Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Feb 9, 2015.
So Steve, Bob and me loaded up and headed up to Maggie Valley. Our home for the mext few nights would be the Applecover Inn.
This was a quaint little motel right in town within walking distance of several restaurants. The owner and his family lived here and ran the motel during the tourist season then lived in Florida the rest of the year.
Here's Steve with the owner, Derrick and his wife.
Bob and the motel's vicious Guard dog:
If you get the feeling that this was a friendly motel you would be right.
Since we spent part of the day moving to Maggie valley we just went for a short local ride. Bob and I headed out and found the local ski area.
That's my XT350. Steve and I both brought 2 bikes while Bob had only his KLR.
After dinner Bob and I headed up to Waterrock Knob which was up off the BRP about 10 miles from the motel to catch the sunset.
At this time I was still using and old 4 MPX casio camera. It took pretty good pics.
Just a few comment about the guys riding with me. Steve was my regular riding buddy and we "meshed" well both during the rides as well as before and after. I had ridden with Bob a time or two but he was the new guy in the group. He fit in just like he had been riding with us for a long time. I couldn't ask for a better couple of guys to be up here with. I also got the chance to know Bob better. Bob had been riding dirt bikes with his sons who had recently finished school and moved out on their own. Bob also rode a Harley which he really enjoyed. Thiis dual sport thing was new to him and he was real enthusiastic about it.
Bob also had serious health issues. He told me his had been to live long enough to see his sons finish school and be out on their own. That had happened and every day now was bonus. He said he treated every ride like it was his last.......because it very well could be.
Moving on to the first full day's ride out of Maggie Valley. This would be a full day of riding and very dirt oriented.
On our way to Hurricane Creek "road"
This road was only 6.5 miles long but by the time we were half way through Bob was sweating so hard he had to take his googles off so he could see. I now realized why Steve and I had chosen to ride out much lighter small bikes today.
One of the interesting things about Hurricane Creek is that after 6.5 miles it end abruptly at I-40
Carefully avoiding the speeding semis we jumped on I-40 for about a mile to the next exit and more dirt roads. We stopped at Buzzards rooost which is a rock overhand with about a thousand feet of air below it and a view of I-40.
Then we branched off on another dirt road which was at least as challenging as Hurricane Creek.
We had ridden almost all of the challenging portion of this road when we came to this.
We looked around but couldn't find any way around this, at least not on the bikes. So we would have to back track several miles. Bob, who had been wresting his big pig of a KLR was not happy.
So Steve led the way out followed by me. Eventually I stopped to wait for Bob.
And I waited.
So I rode back
Bob's bike had decided to take a nap. It was on a hill and in a position where Bob had not been able to pick it up. I tired helping him but the bike would just slide away. At that point I had a moment of inspiration.
This ride would be reported on ADV.
We couldn't just pick up the bike and ride away could we?
Then we picked up the bike and rode off.
When we got to the beginning of that road Steve had an inspiration of his own.
The we got to some easier stuff.
And we stopped for lunch.
One really cool thing about this motel was that although it was right in town it had a fire pit and normally had a campfire at night.
The next morning we walked across the street and had some of the best pancakes I have ever eaten.
And then it was another day of riding. This day would be more road oriented so Steve and I took the big bikes.
I did mention Bob rode a Harley.
Lunch was some snacks we had picked up at a gas station store.
We did get off road some.
We stopped in the town of Dillsboro and couldn't resist this place.
Another night around the campfire.
The motel made us feel welcome.
The last day Bob decided that his butt was done for and he would check out the Wheels Through Time museum. Steve also didn't feel like riding any more so I did a solo ride that day.
I ended up finding what would become one of my favorite roads.
It's hard to explain why this would become one of my favorites. It starts out a narrow road with crappy pavement and soon turns to dirt as it climbs up and over a mountain.
About the time the pavement begins again the banjo music begins.
Then this turns into a really nice curvy and scenic paved road.
I rode around some more before heading back to the motel, loading up my bikes and driving home.
As I mentioned earlier this was a very memorable trip for me. It wasn't just the riding. It was also being with some great people. I guess i also have always liked organizing and leading rides like this, especially when they turn out well and everyone enjoys themselves. So it was especially gratifying to read what Bob posted about this ride.
"After getting home Saturday from the trip, I had to pack and go out of town for business, so I've had no time to post here. Just got back this evening and its time to finally say a great big THANKS to Win for putting the whole trip together and for populating this ride report. I certainly appreciate the effort you put into the whole of the trip.
Without question this past week was the best time I've had on a motorcycle (yes, even better than when I was up in the same areas with the beloved Harley). EVERYTHING about this trip was awesome -- the routes in general, the asphalt, the dirt, the rocks (wet) [more on the rocks will be coming from Win so I won't spoil anything here] , the hotels (both were great but the Applecover was perfect!!), and best of all the friendship. Don, Paul and Jim....I wish you guys would have been able to come with us up to Maggie Valley - you would have loved it (except for the rocks -- again, more on that later from Win).
When I loaded up the bike Saturday morning, my odometer read 829 miles - THAT is incredible (at leasat for me)!! After all those miles, my butt was telling me that I was simply done riding. Steve went his way for a mini final ride, Win went his way and I went to get the big breakfast that I had been craving. It was very good, but Win, you were right...it was expensive. Somehow I dropped $13 on breakfast. Oh well.
Oh Win, by the way, at breakfast I ran into three of my Earl Small's HOG brothers at the restaurant. The group we saw earlier that morning were headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway. These three were more aggressive riders and were doing twisties and wanted me to join them -- with my KLR - but I begged off because of the sore butt. Good guys...even though they ride Harleys
So then it was off to Wheels over Time, an American make motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley. Maybe it was because of my Harley affiliation (there are a LOT of HD's there), but I LOVED the place - I enjoyed it more than Barber (and I do think Barber is great). I think I liked it so much because everthing is "hands on", you can touch just about everything. The owner was there (Dale) and he personally greeted everyone in the place at one point or another (and just like the motels, there were two dogs roaming the place!!). Dale caught me looking at his Crocker and said "let me show you someting". He proceeded to fire the bike up (right in the museum) and then took off around the main aisle way. Then he did about a 30 foot burnout up the other aisle way, (the aisle is about 6' wide with bikes displayed on both sides). He was pretty disgusted and said that was terrible, so he went around again, this time getting about 60' on the burnout. I know I had to have a stupid massive grin on my face after that. I stepped off the longest stretch of rubber on the floor, and it was just about 120', then immediately followed by about 30' of skid marks to stop! Wish I would have seen that one. Anyway, this place may not be everyone's cup of tea because of the very heavy Harley presence, but I just loved the place.
So again....an absolutely awesome week. Memories to last a lifetime. I am salivating waiting for some of the pics from Thursday's ride (Friday too, but especially Thursday -- WET ROCKS, TREE, HEAVY BIKE --- shhhhh!! wait for Win, wait for Win).
On last comment.....y'all are lucky that Win started this ride report while we were in Maggie Valley. At Applecover Motel, the password for the internet had "Harley" in it, and Win's fingers struggled mightily typing those six letters He's a Harley guy after all ......."
And he later added this:
" OK....gotta tell the rest of the story from the time I saw that damn tree blocking the trail. Man that tree really pissed me off. I mean, between Hurricane Creek and the no-name trail (it didn't become Bob's Way till later), the freakin' low hangin branches, my fogged glasses, and struggling with that 400 lb water buffalo (Steve's name for the KLR), I was soaking wet when I got to that tree. I mean, my helmet liner was like it was dropped in a lake. And that damn tree was blocking me from easier trails. Resigning myself to going back up that damn hill was demoralizing to say the least. But turn around and up I went. Hopped a small rock ledge and thought I was doing ok. Turns out the rear wheel didn't follow the front wheel exactly and the bike got just a little loose. I thought I was going to easily save it but nooooooo, the damn heavy beast just kept sliding side ways, and leaning to the left more and more. And my left foot was sliding too. With no friction so to speak, down she went and I just did a sort of roll off the bike. You think I was pissd at that downed tree? Hah! I called the bike, the hill, the rocks everything I could think of. After that verbal barrage, I tried to pick the beast up - it was laying with the wheels higher than the handlebars. No way I was getting this thing up myself. And of course I smelled gas, so I shut the fuel valve off since I had no idea how long it would be partially upside down. All I did for the next 5 minutes or so was push it around and made absolutely no progress. I can pick the Harley up by myself, but not this thing in this position (wait a minute.....did I just admit to dropping the Harley...oh shit). Anyhow, Win FINALLY comes back down the hill to help -- I coulda been crushed and dead by this time .....which then leads to his damn need to take a picture, and to my one finger salute to him, the hill, the bike....everything.
Thankfully the bike restarted (throttle wide open to clear the carb) and up I went. The rest of the ride up was indeed fabulous as Win indicated earlier.
All in all, I loved it all, even the fall. Only broke a mirror, but I have a story I'll never forget, and as time passes, the slope on that hill will increase to something like 70% and the rock ledge I had to hop was at least 2 feet high! Epic!"
I wish I could write as well as Bob.
The full ride report for this last ride is here: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/ultimate-twisties-tour-pavement-and-dirt.589110/
All of the pictures I have posted over the years are on Photobucket. That means that when my current service is up for renewal they will probably require an upgrade to their $400 per year plan. Like everyone else I'm not planning on pay their blackmail. That means all my pics will just disappear I switched over to SmugMug a couple if weeks ago but that won't save my old pics. I did copy all of the pics from this ride report in order so I can download them to SmugMug and rebuild this ride report. I just don't have the time to do that for all my reports but this one is important to me. That will probably happen in September or October. So my plan is to try to capture the highlights of my old ride reports and put them in this one before then.
Thanks again to everyone following along.
Keep in mind that at this time I was spending my weekdays down in Columbus for work and commuting home to Marietta for the weekends. I really wasn't riding that much but when i got the chance I went dual sport riding in the North Georgia mountains. One weekend in August of 2010 I actually got to go riding both Saturday and Sunday. I took advantage of it.
On Saturday I rode my KLR and went riding with a group.
Included in this group where Bob, Paul and Jeff (Marbleminer)
Jeff in front of Helton Creek Falls.
I rode ahead to get some creek crossing pics.
The guy in this last pic made a nice video which does a good job of showing some of the riding we did that day.
I went out by myself on Sunday. It was forecast to be a real hot day and I wanted to ride the DR250 so I loaded it in the truck and drove to jasper where I unloaded to start the ride.
I took back roads and a few dirt roads up to Two Wheels Only.
I had lunch at TWO
Some TWO regulars admiring my buddy Mike's Buell.
Some more regulars relaxing after lunch. That's GT, TWO owner in the center.
Then I headed off and did some exploring.
It was 95 degrees and humid when I got back to Jasper. I was glad to be able to drive home in my air conditioned truck.
I had another great weekend later that month. First Debbi and I went to the Vortex in downtown Atlanta to meet another inmate (Wanderboy) and his friend for dinner. Interesting place with some motorcycle stuff on display.
Not exactly ATGATT but I guess they didn't really need it
Debbi, Jeremy and Wanderboy with his Road King.
The next morning I got up early and headed off to meet some other inmates in Jasper. Except of a little city riding my route was a pretty nice ride.
I stopped by my old place of employment.
Then it was more fun roads to Jasper where I met the others.
We headed off on a mix of curvy paved roads and dirt roads up to Two wheels Only.
Some of those dirt roads were a bit rocky.
I got a good over the shoulder shot of Air2spare.
Some fun pavement.
Lunch at TWO
Then after lunch we headed down Flatland road.
Taking a break at the Cooper Creek store.
Air2spare made a nice video of the ride that I think captured what dualsport riding in the N GA. Mountains was all about.
Full ride report is here: http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...it-ya-never-know-what-youre-gonna-git.614926/
I October I had a week of vacation which I planned on making the most of by doing a three part vacation. I started off by heading up to Maggie Valley with Debbi. I really didn't have a bike very goof for 2 up riding but I took along the best I had which was the DR250.
It had a travelcade gel seat which actually made it more comfortable 2 up than the KLR or XT.
We never did any 2 up riding on this trip. I got up before Debbi in the mornings and tooled around Maggie Valley a bit. We drove around in the truck and checked out some scenic spots and did some hiking.
I had wanted to hike to many of these spots before but was always on the bike dressed in riding gear so I didn't.
We also wandered around downtown Waynesville.
Derick, the owner of the Applecover Inn told us about a cool hike just off the BRP so we did that.
We had never seen a tree like this before.
After a few days we headed back home. Part 2 of this trip coming up.
Great stuff, Klaviator. Brings back memories of my own...I rode with Bob (Dirtroadpassion) a couple days in Aug of 2013 out of Crawford's. He had a Yamaha Tenere and was getting it sorted. MrTwisty took us down some tight stuff near the Mayan Ruins and Bob about stroked out while turning that pig of a bike around. He seemed like a good guy, shame he passed a few years later.
Do you have any pics from the Ruff Butt Rd? That had a killer creek crossing at the start with an awesome climb to the BRP.
We planned on riding ruff butt road but ended up going the wrong way and ended up at a dead end. We didn't have GPS or any detailed maps of the area. Some day I'd like to go back and ride it.
Bob was great guy. It was a real sad day when I heard he had passed away. That's one reason I posted so many pics of him. But that's still a few years away in this report. I'll have more on that later.
Yeah, we had a great ride and he looked like he enjoyed the Yamaha, aside from a fork seal leak. I didn't mean to be a spoiler in your story. Subbed for more.
Ruff Butt might not even be a thing, anymore. I rode it (little bike) in '09 and rode by it in '14 (went up to Old Bald instead on the big bike). I recall seeing a private sign at RB. Moses Creek is close by and has a few miles of gravel.
For part 2 of my vacation I got up early and drove back up to Maggie Valley with my XT350 and KLR in the back. I met up with Steve and another rider in and we headed out for a ride. We rode up to Hot Springs for lunch and then did some exploring on the way back.
When we got back to Maggie Valley that evening Sean's face had started to swell form a tooth infection and that ended the trip for him as he needed to do something about that.
Steve and I went riding the next morning. This time we decided to ride Hurricane Creek in the opposite direction of what we had always doen in the past.
Going up instead of down the trail there proved to be more challenging in that there were sometimes forks in the trail and it wasn't obvious which way to go. We took the wrong trail at least a couple of times. One of those times we found this:
How someone got a school bus up this rocky, muddy and rutted trail was beyond me
There was a tree down across the trail.
We found an alternate and scenic route out of Hurricane Creek.
We rode Bob's Way again.
It was less muddy this time.
This creek crossing was just past were the tree was down the last time we were here.
Then we rode to Cataloochee Valley to check out the Elk.
Then we headed back to Maggie Valley. The next day i headed out on my own to try to take care of some unfinished business.
I went exploring down a couple of different trails.
But I still didn't find Ruff Butt Road.
Then more riding to a road I always enjoyed, Dicks Creek.
Then it was back to the motel to pack up and head off for part 3 of my vacation.
Part three would be attending the Bat Out Of Helen (BOOH) KLR rally. It wasn't easy for me to leave the Maggie Valley area which I could only ride on vacation and head down to North Georgia which i could ride on most weekends. But Motorcycling is not just about the riding but also all the great people involved. I ended up having no regrets about this choice.
I got to TWO in the evening and set up my tent.
The next morning the other riders who weren't staying at TWO showed up.
Due to the number of riders we thought it best to split up into more than one group. I volunteered to lead one of the groups.
My description of the ride that day:
The weather and riding conditions were almost perfect today. Wall to wall sunshine, not hot and not cold. It has been dry here but I most of the roads did not seem to be very dusty (Of course I was up front )
Ron and Jerry decided to break off and do some exploring on their own. We continued on: Old Dial to Silver Fox Trail, right on Doublehead Gap, Left left on Old Rock Creek/FS333, Right on Fish Hatcherey Rd, Around the FS69C loop, and to the fish hatcherey. At this point Joe broke off because his wrist was bothering him. We continued up to FS42, FS42A to the top of the mountain, took a break, then Back Down, FS42 to FS58, down the dead end FS road past the cemetary to the end. A fork that is normally closed was open, probably for deer hunting, so I got to ride someplace new.
Then it was time to head for a gas station. Paul's KLX250 has a tiny gas tank and although he had filled up at the lunch stop, he needed gas again.
We headed down FS58 to Doublehead Gap to 60. We stopped at the first gas station at 60 then decided to head back to TWO. As we left some Sport bikes came in and signaled LEOs ahead. Sure enough, 2 State trooper a mile or 2 down the road. We just happened to be doing 40MPH
Then we picked up the pace as 60 is a great twisty road.
It was a great day of riding, about 110 miles, mostly off road.
Some of you may recognize one of the guys riding with me that day.
The next day was another beautiful day and would be the last day of this vacation.
Mimi was out taking pics that morning. Any of you who spent any time at the old TWO will recognize her.
And a pic of Dave and the TWO Staff.
Then it was time for another ride. Sean got his tooth taken care of and showed up that morning. Sean, Dave and I went riding to some of my favorite trails. In the Cooper Creek area is a trail that goes back and branches into a bunch of dead ends. There is seldom anyone back there and it great riding. We all enjoyed it.
The entry to this area crosses a creek.
Exiting the area across the creek.
There was the typical large weekend crowd at TWO when we got back.
I had lunch then headed for home.
One last pic. This was Gary and Jolyn. They were TWO regulars and I had first met Gary way back in the early 90s when I first started coming here.
That ended this vacation. The full ride report is here: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/a-day-trippin-vacation-in-the-smokies.628160/
Big changes were in store for my life and my riding. That is coming up next.
For about three years I had been living in Marietta but commuting down to Columbus for work. It was a 2 hour and 10 minute drive with no traffic. During Atlanta rush hour it would have easily been twice that. So I just spent the weekdays in Columbus. This gave me plenty of time to read ADV and work on my ride reports but I really wasn't riding very much as I didn't keep a bike in Columbus after crashing my GS. So why didn't we just move to Columbus? First I really had no plans to stick with this job. Once pilot hiring resumed I planned on moving on to something else but the recession lasted far longer than expected. Second, I had no desire to live in Columbus. Among other things it was just too far from good riding. Third, my job in Columbus was a good job the first two years and then turned into a crappy job.
So when the Company I worked for had an opening in Huntsville, Alabama I asked for a transfer. It would be an even longer commute but Huntsville was a city I would consider actually moving too. So they approved my transfer and even gave me 2 weeks off to move. It wouldn't take me two weeks since I wasn't moving my house, at least not at this time. So what could I do with those 2 weeks off?
Anyone want to guess?
I loaded my bikes on my truck and headed up to my favorite motel in one of my favorite towns.
That would be the Applecover Inn in Maggie Valley.
Then I went riding.
Before going on this trip I found a couple of inmates planning on riding the same area and time as me. One was local and one from out of town. So I was able to hook up with them for some riding. I got up early on a chilly morning, this was late October, and met them at a gas station a few miles out of Maggie Valley. I didn't get a real good pic at the time but:
Those 2 inmates would be Carmen (Fancyindigo) and Laura(Laura0107). Carmen was on a KTM with Super Moto wheels while Laura was on a DR650. Laura didn't want to do anything real rough because she had broken her leg on Flatland Rd in N. GA a year or so earlier.
So we headed of with me leading the way for today.
It was a beautiful day and the leaves were colorful.
We took Shelton laurel rd to I-40 and exited at Hurricane Creek Rd. The plan was to just go up a little ways and turn around when it got rough. The first part of Hurricane Creek isn't too rough and was very scenic.
I rode to the first creek crossing were I planned on turning around but the others weren't behind me so I headed back.
Laura's bike had decided to take a little nap. So we headed back from there.
Then we headed to FS 288 and Buzzard's Roost.
It's a steep climb down to the overlook.
I was by no means a professional photographer but every once in a while I get a really good picture.
When we climbed back up there were a couple of other riders there.