GS / ST Trippin', Trials and an Evolution !

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GAS GUY, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Leaving the Mail Pouch Barn, the curvy Covered Bridge Byway (SR26) was followed north for awhile before seeking out more gravel forest roads.

    Coming out of a right-hand sweeper and back into an ascending left-hander, there sat a quaint church atop the slight hill. Of course, I was carrying too much speed to stop immediately, but a quick U-turn confirmed the small trail leading back behind a hilly cemetery. My curiosity was piqued. That is the thing about these adventure bikes; they bring out the explorer in you and inspire you to get a bit more intimate with your surroundings. On the ST I'd have just kept going.

    The church itself sat at the edge of the road. The whole property behind the church was a well manicured grassy hill; the hill was a cemetery covered sporadically with headstones. Then this trail I spoke of ran around the whole base of the hill alongside a woodline. A pretty unique setting; can't say I've ever experienced a setting like this.

    So I followed the trail around to the back of the hill. What a sweet little spot. The hill was tall enough to completely block the church and road from your vision - and you from theirs.

    Right at this point, there was an opening in an old wooden gate, which led down a slightly descending trail through the woods on what appeared to be a finger of the hill. It was maintained and had a few large open areas. This would be a perfect spot to stealth camp for a night. You never know, so I selected - save this location - on the GPS.


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  2. STinner

    STinner any direction will do

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    Lawrence Baptist Church remember it well but its been a long time since I've been down there! 26 is always fun! I heard the state re-surfaced 26 is that true?
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  3. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Hey Dave - was just thinking about you as I was out in the garage cleaning up the Mighty ST. I'd mentioned that I was considering letting it go - but I'm thinking that would be a mistake. No doubt I would regret it. Sure can't afford to replace it with anything comparable, so I better keep it. The ST and I have been everywhere together and that buttery smooth V-4 is so sweet.

    Indeed, you're right on the money. Lawrence Baptist Church it is; Founded in 1840 !


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    State Route 26 is in super shape and does appear to have been recently repaved. On this run, I stayed down on the southern portion of it, so I can't speak as to the condition of the northern section up near Route 800 and Woodsfield. Soon I'll post some pictures of my favorite banked corner of 26 - not too far outside of Marietta. Below is a road shot of 26 right in front of the church.

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  4. STinner

    STinner any direction will do

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    Jeff don't do it! Keep the ST! My wing is still my go to ride but when I take out my ST, all the memories come flooding back when my buddies and I would take on the roads of southern Ohio. In fact one rode an FJR but loved the torque response coming out of turns when he would ride my ST.
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  5. drbuzzard

    drbuzzard Been here awhile

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    well I'm kinda glad he's not selling the mighty ST 1300, we live close enough that people think I'm out riding when it is actually him. our bikes are set up and look pretty much the same
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  6. STinner

    STinner any direction will do

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    all you need are those stop lights on the saddle bags
  7. drbuzzard

    drbuzzard Been here awhile

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    I have led strips on each bag, I wanted something brighter than what cuz had on his
  8. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Location:
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    Southeast Ohio -

    Besides railing through sections of curvy Route 26, which hugs and follows the Little Muskingum River, I'd also bail off the pavement and explore the endless gravel roads that meander through the forested hills and farms in random directions.

    The surface conditions of the secondary roads varied throughout the day. Most were moderately loose gravel. Sometimes the road turned to dirt, covered with leaves. One pine forest area had that unique feel with pine needles strewn about the packed gravel road, really more like a trail. The hard-packed gravel/dirt sections allowed a higher level of speed. Occasionally, a road will become much more loose, with a deeper level of large gravel that commands your respect - as the big adventure bike starts dancing and fidgeting around. As if your riding and balancing on a layer of marbles - essentially, you are. This disconcerting feeling takes some getting used to; but as the day wears on, you find a rhythm. Just don't get too comfortable. I've made that mistake before.


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    Came across an interesting old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, just before a small creek crossing. It seemed odd that it had two front doors, close together, leading out onto the front porch. Must have divided the house at some point. Probably cheaper than a divorce. The place seemed devoid of activity. Not sure if it was recently abandoned or if everyone was just temporarily gone. There was a sign on the fence that said, "Do not let the animals out of the fence, no matter what they tell you." Didn't see any animals either.


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    Down one stretch of nicely maintained gravel through Wayne National Forest, I happened across a couple on horseback. After pulling over and killing the bike, they reassured me that the horses were fine with the bike riding past them. The cowboy with the Glock on his hip informed me that a wagon train was just up ahead and heading my way. He had noticed that I was taking pictures and suggested that I may want to get a picture of the covered wagons; specifically the original one from the 1800's.


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    - The cowboy with the original 1800's rig - powered by a couple of mules.

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    Myers General Store -

    It's looking pretty rough, but it is still there. This store serviced the area from 1865-2004. The post office was also in the store, during the early days.


    A few local residents still remember when the oil well gusher was drilled behind the store back in the 1920's, or the Saturday night community socials held in the back of the store.

    Between 1998 and 2004, the Little Muskingum River repeatedly flooded. The store which had rarely been flooded in the past century, had water as high as 5 feet deep inside the store several times. It closed its doors for the last time in 2004.


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    Explored Shay Ridge and Upper Haught Run Road. Upper Haught Run Road is short and rough. Where it ends, a very rough logging trail begins descending down the hillside. After parking, a hike down this trail was made to assess the conditions. Very challenging. If not for the deep ruts from logging or monster trucks, I'd consider attempting it with some decent tires. But one wrong move and those ruts would probably suck me in, and with the Boxer's cylinders hanging out, would probably hang me up and create a dire situation. Saw a video once of a narrow KTM 990 carefully negotiating his way down through that section. The first 40 feet or so have a couple of short steep hills that looped you back out of the logging trail and back up to the main gravel road. The hills and rocky ledges making up the start of the logging trail would make for some decent practice on the big adventure bike. Once I get some proper tires and a little more crash protection, I'll have to stop back in at this location. Marked it on the Garmin.

    Rinard Covered Bridge -

    At some point, the gravel ran me out to paved Route 260. Sweetly paved it is. What a road. Twisty, hilly, and perfectly smooth new blacktop. Ran this back to 26. Took a left and ran into the Rinard Covered Bridge. Followed a gravel road behind the covered bridge, along the Little Muskingum River, back into a dead-end. Pretty sure there used to be a small rustic campground back there somewhere. Read something about it being closed due to flood damage.


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    Hune Covered Bridge -

    Back-tracked to SR-26 and ran it down to Hune Bridge. Besides the few primitive campsites on the far side of the bridge, two gravel forest roads converge there. Either one takes you in an enjoyable direction. There is an oil pump and a couple of informative signs situated in the campground. The signs offer information regarding the history and construction of the bridge and the oil discovery of this region.


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    Back onto the gravel roads from there. Discovered some notable dispersed campsites. The only thing distinguishing them as campsites was the small clearing and a makeshift fire-ring constructed from gathered rocks. Dispersed camping is legal in any National Forest, differentiating it from stealth or guerilla camping - in which you bed down in a questionable location that borders on trespassing. A couple of these locations looked appealing so I marked them on the Zumo, as a possible future destination. While time is usually pressing, I dream of laying over in just such locations.


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    Many small (old) cemeteries were discovered. One was so remotely tucked away down a dead-end gravel road on a grassy hill, that I marked it as a possible stealth campsite also.


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    Ran back into the horse people and the wagon train again later in the day. Then, while traversing another forest road, ran into a couple of the wagons that had broke ranks - and were most likely heading for the barn.


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  9. GlennJ

    GlennJ Been here awhile

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    "It seemed odd that it had two front doors..."

    But no leftover parts...
    :p

    GasGuy, you find some of the coolest stuff!
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  10. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Maybe I find the coolest stuff because I understand that .... "There is no beauty without strangeness." :D

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  11. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Happy Thanksgiving ... or Black Friday. While many were out scouring the stores for bargains, I was sniffing out murals on this balmy (actually had to remove gear) late November day. It paid off when I had a fortuitous encounter with this spectacular and larger than life mural.

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  12. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    You have seen this one before, but Larryboy wanted a cleaner shot, devoid of four-wheeled vehicles, for the front page of his "Murals On Your Travels" thread. So, shot this today.

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  13. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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  14. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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  15. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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  16. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    My favorite corner -

    These are some pictures of my favorite corner along Ohio's State Route 26, also known as the Covered Bridge Scenic Byway.

    This is at the southern end towards Marietta. Since there is usually very little traffic in this area, you feel comfortable turning around on a whim, and riding sections back and forth.

    This particular corner is really banked steeply. The pictures don't accurately depict the slope. While heading south on the inside of the corner I scraped my toe. Wasn't even riding super aggressive, just smoothly.

    Looking south -


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    Riding the outside of the corner while heading north is also a thrill. Here is a shot as you are approaching the corner -


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    The corner itself -

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    And the exit -

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  17. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    A couple more random road shots along 26. Had a blast finishing off the road-oriented and smooth Continental Trail Attack tires on this outing. Next year the GSA will be sporting more adventurous rubber.

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  18. drbuzzard

    drbuzzard Been here awhile

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    reminds me of how much fun I had out on 26 last year
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  19. STinner

    STinner any direction will do

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    Man I don't know. Any part of 26 south of 260 would make me smile all the way back home............................................. Wow! 26 does look in great shape!
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  20. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Marietta -

    Still high from the tremendous day of riding - I'd eased my way back into historic Marietta. With some daylight left, a coffee stop was made into Jeremiah's. Plopped down at a vacant sidewalk table and drifted between contemplative trance and people watching mode.

    The fall weather was fabulous. The air temperature and humidity was spot on. These short regional rides with extra time to lounge around are rewarding. I'm getting the hang of this.

    Took a stroll down to the supposedly haunted historic Lafayette Hotel. Darkness was setting in; dinner time was approaching. The old hotel has an impressive river-boat-era bar and restaurant.

    After dinner and a few drinks, rode the fun-room glass elevator up to the third floor. Walked down the narrow hallway to the Penthouse section and entered the outdoor rooftop lounging area. One side faces the Ohio River - while the other side overlooks the cozily-lit Front Street.

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