New England Exploration

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Sir. Waffles, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. CanyonRider

    CanyonRider Celebrating Festivus

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    424
    Location:
    Del Boca Vista
    Welcome to the South, son. Those are Guinea Hens. They can fly (they roost in trees over night), but they prefer to run.

    Great report!

    CR
    #41
  2. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Mrs. Waffles and I had been planning her first overnight camping weekend on the bike as a break from grad school. Also, I wanted her to see what I'm always out doing without her. We planned to spend 3 days in the White Mountains. Needless to say, after weeks of getting things together our Memorial Day Weekend was met with a dreary forecast for all of New England. :cry

    With high spirits we skipped on Saturday, as there was snow in the mountains and headed out Sunday with a 80% chance of rain and cold temps.to make the best of it.


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    Even though we didn't take pictures of them all, dams where like the covered bridges on my first trip to the White Mountains. They kept popping up everywhere.
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    Stopping for some damn good burgers and to dodge the rain at Plain Jane's Dinner. We get the look :huh from the locals as we walk in and start stripping layers to eat. Pretty sure they thought we were a little crazy to be out riding. Anywho, after hitting the first good view of the trip with a brief break in the rain Mrs. Waffles is hooked. :clap
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    Are you done taking pictures yet?
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    Just one more.....
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    This has to be good luck of some kind.
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    Our final break in the rain for the day. Before a cold, wet, and windy ride over the mountains.
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    After spending a night wrapped in sleeping bags and playing cards we woke up to a beautiful day. :clap
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    Climbers at Cathedral Ledge.
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    Great views too.
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    Self portrait
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    After heading to Mount Washington to find out it was closed completely to motorcycles. We head for lunch at Cabin Fever. Waiting for Mrs Waffles to get the bill. :deal
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    I think I'm getting good at this...
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    :D
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    Overall rain or no rain we had a great weekend. Time permitting I know Mrs. Waffles won't have a problem joining me for the next trip, that is I stop and let here stretch her legs every once and a while. Almost 500 miles in two days with all kinds of weather, not bad for her first run over a couple hours and shes still smiling.
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    #42
  3. sevenpointsixtwo

    sevenpointsixtwo Resident Hooligan

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Meanwhile, somewhere near Smuggler's Notch, VT...
    Hey man, it was great meeting you at the BTB! We definitely should get out for some local exploration this summer. I'll shoot you a PM with my contact info.
    #43
  4. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Headed up to Bennington, VT this weekend for the Bennington Triumph Bash and got a few pictures in on the way up there. It was a great time, awesome food, riding, bikes and people. I highly recommend it if you interested in any of the prior, not to mention Brit bikes.

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    My crappy attempt to take a picture of what probably ended up close to 75-100 bikes going out for group rides.
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    #44
  5. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Salem, MA
    With Mrs. Waffles in grad school spare time for vacation is hard to come by, with a break in semesters we marked a motorcycle trip up on the calendar. We had optimistically added Quechee, Vermont's Hot Air Balloon Festival to our calendar last year too. Luckily for us the Hot Air Balloon Festival coincided with her break and we made plans for central, VT.

    We had a 3 three hour direct ride to Quechee and another half hour to get to Silver Lake State Park, where we would make camp for the weekend. So with all day to get there I planned a scenic route. :D Plus I found a map of of NH and VT covered bridges so we hit a few along few along the way.


    When I say a few I mean 17, is that excessive? We didn't hit them all but got good a portion of them.
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    I think Mrs.Waffles is as taken aback as I am, there is just something about covered bridges. There pretty much all unique, you never know what you'll find, and in some of the most beautiful and remote places.
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    Didn't even know they made covered train bridges. It's supposedly the oldest covered train bridge in the world.
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    Time for some lunch, sandwiches and espresso.
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    Yeah we like covered bridges
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    Riding up to the covered bridge above we came across a sign like the one below. We found it particularly funny, probably because it was the first we ever saw. Somehow we missed getting a picture of it but we laughed about it all day.
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    Having a good time. :D
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    So far Vermont has is my favorite state in New England. I still have a lot of exploring to do but VT has yet to let me down. Every road has been a good one, with good views, little traffic, and packed dirt roads rather than gravel. Just to name a few.
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    Not my favorite covered bridge from the trip but it defiantly made for a good picture.
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    Another covered train bridge, probably my favorite bridge from the trip.
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    Mmm, Dirt Roads,
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    There are surprises everywhere. This was down a side road, I blew right past it but luckily she got a view of it and motioned for me to turn around.
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    We are about cover bridged out but still having a good time.
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    Mrs. Waffles after we head down a dirt/mud path to get better view.
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    It was worth it!
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    After getting to Quechee for the 6pm Balloon launch, we end up waiting for a few hours, to find out they couldn't launch the balloons due to weather. The wind has to be pretty much stagnant, hence the reason they do it at sunrise and sunset. We called it a day and headed to camp. Making it to Silver Lake just before dark. We were able to setup our tent while there was still light out and munch down on some hot dogs around the fire.

    We planned to make the god awfully early 6am, balloon launch the next morning. It wouldn't have been that bad except for the 30-40 minute ride to Quechee plus parking, and the shuttle to the fest. We ended up leaving about 4:30 the next morning but it was worth it.
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    They started less than 100ft away and worked they way back through the field taking off.
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    More to come....
    #45
  6. Kamala

    Kamala Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,090
    Location:
    Nashoba Valley
    Great report and pics Sir Waffles! Its good to see you enjoying the area. Hopefully we will run into each other (not literally :D ) on the roads!
    #46
  7. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    After watching the morning Balloon launch we headed back to Silver Lake for breakfast. We decided there was no really plan for the day and headed out for a VT 6 Gaps ride I had on the GPS.


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    Locals (I assume) tubing in the river. They are hard to see but they are in there. I was pretty jealous too, about every river we passed by that weekend looked prime for swimming, tubing and every other shenanigan a person could think of. Not to mention there everywhere, the only thing I imagine you would have to watch out for is all the dams.
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    More locals :D doing some sun bathing/swimming. I would like to point out that it was barely 80 degrees out and we still had the liners in our mesh jackets. Also that water had to be pretty cold but New Englanders' will swim in about anything as long as theirs no ice on top of it. I don't think I would have been in that water though.
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    So my crouching Tiger is waiting for us back on the edge of the road. A much steeper edge than this picture really shows. About 3 ft to the right of the bike was the a pretty steep rock drop off down to the river. She looks pretty good too but may have gotten a little tired while waiting for us in beautiful Vermont. Not to mention all the hard work she had been doing hauling us and our camping gear around for the weekend.

    When getting on the bike and I ended up going right over. Luckily for me I didn't park any farther to the right too. As the handlebars landed less than a foot from the edge of the bank. I looked at Mrs. Waffles and could see the shock on her face even all geared up. It was the first time I had dropped the bike, on accident.

    I got up and waited a few seconds to see if she is going to help me pick the bike up, I got response. I took a second to regain my pride and muscled her back up. The bike came out just fine, it landed on the bar end and saddle bag. The bag had a few scratches in it but that's the reason I leave them on, plus they provide more protection two up.

    Also thanks to the two other bikers out there who saw the whole thing as they passed. They turn around up the road and came back in case I needed any help to pick her up. I think they were pretty surprised I did it by myself but if it was loaded I doubt I would have had the room and ability to do so.
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    Moving on with the rest of the day hoping to not do that again.
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    Feeling hungry we decided to bail on the gaps ride and head South for only the worthiest of burger, at The Worthy Burger. I had heard good things about The Worrthy Buger and Mrs. Waffles loves a good burger more than me. I figured it would be worth the detour and it was.
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    After lunch we headed back North to the famous Vermont floating bridge. I wish it was still open to traffic, as its not everyday you get to ride across a floating bridge.
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    Next we headed to Allis State Park. Upon arrival Mrs. Waffles and I had another good laugh. Shes not a big fan of riding dirt/gravel roads yet. We had been riding on them for a half hour or more going all over the place till we got to the park. When we stopped at the gatehouse she told me, the whole time she didn't think we were going anywhere, let along a state park.

    View from the park's fire tower
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    Later that night we headed back out to see the hot air balloons launch before sunset. We scoped out a different place than earlier that morning, hoping for a better/different view of balloons.

    It was a pretty good view itself. While waiting for the Balloons to launch I snapped a few pics.
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    Its turned out to be the perfect place to watch the hot air balloons. They ended going right above us and all around. Not bad considering it was our first time to the festival.
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    This balloon ended up about 4ft above the water then took back off again.
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    The next morning we headed towards home stopping at the Quechee Gorge.
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    View from atop Mt. Ascutney.
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    All morning it looked like it could rain on us at any moment. We stop for lunch and checked the radar. There was thick rain all around us, so we decided to slab it home. It only sprinkled, not to bad way to end the weekend. :D
    #47
  8. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,119
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Nice pics, Bryan!

    Any time you want to explore northern Vermont and/or the Adirondacks a bit, you're always welcome to come up for a weekend, and I'd be glad to show you around.

    --mark
    #48
  9. hennikerjd

    hennikerjd I am Jack's wasted life

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    485
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Damn, you're a strong dude. I dropped my Tiger once and it took me 20 minutes to lift that pig up and back on the sidestand. almost killed me.
    #49
  10. sevenpointsixtwo

    sevenpointsixtwo Resident Hooligan

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Meanwhile, somewhere near Smuggler's Notch, VT...
    Awesome pics man!
    #50
  11. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    With Mrs. Waffles off in Grad school for 2 weeks I found myself with some free time and decided to head to Vermont for the weekend. It was the usual Waffle style weekend, getting lost, some little head scratching and a few u-turns.

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    Day one in Vermont started a little rough. I hit the road early only to end up getting lost and taking a detour which led to a gated road. I was then chased by a pack of dogs to a gated road only to have to turn around and face them again. Luckily for me I was only greeted by a pissed off women wanting to know if her dogs followed me. I happily told her I was unsure if they did but was glad not to see them. I then bailed on my route and made my way up to Montpelier to meet the Mrs. before giving it another shot for the day. Things quickly turned better.
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    I'm not 100% sure what this thing is besides pure awesomeness. My inter-child did a woooooow with a slow head turn and dropped jaw. It might not look that big either but there was at least a two car garage behind it. I image its there winter beater :wink: as I passed it a towards the end of Lincoln Gap Rd.
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    Also came along a 1957 Volvo Sugga, which I've never seen before.
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    After making it across central Vermont I headed across the lake to see what I could find in New York.
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    Crown Point Light
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    I didn't make it in the fort or a few of the other places I wanted to see but my time was limited and I wasted a few hours getting lost.
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    Took the Tiger for a little boat ride. I think well be back to Upstate New York.
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    Making my way back over the mountains to Montpelier to meet up with the Mrs. for dinner.
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    The next day I made my way up towards Burlington for some riding around the lakes and northern Vermont. I didn't get many pictures as I was too busy enjoy the good roads and weather we had.
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    #51
  12. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    With my mind always looking for the next motorcycle trip, my two week vacation in Ohio was in trouble. Thinking about going home made me want to see my family and friends but also led me think about the great riding I was missing back that way too. So thoughts of day tripping to weekend adventures evolved into a 5-day trip from Ohio down to Georgia, riding some old Cb750s with my friend Aaron from high school. I would be leaving the Tiger in Mass. this time and caging it to Ohio.

    Before the trip even started, getting my CB up to ride worthy and reliable state was in question until the day we left. Up till the trip it has only seen short day trips and usually was a continual work in progress every time I road it. Plus it had sat all summer since I last went home back in April with the diagnosis of needing the carbs cleaned, brake pads replaced, new alternator/rotor, along with other electronic parts. I ordered the parts and left it up to my Dad to get it back in shape. No fault to him, two days before the trip none of the above have been done as the rotor was seized on the bike. My dad had spent the last 2 weeks trying to soak with penetrating oil and put tension on the rotor to pop it off with no luck. Just getting the bolt of the rotor was a day's job, it had been extremely over tightened. He also stripped the puller we had and nearly the spare we purchased too. Not believing his story when I arrived I promptly tried to get it off with a puller and some heat. Everything I read made it seem to be a pretty easy job. After an hour I gave up, we ended up having to cut the rotor so we could split it with a chisel to relieve the tension. Spending a day getting the rotor off the rest was smooth sailing with the exception of getting one carb to stop pissing gas everywhere.


    Time for a test ride with Dad. We hardly ever get to ride together but its a lot of fun when we do. His bike a 1985(?) CB450 Nighthawk and was my backup if the CB750 was down. I was defiantly trying to avoid having to take it too. It a nice bike but to small for me and a little down on power and braking compared to was I'm used too.
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    Test ride complete the bike seems to be be good but the next day I start to make the 100 mile ride to my grandparent's where I'm staying. With a different carb is pissing a little gas now and then. Oh well better than the last one which pissed everywhere at stoplights, etc. This one only did it when the bike was off. Ignoring any other problems Aaron and I meet up the next morning and we start booking it down to WV. :D


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    For the record Aaron's bike is the blue 1981 CB750C. He bought it at the beginning of the summer with the orginal tires on it and about 3000 miles on the clock. He put some work into it and it's a fine bike. Mines white with the "AMERICA" sticker on the tank and topcase, a 1980 CB750F.
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    The nice little switchback road on the way up and down to the gorge bridge.
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    Day one weather looked like rain most of the day with only one 10 minute downpour. Other than that it just sprinkled here and there.
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    Good riding around New River Gorge.
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    Bluestone Lake & Dam
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    Night one we stop at Pipestem Resort State Park. We saw probably close to 100 deer in the park on are way to the campsite. Glad we weren't out riding too much in the even that day.
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    More to come...
    #52
  13. mightys4

    mightys4 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    30
    Great report and awesome photos! Love covered bridges...
    #53
  14. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Day two, we head south for the Blue Ridge Parkway and North Carolina, for what turned out to be a beautiful day. We would follow the rain many times throughout the day but never ended up getting wet. Neither of us had rode this far south or been on the BRP, so we had quite the time making it to Marshall, NC. Plus we had a little surprise at the end of the day.

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    View of Mt. Jefferson from the BRP.
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    Feeling hungry and needing fuel, I consulted the GPS to see what restaurants were nearby; we see the Parkway Restaurant is close and hit the next exit. We end up blowing right by the place as it's pretty small and probably would have never found it unless the GPS told us to turn around. The place was packed with locals, we ended up having to share a table with an older man as there weren't any free tables in the place, even after waiting a few minutes. He was quite the character, we shared hellos with general chitchat about what we were up too. Other than that I don't remember much of what we talked about but I don't think I'll forget him saying in his slow tongue chewing accent that he, "always wanted to go to Kentucky and see all the pretty horses" but he "never did." All I could think about was how sad he seemed by the fact, I mean we were in NC, Kentucky is the next state over.:huh He did follow it up with how he had been as far north as Maryland, probably because of the look I had unconsciously put on my face. You got love riding through rural America, there is always plenty to think about.

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    On down the road, wanting to see the Casino on the Lake Tahoma we made our way off the BRP and onto NC 226A or the Diamondback then onto NC80 known as The Devils Whip. I had no idea the two roads we were about to ride were so well know to motorcyclist but it sure was quite a nice little detour.
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    Getting off the parkway, we head over to my cousins in Marshall, NC where we would be spending the night. We made it half way down her road when my CB had a complete change in in exhaust note and a big loss in power. Stopping at the bottom of her driveway I knew there was no way I would be able to make it up her driveway, which is at the base of a mountain. I checked all the obvious things like fuel, etc. We had no such luck in finding out what the wrong. :cry We did end up making enough noise for them to come down and see what the hell we were doing, after making a few failed attempts to climb the driveway. About 30 minutes later we had the seat, top case, and tank off to find out we thought I had lost one of the coils and had no spark on two cylinders. Giving up for the night, as we had rode over 300 miles and had just sweated our asses off. I pulled the luggage off and bummed a ride up the hill leaving the bike next to the road.

    After a few glasses of tea, we went on the hunt for a tow strap to pull the bike up the mountain. Having towed the bike we had another first for the trip as I had never towed a bike (or wanted too) and had never broke down either. That night we figured out we could throw a couple Cavalier coils on the bike and possibly get it back on the road in the morning.


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    The next day we went out and and got the stuff we needed to replace the coils only to find out what was really wrong was I had a bad igniter. This was even worst news because we had no other easy option than to find a bike replacement part. We searched around for motorcycle junkyards finding the closest one was in Tennessee, some 60 miles away and only a "we can probably find one if you bring your old one" guarantee. Not wanting to impose on my cousin any more than we already had, I decided we would make the journey two up on Aaron's CB. This was probably worst part of the trip. Aaron and I are both pretty big guys slightly north of 200 pounds, close to 6 feet and all I can say is I don't want to have to do that again.

    We ended up finding the an igniter and almost paid a hefty price for it too, all the while I'm thinking about how I have two of them sitting on a parts bike at home. Oh well, shit happens, right? At least we got the part so can continue on our trip after our 60 mile two up ride back. ::freaky

    ....
    #54
  15. justafurnaceman

    justafurnaceman Imaginary

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,745
    Location:
    Hanging out in VA for the time being...
    Great pictures, great report. You've given me some great ideas of places to ride. Thanks.
    #55
  16. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Getting the bike back on the road at around 3pm, we decide to carry on with the route as planned. We would ride as far as we could that day and make a decision about whether to ditch a section of our route down into Georgia the next day.

    After rolling out of Marshall we headed up to Hot Springs, NC, then back south to Maggie's Valley then to end of the BRP.
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    Smokey Mountains National Park :D
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    So just after entering Smokey Mountains National I see a sign for elk the next XX miles. I promptly laugh to myself thinking , "What a joke. I've seen so many signs for moose and been all over New England but never even got a glimpse of one." A few miles down the road we come up to a bunch of cars alongside the road. I'm thinking someones had an accident or something, but to my surprise there are a few elk off to the side of the road. Luckily, Aaron had his zoom lens and was able to get a couple good shots of them.
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    The pictures really don't do them justice, really this guy was about the size of a large work horse. This picture makes him look about the size of a deer.
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    After a chilly ride up to Clingman's Dome
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    After a little hike we make it to the dome. The ride up here and the views are probably my favorite part of the trip.
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    After some epic riding and vistas we find a camp, setup for the night, and tune out. The next morning before we pack up and hit the road.
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    Taking a little break before we ride, The Dragon.
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    Made it, might have made pixie dust out of my exhaust clamps but it sure was fun. :D
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    Somewhere along the way we made the decision that we would ride the entire route we had planned even though we were about a day behind. It took us down to Georgia and I'm glad we did it, as there are some good roads down there.
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    Our day down to Georgia ended in Kentucky, we had road 425 miles for the day and were finally back on track. Our last day would be one full of rain, an unfortunate first, then ending back in Ohio.

    Still in Kentucky and about 200 miles from home base, after fighting low fuel, (as my bike was pissing gas more as the trip went on) plus stopping for rain gear, I had a little incident. As I went into a curve the bike felt like the rear tire locked up so I did my best to slow it down before sliding straight off the road.
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    After getting up and checking myself out I found that my new jacket, only a few months old had a nice hole in the left arm and my raingear was shredded in the same location. Other than a sore/bruised elbow I was fine, as it was the only part of my body that hit the road. The bike, on the other hand, was full of dirt and ejected my key as the headlight and cluster jammed into it. Thank god for crashbars. They really took a hit and probably saved the bike and me, as they slowed the bike down when it hit the dirt.

    Talking to Aaron we figured the kickstand was down as I shot some nice sparks going into the corner, causing the bike to tripod. We had just stopped a couple miles back and I figure with all my riding gear and rain gear I caught the kickstand walking the bike back on the road, as it sticks out pretty far. We just can't figure out why it didn't fold up or Aaron didn't see it down. Oh well shit happens right :baldy, after we found the key, straightened out the cluster so I could get the key in and removed the grass wedged in my motor. We continued on and ended up taking a direct route home, without further incident.
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    The next morning wake up and ride the 100 miles to take bike to my dads for storage. Luckily our trip wasn't much longer as the choke was stuck on and one of my carbs was really pissing gas now. I had to fill it up twice and feather the petcock half the way after using 4 gallons of gas in 50 miles. Needless to say my Dad has got a little work to do if he wants to ride it while I'm in Mass. Also snapped some picture of the damage.
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    Another project we have in the works.
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    #56
  17. m6scout1

    m6scout1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    198
    Location:
    Marysville, Ohio
    Lots of good pictures! I took one like the last one you have posted for Clingman's Dome little more zoomed in. It's now my screen saver at work. Probably my favorite pic of the whole trip with the cloud sweeping into the valley like that.

    I would have probably seen the kickstand if I wasn't checking out the scenery, I be sure to look at your kickstand on the next ride, no need to have that happen again. Anyhow I did see the sparks, they were pretty.
    #57
  18. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,119
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Damn, Bryan, sorry to hear about the crash! Glad you're okay, even if the bike needs a little TLC.

    --mark
    #58
  19. Sir. Waffles

    Sir. Waffles Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Spent the weekend with a bunch of VStroms up in Maine to doing some leaf peeping. What a great group of people. Looking forward to riding with them again. :clap

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    #59
  20. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Endeavor to persevere.

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    23,066
    Location:
    From Alabama to Newfoundland, it's all Appalachian
    Still lurking!
    Great stuff young man!!! :thumb

    Clingmans Dome!!!!!! Holy CRAP!!! Gorgeous.
    #60