Snakes, a Dragon, and a Beaver.

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Snakes:

    [​IMG]

    A Dragon.

    [​IMG]

    And a Beaver.

    [​IMG]

    Why is this in the Day Trippin section of Adventure rider and not in National Geographic? Stay tuned, this does all tie in to six days of riding....................and crashing:eek1
    #1
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Let me post some more appropriate pictures to give you a preview of this report.

    One of the Snakes:

    [​IMG]

    A Dragon:

    [​IMG]

    And the Beaver:

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I try to take vacation every October to go for a ride and enjoy the cooler weather and colorful leaves. This year I put in for vacation but didn't really come up with a plan until a few days before my vacation started. The weather forecast was fantastic with only one day of rain and plenty of sunshine. It was predicted to be cool at night but highs in the low 70s most days. Perfect right?

    I decided on a two part trip. First I would head up to Shady Valley Tn and see if the "Snake" lived up to it's hype. Then I would go ride in the Fuzzy Beaver, an annual ADV dual sport event based near Murphy, NC.

    At the last minute the forecast changed and it looked like I would have a couple of days of clouds, rain and cold to start my trip. Oh Well, to late to reschedule now. My ride for part one was my Aprilia Sport City 250.

    Heading out of town on day one. 11 miles of city traffic to start the trip. Kennesaw Mountain is in the background.

    [​IMG]

    It was about 80 miles up to Rider's Hill in Dahlonega where I stopped and had a burger for lunch. Then I headed off on a road that looked real twisty on the map but I had never ridden down before. Had I missed this great road all these years?

    [​IMG]

    Just before it got twisty, it turned to dirt/gravel. So I followed it through and continued on to Cleveland, then turned just before Helen to head East.

    I stopped to check out this historical Indian Mound. I never Knew that the Indians put cute little houses on top of dirt mounds:huh

    [​IMG]

    Some info for you history buffs.

    [​IMG]

    Then I stopped to check out this covered bridge a little way down the road.

    [​IMG]

    Then I headed towards Clayton, GA.

    On the way I rode a road that I always enjoyed but haven't been on in years, Burton Dam Road. This is a very twisty and scenic road but doesn't have many good places to pull over and get pics. Here's a couple I did get.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    Heading in to Clayton, the weather doesn't look that great.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,938
    Location:
    Louisville, Tn
    Bring it on.

    :clap
    #4
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Hi TrashCan:wave

    Bring it on?

    Here goes:

    After Clayton took Warwoman RD to 28. I decided to go the wrong direction on 28 so I could make this a 4 state trip. About 2 miles from the intersection was:

    [​IMG]

    So I rode about a quarter mile into SC and turned around. Then, after about 15 minutes of this:

    [​IMG]

    I saw this:

    [​IMG]


    Heading up 28 towards Highlands, NC.

    [​IMG]

    Did I mention that it was cold and cloudy? I stopped in Highlands, walked around and took a few pics:

    Highlands is quite the tourist trap.


    It's a very expensive tourist trap but doesn't have much trouble attracting tourists.

    [​IMG]

    It has some pretty cool old buildings.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    Then I headed off to ride some curves and see some scenery on the way to Maggie Valley.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The leaves were starting to change colors but with the cloudy conditions, the colors don't show up in the pics.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Now that's what you call sitting around on your tail.
    #6
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Isn't that what we are doing when we go riding?:D
    #7
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    My home for the night in Maggie Valley. Total with tax was under $40

    [​IMG]

    The next morning was off to a gloomy start and the forecast called for cold and wet all day.

    [​IMG]

    I don't get much vacation so I wasn't going to waste it sitting in a motel room. I headed North to pick up 209 to Hot Springs.

    I have always considered 209 to be a great road. This local is business is trying to hype it so he can sell more T-shirt, just like the Dragon, Snake, Mooshiner 28 and countless other roads. I really don't buy in to the whole idea of giving a road a silly name to provide the tourists with more hype, but it has become a fact of life around here.

    [​IMG]

    So, this is the first of of the snakes in the title of this RR.

    Trying to capture the color. What I really need is some bright sunshine:ddog
    [​IMG]

    A few pics of hot Springs.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    It was around 47 degrees with off and on light rain and drizzle. I took a good route to my destination for the day, Mountain City, Tn, but I kept it fairly direct. There are all kinds of great roads I could have take if the weather had been better.

    Typical view:

    [​IMG]

    I got to Mountain City around 1:00 and checked into my motel.

    [​IMG]

    My room was $48 plus tax. This place was pretty run down.

    [​IMG]

    It was a place to stay. I considered it really roughing it since there was no remote for the TV:eek1

    So I laid down for a bit watched something on the tube. Then it was time to do some riding. It was time to head to Shady Valley and Check out the "Snake"

    Would it live up to the hype?

    Was it as good as 129 at Deal's Gap??

    Inquiring minds would want to know so off I rode into the cold and damp.
    #9
  10. Scootard

    Scootard Scraggle McSquarely

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Trippin'

    Smack-tacular pics. You are touring just the way we like to do it, frequent stops for pics and enjoying the heck out of the ride. Love love lovin' it :ricky :ricky
    #10
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    i used to just ride, and ride, and ride:ricky:ricky:ricky. i would just ride right past all kinds of neat stuff and tell myself that someday I'd come back and stop and check it out. A few years ago I decided it was time to stop riding past all the neat stuff without stopping.

    I also usually have my camera hung around my beck with a strap so it's easy to get pictures even without stopping. On this day however, It was raining or drizzling much of the time so no pics while riding. I would end up with water on the lens and lots of blurry pics.

    So I rode from Mountain City, on 421 "the Snake" to Shady Valley and didn't take any pics. There were no other bikes in Shady Valley. I decided to continue on 133 towards Damascus to check out the Backbone Rock Tunnel.

    [​IMG]

    I did stop to check this out and get some pics.

    The creek just before the tunnel:

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    So i decided to hike up to the top of the rock.

    [​IMG]

    What, only one guardrail? someone could get killed:huh Someone call a lawyer:eek1

    [​IMG]

    So I got on the wrong side of the guardrail to take the next to pics. Don't tell anyone:lol3

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    Looking back I see a little color.

    [​IMG]

    And I climb down the wet leaf covered steps on the other side.

    [​IMG]

    And when I get to the bottom, I see this sign.

    [​IMG]

    There's no sign on the other side! I could have killed myself:eek1 Maybe I can sue someone:rofl
    #11
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    The Snake, the Dragon, the Rattler. Forget them all. They are all a piece of cake to ride. Here is a pic of the most treacherous curve of the entire ride.

    [​IMG]

    :huh??????????????:huh

    Stay tuned for the "rest of the story"
    #12
  13. IDRider

    IDRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Back to God's Country - nurturing my soul!
    Thanks for taking us along. I rode Northern Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee last year - great roads.
    #13
  14. JoeyBones

    JoeyBones Encouraging Entropy

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,388
    Location:
    Tampa, Flatistan
    Ok. Subscribed... :lurk
    #14
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    IDRider and JoeyBones, thanks for following along.

    Now for the "rest of the story:

    After the Rock Tunnel I followed 133 to the town of Damascus. I got some gas and checked out the town. It's a small town so it didn't take long. Route 58 runs through Damascus and it's a great ride, but I didn't feel like riding it today in the wet conditions. I started to leave town on 133 and was going around the slight curve in the last pic when I suddenly found myself tumbling to the road with the Aprilia sliding down the road in front of me:huh

    I'm not sure what happened other than I must have hit something really slippery. A real ADVer would have taken a pic of the downed bike but I just picked it up to see if it was damaged. The front brake lever was bent.

    [​IMG]

    And there was some cosmetic damage.

    [​IMG]

    There was nothing to keep me from continuing my trip. I was dressed for the ride and was not hurt in any way.

    I tried to figure out what caused the slide but couldn't find anything. There was no visible oil. Maybe some anti-freeze?

    So I headed back to Shady Valley on 133. 133 is a nice road with mostly medium to high speed sweepers. Unlike the other routes out of Shady Valley, it doesn't go over a mountain.

    So I stopped in Shady valley and took some pics.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    No one else was out riding today. I had not seen a single bike since leaving Maggie Valley. If this was Deal's Gap there would have been at least a few bikes here despite the weather.

    [​IMG]

    Based on the following sign and waht others have told me, I believe that the Snake refers not to just one stretch of road, but three different sections of road: 421 north of Shady Valley, 421 to the south, and 91 southeast.

    [​IMG]

    Sort of like the tree of shame except there were no actual broken parts in view.

    [​IMG]

    this was parked out front. Tim the Toolman Taylor would have loved this.

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]

    .

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Scootrider

    Scootrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Champlain Islands, VT USA
    I think that what happened on that turn warrants some discussion. Even though these bikes will stick like glue on dry roads, hydroplaning might have been a possibility on that day, judging by your picture. I'd like to know how fast you might have been going, and what kind of tire you have on the back. I've had a few scares on sand and wet roads, so I ride like the geezer I am on that stuff and save the sporty riding for when everything is f&d.

    If this is something we all'd like to discuss, maybe we should move this segment over to the main forum. I'm new here, and don't know the protocol for doing that.

    Anyway, loved your travelog. I've been eschewing my Atlantic 500 with sportbike suspension, for the old Helix with Cadillac ride lately, doing foliage runs on gravel roads in Franklin county VT. In the spring, maybe I'd do another real trip, but for now, it doesn't get any better than my own back yard.
    #16
  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,799
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I was going around 25-30 MPH and the road was wet but it wasn't raining and there was no standing water. I doubt that I hydroplaned. The tire had worked fine all day in wet conditions at much higher speeds and it worked fine afterwards. It was probably not the tire. I'm guessing something slippery like anti freeze.

    In the past, in wet but not real wet conditions, I have done some pretty fast riding. I once led a sport bike ride in light rain. Afterwards one of the riders following me said he had never ridden that fast when it was dry. As long as the road is clean and doesn't have standing water, traction is usually very good.

    Needless to say, I was pretty careful the rest of the day.

    Enjoy your rides in VT. Although we can get some colorful leaves down here, they are more colorful in New England.
    #17
  18. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,210
    Location:
    jaw ja

    never knew cutting grass could be so fun. the early days


    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,661
    Location:
    Ol' Smokie
    I have had things slip with me at times like that before. It sure does take away your rain confidence for a while. Probably automotive fluid or the remains of an old greasy possum :lol3 Glad you were not hurt...enjoying the report!
    #19
  20. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,371
    Location:
    NW GA
    Bet that thing is loud.

    In.

    Sorry we missed getting up to Beaver Dam last weekend.
    #20