Bayou Bound: or "You're doing what on that little 250?"

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Prettyboy, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Prettyboy

    Prettyboy BFLB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    572
    Location:
    Philly
    A few months back, I got a motorcycle because I couldn't afford a car. That said, after riding it a fair bit, and through some torrential downpours, I was hooked. I wouldn't give it up if someone bought me a car (which my parents offered to help do after one of our friends got in a bad accident on his bike).

    So, that provides the bike: Sophia my 2011 TU250x.
    [​IMG]

    Now on to the destination. That one is a little more complicated. I am a (sort of) professional singer and actor, and I got the opportunity to go down to Louisiana to performa new musical/opera on this:
    [​IMG]

    A 30 meter tallship named Amara Zee.

    Now, I don't actually know what the show is going to look or sound like, but past productions by this company have looked like this.
    [​IMG]

    So, it will certainly be exciting.

    At first, they offered to fly me down to New Orleans, and then we would arrange transportation to the actual location, but then I had an idea. A tour. I was going to, on a shoestring budget, take a week to ride down from Philadelphia to the bayou.

    After a few iterations, I settled on a route. I will be first going for a week to stay with my parents (and gather up the gear that I have left there, and then head out to the mountains, and stop a to visit family on the way.

    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=18131+Metz+Drive,+Germantown,+MD&amp;daddr=38.8213522,-78.1659873+to:38.5877058,-78.3802048+to:Loft+Mountain+Campgrounds+Crozet,+VA+%E2%80%8E+to:110+Whitlock+Lane,+Cary,+NC+to:35.719294,-79.9162632+to:35.4541768,-82.6767862+to:Blue+Ridge+Motorcycle+Campgrounds,+Motorcycle+Drive,+Canton,+NC+to:35.3017355,-82.9340257+to:300+Shadowlawn+Road+SE,+Marietta,+GA+to:Tuscaloosa,+AL+to:30.9696459,-89.8093018+to:Lafitte,+LA&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;sll=35.924645,-80.340271&amp;sspn=0.57383,1.057434&amp;geocode=FTRtVQIdQe5k-yltOMKCzi22iTGgeK9wKeAEew%3BFehdUAIdHUhX-ylV6ztR7c61iTF687XDgm1IGw%3BFTnNTAIdVANU-ylhWF96sUi0iTFfKrXNBzyMkQ%3BFUyWRwIdJpZP-yFmZzlpxvVeGSnLDx46koe0iTFmZzlpxvVeGQ%3BFajQIQIdxi1N-ylbgWppmvKsiTEs1Y-GXuSMyA%3BFX4IIQIdGZM8-yk_-im4KG5TiDGs2qOnysGVrA%3BFeD8HAIdznMS-ymdexMSFpFZiDHDV2afeukJHw%3BFW07HAIdcmgQ-yFR0TfBUrujvSn5_42PL5lZiDFR0TfBUrujvQ%3BFWepGgId94YO-ynro_-DRApZiDEgYA3R2OcNbw%3BFT3yBQIdOG33-ilzL5PFHBL1iDGMZ-m-6KduzA%3BFfG9-gEd68zH-ilnQMKRLq-IiDFYK4kW_furrA%3BFS2P2AEda56l-il33r5a2XadiDGlQB51AJWo9w%3BFT-uxAEdCQ6h-ilxDf1r3JsghjEWuvQbMYPCYA&amp;oq=300+Shadowlawn+Road&amp;mra=dpe&amp;mrsp=5&amp;sz=10&amp;via=1,2,5,6,8,11&amp;t=m&amp;ll=32.033692,-88.387756&amp;spn=1.201429,2.114868&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=18131+Metz+Drive,+Germantown,+MD&amp;daddr=38.8213522,-78.1659873+to:38.5877058,-78.3802048+to:Loft+Mountain+Campgrounds+Crozet,+VA+%E2%80%8E+to:110+Whitlock+Lane,+Cary,+NC+to:35.719294,-79.9162632+to:35.4541768,-82.6767862+to:Blue+Ridge+Motorcycle+Campgrounds,+Motorcycle+Drive,+Canton,+NC+to:35.3017355,-82.9340257+to:300+Shadowlawn+Road+SE,+Marietta,+GA+to:Tuscaloosa,+AL+to:30.9696459,-89.8093018+to:Lafitte,+LA&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;sll=35.924645,-80.340271&amp;sspn=0.57383,1.057434&amp;geocode=FTRtVQIdQe5k-yltOMKCzi22iTGgeK9wKeAEew%3BFehdUAIdHUhX-ylV6ztR7c61iTF687XDgm1IGw%3BFTnNTAIdVANU-ylhWF96sUi0iTFfKrXNBzyMkQ%3BFUyWRwIdJpZP-yFmZzlpxvVeGSnLDx46koe0iTFmZzlpxvVeGQ%3BFajQIQIdxi1N-ylbgWppmvKsiTEs1Y-GXuSMyA%3BFX4IIQIdGZM8-yk_-im4KG5TiDGs2qOnysGVrA%3BFeD8HAIdznMS-ymdexMSFpFZiDHDV2afeukJHw%3BFW07HAIdcmgQ-yFR0TfBUrujvSn5_42PL5lZiDFR0TfBUrujvQ%3BFWepGgId94YO-ynro_-DRApZiDEgYA3R2OcNbw%3BFT3yBQIdOG33-ilzL5PFHBL1iDGMZ-m-6KduzA%3BFfG9-gEd68zH-ilnQMKRLq-IiDFYK4kW_furrA%3BFS2P2AEda56l-il33r5a2XadiDGlQB51AJWo9w%3BFT-uxAEdCQ6h-ilxDf1r3JsghjEWuvQbMYPCYA&amp;oq=300+Shadowlawn+Road&amp;mra=dpe&amp;mrsp=5&amp;sz=10&amp;via=1,2,5,6,8,11&amp;t=m&amp;ll=32.033692,-88.387756&amp;spn=1.201429,2.114868&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

    So, the plan is to ride Sophia down to MD, then after gearing up and visiting home, head out to Skyline drive and camp a night. Visit more family in NC, then go out to the BRP for another night and some good riding (and apparently amazing biscuits and gravy. We don't get that up here in Philly, which is really sad. I can't wait.) More family down in Marietta, GA, some Tentspacing in Alabama and then down to Lafitte, Louisiana.

    I'll give a shakedown post in about a week, when I am home with all my gear. Before then, any recommendations, for either the trip or the report are welcome.
    #1
  2. jontow

    jontow Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
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    107
    Location:
    Northern NY (with extra north)
    #2
  3. Prettyboy

    Prettyboy BFLB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    572
    Location:
    Philly

    Love that thread, it's one of my subscribed threads and I've managed to read every post. That's my main argument against the people telling me I can't do this on a 250.
    #3
  4. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    n.o. la.
    welcome to my backyard from a fellow trying to be actor. I think you will enjoy it here
    #4
  5. kamikazekyle

    kamikazekyle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Greater Hampton Roads, VA
    Loved my CBR250R and still wish I kept it, but with three other bikes and 24 hours in a day it didn't get the attention it deserved. Did some week long touring on it, but never got around to camping with it. That said, I'm contemplating getting a Honda Grom and tricking it out for stunting and other hooliganism that I often subjected my poor CBR to :p

    As for trip tips. Miiiight want to look into a fly screen or windscreen if you can find one cheap, but I'd put it low priority since you're on a tight budget and will probably be sticking to prime and secondary roads. It'd help with multi-day wind fatigue on a totally naked standard bike like the TU.

    I'd also suggest skipping Skyline Drive since you're planning on the Blue Ridge Parkway, unless it happens to be on your bucket list or you have a national parks pass. It'll save you some cash ($10 fee, I think), is identical to the BRP in terms of views and scenery, and tends to have bigger crowds. Heck, at the end of Skyline you can pretty much cross the road and start the BRP and not know the difference if it weren't for signage.

    Other than that, the usual stuff: stay hydrated, stay alert, and enjoy the trip.

    Oh, and if you're looking to save some cash and I noticed you're camping, try http://freecampsites.net/usa I've had decent success there finding low cost or free camp locations without having to actually stealth camp.
    #5
  6. Nanabijou

    Nanabijou Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    805
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Yeps - Sounds like fun! I always liked the TU250x. Should be a great bike for the trip. I've completed some camping/touring trips on my small displacement bikes (CBR125R, CBR250R, WR250R) and provided some descriptive reports that you may find useful. Here is the latest one, that includes links to the previous ones.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=901903

    Mike
    #6
  7. Txjack

    Txjack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
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    31
    Location:
    Spring,Tx.
    I'll be reading, I've had my Tu250x for 3months& can't get enough of it. After riding full faring sport bikes for several years i'm suprised at how little wind affects me. Might be the big flat headlight is deflecting it away from rider.
    #7
  8. ZenRush

    ZenRush n00b

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    You asked for tips so here's a few. I rode a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R from Lubbock TX to Roanoke VA in Aug of 2010 to visit my parents. Left right after lunch on a Monday and arrived for lunch the following Friday. Trip was 1500 miles and I was in no hurry.

    I grew up right next to the BRP and learned to drive on it. It's gorgeous and I think you will love the ride especially on your 250.

    Taken around Blacksburg
    [​IMG]

    Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.... I stopped about every hour to stretch my legs ( I am 6'1) and I made sure to down at least 1 bottle of water or gatorade at each stop. The heat is killer in the south at this time of year so drink water often and lots of it. Also keep some snacks handy. I kept bananas, trail mix and those Natures Own health bars on me as I rode. Oh, watch out for deer especially on the BRP.

    Enjoy the ride! I'm in :lurk
    #8
  9. Prettyboy

    Prettyboy BFLB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    572
    Location:
    Philly
    Edited 8/11 in the evening, because I got anxious, and did another shakedown of my gear.

    Packing for a trip on a small motorcycle makes me realize one thing: I have entirely too much stuff.

    Taking everything but the kitchen sink in this photo.
    [​IMG]

    Shelter and sleeping.
    [​IMG]

    I'm very proud of this part of my gear. Thermarest 3/4 pad, off brand tarp, Lafuma 1k extreme sleeping bag and old REI bivy.

    Food and prep.
    [​IMG]

    A luxury.
    [​IMG]


    Whisperlite Internationale.
    [​IMG]

    This is a great little stove and I've had it for years. I normally burn white gas in it, but it will burn regular unleaded no problem (gonna start that this trip.)

    FOOD!
    [​IMG]

    Not bringing a lot of food, since I'll be staying with family a fair bit. Mostly snacks and coffee.

    Tools and stuff.
    [​IMG]

    These normally live in my saddlebags, to supplement the toolkit under the side cover.

    Here are the electronics.
    [​IMG]
    Indestructible cell phone, 2m handy I might ditch tomorrow morning, Kindle Touch 3g, Macbook, assorted chargers for various and sundry.


    Random bike stuff, of course.
    [​IMG]
    Spare helmet for passengers down in Louisiana, cover. My keffiyeh, which is really nice, and very useful.

    Walmart has great drybags.
    [​IMG]

    Ugh.
    [​IMG]

    This one is my nemesis. Because I'm going down to Louisiana for a couple months, I want to have a decent amount of normal clothes so I don't look like a hobo. As such, this is terrible. Also, extra layers for the trip back north in the fall.

    And here it all is stuffed into random bags. There's toiletries and some other stuff in there too that didn't really merit it's own picture.
    [​IMG]


    I call my diminutive passenger Peter.
    [​IMG]

    That's everything, including a passenger helmet loaded up onto Sophia, who I have now declared to be a touring bike. Since my last update, I have gotten (and broken in) Shinko 712s, and added a Givi a210 windscreen. This, in combination with the 16 tooth front sprocket I already changed out, makes cruising very comfortable at anywhere between 45 and 65 mph. Also, I still got 85mpg on the way down from Philadelphia to MD.

    Tomorrow morning I head out to VA to do some camping most of the way down Skyline Drive.
    #9
  10. Prettyboy

    Prettyboy BFLB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    572
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    Philly
    Well, I had one last modification to the bike before it was all ready. I figured that a 12v outlet would be really helpful.

    It was actually a really simple build.
    1) Remove side cover. I assumed I would need to take the seat off, but it was unnecessary.
    [​IMG]

    b. Disconnect battery. (just a Phillips screwdriver, for those playing along at home).
    [​IMG]

    III: Because my 12v socket already had an inline fuse, I just hooked it straight up to the battery.
    [​IMG]

    &#916; I mounted the socket with zip-ties and a blob of epoxy putty to keep it from sliding around too much.
    [​IMG]

    E - More little cable ties to keep the cables neat.
    [​IMG]


    And here's the end result. Now I can use that GPS in my tankbag without worrying too much about running out of juice. Hopefully it doesn't melt.
    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Rhompin45

    Rhompin45 Rhompin45

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    251
    Location:
    Chandler arizona
    I'm in!! Looks like fun all of your stuff went on the bike well. I might have to steal your 12v outlet idea...
    #11
  12. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Just did my first longish day ride on the TUX including all of Skyline Drive. Nothing wrong with the road, but if you want to save the $10 toll (assuming you haven't travelled this section already) you can take a trip through the Shenandoah Valley to the west then take US 250 up to the start of the BRP in Rockfish Gap. Or you can go east of the mountains and head through Charlottesville. A lot of options in that part of the Commonwealth!
    :lurk
    #12
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
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    6,910
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Way to go!
    It should be a really fun trip.
    One way to travel lighter is to stay at campgrounds like KOA.
    They have a store, laundry, pool, showers, electric.
    You can travel really light that way, without any food or cooking supplies.

    I used to hit one every other day or so, to do laundry, shower and use the pool.
    I also have no problem skipping a meal or two.

    Skyline drive is a slow road, but nice, the BRP is more interesting and faster.

    Its great you are doing the trip, it gets harder as you get older, job, house, spouse....
    #13
  14. Reconstructed

    Reconstructed Been here awhile

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    :lurk
    #14
  15. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    cool RR, i think i might just subscribe! :D
    #15
  16. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Sweet bike have a great trip.
    #16
  17. CDNbiker

    CDNbiker Lost in Space

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
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    501
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Subscribed. I'd love to a trip like this too. But, like Brett, spouse, house, kids, and a new puppy named Harley seem to get in my way. That and a crappy back...
    #17
  18. Prettyboy

    Prettyboy BFLB

    Joined:
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    I started out the day far too early, at least for my restaurant worker schedule, leaving at about 7:30am, but adrenaline and a couple cups of my mother&#8217;s legendarily strong black coffee got me alert and on the road. There are some perks to starting out with a visit home.

    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=18131+Metz+Drive,+Germantown,+MD&amp;daddr=39.1544296,-77.4424308+to:39.1588432,-77.9698967+to:38.7881188,-78.1940878+to:38.5826561,-78.384092+to:Crozet,+VA+22932&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=FTRtVQIdQe5k-yltOMKCzi22iTGgeK9wKeAEew%3BFf1yVQIdglJi-ymvKvDNwyS2iTEYjbuTRQhCqA%3BFTuEVQIdGEZa-ymDYPJ5_OK1iTGVt3pSgfDUeg%3BFRbcTwIdWdpW-ykZBUnJDcy1iTGsef6dfu8dEg%3BFYC5TAIdJPRT-yk5EUYzrUi0iTEPRDWy2_6yTQ%3BFUyWRwIdJpZP-w&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=18131+Metz+Dr&amp;sll=39.152128,-77.968898&amp;sspn=0.016673,0.034804&amp;gl=us&amp;mra=dpe&amp;mrsp=2&amp;sz=15&amp;via=1,2,3,4&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=38.907306,-78.194096&amp;spn=0.016673,0.034804&amp;t=m&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=18131+Metz+Drive,+Germantown,+MD&amp;daddr=39.1544296,-77.4424308+to:39.1588432,-77.9698967+to:38.7881188,-78.1940878+to:38.5826561,-78.384092+to:Crozet,+VA+22932&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=FTRtVQIdQe5k-yltOMKCzi22iTGgeK9wKeAEew%3BFf1yVQIdglJi-ymvKvDNwyS2iTEYjbuTRQhCqA%3BFTuEVQIdGEZa-ymDYPJ5_OK1iTGVt3pSgfDUeg%3BFRbcTwIdWdpW-ykZBUnJDcy1iTGsef6dfu8dEg%3BFYC5TAIdJPRT-yk5EUYzrUi0iTEPRDWy2_6yTQ%3BFUyWRwIdJpZP-w&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=18131+Metz+Dr&amp;sll=39.152128,-77.968898&amp;sspn=0.016673,0.034804&amp;gl=us&amp;mra=dpe&amp;mrsp=2&amp;sz=15&amp;via=1,2,3,4&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=38.907306,-78.194096&amp;spn=0.016673,0.034804&amp;t=m" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

    The route today, winding across western Montgomery County across into Virginia eased me into the trip proper. I followed some beautiful two lane roads, annoyingly peppered with speed cameras, to Whites Ferry. This being Sophia&#8217;s first time on a boat, I thought a picture was in order.

    [​IMG]

    I used to love going on any trip that went across the ferry, so I figured that it would be the appropriate way to start my journey.

    The trip to the mountains, down US 15 and VA 7 was pleasant, if rather uninteresting, although a long slope up into the foothills had Sophia gasping a little. Once I got up into the mountains though, I had absolutely no problems with the little thumper. This seemed right.

    [​IMG]

    So, at around 10am I made my way into Shenandoah National Park, and onto Skyline Drive. Now, I had been told that due to the low speed limit, and the crowds, Skyline Drive wasn&#8217;t really worth it. I have to say, it was. It was simply a beautiful drive, and aside from getting stuck behind a few cruisers taking it ten miles below the speed limit, the speed seemed about right. I am a bit of a flatlander though, so this was really just to get me used to roads with corners. Don&#8217;t have many of those down around Philly.

    [​IMG]

    I couldn&#8217;t resist stopping at a couple of the overlooks to take pictures. I was in no rush, since I had planned a pretty short day, and I only had the 80 miles or so of Skyline till I got to my campsite. I was craving a snack by about mile 40, since I hadn&#8217;t eaten since breakfast at 7:00. However, I had managed to, in my profound wisdom, pack anything edible in the bottom of my drybag. No food till camp, I guess.

    [​IMG]

    And, here is the perk of the day.

    [​IMG]

    The site I picked had a whole bunch of raspberry bushes around. Perfect snack.

    [​IMG]

    My camping set up is pretty minimal,
    Just a tarp and a bivy.

    [​IMG]

    I love priming my stove. So much fun watching the flame flicker as it gets hot enough to burn proper.

    [​IMG]

    I figured since I was in camp for lunch, I might as well make it my hot meal.
    Nothing fancy, just some Japenese ramen from the local Asian store in Philly, with some Sopressata salami cut up in it for a bit of protein.

    [​IMG]

    And I just had to test out my new machinetta.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hanging out in Shenandoah with a cup of good coffee and a steampunk short story collection on my Kindle? Perfect.

    (Daily 153 miles. Total 153 miles (obviously, first day))
    #18
  19. Prettyboy

    Prettyboy BFLB

    Joined:
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    572
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    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=Loft+Mountain+Campgrounds,+Crozet,+VA&amp;daddr=38.0310882,-78.8580673+to:37.7721439,-78.981342+to:36.4738533,-79.5139331+to:36.3846712,-79.4009732+to:110+Whitlock+Lane,+Cary,+NC&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=FUyWRwIdJpZP-yFmZzlpxvVeGSnLDx46koe0iTFmZzlpxvVeGQ%3BFfBORAIdrbhM-ynrObBUomSziTEDVxzGwn7t_Q%3BFW9bQAIdItdK-ymDaSvDGxWziTFKiEE-GuW-Eg%3BFf2LLAIds7ZC-ynPMheeSchSiDGiBpsPGsd6Gg%3BFZ8vKwId829E-ylDdTvYlcxSiDF7lzEyqxtTWg%3BFajQIQIdxi1N-ylbgWppmvKsiTEs1Y-GXuSMyA&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=110+WHitlock&amp;sll=36.285242,-79.248505&amp;sspn=0.554594,1.113739&amp;gl=us&amp;mra=dvme&amp;mrsp=4&amp;sz=10&amp;via=1,2,3,4&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=36.181117,-79.078217&amp;spn=0.554594,1.113739&amp;t=m&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Loft+Mountain+Campgrounds,+Crozet,+VA&amp;daddr=38.0310882,-78.8580673+to:37.7721439,-78.981342+to:36.4738533,-79.5139331+to:36.3846712,-79.4009732+to:110+Whitlock+Lane,+Cary,+NC&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=FUyWRwIdJpZP-yFmZzlpxvVeGSnLDx46koe0iTFmZzlpxvVeGQ%3BFfBORAIdrbhM-ynrObBUomSziTEDVxzGwn7t_Q%3BFW9bQAIdItdK-ymDaSvDGxWziTFKiEE-GuW-Eg%3BFf2LLAIds7ZC-ynPMheeSchSiDGiBpsPGsd6Gg%3BFZ8vKwId829E-ylDdTvYlcxSiDF7lzEyqxtTWg%3BFajQIQIdxi1N-ylbgWppmvKsiTEs1Y-GXuSMyA&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=110+WHitlock&amp;sll=36.285242,-79.248505&amp;sspn=0.554594,1.113739&amp;gl=us&amp;mra=dvme&amp;mrsp=4&amp;sz=10&amp;via=1,2,3,4&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=36.181117,-79.078217&amp;spn=0.554594,1.113739&amp;t=m" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>
    I awoke to the sound of drizzle on my tarp shortly after sunrise, and promptly went back to sleep. It didn&#8217;t get any better after that.

    When I realized, at around 7:30, that the spattering of rain wasn&#8217;t going anywhere and I still had to do 200+ miles today, I got myself out of bed. A fresh cup of coffee helped as I packed my slightly damp belongings. Unfortunately, no pictures from this bit, as I was trying not to short out my electronics.

    The last 25 miles of Skyline Drive were painfully slow. There was basically no one on them, but the fog was like pea soup.

    [​IMG]

    Okay, maybe not pea soup, more of a shrimp bisque at most parts. That overlook was the best view the whole way.

    Eventually I made it to the end. I had officially driven all 105 miles, North to South. The end of Skyline Drive also marks the end of my photos today, unfortunately.
    [​IMG]

    A little way after turning the wrong direction on US250, I realized that my GPS was not charging. I don&#8217;t know if something got in the socket, but the proximate cause was the adapter plug having broken. Ugh. This was going to make navigation much more difficult today. The first day was easy, there were only about three roads in VA that I had to take. Today I had to find my way down from the mountains all the way to Raleigh, and it didn&#8217;t help matters that I had neglected to stop at the VA visitors center and get a road map.

    So, reading a few steps ahead, I made my way to US29, getting some great mountain twistiness, including my first rather terrifying set of damp switchbacks, in between.

    Once I got to 29, however, it went downhill. For most of southern VA, US29 is a divided highway with long straight hills and a speed limit oscillating between 65 and 70. In other words, exactly the wrong kind of road for Sophia.

    Thankfully, by the time I made it down to North Carolina, the sun came out. At the visitors&#8217; center just across the border, I made sure to get a road map. Thinking ahead to tomorrow out in the mountains, I thought to myself.

    Or to five minutes later when I realized I was bombing down the entirely wrong road, and had missed my exit off the highway. The correct was much nicer in the sun though, once I got on it.

    To make a long story marginally less long, after getting lost and taking wrong turns and u-turns what felt like twenty more times, I eventually made it to my godmother&#8217;s house, where I had a lovely evening and a nice dinner with her and a couple my cousins. Sometimes these days just get a rough start.

    Tune in next time for trip back out to the Blue Ridge Parkway (and BR Motorcycle Campground.)

    (Daily 250 miles. Total 403 miles)
    #19
  20. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    We must have ridden Skyline Drive within a day or two of each other. I was out there on my Tux on Sunday 8/11. I even got on the road at 10am.

    When were you out there?
    #20