Head Trippin' South

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ride4321, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    It' time to hit the road again...finally. This year it's a two week trip and I'll be hitting the southern states. Here's the basic plan...

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    The forecast is calling for rain the first two days. I was planning on meandering through WV on back roads getting a good taste of the local flavor. If it's raining I might end up flying down 81 to the Blue Ridge Pkwy. All routes are subject to change but I do have a few places that are scheduled in and prearranged. Not the way I'd normally do things but I think it's going to be fun.

    Destination 1: Deals Gap. Meeting an old buddy there on Monday. He's coming over from Nashville and we'll ride together for a few days doing the Gap and then heading over to Alabama to spend Tuesday night at his inlaws river house.

    Destination 2: Ozark Rat Raid. Meeting up with some inmates from Triumphrat in Memphis for lunch next Thursday and then riding to the Ozarks for a day or two of riding with a bunch of Triumphrat members. Never been to the Ozarks and I'm really looking forward to this section of the trip.

    The rest is subject to change as I get distracted easily. New Orleans? Maybe. Eastern coastline? Maybe. I'll tell you when I get there.

    My trusty steed...

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    I'd been planning on riding the DR650 on this trip, exploring the dirt roads of the Smokies, Ozarks and the deep south. Got it all set up with HT panniers and a 5 gal tank even but a few weeks ago riding the Tiger I decided it was too nice a bike to not take on this trip. There's some really fantastic twisties in the first week of the trip and this is the bike for that stuff. So the DR is staying in the garage. Besides, I'm heading to a Triumph event and they won't let me put the DR in the group photo.:cry

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    Here's a linky to last years trip west if you're interested...

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=701959

    Currently on another trip to the Smokies. I'll post pics with this report. Link to Sept. Smoky trip here...

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=782923&page=7

    And a link to my 2013 trip south...again.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=22344207&postcount=119
    #1
  2. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    My plan for the beginning of this trip was to have a closeup look at rural WV on my first day out. The weather is looking pretty wet for the weekend so I'll have to play it by ear on how to approach things. Looks like if I get an early start Sat. I can get into WV around noonish. I'll probably just take 81 down to Winchester, VA since I know what rural PA looks like already, and then head west on Rt. 50. I rode that last summer heading west for my trip and loved the road. From there I can head south on 250 towards the gorge. If things work out I'll get the majority of the heavy rain while I'm sleeping Saturday night.
    Water proofed the boots and tent seams last night. Did my riding gear a few weeks ago. I really hate to pack my rain gear but I'm not sure about the waterproofing on my gear so I'll probably throw it in just to be on the safe side.
    Last years trip was extremely hot (July heatwave for all 3 weeks). I did way more interstate riding than planned in order to keep a steady 80mph breeze and prevent melting. This year I'm going early in the season to beat the heat. I want to stay off the slab as much as possible. I'll take rain over heat any day of the week.

    Pile O Stuff on the kitchen table...

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    Camping gear is piled in the spare room.

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    Bikes in good shape and ready to go. New chain and sprockets, air filter, plugs, oil and plenty of miles left on the tires to cover this trip. Wish I'd gotten around to doing the TB's and latest tune but I'm taking my TuneECU cable with me. Maybe I can get one of the Triumph inmates to help me out with that in the Ozarks. Bike sounds good though and I doubt there's any adjustment needed.
    #2
  3. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Looks like the beginning of a great trip! Have fun and ride safe.
    #3
  4. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Thanks Poolman. Just had a quick look at your Sacred Valley report. Man, that looks like a great trip. Hopefully, once I get this country covered I can start dipping further south. It'll be a few years but a trip like that is way up there on my must do list.
    There are so many great ride reports here that a simple loop like mine seems uneventful. I think it's worth posting if only for my own referral down the road and it's nice to be able to share the trip with friends and relatives. This site has really opened my mind up as to what can and should be done on two wheels.
    #4
  5. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Moved the departure up a day and I'll be heading out after work tomorrow, trying to beat out the rain and I should be able to hang out near the New Gorge bridge while the weather passes over. I just want to be in WV and spend some time getting to know it better.
    Went out for a few beers tonight and on the way home I had thoughts I have to put this down before I finish packing.
    I'm 57, have 3 sons, 23, 12 and 10...yep, two still in elementary school. It made me realize how lucky I am to be able to do even a two week trip...last years 3 week trip was unfathomable to me just a few years ago. My ex and her husband do a great job raising my younger two (thanks to both of you), I could be raising them on my own. If she was a BSC (Bat Shit Crazy for those that don't know and haven't read that thread) woman little trips like this would be impossible. I raised my oldest, I know about this stuff. Knowing they're cared for is a great thing.
    So I'll finish packing shortly and have a few more beers, then head to work in the morning. When all's clear at work I'm gone and can be myself. This is a short trip and pales to the others here but for me it's a release I need and can't wait to experience. I'm writing this report to the people that are thinking about a 1K trip, not for those world travelers. There are so many of us that are just finding the joy that comes from wandering. I can't wait to find little southern towns time has forgotten. I knew I should wander when I was younger and did to some extent but now as I get older I know just how important it is. I know these smaller trips will just lead to bigger ones. I can't wait to see where I end up.
    #5
  6. JG77

    JG77 I ride my own.

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    What a classy note....I wish you all good things in your travels! I'll be checking back for your ride report.

    Ride safe,

    Jill
    #6
  7. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Thanks Jill. Somewhere along the way I have to learn to travel lighter. I don't carry a heavy load in my soul but the bike is packed to the gills. That extra pair of jeans shouldn't have been packed:evil
    #7
  8. AST236

    AST236 Long timer

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    Send a PM a couple of days ahead of your Alabama/Florida panhandle stage and I'll round up some guys to say hello and buy you lunch...........
    #8
  9. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Sounds like a plan AST. I'm really looking forward to that leg of the trip. In all honesty I'd love to spend more time in that area. It looks like a beautiful area, and fairly rural. The places I'm looking most forward to are the most remote.

    For the life of me I can't find the manual for the camera. I really want to make this a better pictorial since I know the south has so much to offer in that respect. I'll have to find a PDF manual before I leave work tomorrow.
    #9
  10. AST236

    AST236 Long timer

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    We have a pretty active group near the Gulf Coast, so let me know a day or two ahead and I'll see who can get away and show you around. Plus, you have to sample our fresh seafood......
    #10
  11. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    I'm thinking shrimp, right? And definitely catfish, cajun style and all.
    #11
  12. AST236

    AST236 Long timer

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    Shrimp? Check
    Catfish? Check
    Cajun style? Slightly better in New Orleans but we do a passable imitation.....
    #12
  13. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    I'm in.
    #13
  14. DWR302

    DWR302 Justan Nudderboomer

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    Hey ride! Good RR going here. Looks like you are getting your ducks in a row. Good plan to take off tomorrow. Sooner is always better than later to start a trip. I rode over The Gorge on a trip in 2010. WV is a great place to ride. I gotta get back there again. Looking forward to meeting you next Thursday in Memphis. I'll be heading out from south Fla on Tuesday.
    Oh and when you are in the Fla panhandle near the Gulf you might want to try a fried oyster sammich. Yummm! See you next week.
    #14
  15. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    There's something about WV that I can't shake. Maybe it's the women I met there back in the 70's:D
    But seriously, it's the roads and the relaxed attitude. No one is on the road. Cops don't seem to care. The pavement is out of this world. There's something I want to know more about there. There is a scary side, think Meth in the hills. But in all reality, it's upstate NY with maybe a more relaxed attitude.
    #15
  16. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    I love how this has crossed over from the Triumphrat site to this site DWR. All things equal:clap

    Sooo tomorrow we get on with a ride report. Stay tuned. I'm looking for the odd and forgotten places down south.
    #16
  17. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Locked and loaded...

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    #17
  18. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Lot's of slab today so really no pics from the road. I took I-81 south to Carlisle Pa and had enough of that stuff so headed west on 641. I had an offer from an inmate on the tent space thread but decided to head in a different direction. Figured I'd make it to a state forest to camp tonight but I was running out of daylight. Stopped in this little crossroads town to ask about camping and the owner of the store sent me to a christian camp just down the road. Works for me:D $20 for a campsite or $16 for a cabin...hmmmmm. I'm in the lap of luxury tonight.

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    Complete with toaster and cover:clap

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    and protection from evil spirits:eek1

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    My bed!!!!

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    Dinner from the store that gave me directions. Pork BBQ and diner chips...

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    Luna moth

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    and I think this is Shippensburg but maybe not.

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    That's all I've got for today but I'm only 45 minutes from WV and no more slab for me. I'll get some pics tomorrow on the way to New River Gorge Bridge.

    All the church ladies are heading home from the camp as I type. They've been working in the kitchen prepping for a wedding tomorrow. It really is a decent place though and for the price can't be beat. Check it out if you're ever passing through Roxbury PA.

    Just checked the forecast and it looks like I'll be dry until tomorrow afternoon. Storms rolling in around noon. I'll try to find a Motel Hell near the gorge with wifi and hang out there for the afternoon and night. Sunday looks very good so I'll be wandering around WV for awhile and heading to the Kickstand Campground Sunday evening.
    Hitting the sack early tonight so I can get an early start.:rayof
    #18
  19. sgio

    sgio Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a great trip. :clap I am looking forward to following along!
    #19
  20. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Up early, 5:00. Looks like I should hit Fayetteville, WV around noon. Nice twisty back roads all the way from here. Hope I can find a dry place to hang out at when I get there. Time to go find coffee. I have my Jetboil but forgot to buy coffee.:cry
    #20