Voyages of the Black Pearl

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Laconic, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I'm going to try to contribute something with some redeeming value around here. I can't seem to get my act together with doing big ride reports, so I'll just try to post some pictures and notes as I get time. :devildog

    Seeing as it is Easter Sunday, no one showed up for our normal Sunday ride today. That gave me a chance to ride by myself and shoot some pictures of a couple things I've wanted to for several years.

    The Black Pearl awaits...

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    The first stop was the Troublesome Iron Works.

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    Here we are at the site.

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    Here's a millstone that's really the only indication there is anything significant here...

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    There are a few sections of the stone foundations left, but not much else. Many thanks to the folks who dump their trash and deer carcasses here. :ddog

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    Here's a section of another millstone. The iron works became a grist mill among other things after the war.

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    It would be neat to think that some of the walls were here when General Greene and his Patriots were here, but I doubt any of this is original to the iron works....

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    From the Troublesome Iron Works we headed out to do some random cruising.

    The cows were out on Hwy. 65...:nod

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    We stopped by to see the MR. "T" memorial. He had his own mailbox.... :clap

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    Someone loved that pig.

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    No encounters here, but we had our eyes peeled...

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    I found this road today; you can see Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock from the same spot. :thumb

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    #1
  2. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    An idyllic scene... :D

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    We ventured down Brickyard road, which I don't recall having been on before...

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    We stopped by this old structure by the railroad tracks and poked around a little. I don't know what this building was; maybe a kiln for bricks?

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    There were quite a few used spikes laying around in the ballast; I hauled one home, maybe I'll hammer it into a knife someday...

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    The Pearl awaits...

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    Further down the road there were more remnants of the past...

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    Fair weather and following seas all day today. :clap

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    Once we got back to the Bethany area I stopped to look at this old building. It looks like it might have been a store. There's something compelling about these old, weathered structures.

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    Does anyone know how warm it was today? :D

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    #2
  3. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

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    Beautiful pics, beautiful bike....er, ship matey..
    #3
  4. syntec4

    syntec4 Long timer

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    Great pics and report. Thanks for taking the time.
    #4
  5. ShimrMoon

    ShimrMoon Been here awhile

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    Thanks 257Bob !

    It's nice to see some local pics on this site. I had to work today and I hated not being able to ride. It was a perfect NC spring day.
    #5
  6. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I have to agree, they don't get much better! Harsh conditions for picture taking though...

    Fear not, there's a lot of spring left! :thumb
    #6
  7. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I wanted to post a little more history about the Iron Works. This is excerpted, added to and edited for brevity without permission from a brochure published by the Rockingham County Historical Society, written by Lindley S. Butler;
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    Speedwell Furnace (locally known as the Ironworks) was important as a crossroads store, polling place and grist mill for nearly one hundred and fifty years. As the site of one of the few colonial ironworks in the state, Speedwell Furnace offers the historian much information about the little known North Carolina iron industry. (It was illegal during the colonial period to smelt iron. Iron was only allowed to be imported from England.) Furthermore, around Speedwell furnace was an important bivouac fortified during Nathaniel Greene&#8217;s southern campaign, which led to the final defeat of the British at Yorktown and to American independence.
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    Troublesome Creek became the location of Speedwell Furnace for two reasons &#8211; water power and available iron ore. The creek crosses the extreme northern end of a belt of titaniferous iron ore that runs from Davidson County to southern Rockingham County. The ore has too high a concentration of titanium dioxide to be a good source of iron, which may explain why Speedwell Furnace only operated successfully for two years.
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    The first ironworks was established in 1770. The advent of the War for Independence brought a resolution from the Provincial Congress in 1776 &#8220; to purchase and repair the iron works in Guilford County (now Rockingham County) for casting pieces of ordinance, shot and other warlike implements for the use of this Province.&#8221;
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    In 1781, during General Greene&#8217;s epic retreat to the Dan River following the battle of The (Hanna&#8217;s) Cowpens, several roads in the area were involved in the complicated maneuvering by both armies. While in pursuit of Colonel Otho William&#8217;s Light Infantry, British Colonel Banstre Tarleton&#8217;s Cavalry camped at the ironworks on February 13<sup>th</sup>.
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    Following the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15<sup>th</sup>, the American army retreated to Speedwell Furnace and remained there several days to recuperate. General Greene had chosen the site as the location of a second battle with Cornwallis, whom he expected to pursue. The attack never came, as the British had been badly mauled by the Americans and they were very low on supplies. It is assumed that the forge and furnace were in ruins at the end of the war.

    In 1784 Peter and Constantine Perkins attempted to establish another ironworks on the site, but it appears not to have succeeded. It was sold to George Hairston and John Marr, who operated the furnace until 1792. George Washington visited the ironworks during his southern tour in 1791.
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    By 1810 the works had become a grist mill owned by James Patrick. Alexander Sneed reported that &#8220;Flour of the first quality is manufactured here, which finds a ready market at Petersburg and Fayetteville.&#8221;
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    The Patrick family continued to own a share of the property until after the Civil War. In 1870 the mill produced 600 barrels of flour, 3700 bushels of cornmeal, and the sawmill handled 40,000 feet of lumber. The mill burned and was rebuilt in 1915. It continued to operate under various owners until after WWII, when it was finally closed.
    #7
  8. marcopolo27

    marcopolo27 The Tiny Ship was Tossed!

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    Thanks for sharing this!
    A beautiful part of the country and what must be a great place to ride. I hate to admit that I've been THROUGH NC far more times than I've been TO it - and worse, usually it's been in a cage on 95 making time to get someplace "important." I'm going to have to make myself a pledge that next time it'll be on 2 wheels and off the slab. :deal
    Thanks for the historical material - both the photos and commentary. Fascinating stuff - and it's always great to be able to see some history that's not behind a velvet rope, encased in plexiglas, and locked up in a museum! :clap
    #8
  9. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

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    Great report and photos!
    #9
  10. misterk

    misterk 8 seconds

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    cool ride :1drink
    #10
  11. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Very nice:clap
    #11
  12. John Spartan

    John Spartan Middle Age Crazy

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    Thank you for the report. The historical details about the Ironworks were fascinating.:thumb
    #12
  13. Stuntman

    Stuntman Been here awhile

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    I love ride reports that bring history to light! Thanks for sharing!!!
    #13
  14. Pastor John

    Pastor John Been here awhile

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    Excellent ride report! Great looking Ultra!

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    #14
  15. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    Yesterday, Ronnie, Jerry and I visited the John H. Kerr Dam.

    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]John H. Kerr Project[/FONT]​
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]John H. Kerr Project was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, and is now operated by the Wilmington District. [/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]Construction was authorized by the seventy-eight Congress on 22 December 1944, with work commencing in March 1947. Completion date was early 1953. [/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]The primary functions of John H. Kerr Project are flood control and production of hydroelectric power. The Project also provides benefits such as wildlife resources, forest conservation, and public recreational uses. Besides the control of floods, the project provides other benefits downstream from the dam through the regulation of flows for pollution and maintaining river levels for fish spawning. Twenty feet of storage is reserved for flood and is designed to control the largest flood on record.[/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]Kerr Dam generates an average of 426,749,000 kilowatt hours per year, which is sold to local power companies for local consumption. Since construction Kerr Dam has prevented over $385,638,000 in downstream flood damages.[/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]At the beginning and early stages of construction, the project was called Buggs Island Lake. Buggs Island is the name of the Island immediately downstream from the dam and was named after Samuel Bugg, an 18<sup>th</sup> century pioneer. The name of the project was changed to John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir by the eighty-second Congress in 1951. John H. Kerr was a Congressman from North Carolina who was instrumental in Congress authorizing the construction. The site was selected for the strong solid granite foundation needed to support the heavy concrete and the availability of rock for construction.[/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]The John H. Kerr Project consists of a dam, powerhouse, and switchyard. The Dam is of the gravity type composed of the spillway, intake, and non-overflow sections, an earth-fill wing, and saddle dikes. It was built in 53 sections called monoliths. The joints between the monoliths were sealed to prevent leakage.[/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]A grouting tunnel was built in the dam from end to end following the contour of the bedrock. In this tunnel, holes were drilled into the bedrock and concrete was forced under pressure to fill all cracks and crevices in the rock and between the rock and concrete. Drilled Holes were left open to relieve any water pressure that may seep between the concrete and rock. The tunnel also removes any leakage between expansion joints. Total leakage into the tunnel averages between 7 to 10 gallons per minute.[/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]Twenty-two floodgates were built in the overflow section. Any floodwaters in the reservoir above the elevation 300 feet are either sold as electrical energy or spilled through these gates.[/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]Erosion is prevented at the toe of the spillway by deflecting the floodwater upward in a trough called a bucket. Retaining walls were built on each end of the spillway to direct the flow of the discharged water. [/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]Six sluices were built in the base of the dam. These were used to discharge a minimum flow of water downstream during impoundment that was required for about six months during construction.[/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]Water to drive the turbines flows through penstocks into a scroll case. The water then passes through the governor controlled gates into the turbine and is discharged into the tailrace through draft tubes and tunnels that deflect the water upward.[/FONT]
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]The turbine is connected to the generator by a shaft 35 inches in diameter. There are seven generators capable of producing up to 227,000 kilowatts of pollution-free power and two generators used for in-house power production. The speed at which the large units rotate is 85.7 RPM. The large turbines produce 45,000 HP and small turbine 17,000 H.P at 90-foot head. Plant efficiency averages about 83%. Each large generator is rated at 32,000 kilowatts and the small one at 12000 kilowatt. The Westinghouse generators produce electricity at 13,800 volts that is conducted by copper conductors to the transformer. The transformers step up the volts to 115,000 volts and the electricity is conducted by copper wire through tunnels to the switchyard. Here, all electric powered generated is conducted onto a common high voltage bus and from this bus six transmission lines transmit power to the Virginia Power and CP& L power companies. Fifty-eight per cent of the power sold goes to Virginia Electric Power Company and forty-two per cent to the Carolina Power and Light Company. About one half of the power is transmitted to various government preference customers such as rural Cooperatives.[/FONT]
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    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]Power Generation[/FONT]​
    [FONT=book antiqua,times new roman,times]The bottom or " Dead Storage" portion of the reservoir remains full at all times in order to provide the minimum water pressure necessary to operate the power plant. The middle or " Power Storage" portion is used for the production of electrical energy and for regulation of stream flow below the dam. The top or & Flood Storage" portion is reserved for storage of flood waters and will remain empty most of the time.

    Stored water may pass the dam in three ways, namely: (1) through the powerhouse turbines by means of large conduits or penstocks, (2) over the spillway which is controlled by 22 large tainter gates, and (3) through 6 sluices at the base of the dam. A flip bucket at the foot of the spill way dissipates the destructive energy of the water and prevents erosion of the foundation of the dam. Concrete training walls direct the flow of water into the river channel below the dam.

    To generate hydroelectric power, water from the reservoir flows through the gate-controlled penstocks, rotates the turbines in the powerhouse and discharges through the draft tubes to the river channel below. The turbines are directly connected to generators which produce electric power. The electric current is increased in voltage by large transformers for transmission away from the project.

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  16. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I started practicing taking some shots while under weigh yesterday. It's a bit of a random luck proposition as I can't see the LCD while running the camera left handed. Someone needs to make a P&S with the shutter release on the left side. :D

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    Ronnie got a new Road Glide! :thumb

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    Jerry on the road...

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    The obligatory self portrait while operating a motorcycle. :D

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    I spotted a couple nice old birds at a refueling stop... Was the wrought iron "Roo-bar" an option that year?

    Who was first with the vertical grill, Ford or Chevy?

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    '53 or '54? I should know, my dad is way into them...

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    This was pretty neat, I don't recall ever seeing one before.

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    I wonder what it was like to change a flat on the side of the road? :lol3

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    The body panels were amazingly damage free, but she's open to the weather. Anybody looking for a project? :D

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    This was the second Nash I've seen in a week. The other was in the grocery store parking lot last weekend; a really nice Metropolitan, Sea Foam Green and White. Didn't have my camera with me....
    #16
  17. Perp

    Perp Museum Piece

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    Ford appears to be a 1954. Grill gives it away. Body same as 1953.
    My first car was a 1953 Ford.
    #17
  18. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    We did the Wade's Gap ride a couple of weeks ago and took a small detour to see John Gabel's tower at the top of the hill.

    Saw this little feller at a rest stop.

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    The road gets a little narrow in spots.

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    Perched on a finger ridge of Cahas Mountain overlooking Wades Gap in Franklin County, Virginia, is John Gabel’s tower. Made of local creek rock with a sandwich of reinforced concrete between inner and outer faces, the stone base rises three stories before reaching the cabin level. A spiral staircase, attached to a 30-foot power pole winds its way up to the cabin. The still incomplete two-story cabin will have an eat-in kitchen surrounded by an outside deck with castle-like crenellations in the upright deck railing. Upstairs from the kitchen will be a bedroom and bath with a 360 degree view of the nearby mountains and valleys. Atop the bed and bath will be another deck. Gabel hopes to invite families or married friends to get away on short vacations to this unique retreat. Picnics, reunions, ice cream socials, and weddings are also possibilities. Gabel doesn’t mind the occasional drop in visitor.
    Mr. Gabel first broke ground for the tower on April 29, 1993, and expects to complete the tower by about the summer of 2003. The diameter of the tower is 18 feet and when completed, it will stand 50 feet tall. The location of the tower is 2300 feet above sea level, and it has an amazing view of the surrounding area.


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    We just rode up for quick picture and back down again. His driveway may or may not be Electra Glide worthy. :lol3

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    #18
  19. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    So, back in February a few of us rode down to Key West, just to see what was there.

    It was around 23 F when we left for warmer climes. We stopped after about two hours to rendezvous with Reid's brother, Sherwood (who soon came to be known as "Woody"). Ronnie took a little rest and soaked up some heat...


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    We slabbed it all the way down, stopping the first night around Jacksonville and the second night in Homestead. We arrived in Key West around noon of day three.

    Ronnie and Jerry.
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    Woody, Tyler and Reid.
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    Here's Ronnie, savoring the moment....
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    and yours truly.
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    Tyler with dad Reid. These two are inseparable and Tyler's a real trooper. :nod
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    #19
  20. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    We took lunch at the "Southernmost Beach".

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    Reid got a little sun on the trip down.... :D

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    More to follow....
    #20