New Hampshire to Florida and Back and More!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GraniteStateGS, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Day 3: Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, QC Canada - Colebrook, NH

    Day once again started a little wet, drizzle mostly. Broke camp and hit the road. Didn't go far before finding a gas station with a Tim Horton's for some breakfast. The days plan was to travel north toward Quebec City and at some point head south back into NH. The light rain quickly passed but it was followed by very strong winds. I would find myself driving into them for most of the day. Great highway leading up toward Quebec City and the St Lawrence river from 85 to 20.

    Stopped somewhere along the river

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    I didn't actually go int Quebec City due to time so continued passed it and at some point decided I had enough of the highway and hit the back roads towards NH. I can't really tell you what roads I took, I was at the mercy of my GPS. I will say they are great roads with neat little towns in between. Many farms with rolling hills and mountains in the distance.

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    By mid afternoon I was back in NH. The border crossing took a while due to the agent having a BMW 650 of his own, he had a lot of questions. Fortunately the border was quiet so we didn't hold anyone up.

    Made it to my destination around 5PM in Colebrook, NH. No picture of my actual campsite as it was just a spot in the woods. Here is a shot of the view from the main office, that "notch" you can barely see is Dixville notch of presidential primary fame.

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    Into town soon after setting up camp for a bite to eat at the Black Bear Tavern. Another long day so back to camp and into bed early.
    #41
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  2. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Day 4: Colebrook, NH - Hampton, NH

    Early start to my day once again. Weather was perfect. Quick trip into town for gas and food. Decided to take the more scenic road home on RT 16 through the white mountains.

    A closer view of Dixville notch

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    Another great road, really enjoyed this one. Started seeing some wildlife, a deer running across the road and an eagle on the river. This route had be driving by the base of Mount Washington. It was still early and a wonderful day and passing by I noticed nobody lined up to travel the auto road. So quickly decided to give it a go. Paid the fee, got my "This motorcycle climbed Mount Washington" sticker and off I went. I basically stayed in 2nd gear the whole time and prayed nobody was stopped in front of me. The trip up was fantastic, a few spots where it maybe felt steeper than it was. The top of the mountain as usual was socked in with clouds. I had hiked it several times in the past so was fine with that.

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    it got chilly fast up there so I soon headed back down. Stopped once for a picture

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    The decent is easy on a motorcycle. Very little braking required as engine braking makes it easy, basically cruised down in 2nd gear with no traffic to stop me.

    From here it was RT 16 to 95 south and home! At some point my bike turned 10!

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    At this point I have only had the bike for about a year and my MC license for a little over a year.

    Thanks for reading!
    -Steve
    #42
  3. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,454
    Location:
    Kingsmill Corner Ont.
    Enjoyed travelling with you. Nice pics. Thanks
    #43
  4. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    So after a years worth of wonderful adventure and lots of highway miles, I made a tough decision. It was time for a bigger bike. As many most likely know this is never an easy decision. The BMW 650gs has been amazing, 0 problems after so many miles. I had yet to even replace the tires.

    A few weeks ago after scanning craigslist and working with local dealers I settled on a bike I found up in near Burlington, VT. One last little adventure! I drove my faithful steed up on a Saturday with the plan of riding the new (to me) bike home.

    Last picture of the 650gs

    20160806_121707.jpg

    You didn't have to look far for the new ride

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    I decided on a 2011 BMW r1200gs adventure with about 32k miles. It is a lot of bike for someone who has just been riding for just over a year. I was so nervous even demo riding the thing but fell instantly in love. So after a few hours of phone calls and paper work, I drove my new machine home. This is was a highway trip, basically NH 101 to 93 and 89 then back. The ride and the power was a huge eye opener to me. It rides so beautifully on the highway, being able to easily keep up with and pass traffic is amazing, something I tended to struggle with on the 650. I hope she finds a wonderful new home.
    #44
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  5. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
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    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Managed to take a little trip north this past weekend as well. Up 302 through Crawford Notch in NH then returning via the Kancamagus Highway.

    Quick stop at the Mount Washington hotel

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    Overlook on the Kancamagus Highway

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    #45
  6. HpiRally

    HpiRally Believes in Bigfoot

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    184
    Location:
    Out looking for Bigfoot
    any more photos of your travels? especially foliage travels!?

    enjoy the the new bike
    #46
  7. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
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    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    I wish. Due to work I had to move the bike south sooner than I wanted to. I will be posting about that trip soon.

    I did manage to take in the Northern Vermont foliage this past weekend though on another set of wheels. This is Kingdom Trails in Burke, VT.

    ktoverlook.jpg
    ktchurch.jpg
    #47
  8. JustPlainDave

    JustPlainDave Tubeless Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    Sarasota, Fl
    Hey Granite, thanks for the report.
    Next time you are in SRQ let's go ride.
    #48
  9. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    So once again I had the opportunity to take some time off to transport my bike down to Florida. Last year I took a coastal route, this year would be a bit different. Friends and this forum have convinced me that I have to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway, so that was the plan. Due to scheduling at work I was forced to make the trip a bit earlier than expected, I left the last week in September.

    Day 1: Hampton, NH to Danbury, CT

    The 1st leg of the trip was to be mostly highway. I wasn't going to be able to leave until late Sunday afternoon so had a plan to get as close to New York City as I could. I would then leave early Monday with the hope of avoiding traffic around the city. The trip to Danbury was uneventful other than having some difficulty finding the Best Western Hotel.

    Obligatory departure day with bike packed picture:

    20160925_155426.jpg
    #49
  10. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Day 2: Danbury, CT - Elkton, VA

    Got up early and had the hotel breakfast. Sticking to my plan of avoiding NYC traffic on a Monday morning I set off early. I enter my 1st destination, Front Royal, VA and hit the road. No sooner than I got on the highway I was stuck in traffic. Curses! It was slow going but I was moving. No worries, a little of this and I knew I would soon be over the Tappan Zee bridge and on my way. So after about an hour of stop and go I started to see signs for White Plains and then the George Washington bridge, WTF?? How did this happen? I so didn't want to ride the big GS into NYC traffic, even on a good day, let alone Monday morning rush hour! I realized too late that I should have forced the GPS to put me over the tappan Zee by selecting a town just over the river. Too late, I was now committed. Heart racing I continued on my way. Believe it or not, the traffic improved the closer I got to the city and I soon found myself zipping over the George Washington Bridge, yahoo! I probably got into New Jersey around 9 and took a break. My objective was to get to Fort Royal, VA that afternoon and ride as much of the Skyline Drive as I could before stopping. So after a few hours more of highway I made it.

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    The Skyline drive is beautiful.
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    But it soon got very foggy and deer started popping up in the road. Fortunately the speeds are low and they are easily avoided
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    #50
  11. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Still day 2, Elkton, VA

    Prior to my departure and scanning the forums I kept running across this reference to Tentspace. After some digging I learned what it was and decided to give it a try. Using that tool I had contacted a member on these forums and told him my plan of riding Skyline Monday and being in his area that evening. The member was bloochdog. He, Loftus, turned out to be an amazing host. He made me most welcome and had a wonderful dinner ready when I arrived. We spent quite a bit of time talking bikes in his garage. He also made me a member of the Bulllwinkle Death Riders.

    20160926_212728.jpg
    #51
  12. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Day 3: Elkton, VA to Blowing Rock, NC

    Up relatively early. Had an awesome breakfast prepared by Loftus and enjoyed coffee overlooking the South Fork of the Shenandoah river. Still a very foggy morning, I could have stayed there all day. Loftus decided to join me for the start of the trip as he wanted to visit some friends that morning about 30 minutes south. So after a while we pulled into a gas station and said our goodbyes. He went west, I was to continue south to the northern start of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Rockfish, VA. I should mention that I didn't complete the last 1/3 of Skyline due to it being still very foggy up there that morning, I will have to return some day.

    I made it to the BRP around mid morning it what was now looking to be a beautiful day.

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    The road is everything I was told it would be and more. I love the max speed and 45 mph, the scenery and the curves. The entire day was full of overlooks such as this.

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    I drove a lot this day, maybe 300 miles. By 5 PM I was getting concerned about a place to stay. Loftus, the wonderful person he is, had called and made arrangements for me at a place in Blowing Rock. I was maybe 50 miles from there when I called to confirm they still had a room for me and they did. I wish I could recall the name of the place, they were great and within walking distance of everything you could need, it was on Sunset drive in Blowing Rock, near a brew pub which I enjoyed very much that night. I wish I took some pictures of the town, it is lovely. I had a great chat with 2 guys riding from the south, they said it had been raining on them most of the day, it was a beautiful ride for me, guess I got lucky. Hope this will hold for another day.
    #52
  13. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Day 4: Blowing Rock, NC to Anderson, SC

    Up a little later than expected with a touch of a headache. Grabbed some coffee and hit the road. Had another big day ahead, maybe 150 miles more of the Blue Ridge then south to a friends who had just moved to South Carolina with his family from New York. Weather was perfect. Most of the same amazing road with amazing views

    One of my favorite pictures from the trip:

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    And the highest point:

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    And finally the end of the road, oddly enough it looked like the start...

    20160928_153755.jpg

    I did stop at the BMW dealer in Asheville, Eurosport Ashville. I had stopped to check my oil and thought it low so decided to pick some up there. When I went to the counter with the quart of oil the gentleman behind the register asked if I just needed a topper which I did. He immediately took my keys and brought my bike in to the service department. While I was waiting in the parking lot 2 riders approached me and asked about my ADV sticker and my Bullwinkle Death Riders sticker. They were 2 riders heading to a cookout I believe, one was from Canada the other originally from Mass. We had a great chat and they both offered me some wonderful advice, they knew Loftus as well. Wish I could recall their names. Soon my bike was returned with a full report on its status, all was well and no charge! The guys at Eurosport are fantastic!
    #53
  14. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Day 5: Anderson, SC to Huntersville, NC

    Spent the night with a friend in Anderson, SC. Had a nice time catching up and seeing his family was doing well with the move. Today was going to be a short trip, about 2 hours to Huntersville, NC just north of Charlotte. I didn't stop and take pictures, didn't do anything scenic unfortunately due to leaving my friends late and getting advice to be north of Charlotte before the 3pm rush hour. I passed the town of Cowpens, a place I wanted to visit, guess I will have to do that another time. I managed to make to my nights destination in Huntersville around 3. I have a cousin who just moved ther with his family from the Chicago area, they absolutely love it. We had a fun night and it turns out one of his new neighbors attended Norwich while I was there in 1987 and we happened to know each other, small world sometimes.

    Day 6: Huntersville, NC to Sarasota FL.

    Why do I always do this to myself? A long last leg. My original plan was to end on day 7 around noon, but I was to fly out the following day. I decided to drive straight through to my parents without stopping to have some more time with them. I took RT 301 mostly, what a fascinating road. Again, wish I stopped to take some pictures. I guess the most interesting bits were the abandoned motels and gas stations around the SC/GA border I think. I guess this used to be one of the main roads to Florida before 95 was put in. Always being cautions of deer up north I was a bit freaked to see a dead wild boar on the side of the road, something else to look out for now! I was once again blessed with amazing weather, it wasn't until late that night did I hit maybe 30 minutes of rain. I finally arrived in Sarasota around midnight.

    The next morning I washed my faithful steed and sadly put her away until our next adventure...

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    Thanks for reading!
    -Steve
    #54
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  15. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Hi JustPlainDave, just saw this. I may be down in Sarasota mid January. I plan to do a little riding locally, hope you're around.

    -Steve
    #55
  16. JustPlainDave

    JustPlainDave Tubeless Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    Sarasota, Fl
    Hi Steve,
    Sorry, but I've not been on ADV in a while. It's been a busy few months. I'm heading to Chicago the first week of Feb. but, I should be around until then.
    If you are into straight flat roads, you'll be in heaven.
    #56
  17. bcliff

    bcliff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
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    549
    Location:
    Northern Mass and NH Lakes Region
    subscribed
    #57
  18. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Going to try an update as I travel this time. Arrived in Florida a few days ago to prepare for the trip back north.

    Dusted off the bike and put on a new front tire (Shinko 705)

    Plan is to leave around noon on Saturday and head to the Georgia coast from Sarasota. Not sure where I will end up.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
    #58
  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,302
    Location:
    Central MA
    Looking forward to your future posts. Thanks!
    #59
  20. GraniteStateGS

    GraniteStateGS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Hampton, NH
    Day 1: Sarasota, FL to Darien, GA.

    Fairly straightforward travel day. Started a little later than I wanted to due to headset issues. Hit the road at 1pm just as the rain started to fall! Took 75N to 301 to 95. Rain quickly passed and was a beautiful sunny day.

    Noticed tank was getting low as I neared Darien but bike reported 60 miles remaining. Wouldn't you know it, bike started to quit a mile from a gas exit and engine shut down. As I was coasting towards the breakdown lane I made a serious error. I think I popped the clutch trying to down shift with the engine off! I proceeded to fishtail to a stop after over 50 yards of skidding!!! Total beginners error, but hey, I am one! Got the bike restarted and managed to get to a gas station. Took a while to slow the heart rate.

    Got into my hotel and enjoyed some Georgia shrimp and a beer before at Skippers Fish Camp before turning in.

    Only picture is my departing shot[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
    #60
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