I could get by without the tracks and routes, but without waypoints, I had no idea where all the camp grounds were. Oh well, no use worrying about it now. Worse case scenario is that I'll have to stealth camp somewhere.
From Toccoa, I headed to Black Mountain Road and saw a welcoming sign.
After completing that, I zig-zagged through Georgia and South Carolina, hitting some fun paved roads, like SC-28 above Wallhalla. A short jog west would bring me to more gravel on Hale Ridge Road in the Chattahoochee National Forest. About half-way through, I come across three horse riders. The obviously heard me coming, because they were waiting for me in the middle of the road and waved for me to stop. The lead rider, whose diction was worse than Gabby Johnson in Blazing Saddles, was trying to warn me of something. Trying not to be rude, I turned off my engine and asked him to repeat himself. The second time around he was almost as indecipherable, but I managed to hear the word "wagons." I nodded my head in acknowledgement and waited on the side of the road. After 10-20 seconds, I see this come around the bend.
Arriving in Dillard, Georgia, I start looking for a place to eat dinner. I tried Tomlin's BBQ in Rabun Gap, but they were closed. Heading back up the road, I saw Scooters BBQ and pulled in. I had the beef brisket. I thought it tasted good, especially with their sauce, but the meat appeared to be cut with a deli slicer, which gave it a "processed" look.
Getting back on the road, I headed into the grounds of the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. The sign at the entrance said there was no camping, but a map at the visitor kiosk mentioned Standing Indian Campgound just outside the Lab's boundary. It was after 7 PM by then, so I made it my goal for the evening.
Wow, all of sudden I have to pee really badly.
I head over the mountain to begin the 14-mile trip to Standing Indian. Along the way I pass the Hurricane Creek Primitive Camp and I'm shocked to see RVs set up in there. I'm thinking there's no way I'm going to find camping at 8 PM on Labor Day weekend, so I start scouting for sites along the way where I can potentially hole up. I found three really good spots with fire rings showing previous occupation and marked them on my GPS in case I had to backtrack. I get to Standing Indian and the camp store was closed, but was lucky enough to catch the wife / manager as she was walking her dog. She said there were only 3 spots left in the camp: Two tent sites and one RV site. She give me the site numbers, I thank her, and head down the road as fast as I can without raising the ire of the other campers.
The two tent sites were still available, one on the inside of the loop and one on the outside. I chose the one on the inside as the mountain laurel formed a natural screen from the other campsites. I quickly set up my tent and then went back to the camp store to register and pay my $16. I only had a twenty, but I was again lucky when the husband / manager stopped by and was able to make change. From there, I made a 10-minute stop in a clearing to get a SPOT message off to my wife, letting her know I'd stopped for the evening. When I was confident the message had been sent, I went back to the tent, grabbed my toiletries and some clean clothes, and headed down to the shower house. In reckless abandon, I wore flip flops and no reflective belt (let's see who understands that reference).
Examining my GPS I see I had 241 miles for the day.
Nice start to the weekend. Tomorrow I have a decision to make: east or west.
Not wearing a reflective belt can get you killed!
Trust me I know where you are coming from with the reflective belt comment. Quickly learned that you can get away with more crap at night (nothing to serious, just a little mischief) when you didn't wear that reflective stuff.
Thanks again for posting, it is a good read.
GTFO 2013 - Part Deux (Day 2 - Aug 31)
My minimalist camping style caused some trouble. My tent is forest green and I parked the bike behind the tent in case I wanted power for my electronics. As a result, I had a very small footprint and cars pulled into my campsite all night long. Most had the decency to turn off their headlights, but several times I woke to an illuminated tent, mild cursing, and slamming car doors, as campers looked in vain for an empty spot.
As a result, I slept until 9 AM, ate some Lara Bars and dried fruit for breakfast, and rolled out about 10 AM.
I'm really loving the milk crate and Army waterproof bag combo. It's the perfect size for my sleeping bag, air mattress, and tent.
I stopped by the camp store to check out, buy some Mountain Dew, and help direct new arrivals to the campsite I just left.
I made my way towards Andrews, NC. At times, the trail looked dark and foreboding.
Queens Creek Lake alongside Winding Stairs Road.
It was about 1 PM when I pulled into Andrews. I rode through downtown looking for a restaurant, but nothing caught my eye. I stopped a passing 20-ish local and asked for a recommendation for a place to eat. He replied, "We have a Huddle House and McDonalds down the street." I don't know if he could see my vacant expression through the helmet, but he then added, "We had a steak place, but it closed." I thanked him and headed west on Main Street. Towards the end of town, I passed a strip mall with a restaurant at one end. There was a dozen cars out front, so I took that as a good sign. I parked in front of Loafers Pizza and Sports Bar and went in.
I could tell by the menu that pizza and calzones were their main draw, but I didn't want to wait 15-20 minutes for it to bake. I ordered a meatball sub, which turned out really good. I was pleasantly full and got out for under $10.
I walked outside just as thunder rolled in the distance. I rode down the street and got gas as I waited out the cell.
From there I rode up Beaver Creek Road, over the Porterfield Gap, and down Little Snowbird Road.
With some other minor roads thrown in, I managed to string together a route that was 28 miles long, mostly dirt, and deposited me less than 2 miles from the Cherohala Skyway.
Go home, bear. You're drunk!
From here I had to decide which way I wanted to go. West towards Tellico Plains and unknown camping potential? Or east towards Kickstand Lodge and guaranteed camping?
Kickstand Lodge it is! I got there around 4 PM and set up my tent in the daylight for the first time. After getting settled in, I wandered over to the main house to grab a beer and socialize. As I sat in an Adirondack chair, I stared at the stuff on the ceiling and wondered the story behind each item. I really need to get some Ohio ADV stickers so I can add to the collection.
The GPS only indicated 117 miles for the day, but I didn't care. It was good to take a mental health break and be away from the Army for the weekend.
Tomorrow I make a huge tactical error.