Excursions pour la Journee avec Gaston

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Gaston Gagne, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Western Piedmont, NC
    Too crappy for a real ride, so let's take a trip down Schultz Court.

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    #81
  2. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Headed over to Wilkes County on Saturday afternoon. They take their NASCAR heritage seriously over there. Banked turns everywhere you go.

    But first,

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    Yadkin environs

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    I was a block of ice when I got home. The kitty wanted no part of my lap.
    #82
  3. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Western Piedmont, NC
    Sunday I did chores and went into the salt mine for a while. Then I headed out to Brown Mountain.

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    That front tire is TOAST.

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    They have done much work to the trails in the off season. 1A is in nice shape.

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    At the overlook, I got tangled up with a guy with a dead Husaberg 450. It ran when he stopped but nothing now. The rear brake light wire had been cut through. That had blown a fuse, but replacing it didn't make the starter work. The Rekluse clutch makes it so he can't bump start it. He also had broken wires behind his triple clamp. Sheesh.


    After 1B, I went across the top of the mountain and did 7 and 5 back to the west. Then down 4 to 3. 3,5, and 7 all have nice sections of freshy fresh. Back across the top and down 1,9, and 10.

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    Then back to Rally HQ.

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    #83
  4. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I had everything clear to go to Willville. I was kind of psyched to get back to that area. My dad and I ran around there a bunch back in the day. I left the schoolhouse at 3:15:01. I had one small errand to run and then finish strapping the bags down and git it.

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    Since I live at the base of the Bleu Ridge, I have grown fond of the roads that parallel the foot of the ridge. I had scouted out a run that followed the base: Fish Hatchery, Brown Mtn Beach/Adako, NC 90, Setzer Creek, NC 268, Champion (!), Vannoy, Buckwheat, Old NC 16, Long Bottom, Traphill--and that gets you to Stone Mountain State Park.

    Some of the scenery along the way

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    Stone Mountain General store serves up a righteous cheeseburger. Haystack brought me into Mount Airy, where I gassed up and hit it for the Blue Ridge. Not so fast, Bucko.

    Nice day in Surry County, but up at the top of the ridge, it's looking Mordoresque.

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    That cell provided amazing fireworks the whole way up to Meadows of Dan. I arrived at Willville about 30 seconds behind a downpour. Will directed me into the shelter there and then around back to the porch, where I was handed a beer before I had my helmet off. :freakyI met some people for the first time and saw people I hadn't seen in quite some time. I guess that's what these things are for.

    The rain stopped and I set up my tent. Shortly after...

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    Plenty to look at in the morning.

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    There were still hail pellets on the ground in the morning. We didn't get going until 10:30, and Dugspur Road had areas where rain had piled it up a few inches deep in spots.


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    Noonish at the top of Big Walker. Still looking good, might as well head into Burke's Garden. :deal

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    623 is gravel bliss

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    This gives new meaning to the term "Rickroll." That 900 Supersport is saweet.

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    Rut Roh Reorge

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    We burned the gravel out of Burke's Garden and Grapefield Road. At Bastian we hit real rain. We rolled out through Hollybrook.

    Big Walker Mountain at 4:30ish. How do you like me now?

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    That's it for Saturday's photos. I put my camera in a bag in a bag in a bag. I don't how far it is from there back to camp, but we did it in heavy rain. Bluejean boy was hypothermic, but Will's amazingly hot shower set him straight.
    #84
  5. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Sunday morning at Willville. Looking good!

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    Camp is breaking up. Dlrides has roads to shred and people to roost. He's out.

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    In spite of this view, we decided to do a run to the bottom of the ridge. It's VA 8 we're talking about.

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    When I'm feeling distended....

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    Tough light to shoot in.

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    We found ourselves back in Meadows of Dan, and it was time to head cross country.


    First period. Time to go. Thanks for looking.
    #85
  6. knybanjo

    knybanjo kinda slow

    Joined:
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    Location:
    out in the clover patch
    :clap I love that shot!! :thumb


    It was great riding with you again....seems like it had been a while.

    Here's a few pics I was able to capture of you in action this past weekend. :ricky

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    u-turn :lol3
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    #86
  7. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Thanks. That was fun and has put a point on the need to make more ADV functions.
    #87
  8. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Take care, little buddy. I'll be back in a few days.

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    Sunday we rolled out to Staunton, VA for some dual sport adventure. The drive in the cars was adventurous. The storm on Friday-Saturday had every stream in major flood on the way up. En route we decided to camp at Sherando Lake. I recall that you can get there by a dirt road and not have to drive so far north. We got all the way across the dirt road only to find the last 100 yards of the road destroyed by a flood. This involved unhooking Lucky's trailer and late night map navigation, but we made it.

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    Sherando Lake is a good place to base camp. The campground hosts and forest service workers that staff the place take their job seriously. It's a safe place to leave your stuff.

    This scene made me wonder about the stream crossings that we would encounter later in the day. Everything was still in flood Monday morning. The campground host said they got 6.5 inches of rain at the campground.

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    Let's get started:

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    We warmed up by running across Big Levels. Super fun road, and the puddles were not as bad as I expected.

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    After Big Levels, we did a transfer section across the valley to Staunton, where we gassed up for our objective for the day-- Shenandoah Mountain.

    FR 85 is one of the great motoring roads anywhere.

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    It takes you to Radish Knob.

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    These guys really had it going on with the European languages and lycra.

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    Back on 85.

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    This time I did not miss the Skidmore turn. Time to find out about the water crossings.

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    US 33 over Shenandoah Mountain is also one of the great motoring routes out there.

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    The weather was starting to look a little iffy. We gassed up in Brandywine and headed up Swedlin Valley.

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    What can you say about the VEPCO road?

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    Our intent was to run down Dictum Ridge to 33 and back over 85, but Dictum Ridge is now gated! I like a run of this road as much as the next guy, but doubling back was not that fun at that point of the day.

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    In addition to the doubling back, Long Run is just that, so no final run up 85.

    Finally, we made it back to the start of the transfer section across the valley. How would you describe your feelings after a day on Shenandoah?

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    Getting closer to the cooler....

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    We did about 260 for the day. No trouble sleeping tonight.
    #88
  9. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    :cry Rest in peace, friend.


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    #89
  10. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    Location:
    north florida
    loved the report and all the pics. Willville is my favorite place :)
    #90
  11. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Western Piedmont, NC
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    #91
  12. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    I took Friday off to head to the Eastern Rendezvous. Rendezvous #1 was in Newton. We passed each other while searching in vain for our rendezvous point. What luck! We headed to Conover for some fresh and delicious southeast Asian food.

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    We zigzagged our way across Catawba and Alexander Counties. We stopped in at Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park for a looksee. They were getting ready for a hare scrambles on Sunday.

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    We crossed Brushy Mountain at Russell Gap and went past Tom Dooley's and over to Champion/Mt Pleasant. A few posts ago, I commented on the quality of roads in Wilkes County.

    Old 421 to Shingle Gap to Old NC 16 to Vannoy.

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    We stuck with the hard top on Buckwheat and up NC 18 to Laurel Springs. We checked in at party HQ and took in the scene there. I refrained from too much beer and did a local area reconnaisance which took me through someone's living room.

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    They have split rail fences out there.

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    Painted white ones

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    How do you send your rendezvous weekend into the wretched excess zone? Good luck to J-Lo! He was missed.

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    We took in the bluegrass band and hung out until I'm not sure what time. That was Friday.
    #92
  13. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    :clapSaturday morning getting ready for KTM Mike's ride.

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    The pace was brisk and photo opportunities were not frequent. We zigzagged up and down the Blue Ridge escarpment between NC 18 and US 421 (actually a bit west of 421) about 50/50 hardtop and gravel. Fun stuff. Three cheers for KTM Mike and his badass LC4! :clap :clap :clap

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    This was as far west as we went.

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    Back to Rally HQ

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    So at that point, things get a little blurry. We were in Freeborne's bar, then there was a campfire, someone handed me a mason jar (maybe two), a hammock was involved...

    Needless to say, we got a late start on Sunday. We had yet another rendezvous, this time with Lucky. He rode over from Morganton, and we had another well timed encounter in Vannoy. Now he knows about the high friction aggregate the DOT uses in Wilkes County.

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    It was pretty warm once we dropped off the Blue Ridge for good. We all agreed that we would have traded our bikes for canoes at Oxford Dam. We capped it off with fresh and delicious Thai cuisine and iced coffee in Conover.

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    We bid our farewells and headed back to the house. I sought the nearest sofa I could find and slept until Layla got home. She won her downriver race at the Cheoah. Three cheers for Layla! :clap :clap :clap

    As always, thanks for looking!
    #93
  14. knybanjo

    knybanjo kinda slow

    Joined:
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    I hope you didn't run into that guy :uhoh
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    pics shamelessly pilfered from that iDave feller :augie
    WoooHooo!! :freaky:clap Go Layla!!
    #94
  15. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Western Piedmont, NC
    I felt like I was missing out last weekend at the RDV. I set off this morning in search of Ponderosa.

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    The top of Old 421.

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    I proceeded to Trade, TN, where I took 67/88. NC 88 is a nice road along the North Fork of the New River. Three Top Mountain is an impressive topographical feature that changes character as you go by it.

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    I jumped on NC 194 and headed into Lansing, where I made a left onto Big Horse Creek. I didn't have a DeLorme's page with me, just a New River Blueway map with most of the road designations left off. I got a bit lost in here, but I can connect Farmer's Store to Big Laurel via Flatwoods. Beautiful country.

    All indications were that Rock Fence was my ticket to Ponderosa.

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    P.S. Joines is a fun road.

    I made a move that obviously many others make even though I probably shouldn't have. The steep grade and broken rock also indicated a turn around, but I'm a little slow on the uptake.

    I pulled into the driveway of what I thought was the house I was looking for, but there was a car in the driveway, and all of the windows were open. Whoops. Nevertheless, I ended up in a really cool place.

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    The structure on the top of the bald to the left in the photo above is a hangar for an aircraft, and the landing strip (plainly visible in the photo) has about a 15% grade. Takeoffs I can see, but landing? :eek1 Would you do those uphill or downhill?

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    In spite of the fact that I'm on what seems to be a well defined ridge and I keep heading to the "north" trying to punch into VA, I ended up back at the hangar. :norton At least I wasn't lost any more. All of this was Christmas tree farms with crisscrossing farm roads.

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    Let's get out of here before someone chases us. So I gave in and went back to Farmer's Store and over to Whitetop Station. Bumper to bumper traffic on the Virginia Creeper today.

    I always wanted to check out SR 600 from US 58 to Konnarock. It's as good as you would expect it. Short side trip to the top of Whitetop Mountain.

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    Honeybees were lighting on the porch and climbing into the cave.

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    I rolled down through Konnarock and into Damascus. Some nice people let me by on 58 for a clean run into town. Thanks! The Dairy Bar was closed. Double cheesburger: DENIED. Quincey's serves up a nice toasted hoagie.

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    I made some attempts to find a path up from Laurel Bloomery, but I was getting tired. I went through Mountain City and over 167/Big Laurel to NC 88 again.

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    Old 421 to Mast Gap and up NC 194 to Banner Elk. Hickory Nut Gap to Newland to Old Jonas Ridge.

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    It was hot at the bottom of the mountain.
    #95
  16. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Our last ride together. :cry We spent 25,500 miles together. That's a trip around the equator. Good luck, Clifford.

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    I think he's found a loving home. The buyer is more nuts about XRs than I am.

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    #96
  17. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    This weekend was shortened by graduation ceremony. This is one part pomp, one part circumstance, and one part endurance event. I was "training" the night before, so I was ready.


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    My new to me Husuzuberg. I guess it's finally time to get it dirty. Harmon Den is a worthy place for a first ride.

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    Another bad timing turned good at KayaKTM's place. There was a V-Strom with a destroyed front wheel in the driveway. :eek1 The fellow is home from the hospital already, or most of him is.

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    Traffic was really light, and cars pulled over for us when we did come upon them.

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    It's tough to keep that "Husqvarna" in the viewfinder!

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    We expressed Hurricane. What fun!

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    Rut roh Reorge. You did bring a raincoat, right?

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    Amazingly we didn't hit much rain until we crossed the ridge on 63, then we got dumped on.

    We get a long weekend this week! :clap
    #97
  18. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    The new foundation looks pretty good.

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    Layla serves notice.

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    That's eight suitcases of honey.

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    Once again this year, they hardly made a stink although I did take a sting to the chest.
    #98
  19. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

    Joined:
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    Almost Heaven
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    A Tarheel in Hillbilly's clothing? :lol3

    I'm really enjoyin' this thread by the way.
    #99
  20. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,130
    Location:
    Western Piedmont, NC
    Maple Sally

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    A nice, tight pattern.

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    Richlands

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    After some lunch in Blowing Rock, we headed down Pilot Ridge and over through Old House Gap.

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    A follow up on the honey: one of those suitcases had the queen in it, and we blew her out onto the ground. :queenie She may be back in the hive. Time to get busy with the honey.

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    Layla's girls did some fine work this spring. Nice work, ladies!

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    The sourwood is not looking particularly promising this year. I keep hoping that that cold snap shut them down for a week.