North Georgia Dual Sport Weekend

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    This report is about the most fun you can have with your clothes on; riding a dual sport motorcycle. North Georgia happens to be a great place for dual sport riding and this past weekend happened to be one of the rare times when my schedule allowed me to ride Saturday and Sunday:ricky:rayof:wings:p3rry

    This report is also about DOOM!!!! Specifically the MUD HOLE OF DOOM, the TREE OF DOOM, and the TRAIL OF DOOM!!:eek1

    Normally I don't get to ride on Saturday due to my work schedule. This is a real bummer because there is usually a group riding then. This weekend SloDon was organizing a ride to explore some of the FS roads north of Helen GA. When a last minute change happened in my work schedule, I was excited:wings

    Six of us met Saturday morning in Ellijay. 5 KLRs and one "cheater", a KLX250 (actually 298). I had a good route to get to Helen so I led. We rode a mix of twisty back roads with a little dirt thrown in to
    get to our first challenge of the day; FS333

    Here's a pic of us taking a break at the end of FS333.

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    The cast of characters from the left: Bryce, GAKLX250, SloDon, Dirtroadpassion (DRP), and Marbleminer.
    #1
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    FS333 is normally a fun but pretty easy dirt road. There had been some pretty heavy rain in the area so it wasn't quite so easy today. Most of us didn't have real knobbies on our bikes. Three of us had Shinko 244s. They are great 50/50 tires, but not meant for serious mud. Still, I was having a blast and not sliding around too much when I noticed a small tree laying in the road. It was laying at an angle but wasn't very big so I just rode over it. NOT A GOOD IDEA:eek1 It threw my front tire sideways and I ended up sliding alomng in the mud for quite a ways and almost went off the edge of the road but my superior riding skills (OK, pure luck) allowed me to save it and ride on. I went around the corner and stopped. And I waited.....oh oh:eek1 GAKLX250 had been right behind me. I turned around and along he came. He had also almost crashed on the log and decided to turn around and ride over it again:huh I thought he had turned around to move the log. I didn't learn until later that he just wanted to ride over it again. We went to the end of the road where the previous pic had been taken and waited. And waited:ddog Where are those guys:dunno Don't they know we have a long way to ride? We headed back and soon ran into them coming along.
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  3. 06Klr650

    06Klr650 RidingCountry.com

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    I need to get my klr registered, these little day runs look like a lot of fun and I'm not to far from that area :D
    #3
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    It turns out that DRP did not get along too well with the tree in the road:muutt We decided to name that tree the "Tree of Doom". There were also some other issues on that section of road. I didn't get any pics since I was out front but some of the others did. I'll let them post.

    Continueing on, we took the following roads: Fish hatchery Rd, 60, Cooper Creek/FS4, Owltown Rd, and 129. We stopped for gas since the KLX had already burned through half of it's huge 1.9 gal tank.

    There were three Harleys parked there. These bikes were real attention getters. you couldn't miss them.

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    We talked to the riders. Like most of the Harley riders I have talked to in the past, these guys were real friendly. They all happened to buy Orange bikes and then met each other. I'm sure they get noticed when they ride by.

    After that we rode to Helton Creek Falls and hiked down to the falls.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    There some KLRs out riding almost every weekend, come join us. Many of the rides are planned on this thread: http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=78005
    #5
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    After the falls, it was time to cross Helton Creek....twice:ricky

    I took everyone's pic as they crossed.

    John had a camera mounted on his helmet so he probably got a pic of me taking his pic. He also shot some awesome video later in the day. I'll try to get him to post it in this report.

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    Marbleminer is next.

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    Another red KLR, ridden by DRP

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    SloDon

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    And Bryce.

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    #6
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    After crossing Helton Creek a couple of times, we headed towards Helen on the Ricky Russell Scenic Highway. This is a fun, paved, scenic road with constant medium to high speed sweepers. The beauty of the bikes we were riding is that the same bikes that work so well on gravel, mud and even through creeks, also work real well on roads like this.

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    At the end of this we headed past the outskirts of Helen. The place was an absolute zoo. There were so many tubers in the Chattahoochee river you could hardly see the water. I was glad we didn't have to ride through town, I'm sure it was a long slow traffic jam.

    Time for lunch. We headed for the Sky Lake Country Store, a great place for Hot Dogs, sandwiches, and ice cream. I hadn't been there for years and was looking forward to it:rayof When we got there.....it was CLOSED:cry
    It was closed for good:cry What a bummer. Even worse, There were 5 hungry riders looking at me. Luckily a lady told us about a place just down the road so off we went for lunch. We ate at the Sautee store. It was pretty good. I didn't get any pics, I was too busy eating.
    #7
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    After lunch, John (GALX250) asked me when we would be getting back to Ellijay. I had no idea:dunno I had not done this route before....actually we hadn't really decided on a route after lunch. He had a date with his wife and needed to be home by a certain time. He considered heading back by himself but had no idea how we got here. When I come up with a route, it usuelly involves lots of obscure little roads. I often don't know the names of many of them. We finally came up with a plan and I told him I'd get him back by 6. 6 would work for him. Of course, John had never ridden with me before. He didn't realize that when I say things like: "It's going to be a warm sunny day", "there will be little of no mud on todays ride", or "it's only a couple of miles".................it really means: "we'll be riding in the snow", or "there's no mud...only deep Georgia clay" or "It's a long way" :lol3 :lol3

    So off we went on the afternoon ride. I don't know the names of the first few roads, only that we went up Trey Mountain and that it was fun:ricky

    John put together a fantastic video showing what the riding was like and what dual sport riding is all about. The title is: "Dualsport Symphony in Motion" Here's the link: http://www.vimeo.com/13987866

    I only took one pic. It was during a break

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    We worked out way down to GA75 then rode FS44 towards Helen. I love FS44 but some of the guys didn't mainly because there is a fair amount of cage traffic on this road.

    While riding along I saw a big black dog on the road ahead so I stopped. On second look, it was a bear! I had put my camera away because it had looked like it might rain earlear:baldy John came skidding to a stop beside my and the bear took off. At leasty he had his helmet mounted camera taking pics.......well maybe not, the batteries were dead:baldy Since there were no pics or other witnesses:evil , the bear was huge....at least 500 pounds:eek1

    Maybe I'll be able to rectify the lack of bear pics on the Sunday ride.....stay tuned.

    Then we had to stop at the edge of Helen because someone, who I won't name, was low on gas again. The traffic was almost as bad a Atlanta rush hour, I was glad we weren't going through Helen. Then we headed back towards Ellijay. Back over the Ricky Russell Raceway. I had a clean run but the others got stuck behind a slow moving cage a good part of the way. As much as I like this road, I try to get off the beaten path and away from traffic as much as possible. Then we cut over to 129 via some roads I don't know the names of. Then 129 to Owltown to FS4. At Mulky Gap, John and I broke off from the group and hauled ass back to Ellijay to try to get him home on time. We did a little less dirt to save time but had a great ride. That little KLX did great in the twisties and John knows how to ride it:ricky

    We got back to Ellijay at 6:05. I didn't lie by too much:D

    John, I hope you didn't get this::ddog when you got home.

    That was the end of the Saturday ride. Bob, Jeff, and Don, it was great riding with you again. Bryce and John, great meeting and riding with you for the first time.

    Lets do it again soon:ricky

    Sunday's ride is still to come:wings
    #9
  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Sunday morning I wake up tired and sore from Saturday's ride. I must be getting old. Although I prefer riding with someone else, there are advantages to riding solo. Today I have no schedule to keep, and no real plan. I decide to make it an easy lazy day. I load up my trusty old 93 DR250 and head for the mountains. Normally I drive to Ellijay and unload there. Today I decide to do something different and cut the drive short and unload in Jasper.

    [​IMG]

    There are some "unnattended vehicles will be towed" signs but i figure i'll be OK leaving my truck here for the day. If anyone has a better suggestion for parking in Jasper, I'd love to hear it.

    The advantage of parking in Jasper is that it cuts 20-25 miles off my drive and still allows for a good route to the mountains.
    #10
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I head up towards route 136. I don't remember the names of the roads. For those who are interested in GPS tracks for my route, I don't got no GPS, I don't neeeed no steeenkin GPS. So no tracks.

    Here's a scenic lake.

    [​IMG]

    While stopped for this pic, a rider on a FJR1300 rides by. I'm thinking he has the perfect ride for riding the long uphill sweepers of GA136. My mighty DR will be struggling going up the mountain so it's a good think I'm not in a hurry because I won't be going fast.

    I get a couple of pics on the go.

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    The view looking south.

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    I must not be going that slow because I catch up to the FJR1300.

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    Then I take a left on Fausett's Lake Rd and right on 52 heading toward Amicalola Falls State Park.
    #11
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I ride into Amicalola Falls State Park. No fee required if you are just passing through.

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    Oh Oh! If you believe this sign, this could be more of an adventure than I expected:D

    I tackle the 25% grade and ride on to High Shoals road. It isn't paved but it smoother than many paved roads. It provides access to a small church.

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    The road continues to climb up to a higher elevation and the temperature drops.

    The elevation increases and temperature continues to drop untill I get to this.:huh
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    I guess that sign was right.
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    What, you don't believe me?:dunno
    #12
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    OK, that was Old Bucktown Rd last winter.

    After the turnoff for the church, High Shoals Rd became a little less smooth. And the mud puddles started.

    [​IMG]

    This one was interesting since I couldn't see how far it went around the corner. It didn't go far and was certainly not the Mud Hole of Doom.

    A little background on the Mud Hole Of Doom. In June I led a week long ride in North Carolina. On the first day we encountered an unexpectedly deep mud hole and one of the riders decided to call it the "Mud Hole of Doom". This mud hole had some unusual characteristics. First, the hole keeps getting bigger, longer and deeper as time passes:D Second, it has the ability to move to different locations. Some of the riders were riding in North Ga a few weeks ago and encountered the Mud Hole Of Doom again.

    I came to this mud hole and stopped.

    [​IMG]

    There were two jeeps to my right, not in the picture. There was a large SUV straight ahead. After the jeeps had passed, I went right through a smaller mud puddle. The large SUV went through the large puddle. I was surprised to see such a large vehicle out here. This road is pretty rough and narrow.

    Then I came to the Mud Hole of Doom:eek1

    [​IMG]

    It doesn't look like much but it was at least three feet deep:eek1 That's my story and I'm sticking to it:evil
    #13
  14. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    go thru the woods
    #14
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    After the Mud Holes, the rocks started.

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    Then some bigger rocks.

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    This is not the first time I have gotten a bright flash in my pictures. I finally figured out the cause. the Mud hole Of Doom transports itself to different locations by passing through the time-space continuum. If you happen to take a pic while it is passing by, you get a flash in the picture. Again, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :deal

    I soon get to Nimblewill Gap. As you may have already heard, old Bucktown has been graded. Here's a pic;

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. BryceB

    BryceB It's OK, we know the Mayor!

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    Great ride on Saturday. Here's a slideshow of my pics

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    #16
  17. Rainmaster

    Rainmaster Been here awhile

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    Great RR.

    I moved to this area recently and I agree that the roads are great in and around Helen. Most likely when you came out of the Richard Russell Pkway you turned left on Alt 75 to 75 where you go over the river and see the people tubing the Hooch. At that intersection you turned right on 75 a few hundred yards to 356 towards Unicoi. A couple miles past the Lodge you can turn onto Sky Lake rd and continue on to Sautee or continue on 356 and turn left at Chimney Mtn road (it connects at two sections to 356) from there is an almost 2,000 feet elevation change up Tray Mtn Rd. That FS Road is a workout on the KLR's but great fun. Thanks for the Video!
    #17
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Thanks for adding the pics:thumb
    #18
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Yep, that was the route exactly. Do you know how long the Sky Lake store has been closed? That used to be a great place for lunch.

    Thank John (GAKLX250 on klr650.net) for the video:clap
    #19
  20. BryceB

    BryceB It's OK, we know the Mayor!

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    I was going to say that was awfully familiar sounding
    #20