Dad Goes Camping in the Smokeys - 2013

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by andy29847, May 28, 2013.

  1. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    My Dad has this great group of buds who like to ride dirt roads. They have ridden all over - Moab, Big Bend, Colorado, etc. Dad said that he wanted to get the group ride in the Smokeys. The guys agreed, and Dad laid out a route. The ride was planned for the 3 days before Memorial Day. The start/finish is in Bryson City, NC. Oh yeah, these guys like to camp. Dad thinks that is a little crazy, but he bought some gear so he could be one of the guys. Here is Dad's tent after his first practice:

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    And the gear all packs up nicely on Dad's bike:

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    Dad was a little concerned about the "junk in the trunk" look:

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    #1
  2. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Always in for one of "Dad's" trips!
    Bring it on.
    #2
  3. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    Dad invited a large group of friends to come along on the ride - 6 of them accepted.

    First, here is Dad:
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    This picture below shows Dad with Randy (Tennessee) and Fletcher (Mississippi). You can be sure Randy is flipping everybody off on purpose.
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    Dad says I should introduce Clarke and Rick together. Dad says they are from Texas and act like brothers.
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    One of Dad's favorite people, also from Texas, is Don.
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    The seventh rider is John. John is from Kentucky and was once married to a stripper. Dad says he has been trying to learn more about the stripper for years. Here is a picture of John and Dad from a previous ride.
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    #3
  4. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    After being cooped up in this

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    for 13 hours these guys were ready to RIDE!

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    Sourjon is ready

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    Fletcher is always ready!

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    and Randy , well he was asleep! :rofl

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    Dad's look after getting back with his bike.

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    Now we are ready

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    #4
  5. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    Ummm Gravel

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    bigdon likey

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    Plenty of water in this country

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    Can you hear me NOW:D

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    How bout NOW?

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    #5
  6. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    Dad left home Thursday morning at 800A. It is just ~210 miles from our house to the Ridgetop Inn in Bryson City, so Dad decided to ride his Suzuki DR650 (instead of using his truck and trailer). Dad took a long route to visit SC 178 above SC 11 (his favorite twisty road), NC 215 (34 miles of tight turns and steep grades), and the Blue Ridge Parkway between NC 215 and Highway 74. It was a great morning to ride, and the 5 hours passed by like it was 20 minutes.

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    As Dad pulled into Bryson City, he heard a loud crunch and lost power. He coasted along, and tried to find neutral, to see if the bike would re-start. The transmission seemed to be locked up. Dad said he knew it was downhill to the turn for the Ridgetop Inn, and that there was a gas station on the corner, so he coasted to that point before he got off to look at the bike. Dad's first look found that the chain was broken. The chain came apart where one of the pins broke - the master link was OK. Dad pulled off the front sprocket cover to remove the chain, and was able to get the sprocket to turn and the gear shift to work. Dad said he then called Don to see where he was at. Don, Rick, and Clarke were traveling together, and they were still 2 hours away, just getting off of I-75 near Cleveland, TN. Don offered to try and find Dad a chain. Dad said he agreed with Don that a new chain was his best chance for repair. Dad said he decided to wait across the street at Bojangles, and was eating lunch when Fletcher came up. Fletcher called Randy, who came over in his truck, and they took Dad's bike up to the motel. Don and the rest of the Texas Trio arrived at the motel around 430P. Rick and Dad installed the new chain, and all seemed well with his world. Don's bike had a flat front tire, so the gang went to work on Don's bike while dad washed off the grease.

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    Dad said that Rick suggested that he should test ride the DR650. Dad cranked it up to go down the hill and get some gas. When Dad let out the clutch, the bike rolled about 5 feet before the transmission locked up. The bike cranked again, but locked up again when put in gear. After that, the starter would not turn the engine. The guys rolled the bike around some, and discovered that there was no 5th gear. Dad said he was feeling pretty low at this point. Rick asked Dad if he could get another bike and Dad thought of Mom's TW200. John offered to let Dad use his truck and trailer to take the DR650 home and get the TW. Dad said he left the Ridgetop Inn about 545P, got home at 1010P, moved his bags and gear to the TW200, checked the oil and tire pressure on the TW, washed some clothes, took a shower, and got to bed around 1130P. Dad planned to get up at 530A, drive to Bryson City, and meet up the guys after the first 2 woods sections. As it turned out, our dog Buttercup saw a rabbit in the backyard at 400A and woke everybody up.

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    Dad was up, so he went ahead and loaded the TW200, and left the house at 455A. Dad said he made good time and got to the Ridgetop Inn at Inn 910A. John and Clarke unloaded Mom's bike while Dad got dressed. The group left the motel for their ride at 930A. Dad says he was lucky that he had a friends like these guys. BTW John, Dad says your truck has a shimmy at 95mph and the rear gets a little loose on entry to left hand turns.
    #6
  7. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    Thanks Don for posting some pics! I love the one of me on the TW200.

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    #7
  8. toondebt11

    toondebt11 ADVRIDERKEVIN

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    I'm starting to think that Rick is sabotaging those awsome DR's!!:evil
    Only 2 known failures worldwide, and he is in the neigborhood both times!!
    #8
  9. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    Dad had planned a 3 day ride. The start was from the Ridgetop Inn in Bryson City, NC. The route would take the group to Hot Springs, NC for the first night, to Caruso, NC for the second night, and back to Bryson City at the end of the third day. Here is how it looks in Google Earth. Note that the day 1 waypoints begin with 1, day 2 waypoints are 2xx, and day 3 are 3xx.

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    There will a brief intermission until Dad wakes up from his nap.
    #9
  10. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Andy,
    Sorry to hear about your Dr trans.
    I've heard of the occasional trans issue.
    How many miles were on the bike ? I know you rode it all over, I rode with you and the Dr one day during the RRR from Iron Horse Lodge during the MTF FF.
    Anyway, I hope you had a good time on the TW, just remember when you get home you have to give It back to the wife. LOL.
    #10
  11. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    So far it's only the Black and Blue ones.. Rick likes Yellow and White.:wink:
    #11
  12. Rick M

    Rick M Adventurer

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    That KLX 450 R gets close to those DR's and just scares em to death :evil:rofl
    #12
  13. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    The prognosis for the D650 looks bad. There is a big piece of metal in the crankcase that won't come out the hole. It looks like a piece of shifter fork. Dad got some other pieces out.

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    #13
  14. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

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    Our wedding photo :D
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    John

    PS That gear looks pretty bad.
    #14
  15. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    I thought the gear looked fine except for being broke in half.:rofl
    #15
  16. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    Dad started the gang on an easy dirt road that runs alongside the Little Tennessee River.
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    Dad said they were rtidng with a Spaceman
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    Then they headed over Leatherman's Gap
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    And into Cherokee for lunch.
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    The Texas guys were Grumpy because Dad stopped for lunch at a Burger King. They said they could eat at Burger King back home. Dad said he noticed they still ate pretty good. :D
    #16
  17. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    After lunch, Dad said they headed up the mountain on a Bureau of Indian Affiars (BIA) road, climbing past the Blue Ridge Parkway, to a campsite/overlook where the altitude was more than a mile high.

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    From there, Dad said they rode to Heintooga Ridge Rd. with the intent of riding back down to Cherokee on Heintooga Round Bottom Rd. They found Heintooga Ridge Rd blocked and closed. Dad has this picture from an earlier ride:
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    Dad said they back tracked and rode down the BRP towards Maggie Valley. Just before Maggie Valley, the group turned onto Fire Top Rd, hoping to go up and over a pass north of Maggie Valley. Fire Top Rd. is a 2 lane paved road, and Dad said it was the steepest road he has been on. Dad said the poor old TW would barely pull 2nd gear in some sections. At the top of the mountain, the guys found Cataloochie Ranch, a dude ranch/ski resort.

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    Fire Top Rd ended in a 5 way intersection seemingly in the middle of the ranch. The ranch owners had posted signs saying "your GPS is wrong - this road is not passable - do not procede". Dad said they ignored the signs, followed the purple line on their GPSs, and rode out on a steep dirt road on the north side of the ranch. Dad says he won't do that again and he doesn't think anybody else should either.
    #17
  18. Mudclod

    Mudclod Mojo Moto

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    The one with the trouble breathing is really an Okie but we try not to think about that, ha! [​IMG]
    #18
  19. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

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    I really think the gear is the least of your problems. If that piece you can't get out is a shift fork how did it get off the shaft it rides on? Hopefully the shaft didn't get knocked out of the boss it rides in which is cast into the case and damaging the case. Ugly.

    I just looked at the fiche and the third gear dogs engage fifth gear slots which is why you didn't have fifth gear.

    Good luck with it.

    John
    #19
  20. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    That was exactly my thought. I quit taking things apart when I saw that piece. I will be looking for some new inspiration this evening.
    #20