RDV 2012 Roadtrip: A review and trip report

Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' started by backwoodsKLR, May 22, 2012.

  1. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    So for the past 2 years, I have traveled to Laurel Springs, NC for the Eastern Rendevous Rally or RDV for short. Upon returning, I have made a thread to share some of the fun with y'all who didn't go.

    I trailered the KLR up for the first 2 years and this year, AntiCyclone and I decided to go and ride all the way, so I prepped my Wee for this trip. This year was also different in that Rick, aka Party Boss, who was the rally organizer, passed away in a motorcycle wreck returning from bike week in Daytona. So this became "Rick's Rendezvous" and others stepped in to make sure it still happened in his honor.

    It was almost 2200 miles round trip for me.

    So you see, here is what happened...
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    I departed Brandon on Wednesday, May 16. Loaded and ready for the road...
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    Okay, so not totally ready, had to grab some quick breakfast at the Donut Palace!
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    A quick gas fill up and out Highway 25 I headed.
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    It was a bit cool in a short sleeve and mesh jacket, but i turned the MP3 player up, kicked on the heated grips for a bit, and set the throttle lock, full of anticipation for a great trip. Soon passed over the Tenn-Tom waterway and knew I was getting close.
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    Pulled in at AntiCyclone's house and he was packed and waiting for me.
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    Anti had made us a route across northern Alabama so he heads out in the lead.
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    We start getting into some hills and curves in the road...
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    I spy an interesting train trestle(?) but my camera is slow to turn on so I snap a shot over my shoulder.
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    I am always fascinated at the old house, barns, buildings, etc along the rural routes.
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    ...
    #1
  2. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

    Joined:
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    We were soon in mining country.
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    Anti had planned a few rest stops along the way, and one of them happened to be here:
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    Where a large dragline has been resting for 30 something years since it was retired. The local hoodlums have been vandalizing it and lawyers had the company worried about liability from the kids climbing on the boom, so they lowered it down a few years back. Now it is parts for other machines they have still running. I had seen Anti's pics of it before, but until you see it in person, you won't realize how HUGE this thing is!
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    Here is Anti and the security guard talking things over.
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    This was the operators cabin
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    The size and scale of the cables, pulleys, chains, etc is awesome!
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    After making friends with the security guard, Anti got us an invitation to go inside. Either that or the lonely guard just wanted to keep us around so he had someone to talk to. So here we go... Had to move a wasp nest out of the lock box.
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    No electricity, so only light was coming through holes in the roof.
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    Did I say this thing was HUGE?
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    #2
  3. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

    Joined:
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    We finally pry ourselves away from the guard and his stories and history lessons... :D

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    We soon realize it is lunch time and the donut palace is wearing off. We spot a local cafe along the road and there were just enough cars for us to trust it.
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    Bellies full, we hit the road again...
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    Well, for short distance.
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    We soon get moving and I notice something on the dash of the Wee...
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    And we keep heading north and east and start getting into more and more hills
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    We take the loop around Little River Canyon. I laughed because the second day I owned the Wee, I rode it to Little River Canyon with Trophy, who was then on Anti's Tiger 1050! So it was a reunion tour of sorts! :lol3
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    Anti at the big rock in the road at Little River Canyon
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    Little River Falls
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    Anti's plan was to route us around Chattanooga traffic. Which worked, but put us on a gravel road. I didn't mind, but the fully loaded Tiger on street tires was a handful.
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    He'll be coming 'round the mountain when he comes...
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    This got us to Cleveland, TN for the night and a brief stay at a motel to rest up for what day 2 had in store!!
    #3
  4. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

    Joined:
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    Off to a Nice start. :lurk
    #4
  5. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

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    I'm having a fight with smugmug :baldy. I'll chime in in a bit...

    I think everyone getting to work and uploading all their photos from the RDV is slowing Smugmug down. I paid my bill I swear!
    #5
  6. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

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    Sorry for the delay. Smugmug is back up and running again.

    So BW shows up about 45 minutes late, but that's ok, it gave me more time to drink coffee and be lazy. We weren't pressed for time on day one anyway.

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    Titanic moment?

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    Rolling through Fayette, AL

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    Scooter HI-VIZ ATGATT

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    Pretty Caddy

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    Contemplating whatever it is a man of his infinite wisdom contemplates. Which is another way of saying nobody knows.

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    For the geology dorks amongst us

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    You know you're getting to the mountains when you start seeing this stuff

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    I've got to get a higher resolution point and shoot camera...

    The Tiger did fine...

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    That's all I've got for day one. Coming soon, Warning, there be Dragons in these forests.
    #6
  7. RoyQ

    RoyQ Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,197
    Location:
    Mississippi
    More like COPS in the forest but hey it's all good (I don't pay them fools any attention anyway:evil) but I know where you are coming from so continue, I am enjoying it. It's getting me all warmed up for next week up there.:hide
    #7
  8. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

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    You don't know how right you are...
    #8
  9. RoyQ

    RoyQ Long timer

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    It's all those speeding:huh well maybe not, drunkin pirates on those rolling road blocks, yea that's why they are there gotta be it. Somebody has to be there to scoop them up when they wipe out on those fast 20 mph switchbacks and paved pull offs. Buncha rear brake, no riding losers what is this world coming too:rofl
    #9
  10. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    :lol3 Still ahead... I learn what a "Harley Train" is... :mad? (Okay, so some of them had Gold Wings taggin along as a caboose...) :D
    #10
  11. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    After a supper at Five Guys, a decent amount of rest and free breakfast at the Hampton Inn in Cleveland, we were ready to get some miles on!
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    A little mountain fog and morning cool crisp air
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    Starting to get into the real mountains...
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    We headed for Tellico Plains and the start of the Cherahola Skyway and pass a Hardley Dealership...
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    We start out on the Skyway, lovin' every minute
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    Made it just far enough to need to get off and stretch for a bit
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    I love mountain streams
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    Back on the Skyway
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    I forgot to add that Anti led the first day and I routed us on the second day
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    ...
    #11
  12. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

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    I guess BW is working or something... Anyway, I'll pick up day two.

    We stayed in Cleveland TN at the Hampton Inn. I can't say too much bad about it. The hotel staff let us park right under the front awning in view of the front desk, so that's always a plus.

    We got a pretty early start as both of us work up around 5:00 eastern time. The free breakfast didn't start until 6 so we got packing. I think we were rolling by 7:00.

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    Ocoee Lake

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    Maybe the Ocoee river?

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    Made it to Deal's Gap by about 10:00 after hitting some roads that I won't mention for fear of them becoming crowded too.

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    The Dragon isn't exactly a picture taking kind of road, but I got a few...

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    I'll let BW tell the story

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    Next time you Jackson fellas head up, here's the place for you to stay

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    First rolling roadblock of the weekend

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    Rode 800 miles only to find this guy stopped with bike problems...

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    Our home for the weekend

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    That's it for day two. Some of the better riding of the trip really. Weather was beautiful. Well, until about 10:00pm when the bottom absolutely dropped out. My tent is just now set up in the front yard 5 days later drying out.
    #12
  13. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    On the skyway, this fellow was giving his big truck / fifth wheel hauler everything he could to keep us from passing and I was actually somewhat impressed at some of the curves he took at speed.
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    We are making pretty good time, traffic not too bad, then we start seeing dirt out in the road. Looks like backhoe was cleaning out ditches. Sure enough, round a corner and...
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    They finally pull over and we run on..
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    I'm sure this is blurry from the blinding speed of the Wee... :norton
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    Swinging bridge?
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    #13
  14. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Soon we round a corner and there I see the famous Deal's Gap Resort.

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    We finally find parking
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    Anti and I had hoped that hitting it rather early on a Thursday morning would cut down on the crowds that we hear so much about... if this was a slim crowd, I would hate to see it on a weekend! There were Hardley Ablesons, Racers, tourers, baggers, choppers, and a nissan Z club meeting. All kinds of Fast and Furious 350Z's and Infiniti G35's.

    We decided we better make our pass and get the heck out of dodge. I did not like the crowds and I could already see the idiots starting to run by. I just wanted to see it, ride it, say I've done it, and move on...

    Video of my virgin run coming soon...
    #14
  15. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

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    Eagerly awaiting the video. All I can say about the Dragon is it would be a damn fine road if nobody was on it. I'll also say that nobody caught up to us and I didn't violate the double yellow. So I consider it a success:clap. I'd ride it again, but it will be before 8:00am next time.
    #15
  16. RoyQ

    RoyQ Long timer

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    That would have been 15-20 years ago. Back then it was fun and no Pirate barges, no picture takers, cops or even sportbikes to contend with or anything for the most part. Speed limit was not 30 either.:D

    The internet ruined it :cry
    #16
  17. backwoodsKLR

    backwoodsKLR Ride more, Post Less.

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    Yep. I figure any road that has a name, stores at each end selling merchandise, and marketing is off limits for me! :cry I knew I was a newb. My sole goal, like Anti said, was to stay in my lane, not be a road block to anyone else, and try to have fun. Well, it was fun and nobody tailgated or passed me (except for Anti behind me). I know I will never set a speed record there and don't care to try. But it was fun to ride. :lol3 (video still processing).
    #17
  18. DavidQ

    DavidQ We Don't Rent Pigs

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    Good report guys! Keep it going.:clap
    #18
  19. RoyQ

    RoyQ Long timer

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    Best time to run it now if there is such a thing is early in the morning at sun up or late in the evening before sun down during the weekdays. That way you miss pretty much everyone and it can be fun then.:wink:
    #19
  20. Trophy1298

    Trophy1298 Vicarious Cowboy

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    Deal's Gap is a must for riders. If for nothing else but to scrape some chrome off the bike or show everyone your new leather racing suit. :lol3

    First time I rode it was in the late 80's early 90's. Speed limit was 55 and there was no traffic. The last 4 or 5 times I've been up that way in good weather I have avioded it completely.

    Good report, keep it coming.
    #20