Travels with jdrocks-the Blue Ridge 2012

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by jdrocks, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. dljocky

    dljocky Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Yorktown, Va
    We timed it right.


  2. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
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    4,612
    speaking of timing, the time has come to reveal that you forgot to pack your resort wear.
  3. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,612
    The ride south on the WV29 pavement was uneventful, need I say fast, we were off route again, although “route” probably wasn’t the best description for all the road snafus. Between the gates, too deep watercrossings, and phantom roads, the route had been blocked eight times, the advance south painfully slow, and if we kept this up we would run out of daylight.


    When we slowed for the turn east on WV50, two older KLRs pass northbound on 29, the first bikes we had seen, no luggage, just out for a ride. East to Capon Bridge, and the intersection with our ill fated route coming down from the north, I flew past our turn south on Cacapon River Road, had to detour through a freshly graveled church parking lot carrying way too much speed for the 15% slope, and when I tapped the brakes all the bike did was skid south in the gravel, pointing me at a big freakin’ ditch. I rolled into the ditch, hooked the front wheel, used all 12” of suspension, on the gas and I miraculously popped back out, riding over to where Monsieur Nix was waiting. He didn’t ask, but I had a fantastic hero story all worked out in case he did.

    The Cacapon River Road is paved, but still a nice ride, with the river on the left, valley pasture or foothills on the right.

    [​IMG]

    We weren’t scheduled to be on this road long before crossing the river on roads running southeast, then south. When I got to the waypoint marking the road and the bridge, nada, no road, no bridge, and I’m not making this up this story, the GPS showed a road running directly across the river. There might have been some sort or crossing there 100 years ago, but not in 2012…so that makes nine.

    We couldn’t cross the Cacapon, and with no back way down to WV259, we stayed on River Road, then east on WV259, once again connecting to the lost southbound road segments, back on route. South on Back Creek, we had made up some time, and now we weren’t all that far from a possible spot to camp in the George Washington, but at this point, I wasn’t ready to double down on how that would work out.

    Kump and Milk, both paved and southbound, no traffic, then reconnecting to Back Creek, also south, and we found ourselves in metro Capon Springs. We looked briefly for a convenience store, Monsieur Nix desiring a beer chaser with his tortellini if available, didn’t find anything close, and we were south on Capon Springs Road, running headlong into Capon Springs…the other one, the old time resort, and man, were they ever glad to see us, the freakin’ Hells Angels, and that’s the one and only time I’ve ever seen people mistake a DR for a chopper.

    A big wet fart in the middle of the PTA meeting wouldn’t have caused more commotion, people were grabbing the kids, herding the women, and in general, runnin’ for safety, except for the teenage kids, and everyone knows they wholeheartedly admire depravity. We were bad dudes, as in whacked out dangerous…and that’s when I locked up the brakes, nearly ran over a loaf of white bread wearing an argyle sweater and knee socks with brogues, the spittin’ image of J. Edgar shortly before he beheld the pale horse, ya know, croaked.

    I wanted to stop for a few vodka martinis and a Cohiba Black, but doggone, Monsieur Nix hadn’t packed any resort wear in those Wolfman bags, no embroidered ponies, no plaid pants, nuthin’. Damn, with embroidered pony and alligator resort wear we could have passed for Ivy Leaguers, slurped down the martinis, smoked the Dominicans, talked ETFs and derivatives, Buffet and Gates, debated estate planning, tax strategy and such…all before adjourning for the Caponchase. Can’t miss that one, I’m awesomely good at that there code cracking.

    OUR RATES INCLUDE:
    Your lodging, THREE family-style “all-you-can-eat” meals daily, before breakfast and after dinner coffee, before dinner and evening snacks. Sports such as badminton, basketball, croquet, fishing, hiking, horseshoes, indoor puzzles, cards and games, ping-pong, shuffleboard, swimming, tennis and volleyball. The Caponchase adventure– a code cracking treasure hunt! Evening activities including Bingo, concerts, campfire sing-a-longs, movies, instructional programs, dances and talent shows. There is NO CHARGE for use of the laundry or most of the meeting facilities.


    We could have had it all for $160 each, plus tax and gratuity, but when I saw their security team mobilizing, camping came back into play, after all, who wants to get tazed, gotta go, and that’s when Monsieur Nix said “Do you think they would mind if we came back for the Bingo and talent show tonight, man, I love Bingo…I can sing a real mean Free Bird too”. Sure, I can sing “Don’t taze me, bro”, but I’d rather go camping, and we were back on gravel, climbing the mountain, riding south in low sun, ready to stop.

    Back in the George Washington, and I knew there was a campground on the ridge, never tried it, didn’t know what to expect, but we headed there anyway. We found an unused campground, roads and picnic tables buried in fallen leaves, deserted, and unexpectedly free, no fee to camp.

    We rode through, rode through again, picked a spot, and set the tents in the parking area, the most level ground, and we wouldn’t have to carry our gear down and back.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hadn’t noticed it when we rode through, but there was a good supply of sawn oak firewood left under the leaves at the base of a stone wall, even included a can of Boy Scout helper, nice to have for wet wood, a big campfire planned.

    [​IMG]

    I got things organized, started the campfire, easy enough with a pint of lighter fluid, sorry, no bragging on that one match fire. Dljocky was firing up the Jetboil, tortellini on the menu.

    [​IMG]

    Monsieur Nix got out his camera, and I rummaged in the Wolfmans for a couple of cinnamon bourbon miniatures, let’s get a photo before dark…

    [​IMG]

    The shutter clicked, I took a half step towards the fire, and Monsieur Nix said “Got any more?”, that’s right, his bourbon was gone in .0001 seconds, 1000 times faster than it took to get the cap off the bottle, call Guinness, we have a new world record holder. They need to change the advertising for that stuff, delete all reference to sipping, think of some other marketing ploy.

    We dragged the picnic table over near the fire, now blazing, ate our dinner, soaking up the heat from the fire, the temp had dropped to 40 on the mountain. Talking over the day, we had been riding at a good clip for almost 12 hours, few breaks, in some wonderful country. Full dark, the fire burning down, it didn’t take much convincing to head for the tents. We were still in one piece, the bikes were performing well, but the best part, we get to ride the rollercoaster again tomorrow. Goodnight, and according to Monsieur Nix, I was asleep in 7 seconds flat, plumb out of lucid thoughts, …hope someone turned out the lights.

    (to be continued…)
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  4. dljocky

    dljocky Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Yorktown, Va
    Man, that resort was a sight, out there in the middle of NOWHERE! Thanks again for the little bottle of whiskey. It was tasty.
  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    4,612
    Sorry ya missed Bingo, i'd like to hear that Free Bird sometime.
  6. Laconic

    Laconic Anodyne

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    Sep 28, 2007
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    Recalculating...
  7. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    Jul 6, 2007
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    4,612
    more report from the road soon, including some surprising insight on the history of homo sapiens.
  8. gravelrash

    gravelrash Decrepit Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    BC Interior, Canada
    You guys sure have a lot of fun. I'm sitting here reading all this cool stuff while outside the snow is falling and everything is covered in ice. A veritable northern wasteland. But I bet if you fellows were here you would be out riding in this crap and writing about it. Great stuff! :thumb
  9. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
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    4,612
    thanks, no dull moments with this crew. don't feel bad, some of the roads in the photos were under 3' of snow shortly after we rode through. some melted now, but heavy rain forecast and many of the roads are probably washed out on the grades.

    stay turned, more roads ahead.
  10. dljocky

    dljocky Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Yorktown, Va
    :lurk

    Looking forward to it my friend!
  11. biker128pedal

    biker128pedal Super Lurker

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    Dec 20, 2008
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    Eastern, VA
    What, more heavy rain? :rofl
  12. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,612
    big front over the mountains right now. i haven't seen any reports on those roads, but i can't believe that they would be in good riding shape.

    teaser photo. this little creek is probably a river right now.

    [​IMG]
  13. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
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    4,612
    When I heard Monsieur Nix rummaging at 4AM, that pretty much settled any argument, the Homo Sapiens clan had indeed evolved through a branch of giant bird ancestry, and I had a perfect genetic metaphor at hand. Monsieur Nix did, indeed, possess a genetic soup of both Night Owl and Early Bird genes. Any academic type performing research in this field should take note when, during the field observation phase, they document him purchasing a freakin&#8217; boatload of extra batteries for his LED headlamp. It&#8217;s a big clue in evolutionary behavior, insightful, truly dissertation material in the academic sense, although for the rest of us humans, it&#8217;s a reminder to deploy the earplugs until &#8220;dawn&#8217;s early light&#8221;, a concept I thought was engrained in most USA citizens since early childhood, like kindergarten, at the latest.

    I was wrong, there are exceptions. That was alright, I couldn&#8217;t say early risers bother me on an adventure, while late risers always do, besides, Monsieur Nix is invariably of good cheer despite the hour, bouncing around, ready to ride somewhere, anywhere. This mourning he was bouncing a little higher after I gave him a matched pair of those Aleve pills from my kit, taming his back pain from yesterday&#8217;s spill. I think you&#8217;re still allowed to operate heavy machinery after a few of those.

    I had a hearty breakfast, complete with Columbian press coffee, while Monsieur Nix was trying to survive on some birdseed bar chased with that coffee like stuff that comes in a plastic tube, might be sold at Starbucks. Don&#8217;t criticize, he&#8217;s an admittedly novice camper, so one day I&#8217;d expect him to bring real coffee.

    We were packed up quickly, doesn&#8217;t take long when you don&#8217;t bring an extra big pile of junk, and it looked like a fantastic morning to ride.

    [​IMG]

    Another group had come in late, and a few vehicles had cruised through this very out of the way spot after midnight, I always wonder what they&#8217;re up to at that hour. It also makes me wonder whether I should have packed that bear gun.

    The road at the campground on the ridge runs northwest for at least another mile, and I figured we should check it out before heading south just in case there was something interesting we should know about, like a watercrossing or an interesting place to camp. Nothing out there, but man, it was a beautiful morning for an early start, Monsieur Nix getting a look easterly when the road curved, freshly minted sunshine filtering through the trees.

    [​IMG]

    Back at the intersection with FS502, we were riding southwest, a few hunters out, no other civilian vehicles, and we could roll on this well graded gravel.

    [​IMG]

    At WV55, we turned west, then in a mile turned west again on CR5 towards Wardensville. I had been past a stone house where Waites Run crosses the road, but had never stopped to see what was inscribed on one of the cornerstones, but this time I did.

    [​IMG]

    Early settlers didn&#8217;t have the time or means to dig a well through solid rock, so every creek with reliable year round flow became the location of the early homes.

    [​IMG]

    We rode through Wardensville, quite a few people out early, and I tried to get Monsieur to stop at the Mercantile for Belgium waffles, no sale, the kid must not be hungry. It was hard to ride by, the kitchen exhaust was blowing waffle molecules out into the road, the moto equivalent of a gill net, and sadly, we were able to bust through.

    West on WV259, and we made the turn south on the FS344 gravel. This is another cool road, usually well graded, and I had been in here before, but not Monsieur Nix. This road had more hunter activity than we had seen previously, the vehicles mostly parked, and that&#8217;s when we ran up on a group of hunters coming out of the woods. As soon as I saw them I was on the brakes, I absolutely needed to talk with these guys&#8230;about their squirrel dog.

    [​IMG]

    There might be more of these little dogs around than I&#8217;m aware of, but I&#8217;d never seen one outside of a magazine article. Highly effective once trained, if ya want a bushel of squirrels, get one. The guys couldn&#8217;t understand why we stopped at first, but once they found out we were interested in their dog, they warmed right up, all smiles, and we left with a PhD in squirrel dog. When ya find an educational opportunity, ya gotta take it.

    This road twists and winds it&#8217;s way south, another reminder of why we came out to ride this area near the height of color.

    [​IMG]

    When we get a peek west through the trees, it looks like we have lost that bright sunshine we started with, at least temporarily. Without the sun, and with the wind rising, it looks a lot different. We might find a taste of winter somewhere out here.

    [​IMG]

    FS344 took us down to Mill Gap, and I missed the turn to Trout Pond, not exactly on our route, but I wanted to take a look anyway, and while I had that thought fresh in my mind, two new pickups chasing each other ran me to the shoulder on a blind curve. If I had been in any kind of four wheel vehicle, the lead truck would have hit me. Maintaining lane discipline on the moto, both gravel and paved, is so important out here on these roads, well, let me put it this way, if ya don&#8217;t, you&#8217;re a goner.

    We made it down to WV259, and Monsieur Nix took a break for a minute while I backtracked up Mill Gap a short distance, I&#8217;d missed a photo or two of some&#8230;rocks. With the leaves falling, you can finally see what&#8217;s in the background.

    [​IMG]

    At the WV259, instead of turning southwest, the more direct route to where we were headed, we made a short jog northeast to Dove Hollow, where we would climb up to the ridges, and ride those west and south instead. Good decision on the route this time, little traffic, plenty to look at, and you know when you see this sign, it&#8217;s time to make a turn.

    [​IMG]

    Another turn, hey, more rocks, gotta stop, and Monsieur Nix was riding the brakes by now every time he saw rocks ahead.

    [​IMG]

    The I system has all those rest areas, sometimes with a Burger King and Starbucks, while the rest areas out this way are somewhat less formal, although the seating is comfortable, and I needed a break anyway.

    [​IMG]

    There are two parks in the area, Howard&#8217;s Lick and Lost River, almost adjacent to each other, with one of the connecting roads being CR12 running generally east/west on the ridge, before dropping south off the mountain to Lost River.

    With occasional pasture along this road, we could look out to the ridges to the north, very much worth it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I had a lunch stop in mind, no, let me rephrase that&#8230;I had lunch in mind, didn&#8217;t care where we stopped. Actually, there&#8217;s only one place, about 15 miles, and the wind was just right, I could smell the hamburgers on the grill, sort of, ya know, in my mind. So we didn&#8217;t waste any more time, running down through Lost River, almost nobody there, and that&#8217;s where I nearly tagged the only car on the road, some compact POS that made a tire smoking stop in the middle of the road so that the driver could get a photo of an orange leafed tree. I bet Monsieur Nix is glad I don&#8217;t make stops like that one.

    From the Lost River road, we were riding generally southwest cross country on a series of roads, mostly paved, some gravel, and we found ourselves at the little country store I was aiming for, oh boy, food.

    [​IMG]

    As I was getting the gear off, a local couple walked by, maybe mid thirties, and well into a knockdown argument about some unknown subject, and I heard her say as she passed&#8230;

    &#8220;You&#8217;re damn sassy this morning for someone who&#8217;s hung like a freakin&#8217; chipmunk&#8221;, proving without doubt, all is fair in love and war, especially war.

    Welcome to metropolitan Bergton, sing along now&#8230;&#8220;Point me to them cheeseburgers, and pass me that Mountain Dew&#8221;.

    (to be continued&#8230;)
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  14. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Near Earth Object

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    16,153
    Location:
    From Alabama to Newfoundland, it's all Appalachian
    :photog
    :rofl
    :jack
    damn good one!!!
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,612
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jdrocks [​IMG]
    “You’re damn sassy this morning for someone who’s hung like a freakin’ chipmunk”, proving without doubt, all is fair in love and war, especially war.



    she was no beauty Jack, only safe to approach if she had a shopping bag over her head.
  16. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,886
    Location:
    West of Seattle . . .
    One bagger, or two bagger? Enquiring minds don't really want to know . . . . :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl
  17. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,612
    ya could get by with one bag, if it was big enough.

    i shouldn't be saying bad things about this young lady, after all, she was svelte, in the sense that there are certain species of whales that tend to run quite a bit larger.
  18. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Jan 7, 2007
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    2,886
    Location:
    West of Seattle . . .
    Hmm. Motorsickles or whaleboats . . . :wink:
  19. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,612
    neither, that guy should take her on a beach vacation, throw her back in the ocean.
  20. dljocky

    dljocky Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Yorktown, Va
    Randy, it's great fun out there with jdrocks. I think he knows every inch of West Virginia/Virginia. Maybe we can take a trip and meet you halfway one day.