I've been working hard for the last couple days on getting my old DRZ back in tip-top shape. With a little help from some friends I replaced the old ACCT with a new MCCT, rejeted the carb, did the 3x3 mod, and opened up the exhaust. Then yesterday and the day before, I replaced the majorly worn out grips, replaced both the front & rear sprockets, put on a new chain, put fork boots back on the bike (the PO had taken them off and I've ridden the bike without for the last two years), and fixed a small mistake that I'd made involving stripping out a nut/stud on the oil filter cover (this last issue was one of my biggest worries, but I got lucky and when I got into it discovered that I had only damaged the threads on the stud and nut, for which I had replacements on hand ). So having done all this, I decided to treat myself to a little dirt ride today; that and not having been back to Virginia since April, I was desperately missing my DRZ and real dirt! So I decided to take a few hours and run one of my favorite loops near my parents' house. The route is roughly as follows: leave Uno, head down 231 to Madison, continue on 231 towards Banco, turn off onto 670 towards Criglersville & Syria, turn off onto Quaker run road heading towards the Shenandoah national park, just before hitting the park turn left on Blakey Mountain road, I had then intended to run this down all the way to Burnt Ridge road which dumps out onto Ruth road but I ran into two little old ladies who had gotten themselves up here in their Ford SUV and weren't sure they were going to be able to get back out so I led them back out the shorter way down Aylor road, once back on tarmac I bid the ladies goodbye and turned onto Gaar Mountain road, to Ruth road, to route 230, back to Hwy 29, then up route 15/230 towards Orange, VA, halfway up I turned off onto Elly Road (607), to John Tucker road (614), to Twyman's Mill road (705), to Tanner's road (622), to Hwy 15 to see a friend, then back to my parents' house down Hwy 15 south, to Hwy 15/230 north, to Tatum School road (620), to route 231 and Uno right by where my parents' live. All in all it was a fantastic ride; meeting the two little old ladies up in the mountains was quite unexpected, but they were a hoot to talk to; the driver was 83 years old!!! :eek1 They had a great attitude and I enjoyed being their knight in shinning armour! Oh yeah, the DRZ ran fawlessly! Here are the pictures from the ride. Ready to leave my parents' house. On 231 between Rochelle and Pratts. I just love the Blueridge mountains! Heading out of Madison (the town) on route 231 north towards Banco. At the long abandoned store at the intersection of 231 & 670. On Quaker run road, heading into the mountains. Ohhhhhhhhh the gravel is so close I can almost taste it! Here we go! After a little climb I reach "the meeting place"; atleast that's what my former bear hunting buddies and I used to call this spot as this is where we'd meet up in the wee hours of the morning during bear season. Heading down Blakey mountain road. I'm no good with descriptive terminology, so let me just say that it's FUN, FUN, FUN!. If you're in the area, you should swing up here, it's short and sweet, but a lot of fun! In spots, the trail/road was starting to get over-grown. If this continues, it might turn into single track! Bah, not really, we just need to wait 'till hunting season and all the good 'ole boys from the area will once again be rolling through here in their trucks. Came upon this little tree trunk across the road; it was about 10" in diameter and when I first got up to it, was at a 30 degree angle to the ground. I was able to push the right side of the tree trunk down the bank to get it to lay closer to the ground as you see it in the picture. This way I was now able to get up and over it! Just a little past the last picture is where I ran into Edna and her sister. We agreed that I'd ride in front and lead them out; just stopping every now and then to make sure that they were still there. Yep, here they are! At this intersection, I would have normally heading to the right towards Burnt ridge road and Ruth road, but I instead took the shorter route on the left which led down to Aylor hollow and Aylor road where the ladies would once again be back on pavement. The final little hill climb, going down, into Aylor hollow. Back on Aylor road. And here I am at the intersection of Gaar mountain road and Aylor road. This is where I bid the two ladies goodbye and continued on my way. Along Gaar mountain road, I came across these 3 deer on the side of the road (there's a 3rd to the right behind the bushes), and one was obviously a fawn from earlier this year. More of Gaar mountain road, and the last of the gravel for the day. On Ruth road. Super fun and twisty paved road! As is the case with most of the pavement that I ran for the rest of this little run. On John Tucker road. On Tatum School road. And eventually back to Uno (my parents' place is just down the road behind the old store). All in all a great little run. Ran some great, old favorite roads, and met two wonderful people!