Riding the TET from MA to NC

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Spinalcracker, May 7, 2013.

  1. Spinalcracker

    Spinalcracker former redriderofma

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,093
    Location:
    Western MA
    We are in Winchester VA tonight. Long day with rain. The weather started to clear around 4pm so we rode till 8 and are staying in a hotel.

    We stopped for a while in Centrailia PA to check it out. Yikes Heat and smoke coming out of the ground.

    I will have more pictures later too tired now.

    Tomorrow we start on the DIRT !!!!
    #21
  2. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,439
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    My sister graduated from Lenoir-Rhyme University (Hickory NC) last night and she earned Cum Lade honor. :deal I'm so proud of her! :clap I know you are very excited to watch your step-daughter graduate and you will be very proud of her, too! This call for a :freaky

    And I am in for pics of your trip.. I thought about taking this route from NC to NB (Canada) in couple of year so am interested to see if this route will be worth my time. Thanks for doing this report!
    #22
  3. Hulked Up

    Hulked Up Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    287
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Day 2 is done. 263 miles, which is a lot on a KLR with TKC80's.

    We started the day with rain in White Haven, Penna. We rode for about an hour to the former Centralia and we had steady rain throughout our day until about 2pm or so.

    Centralia was pretty cool. It took us a few minutes to find our bearings but after a bit we located the plumes of smoke coming out of the rocky ground, right where the fire started in 1962. It was cool to see the abandoned roads and driveways leading nowhere. You'd see some signs of the former habitation, like a basketball backboard still nailed to a tree. The smoke was nothing dramatic, but cool nonetheless. You could feel the heat and sometimes find pieces of coal laying around. I went up to where the road had been blocked and walked for a bit but it wasn't a good day for a long walk to find the buckled pavement. I could have spent a couple of hours there exploring (I love urban/rural archeology).

    From there we got hit with a nice downpour of rain for a few hours. We pulled in for lunch at the Ric-Mar Restaurant in Northumberland, Penna. The owner/cook saw us pull in and offered to throw our wet gear in their dryer for an hour. Yes! :clap Great food too. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.

    The rest of the day was spent riding Route 522 through southern Pennsylvania, then into Maryland (2 min.), West Virginia and Virginia. The road rivals anything we have in New England (including Vermont). 20-30 miles at a time with nothing in between, hemmed in by mountains and surrounded by farms. It kept our interest the whole day.

    We also visited some more of the depressing towns that dot the area: Weatherly and Hazelton seemed the most noteworthy.

    Our goal was to make Front Royal, but given our late start due to the rain and the stop in Centralia it was just a bit too far. We settled for another Holiday Inn Express in Winchester, VA. We are all exhausted.

    One more thing...we have been joking around about the weight of the bikes and how much crap we took. To settle the issue we stopped at a truck stop early in the morning and put them on the scale. I think Mike will chime in on that one.

    Here are some pictures from the last couple of days. I have a lot of video but it's a lot harder to edit and upload with the tools I have available to me.

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    Yay, spending money!

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    Checking map in Connecticut

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    Mike relaxing in NY

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    We thought we'd ride gravel. The sign lied!

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    A trail in the Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania. We didn't try it.

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    Abandoned roads in the former Centralia

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    Open fissure of steam. Mike has a good video of it. The rocks were warm and you could feel the heat coming out of it.

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    This is Jim at the area where the fire originated in 1962.

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    This is the closed section of highway that's buckled from the heat further down.

    Tomorrow we join up with the Trans-East Trail and head south through VA and WV. None of us has any idea what the roads are like. The adventure begins.
    #23
  4. keister

    keister keister

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    SW PA.
    Keith here (friend of Jim's). Following your progress on SPOT. Very envious!;-)
    Looks like you're "Into The Wild" today. When in doubt...GAS IT!
    #24
  5. Tampa Tim

    Tampa Tim Lucky....

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Clearwater Beach, FL
    Fellows, I know you will enjoy your ride. My buddy Mike and I have ridden TET 7 all the way to the end of TET 1 down in St. George Island, FL. I don't want to give away any of whats in store for you as this is your adventure so I will be breif. If you can spend the night in Hot Springs, NC stay at the Iron Horse Station Inn, http://www.theironhorsestation.com/ Awesome hotel, food, etc. Enjoy the water crossing as you head south out of Hot Springs. Go as far south as you can on TET 5 then onto TET 4. I know you said you are turning around in NC but you are so close to some awesome dirt and gravel mountain roads. It's worth an extra day! Keep the posts coming. We will be reading them!
    Enjoy the ride.
    #25
  6. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,141
    Location:
    Almost Heaven
    I'm a couple of days late to the party. Ride safe, and enjoy.
    #26
  7. Spinalcracker

    Spinalcracker former redriderofma

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,093
    Location:
    Western MA
    We had a great day of riding today. Sunny skies but very windy and a little on the cold side. On a couple of the high passes the temp got to 48. It is predicted to be in the 30's tonight so another night of roughing it in a motel with a HOT TUB after a day of riding.


    Guess who's bike weighs almost as much as a dinosaur ?

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    Yesterday when we left the motel we stopped by the truck stop and weight the bikes.

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    One bike weighed 660 lbs. one was 540 lbs and one was 520 lbs. A prize to the one who guesses correctly.


    These are your choices.

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    Off to the hot tub. More pictures later.
    #27
  8. Spinalcracker

    Spinalcracker former redriderofma

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,093
    Location:
    Western MA
    Nice and relaxed after the hot tub.

    We started on the dirt today and had amazing roads. Everything from 2 lane to gravel to water crossings to Route 33 with it fast banked turns.

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    This is where we started.

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    On the forest service road in George Washington Forest it looks like a fire went through there maybe last year.

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    We are not in New England anymore.

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    The KLR doods

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    After a short paved connection we were back to the forest.

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    Then out of the woods to find food. We stopped at the Lost River Grill. Great food and service. It was Mother's Day the place was almost full. Nothing else around for miles.

    Then we rode in a valley by Lost River West Virginia.

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    Back in to the woods and we started to climb up to 3000 feet and the temperature dropped to about 48 degrees.

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    We came down off the mountain and came to a water crossing. It didn't seem that big but it had slippery uneven rocks so we helped each other through. We thought we were all set then 100 yards the stream hooked around and we had to cross it again.

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    It was getting late and we decided to head to Harrisonburg VA. We took route 33 up and over the mountain. That was a blast to ride.

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    Keith took lots of video and will post them in a while.

    More tomorrow.
    #28
  9. 70East

    70East Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    516
    Location:
    NOVA, not by choice.
    I'm excited, I want to do this ride.

    Anyway I can get your KMZ files.
    #29
  10. Spinalcracker

    Spinalcracker former redriderofma

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,093
    Location:
    Western MA
    go to gps tracks "laying down tracks" forum

    then " Northeast, Southeast"

    you will see a sticky for the "TeT"

    Follow the directions and intothenew will send you what you need.

    A lot of work went into this route and it is amazing and we only covered a short part so far.
    #30
  11. Hulked Up

    Hulked Up Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    287
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Day 3 was the day we finally hit the dirt. We picked up the TET about 15 miles south of our hotel in Winchester, VA. This early section had a fair number of paved roads, but they were pretty remote and rural. The unpaved roads were mostly gravel, which is a switch for me. Our dirt roads in New England have very little gravel, unless there is some damage to repair.

    After a bit we ended up in the George Washington National Forest and rode through a nice 15 mile section into West Virginia.

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    More paved roads got us to Squirrel Gap Road. This was another National Forest Service road with a lot of gravel. It was a little out of my comfort zone with all the gravel (like riding on marbles) but we all did fine. We were in here about an hour and only saw one other vehicle.

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    Can anyone identify this type of snake? It was just sunning itself. Pretty cold day today, in the 60's.

    After we got done with Squirrel Gap we had an excellent lunch at the Lost River Grill in Lost River, WV. Nice southern hospitality. It was Mother's Day so everyone was in their Sunday best.

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    More paved roads followed and we crossed the VA/WV border a few times. We ended up on Criders Road, which is in the George Washington National Forest. The road starts off benign up then starts to seriously climb the 3,000 foot mountain. It was in excellent condition. No gravel, no ruts or washouts.

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    At the top, in a meadow was a solitary house. The guy was out cutting his grass. Right after that the road deteriorated a bit, but nothing we couldn't handle. Considering the weight we were carrying the bikes did very well.

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    At the bottom of the hill we ran into a water crossing. The water wasn't too deep but the rocks at the bottom were pretty large. Given that we were 500 miles from home with 500-600 pound bikes we decided to push them across.

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    By the time we got off this road it was getting late in the day. There were no services in the area so we decided to run to Harrisonburg to get a hotel. We were treated to a tremendous ride on Rt.33 in West Virginia.

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    I had Jim on my tail so I waved him around and then I lost him. He gave me on a riding lesson today.

    Day 4 awaits.
    #31
  12. CRAIGCHI

    CRAIGCHI n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Western Mass
    Looks like you guys are having the best time, the roads up here are going to be so boring when you get back.

    I think Dr. Mike won on the scale contest with Jim in second.

    Watching the last video it looked like Jim's right side bag was hanging a little low.
    #32
  13. justplainray

    justplainray ucancallmeray

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    jolly old New England
    #33
  14. Dualsport Chic

    Dualsport Chic Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    503
    Location:
    Western CT
    I would agree - pattern, girth and length all suggest corn snake - one of the 'good guys'

    If you see a girthy one about 2-3 feet in length with similar markings but a little more beige - stay clear - Eastern Copperheads are very common in the areas you're riding.

    Have fun gents & keep the pictures coming! :clap
    #34
  15. Petzl

    Petzl Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    Copperhead Snake (?)
    #35
  16. Hulked Up

    Hulked Up Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    287
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    200 miles today, nice mix of dirt and blacktop. I call today "Black Friday" because it was the day all the work and planning of the trip paid off. The rest of the trip is just dessert.

    We did section 4 of the TET, from around the Douthat State Park down to Covington, VA. It was about 40+ miles of dirt and probably the best we've ever ridden on. We did three sections that were 10-15 miles each. Between the blacktop there was nothing. No people (except a grader crew), no houses, a couple of cars, that's it. We had the roads to ourselves. Gravel was minimal, the surfaces were maintained, good runout, great lines of sight. It was a day to really work on my dual sport techinque. You could ride as fast as you want for as long as you want. Paradise on two wheels.

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    beautiful valleys and farms were the first part of the day

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    KLR clothes dryer

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    amazing valley

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    Now we're talking

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    Homemade House. We wondered how it was brought up a 2,000 foot mountain

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    Appalachian Speedway

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    We found this cave right off one of the roads (Dolly Ann)

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    Goes in pretty deep

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    Nothing like this in Massachusetts

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    For those prices I may have to take up smoking while I'm here

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    Jim's fancy bags
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    Expert mounting system

    We're hotelling again, much too cold to camp tonight. We're in Dublin, VA. Not sure what the agenda is for tomorrow. Having a mix of dirt roads and blacktop seems to really work for us. Always something to see out here.

    I can't say enough to commend Chip (intothenew) and the contributors of the TET. It's truly amazing. The riding is first class and extremely well planned and thought out. You folks have turned this into an excellent vacation.

    Video coming. I finally have access to a machine that works (most hotel "business centers" are very overrated, I'm finding out).
    #36
  17. Spinalcracker

    Spinalcracker former redriderofma

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,093
    Location:
    Western MA
    Day 4

    Keith gave you a great recap of the ride so I'll just add a few photos.

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    For some reason both of the KLR's had burned out tail lights.

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    We need the heated gear today.

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    Dinner fried chicken , onion straws and ribs. Your basic brown food group !

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    Great end to day 4.

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    #37
  18. Spinalcracker

    Spinalcracker former redriderofma

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,093
    Location:
    Western MA
    Your almost right with the weights. You got the heavy one correct.

    Jim's Touratech bags are designed to hang a little low and tilted so they drain after they fill up with rain water :rofl
    #38
  19. Mudhen

    Mudhen Foul Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,250
    Location:
    Below Portland
    :clap

    Thanks for taking us along. Looks like a dream.

    Pat
    #39
  20. Hulked Up

    Hulked Up Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    287
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5RUEM3dH4WQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    http://youtu.be/5RUEM3dH4WQ
    #40