1. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    Sat Aug 10, 2013

    A strong westerly wind picked up around 4AM prompting me to lower the guy lines on my shelter. Satisfied, I crawled back into the sack for 2 more hours of sleep. I awoke at 6 amused at how light it was already. I contemplated waking sooner but the condition of the ATV trail and potential wildlife encounters on the pavement rightfully kept me cozy. I packed up and set off into the GLORIOUS land of spruce and rock.
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    A small Toyota Yaris was just off the road on the ATV Trail in a spot I contemplated staying last night before heading down to the river. I briefly waved and raced past in a shower of dust and gravel. Back on pavement, I kept a big shit-eating-grin as I diced through the off camber twists and gravel laden turns to the town of Notre Dame-de-la-Merci.
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    Here I paused for a shot of the GS on the low pedestrian bridge and the bright sunrise illuminating the lake.
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    It was very quiet, too early for anything to be open, so I pushed on North. Heck, why the hell not? The road passes many lakes dotting the landscape with tempting roads reading "Chemin Private". I turn up to visit a closed ski resort but don't quite get the lake view I had hoped for. Maybe in winter?
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    Speaking of which...it's on the chilly side this morning. At the first crossroad I arrive at, I make a left turn and point south.
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    For Sale :deal
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    It is beginning to feel like the return trip, the "back-home" and that is always somewhat sad to me. I buoyed my emotions by enjoying the scenery and the gorgeous homes, mountain lakes and docks with chairs and tables floating on radiant lakes.

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    I break for a bite and Wifi at Tim's then head S on 325 in favor of 117 or 15S. Both are way too urban and mainstream - I'm here to SEE. The road twists and hurdles its way around small lakeside villages and grand traverses of wetland with rolling hills in between.
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    This is exactly what I try to avoid. Blech.
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    Not that this is much better :dunno
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    Oh! A Turn!
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    That's KPH FYI
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    We have one of these in VA too
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    A small town I forget the name of just N of the St. Lawrence River
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    The mountains rapidly gave way to familiar farmlands, rich intoxicating spruce relenting to hard/softwoods and open fields. 25 miles of farm land and a couple of detours until I get gas and find myself cruising along the N shore of the St. Lawrence River.
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    The barns and architecture were beautiful and well preserved.
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    Heron?
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    I crossed the bridge into Ontario and stopped at 3 places asking for stickers but none had any.
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    There wasn't a shop around...who knows why this pole was wrapped.
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    This field on a detour was beautiful.
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    There were purple flowers in all directions for miles.
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    They make great socks. I know, I'm wearing some!
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    Heavy traffic.
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    Must be hard living without sticker freedom. After leaving Port Hawkesbury, I made my way south toward the US. I cruised into Cornwall and stopped at 2 other stores for stickers but no dice.
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    Cruising along 2 up toward Cornwall.
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    $3.25 later and I'm sailing across the bridge back to the US.
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    I pass one small gift shop and ask the Native American owner for any stickers. Still none. Guess I'll have to order them online. The border crossing went smoothly and there were a few other bikes crossing near me including a couple from Massachusetts on a Honda Ascot 500 and older XJ750 SECAI.
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    Waiting...
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    Back in the US, I answered a text from Annette requesting Tim-Bits. SHIT! Fortunately I pass one in the next mile and get two 10 piece packs of timbits.
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    The Amish sell baked goods on a bright Saturday outside Fort Covington.
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    The Casino
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    In the distant horizon I can just make out the blue peaks of the Adirondacks. My last exploration was quite wet and the bright clear sky and open roads leave much to be explored. I head for my "home" in the hills. As the roads get twistier and the mountains grow around me, I relent to the rumble of my stomach and pull in at a secluded public picnic park down a dirt road. There is nobody around and I take time to sun dry a wet towel from the night before and some other damp gear. I prepare to make lunch and fix my bent sunglasses on the picnic table in the warm sunshine. My sunglass arm was bending into my head causing a terrible pressure point. Cheap sunglasses. I go to bend it back carefully and snap the frame itself just below the temple. GREAT. My only pair of sunglasses for the trip. Just then I hear the faint hum of an engine quickly growing nearer accompanied by "jumping jack Flash IT'S A GAS!!!". A side by side crests the dirt hill at speed and brakes hard tearing into the picnic grounds in an offensive barrage to my senses. The invader is accompanied by a hoard of 5 or 6 ATV's all rip roaring their way through the wilderness. I wave but nobody really considers me or is considerate of the peace and quiet I was enjoying. Locals. This is their picnic grounds for now and they can have it.
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    In a foul mood from breaking my glasses and having my lunch break solace ruined, I pack the bike, snap a photo of my solitude crashers and roost out of camp. The sun is out brighter without my sunglasses and I'm upset at myself until I take a deep breath, look around at my scenic surroundings and pinch myself. Damn, if you're lucky to be in the mountains, you're lucky enough! I see a turn for "Loon Lake", mistaking it for one from This American Life (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/199/house-on-loon-lake) and proceed down the rough and potholed road to a bridge and clearing where I finally stop to eat and finish drying my clothes. The creek babbles on under a bridge dated 1949.
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    What remains of someone's dream home.
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    This guy rocks...
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    Kickass SS
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    I pass a number of small lakes, fishing/canoe put ins and mini lake houses before coming to a pond with a crossroad with a 2 lane hwy. Gravel ahead beckons and does not dissatisfy. The sand/mud, when wet, is a foreign surface to me and I test the limits of traction with mixed results.
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    Banana and Peanut Butter Break! OHHH YEAH
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    Eventually, I turn south and find myself behind a line of cars at a construction zone. Stopped, I notice the only motorcyclist in line two cars ahead of me. A dirt bike rider, the first thing I notice is his "Chive on" Sticker on his helmet. I pull up and yell "Chive on!" just as the light turns and we take off.
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    We pass a number of cars at the passing zones then I pass him and head south to 83.
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    A snaking road along the river where I quickly lose him in the turns. I slow up and let him catch up then break away again. Shortly thereafter, the road opens up to a view of a big valley and the Olympic ski jumps soaring skyward in the distance.
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    We both stop and I give him my card to email about pics I snapped while riding. He offered to buy me gas as a "Pay it Forward" so we tear off back up the canyon again. He hangs with me for a few turns then I don't see him. I slow, knowing full well that the last corner was covered in gravel. I wait then, knowing from experience that something happened, pop a U-Turn to find him two turns back pushing his bike off to the roadside. I pull in front of him and make sure that he is safe and not injured. Just a scratch on his knee pad on his jeans. Damn lucky. I ask what happened and he admits to out-riding his skills on fresh tires and an unknown road.
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    He high sided exiting a tight turn too wide and dumped it in the soft sand. The damage to the KLX400 is minimal - a scratched piece of plastic, twisted lever perch and busted LED turn signal lens. I took out my tools and fixed up his bent pieces. He thanked me and we set out, albeit slower, for lake placid to fill up.
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    Chatted with this cross US/Canada couple from England finishing their journey. They shipped their bikes into Halifax and cruised to the west coast and as far south as Tennessee before heading back.
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    I stashed a $20 under his taped on directions on the gas tank while he paid for my 1/2 tank of gas. The total for us both came to $11 and he had prepaid $30 so I encouraged him to go in and get his change. Reluctantly he did then came out and promptly handed it to me. "Dude you saved my bacon today" "You wouldn't have had any problem at all if you hadn't come across me" "Just take the $20, I insist".
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    Little did he know I had already paid back the favor. What goes around comes around I thought to myself.
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    In preparing to depart the gas station, I hear the plastic on plastic crunch of bumpers to see an accident at the nearby traffic light. Am I next? I ride through the touristy mess of Lake Placid's downtown in summer only to see the same MASS riders on the Ascot and XJ from my earlier border crossing. I wave and they recognize me and laugh while waving back.
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    Nice old wooden inboard.
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    Exiting town, there are blue lights ahead. A boat appears to have fallen off a trailer and was run over by his friend following...or he just ran into the back of the boat. Either way, the damage to the truck is terrible - looks totaled. Bad day.
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    I set south and west indiscriminately and take photog and snack breaks at a number of beautiful sights through the remainder of the PM.
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    Saranac Lake again!
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    Spotted this neat ol' whirley bird with a distinctive sound.
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    Canoe Put-In
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    Just getting lost.
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    Going to see where this road ends up
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    DAMN
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    Passed this neat old canoe outfitter located at an old rail station
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    SOLD OUT
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    HEY! Look what I found about 40 miles away:evil
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    Neat old truck.
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    The town of Conifer was skimping on the Conifers
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    But heavy on the cool old shit
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    I raised the louvered hood to reveal a mostly intact original engine.
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    Wood for Sale signs dotted the roadside in various prifce increments and sizes.
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    The sun sinks lower and I grab a beer in the town before Cranberry Lake. A roadside picnic area catches my eye and I pull in to repair my sunglasses with superglue and fix okra, corn, stewed tomatoes and cous cous for dinner. It helps take off the slight chill of clouds and disappearing sun. Police nail speeders in this low valley along the two lane blacktop down by the Gaspee River.
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    Exiting the park on Rt 3, I sense the need to camp and pull into a memorial forest, nestling into a stand of mature long leaf pines with a soft bed of moss below.
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    Weather is forecast to be a dry cool night so I opt to forego the rain cover on the hammock. I drink a Molson while repairing my glasses again on a rock and succeed in super gluing my finger to the glasses. Take another drink.
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    Booms and flashes in the sky disturb the peace of the forest more so than the Harley's passing in the dark. First I thought they may be fireworks but a check of Google shows there isn't any town in that direction...just a large gray area on the map. I conclude that Fort Drum is running artillery and live fire exercises. Occasional sub-machine gun fire gives it away. I drift asleep imagining I'm exploring on the fringes of some war torn nation.
  2. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    Sun Aug 11, 2013

    The chitter chatter of chipmunks wood peckers woke me around 6. I was comfy in my bag and decided to lay there and finish yesterday's Journal entry I fell asleep in the middle of.
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    The sun lit the highest top bows of my pine tree signaling it was time to ride.
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    I packed the gear up and made my way out of the hills and into the fertile Black River Valley.
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    You know..just Jesus and some deer on an island. No big deal!
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    Noticing windmills on the distant ridge, I plugged in some random spot in their vicinity and let Garmin route its magic.
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    I paused to make coffee/oatmeal, recharge my camera battery and get some water in the town of Lowsville at a closed Planned Parenthood.
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    I filled my camelback next door out back of a Progressive Insurance Agency. How fitting, getting something tangible in return for my monthly payments. I repaired my sunglasses for a third time and headed out of town for the windmills on the hill, my head filled with Don Quixote jokes.
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    Riding deeper into the woods on ATV and snow machine trails, I had to be careful on foresight terrain lest I drop her in some sandy or muddy tire rut.
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    Porcupine
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    Yup, I have some. Thanks for asking.
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    The few people I passed were on ATV's and returned big hearted waves as I blasted past.
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    Judging by this snowplow guide, I'd say they get a fair amount of snow up here:
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    Nice ol Truck
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    I came to a T where both roads were dead ends and could not decide what Robert Frost would've done...so I turned back for another road less travelled and that made all the difference. Crossing a sturdy bridge, I'm caught by the insects fluttering above the water falling like an August snow from the trees above. Sparrows dive to catch them and a finch alights in the tree beside me with a light "Chirp".
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    This bridge is new. It is not the first or last bridge to be placed here but spans the river just the same as I. The next four hours were a test of bike, rider and resolve.
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    I encountered a dead end at every one of the 5 or 6 trails I explored thanks to Garmin. I took camp two, and then camp four, Pedro, Page Ln and some others just to find them gated.
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    Never a fan of riding the same road twice, I had to enjoy my misfortune, a good life lesson instilled by riding.
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    Bondo won't help you now...
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    That hole in the valve cover is intense.
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    I HATE FORCED U-TURNS
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    I stop to eat some squished banana, bread and peanut butter. It was the highlight of the hour.
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    The December Truck Trail, name shoulda gave it away right!?, was by far the worst road I've ever ridden in terms of water hazards. It followed what was once an old logging railroad dipping and sinking into the surrounding ponds and marshes.
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    This looked like death. I should have turned around when I had the chance!!!
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    Alone, I became accustomed to cautiously dismounting before the deepest puddles before proceeding.
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    IN a few case, that was the difference between dumping it on some soft mud or hidden boulders in the pond.
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    I passed a sign for Alder Creek then a cabin covered in license plates.
    (not this cabin but just down the road)
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    NOTE TO SELF: Carry an old plate in the bike in case I come across another opportunity and place a plate on his house or lose mine.
    Another cabin comes into view and I wave as I go past. A middle aged man in the yard returns the wave with a curious smile I can only read as "I know something you don't". Five minutes later I am facing a deep swamp and three trails, the least travelled of which my GPS is directing me down. Thanks GARMIN! I have a talk with Meine Frau and make the decision to turn around. The road could not get better as the most heavily travelled option doesn't even appear on my GPS unit.
    (heavily travelled road ahead and very deep stream crossing)
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    I tell myself I'll stop at that cabin so I do and talk to the old men outside in their 50's or 60's. I carefully remove my broken sunglasses, take off the stinky helmet and in my thickest southern accent say "Damn! I'm lost!" to which they both give a hearty suspicious chuckle. The next 5 minutes represents how solo touring falls to the lowest lows of personal thought and solitude to the explosive dialogue and valuable interaction sharing of ideas and common courtesies. Sitting on Meine Frau, the three of us confirm that 1.) I was lost, 2.)Trespassing on Private Land and 3.) Was harmless. Huzzah. I asked about the area and type of traffic he sees go by and was surprised when he told me they see "a lot of ATV's and many BMW's come through here." This led us to chatting about Google maps and how inaccurate road are all over there with wrong ownership, names and routes for all the city slickers to see. I didn't happen to prepare for this ride so I just found it all on accident. I apologize for unknowingly trespassing and ruining their peace and quiet, a notion their facial expressions scoffed at, I bid farewell and set off to conquer the deep ponds for a second time. You'd think I'd remember my line through each pond but NOPE. Some were whole new unique problems while others, the same random hidden boulder in the muck. Frogs darted right and left as I splashed through their home. Today, I'd hate to be a frog - at least that one!

    Soon, I came across a whole family on ATV's. As soon as the father noticed my HID behind, he motioned for the kids (age 8 and 12 I'd guess) to let me pass.
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    I waved and said "Thanks! Ride Safe" and the elder son replied "You Too!". I gassed outta there in a spray of mud and gravel promptly making a turn to descend to more ponds. They followed but increasingly blended into a single shimmering light in my mirror as the bike excelled. A mile later I came across another couple riding tandem on a SUV taking a leisurely 25mph tour.
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    I patiently (yeah me! WTF- I know!) sat behind them until they turned right at a side split lane. I raced past them at 45 accelerating to a dangerous 60 mph on the rough rocky dirt. What do I have to prove? Why push my luck? Shit, I do this enough alone that I can see it begins as "Ohhh Look what I can do" but turns into "Yeah, I practice and find that 'edge' so I CAN do this." Of course all this sounds overly confident so I think I should dedicate tomorrow's return trip to this very concept.
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    I eventually make it back to the tri-cross roads, having explored every option, and disregard my GPS and follow breadcrumbs out of the woods past the windmills off the Great Whetstone Park's Plateau and onto Hwy 22 and 123.
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    I pass a small ski slope hosting a music festival followed by a small town and a family posting "No Parking - Subject to Tow" signs on each and every telephone poll in front of their house.

    The dude with the bags is totally spazzing out.
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    The next 4 hours I could only describe as back road riding bliss and the dreaded "return trip" feeling I'm trying to learn to appreciate. My route roughly followed NY 26S in a SW direction.
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    The old fort at Rome
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    Crossing under the railroad beside the Erie Canal (I wasn't quick enough to snap a good shot of the canal)
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    Hours of this :D
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    The valleys in NY are mostly in a N/S direction so I cruised down many of them on 26 headed down to PA
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    Late lunch while the Harley riders pay money to drink beer indoors. Kippered Herring (:wave h14) and some bread round out my meal at a quick gas stop. I need to make up time after my lost hours in the wetlands.
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    Unique architecture and Victorian styling was haphazardly applied in all sorts of buildings.
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    US Army Corp of Engineers Dam
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    1941?
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    I rode deep into PA, gas tank to gas tank, but made a point to stop in Oswego briefly at my Aunt's old High School for a shot I knew she'd get a kick outta. Worth a shot since it looks like they knocked down the old building she likely went to school in.
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    See the smoke from the steam locomotive? Too cool!
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    I wound down the Chemung River into Sayre where I crossed into PA and picked up 220S.
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    It undulated between wide divided highway and two land back road 65mph sweeper fun.

    not a great resto but a damn fine Charger 500
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    The road twisted on until I stopped at a family owned and pet obsessed gas station with a Dog on every sign and at every gas pump. Very strange - they sold live bait too just in case you were interested.
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    Soon I was on course to Sunbury and crossed to the east bank of the Susquehanna then wound down river on 147 via mostly familiar tree covered roads.
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    Waiting for a train.
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    What peaceful joy despite the soft ache in my should ache in my shoulder blades.
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    The sky to the west grew cloudier and shone red and pink under the cloud layer due to Rayleigh scattering.
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    The road quickly became PA22, a highway with 18-wheelers and a 55, meaning 65, speed limit.
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    I kept up with traffic and was reminded the last time I was on a hwy, other than traffic in Montreal, was in PA crossing through Harrisburg.
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    I made my way to Hwy 15 and set south and west to my evening camp in the Frederick Municipal Forest. A powerful storm cell was fast approaching and I had to keep up my pace to just narrowly avoid getting flogged from above by the wind, lightning and rain.
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    This bee flew into my face and lodged itself between my broken glasses (see superglue) and face. I snapped a picture first then carefully eased off the road as it buzzed and tickled my face. I carefully removed my sunglasses and flicked the bee out onto the ground where he died. I value bees so much and their role as polinators so it always makes me sad when I kill one. Sorry Mr. Bee.
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    Fortunately I rode just out of its path into MD then stopped at a convenience store and bought a Yuengling from an Indian shop owner with nose piercings and a cell phone habit. I wonder how she wound up here on Hwy 16 in the shadow of the Catoctin Mountains. Descending into the comforting familiarity of the forest roads, I stop and make camp at the usually spot. The creek is much lower than my first camp here (not last visit though) so I cross the creek on mossy rocks and set up my hammock beside the oft used and well established fire ring. At least if someone stops to inspect the GS, they may not see my hammock suspended 50 feet away in the trees. I make cous cous and tuna then scarf it down in record time along the creek in the dark. This is the first real thing I've had to eat today, other than crackers and snacks, since my Oatmeal in Lowsville this AM. I rinsed my dishes in the flowing creek, grabbed some chocolate liquors and my whisky then set to recording my daily activities written within these pages. Another safe and memorable day with hundreds or two pics to help me remember when I'm old, tired and in a reminiscent mood. Tomorrow...work...but now I'm ready.
  3. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    Monday Aug 12, 2013

    I woke before 5, quickly packed then realized I'd want a little bit of light leaving the forest. Last time I nearly hit two deer...reallllly close. I made coffee and oatmeal and just sat listening to the creek for 30 minutes until the sky brightened a bit.

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    Outside of Germantown, I came around a bend and nearly hit this bucket rolling around the road. I quickly stopped and ran back to retrieve it and put it safely on the roadside for someone to claim.
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    The fog was thick throughout the morning return to the city.
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    Just outside Potomac MD around 7:30 AM
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    Annnnnd finally home. My totals for the week on my broken Nuvi 500
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  4. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    628
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Looks like a fun trip! I enjoyed the read on a lazy and unproductive Friday afternoon.:clap
  5. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,416
    I enjoy a granola bar and some dried cranberries as the sun sinks lower behind the mountain range and light fades. The flash of lightning accompanies the deep rumble of thunder signaling I had chosen the best time and place to stop for the night. As I write in my hammock, the brilliant flashes illuminate the sky with approaching fervor offset by the whine of 18-wheeler tires, the rusted exhaust burble of antique V-8 trucks and familiar "potato-potato-potato" blat of Harleys moving on down the highway to be met with glorious life-breathing rain. I should stay dry but cannot guarantee avoiding electrocution. A 90 horsepower dirt bike, GPS unit and hammock in the few trees of a sparsely recovering commercial site: Such is life in the modern times.


    :happay:happay:happay


    You sir, write well. :freaky
  6. banshee

    banshee hi

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,263
    Location:
    Virginia
    nice report Mike! thanks for using a pic site that I can see from work :thumb :lol3
  7. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    Went for a trip out to Rella's this weekend. Had a great time camping with friends, helping out busted bikes, eating well and hauling ass on some gravel and muddy roads.

    Rollin down toward Dayton, VA. I always love this view.
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    I don't love this view so much. Talked my way out of it :clap
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    Ran into XC Rider in West Augusta so we set off for SpltLanesLikeMoses cabin
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    ToddZacker...what are friends for :eek1
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    Showing a lil' toe
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    Kicking it on the porch.
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    A little local flavor.
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    XC, I expect the return shot. Thanks!
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    We then retired to the fire where we hung out by the moonlight until 2 or 3
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    Forgive the ISO
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    In the morning before the sun rose, I awoke, packed and went out to get eggs with SplitsLanes
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    What a great time of day for a short ride up to the store.
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    A few shots from around the farm.
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    Anyone know what kind of bird makes these nests?
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    Grandma's Embroidery
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    Christmas Tree Chute
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    Looking out east off 250
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    West toward the Blue Grass Valley
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    Looking east toward Blue Grass
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    Crusing up the ridge toward the Laurel Fork, VA
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    What a beautiful road.
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    Which drops down into this sleepy valley
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    Eventually it puts you out on Buffalo Lake outside Bartow.
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    I've stopped here many times. Never disappoints. Someone needs to cut the grass though :norton
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    Ran into Eddie Bolted outside Pickins who followed behind my dust cloud onto Hacker Valley Rd. This big logging truck came around a blind corner and sure gave me a pucker moment. I slowed to make sure Eddie was okay a bit later when safe. :eek1
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    They're building a new bridge from Hacker Valley Rd to Hwy 20
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    Year/Model ? :ear
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    Logging Mill down in Hacker Valley.
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    My hero
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    Rella's bumper crop
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    Protected by:
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    Rella and Jeaneace (sp?)
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    Pnoman says "DRAW"
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    The tidewater crew :wave Ya'll had a long ride home after a 2 hr burger wait but still mostly smiles:wink: eh...at least you ride Beemers :deal
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    Hanging Rock off Replete Rd
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    Riding out of Hacker Valley, just before Holly River State Park, I notice nobody is behind me. I make a U-turn expecting the usual: Skippii broke down. Sure enough, XC is with him and they are inspecting his chain. He lost a master link clip and the plate. The tensions was all that was holding on the link. Not going to cut it! Unlike most of the Skippii roadised dilemmas, this one wasn't due to shoddy and creative craftsmanship (I don't care what you say ScottP!). He had a newish chain but I suspect the master link wasn't seated properly or some axial force pushed it off. Regardless, here we were. 4:10pm, an hour from Buckhannon on 20 with zero cell reception. I had XC stay with Skippii and I set off for cell reception to check if any moto shops in Buck. were open or had the part, and if any local ADVriders could lend a hand. I knew the worst case scenario was to return to skippii, tell him I was going to LF to get a link from of the the KLR dudes and return in the dark.

    I took off at 80-90mph down Hwy 20 toward Buckhannon. I finally got service, pulled over and called the only open shop which closed at 5. They had the link but didn't offer to stay open past 5 on my account. Frustrated, I raced on and had to stop for gas at 190mi on my tank with fuel light almost on. While filling up, I had a thought...why not order it, pay and have them put it outside for me at 5:20 when I get there.

    DING DING DING I ordered both the O-Ring and non O-Ring link in case he had a crap chain on there.

    I quickly got stuck behind this parade.
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    Then passed it in a hearbeat. No time for this mess.

    SUCCESS!
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    What does skippii love more than anything else in the world?
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    MILKSHAKES

    I turn around and get on Hwy 20 S when about 10 mi from Buckhannon I see a Harley and Ninja rolling up the road. I wave, we pull off and am told they scrounged some wire from the roadside and wired the master link on there enough to get them 30 mi up the road to me. Sheesh! Great work men. These two could probably teach the McGyver school.
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    Skippii bestows upon me the coveted RED CH sticker...originally to be sold ONLY to those who help Skippii when he breaks down. I had one on an old helmet which I sold so I was proud to get a new one. :clap Nearly as happy as he was that his bike would make it home and he could be at work tomorrow.
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    A local inmate stopped by to make sure we were alright. He sat at our table at Rella's but I forgot his name (sorry! I may be young but my memory is sometimes crap)
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    The three of us rolled down to Elkins where we picked up brats and beers for LF then split ways with Skippii who headed for Clifton Forge.

    It began raining just as we turned onto Glady Rd so we stopped for Denis to put on rain gear. The deer were insane! I almost hit 4 and saw at least 15-20.
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    We got to camp just as the sky grew dark, set up, used Bronco Billy Dave's grill (thanks Scotty, I don't remember his real name) and cooked up some grub. It was awesome and the chit chat was great as well. :freaky

    In the morning Scott put on his happy face when he lifted the skirt on his girl.
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    Eddie prepared to head out back to PA contemplating slabbing it up 81 or taking a pretty route. All depends on how wet and miserable he is and the roads.
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    Someone left this in my tank bag :huh XC? Thanks!?
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    Toight like Toiga
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    I always stop for a shot. This is my favorite valley in WV
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    Heading down 33, I came around a bend and saw some huge boulders fallen in the road. There was a bigger one to the right of this shot. I quickly stopped, snapped a pic and then moved them out of the road so no car or motorcycle would hit them. Crisis averted.
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    Went and visited Gimmeslack. He tossed this old banana in the woods but looks like a certain someone wanted to play fetch.
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    The Shen Valley was socked in with a 500 ft cloud ceiling.
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    I had lunch and watched the MotoGP at Kawikazi's place. Caught up, then set out for points unknown. I wound up on Cub Run Rd.
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    Heading to the far northern end of Cub Run put me into the fog bank. I was in the clouds and loving every minute of it.
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    I planned to ride past Catherine's Furnace and out by Shenandoah then up to Camp Roosevelt to camp.
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    Well shit.
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    ALL the way back down to East Point Rd and the southern entrance for Cub Run. Daylight is running out.
    I made it to Luray in the dark then slept in the dugout of their baseball field. GO BULL DOGS :clap

    I woke at 5:00, slept until 5:30 then checked radar. OH CRAP! I was right on the edge of a huge storm moving on up. I quickly packed and set off cautiously up 33 in the dark looking for bambi. At the top of the ridge I stopped to inspect my rear tire which felt squishy. 15psi. hmmmmm I filled her up and rode toward work, home, and the big city.

    Red sky in the morning, sailors warning.
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  8. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,203
    Location:
    Right where I need to be
    Aye; I knew you said you were picking up dinner & beer that night, but I couldn't leave without leaving you at least a few bucks. :D

    Nice pictures; will sit back down and enjoy your little jaunt up to Canada after dinner.
  9. Davo-55

    Davo-55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,715
    Location:
    Roanoke, Virginia
    as always, fantastic photography skills, a great RR. If you ever find yourself in or near Roanoke Va and need a place to sleep, repair, or dine shoot me a pm. That goes for all inmates.
  10. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    11,017
    Location:
    The Shenandoah valley of Virginia
    Awesome, Mike! You really packed a lot into last weekend. Sorry I missed going to the cabin but I got caught up in a project I couldn't break away from. At least now with your great shots and descriptions, I can pretend I went. It even starts at home! Where was that you got pulled over?
  11. Gimmeslack

    Gimmeslack furthur

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,528
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley
    Looks like an Oropendola nest but they only occur in the tropics :wink: Around here only Orioles make hanging nests?

    Great photos! but down here in possum holler ya'still a bandwidth killer! :bueller
  12. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    Thanks Davo! Good seeing you at Rella's.
  13. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    926
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley VA
    Quote -
    Heading down 33, I came around a bend and saw some huge boulders fallen in the road. There was a bigger one to the right of this shot. I quickly stopped, snapped a pic and then moved them out of the road so no car or motorcycle would hit them. Crisis averted.

    Here's what happens when you hit rocks on 33. Thanks for saving someone a big fricin' headache HBN :clap

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    It was either take out both front tires, or the oil pan.
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    Normally, this wouldn't be a bad place to get stuck, but on a Sunday afternoon, in the snow, with a wife that just had foot surgery and couldn't walk, it wasn't ideal.
  14. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    SHEESH! At least the sights were beautiful...of you changing the tire :lol2
  15. littlelionmonster

    littlelionmonster Custom Faker

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    926
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley VA
    Thanks................ I think. Ended up taking out both fronts. Good thing we were meeting my parents at Blackwater falls, so I could borrow there car to run around and get new tires.

    We still made it to Purple Fiddle to watch the Steel Wheels on New Years Eve!!
  16. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    Fortunately nobody was hurt and it didn't take out the radiator or worse. I bet that was a heck of a show at the Fiddle :strum
  17. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    Just deleted my typed up RR...so here we go again! :huh I even made it Gimmeslack friendly so anyone using a modem can see it :lol2

    It was just another Friday at work until 5:00 rolled around...at 4:00. Yeah left a bit early but it was totally worth it. Traffic was light and I cruised out west to the mountains. My destination this weekend was to visit my little brother in Charlotte, NC where he landed a new job and was settling in over the summer. I slabbed 66 via some back routes to 29 then down through Madison to Wolftown Rd.
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    The fresh rains left clouds hanging in the valleys of the Blue Ridge.
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    810 is always a blast and with little traffic today. I left my visor open to absorb the many rich smells of a forest after the rain.
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    Riding through Crozet, I usually pass by this piece of antique lawn ornamentation but made a U-Turn this time on account of the sunlight and general feel it gave me. I'd like to remember how it looked so I snapped a pic.
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    I cruised on up 250 to the BRP and set south into the clouds and sun hanging low on the horizon.
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    The drops of rain clung to the flowers as the sun tried to evaporate the dew before it sank below the horizon.
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    I pulled off at Hwy 56 to make camp. I had to scare away the deer first though.
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    Haines Chapel pavilion is always a solid and quiet place to sleep...
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    I awoke at 5:30 the next morning, packed my gear, made some coffee and oatmeal then set forth onto the BRP. The temps were cool in the 50's and I regretted accidentally forgetting my wool sweater. I made do with a long sleeve polo on top of an underarmor layer. The inviting, dark, familiar and dangerous twists and turns had me grinning ear to ear. I pass nobody for nearly an hour. The view to the east captivates me through this valley and I park in the middle of the road, dismount and take this shot.
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    Swiftly, the sun rises above the horizon painting the verdant trees in shades of orange and red like an early fall preview of what is to come.
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    The lighting up on Terrapin Mtn was great as I surveyed the James River and paper mill below.
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    The best things in life are free.
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    I rode in and out of the fog which filtered the light into blue tints, orange tints and red tints depending on the angle and direction of the road. The sky above my was bright blue. Very interesting feeling.
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    I made it down to 77 then slabbed it on to Charlotte. Not much to note here other than tractor trailers trying to pass tractor trailers on hills. Things that I would make illegal if I were president :deal

    I spotted this beauty.
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    The rear end felt a little funny in the long sweepers of the highway so I pulled over about 30 mi from Charlotte to inspect. I had a slow leak on my last trip but didn't see anything unusual after filling her back up and giving a cursory glance at the tire. I should be more careful in the future. There is a good chance this was with me for nearly 1000mi or more.
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    Deciding that it was holding air for now, I pumped her up to 45psi, then set back down the highway. I quickly passed down along Lake Norman with the families in jet boats vacating at their summer lake homes.
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    The big city of Charlotte's skyline from the beltloop.
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    It was great visiting with my brother and doing the bar/nightlife thing with a few of his buddies on a Saturday night. Good once in a while, I'd rather be in the woods. They don't have good bbq in the woods though...
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    I slept soundly on the porch in my hammock, woke at sunrise and patched my rear tire.
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    I made bacon and eggs, woke up my lethargic brother and dragged his ass up a mountain. He loved every minute of it :deal
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    It was hazy but Charlotte's skyline is out in the distance in the center of this shot.
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    Erik surveying the land to the west.
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    OOOoof
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    Annnd all the way back down to the car :D
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    After hooking up his (my old) stereo and tv, I set out back to VA where the riding was good.

    This is a procession of snap shots I took along the road.
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    WOOHOO! VA
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    I always like to ride Flower Gap Rd just outside Fancy Gap connecting 77 and a Loves gas station with old hwy 52. It is a twisty and fun bit of road to prepare you for the assault on Hwy 52. The undulating banked corners make for many smiles as you pass everyone in their cars.

    Then up to the parkway where you just chillax
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    I don't stop much and haven't in years for the Mabry Mill. I have at least 10 shots so will just add this one to the queue.
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    This shot is taken on my favorite sweeper in the big field outside of Floyd near the Floydfest grounds. Anyone who is familiar with this area knows just where I'm talking about :D
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    I palced an order for cartoon-like fluffy cumulus clouds. TWC came in and approved the order around Roanoke so I counted sheep.
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    I was caught behind some slow riding sportbikes but managed to bide my time staring at her back underneath the flapping t-shirt she just couldn't seem to keep on. Made my afternoon :evil I passed them slowly.
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    Hours of this? How can you go wrong. Hard to beat!
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    Well until this turn comes up. Just as good!
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    Passing over the James River.
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    I paused around 6 to make some Indian food for dinner.
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    Noticing my gas gauge was dangerously low, I calculated that riding to mile 0 then finding gas was a poor choice. I plugged in Montebello's store into my GPS then forgot it was set to Shortest Distance when it dragged me down a dirt road to a "NO TRESPASSING" sign. At least it was pretty.
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    I made it to Montebello to discover the station closed 45 minutes earlier. Shucks. Off I go to Rockfish Valley's Liberty station...some 15 miles away. Hope I make it!

    The sun set on the Blue Ridge and I recalled a memory 6 or more years ago riding my Ninja 250 through this valley at the same time of day just hoping I would make it home before dark...before deer...before I had ridden many miles in the night and faced those risks head on. I smiled and wondered how much longer I'dhave good luck in the dark.
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    Babying the throttle, I mad it to the Liberty and put in 5.1 gal @ 223 mi
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    Topped off, I turned down 250 then hopped on 64.
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    The sun disappeared below the mountains and the sky turned a rosy shade of orange (just kidding, I'm colorblind and never know what color stuff is)
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    I paused at Keswick's Grace Epischopal Church for an eerie shot in their high pressure lights.
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    The way they light this 1745 church is beautiful. I would like to return in the snow.
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    THis looks like a quiet spot for me. I think I'll stay here tonight. I made my bed, snacked on some trail mix then went to bet. I woke up about 10 minutes later to a raccoon sniffing around a few feet away. I didn't move and it eventually skittered off. I'm a visitor at HIS church.
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    The following morning, I admired the stars still alight in the sky and took to the roads. Hwy 20 is dark through the countryside. I was thankful for my HID headlight and aux piaa lights. I stopped for coffee and an unhealthy bisquit sandwich in Gordonsville mostly to let the sun rise a bit more. The deer were out like crazy.
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    Satisfied, I set back out down the road.
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    I made it to F-burg then slabbed it home in traffic until HOV where I made up some extra time.

    Saw this nice Stang' coupe or fastback? Early.
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    I was home by 8:15 to start my day, get some teleworking done, mow the grass, wash/hang my laundry, unpack my camping gear and eventually smoke some pork and drink some moonshine on the roof. It was my 27th birthday and the riding was good.
  18. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    11,017
    Location:
    The Shenandoah valley of Virginia
    Very nice, Mike! Happy Birthday to you! :clap
  19. REAPER_ONE

    REAPER_ONE YOU'RE DONE

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,221
    Nice RR... especially the under the stars approach to MC camping ...
  20. H14

    H14 Live, Laugh, Love.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,702
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley
    Like Lance said, I like your camping style.

    Happy Birthday old man.