A CannonRide Up the Mid-Atlantic Backcounty Discovery Route (MABDR)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The ride up to Petersburg, part 1.

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    Minor crossings . . . but still to be respected.

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    Back into the open.

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    No one really knows the exact location of Fort Upper Tract, except that is was near Upper Tract. George Washington slipped a fort in there since this was the last area that was largely unprotected (what protection there was) from the French and Indians. To make a long story short, in April 1758 the Indians attacked, burned the place, and killed all the soldiers. Then they went after another fort in the region and did something similar.

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  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The ride up to Petersburg, part 2.

    Smoke Hole canyon. Good riding and scenic.

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    You'll pass a historical marker along here talking about Eagles Rocks. The place is named for Bill Eagle who lived and died nearby. Bill served in the Revolutionary War. He enlisted when he was 15 and served at Valley Forge and Yorktown.

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    Trading post when you turn to leave the river.

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    They were throwin' a pipeline over this mountain. A few anti-pipeline signs about.

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    This is a bad thing. The go-around involved a lot of back tracking. We proceeded cautiously.

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    It looked to be a great paved riding road, but we held back not knowing the cause of the closure. Eventually we came upon a fire staging area. The local firefighters made a pitch for fire line volunteers to fight a brush fire and then warned us to look out for the closure cones on our way out.

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    The Rohrbaugh Cabin is along here (waypointed general area) but we didn't stop to look for it since a fire was burning nearby.

    A little smoke visible here.

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    Highway to Petersburg. Dinner was at a restaurant at the American Legion west of Petersburg. It was a great restaurant. More about Petersburg and the motel in the morning once the sun comes up.

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    A relaxing day. 30 mph moving average is a good overall planning figure to use.

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  3. GF-kam

    GF-kam Long timer

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    Hi Cannonshot,

    Hello and thank you for another wonderful ride report in making. Full of rich history, perfectly level photos, and places to dine.

    I'll be following in your steps in a few days. Living in Virginia, I recognize some of the sections. Especially around the Smoke Hole, Seneca Rocks, Big Bend Campground area. I'll be stopping at Cabins, WV at the Smoke Hole Resort. By the way I am assuming the American Legion restaurant in Petersburg is open to public?

    You set the bar high on ride reports. The level of detail is phenomenal. Having done a few, I know the amount of time that goes into planning, keeping a photo journal, stopping for photos daily, and finally writing report. You obviously spend a tremendous amount of time studying landmarks along way, history of area, and other matters.

    Thank you. Looking forward to rest of report.

    Kam
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 3, heading toward Oldtown, part 1.

    We took a side trip in this area. The gray original MABDR path is pavement, some of it nice pavement, but we opted for some history visits instead.

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    First, a look around Petersburg now that the sun is sort of up.

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    He is selling the museum/contents.

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    Heading back into town. We were on the west side.

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    Our motel. It was nice. Some explosive ordnance disposal crews stayed there for a long period when they were clearing some former military training land nearby.

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    I think Jack mentioned that his grandfather worked for the B & O Railroad.

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    Right in town by the hospital.

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    There were timber lined earthworks, an abitis, four bombproofs, and seven gun emplacements.

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    The place to be for breakfast.

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    On toward Moorefield.

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    Food plant that produces fully cooked chicken products. I think they dropped $25M in improvements here.

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    The town has a historic district.

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    Heading north out of town.

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    This pavement is really nice to ride.

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    There are some waypoints in my GPX file that have to do with a 1756 battle with the Indians near here. We didn't visit the area because there were no visible landmarks we could share in the report. But, it is a good story . . . and it is nearby . . . so read about it if you like. Battle of the Trough. The soldiers took an ass-kicking.
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  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 3, heading toward Oldtown, part 2.

    We took a side trip to explore some interesting POIs in and around Romney.

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    A stop at Tractor Supply for some additional tire supplies.

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    We knew there was a change in the weather coming. Here was an indication. No more bright/clear skies.

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    Civil War action here.

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    Jackson set up his headquarters in this house.

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    Downtown

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  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 3, heading toward Oldtown, part 3.

    This was just outside town. Pretty interesting experience. Made the side trip worthwhile by itself.

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    Artillery positions. Fired over the heads of those in trenches in front of them.

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    Looking at the gap they were covering.

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    Trench

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    CannonTip: Don't step into those trenches full of leaves. They are deeper than you might expect.

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    Looking back at the artillery.

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  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 3, heading toward Oldtown, part 4.

    Power units for the local excursion railroad.

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    At one time there were cannons on the hill at the cemetery. They covered the approach across the river.

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    A lot of stuff happening at this cemetery. Worth a look.

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    This is the nation's first Confederate Memorial and was dedicated in 1867. It was intended to memorialize the war dead of Hampshire County. It was paid for by fundraising. There are names carved on the monument including four Captains, seven Lieutenants (one a Chaplain), three Sergeants, and 119 Privates. It was restored in 1984. It has a tarp around it because some vandals spray painted their objections to the memorial on it last September, just days before a ceremony related to the 150th anniversary of the memorial.

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    You can see where this was a good position for some artillery pieces.

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    This fort started out as a log house with a stockade.

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    I waypointed motorcycle dealers proximate to the route by brand in my GPX file. Sometimes that can be helpful to someone that needs parts, supplies, or repairs. I'll share the file once I get it tidied up. Please always refer to the BDR site to get the current version of the basic MABDR so that changes can be properly accounted for over time.

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    Excursion railroad.

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    Interesting house nearby.

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    State Trails Council meeting tomorrow so I tried to post ahead of schedule a little since I will be tied up there for the day.
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thank you so much for your remarks. Doing the work you describe can be a chore and since I freely give products and information away to help other riders much of the reward only comes from people expressing their appreciation or letting me know after the fact how much it helped them with their own trip. I hope you have a wonderful trip! As you know, this is a great area to explore and the route is fantastic.

    And again, of course, let's not forget the folks that did the scouting and charting of the MABDR path that created the basic opportunity in the first place - we wouldn't be doing this without their work. I have scouted, mapped, and shared some long routes myself and it takes a lot of effort to develop a great route. As I said before, many thanks to the BDR folks - much appreciated.

    And, the restaurant on the east end of the Legion post is open to the general public.

    If you have questions, Jack and I are from nearby Oconomowoc so we can meet up for coffee and discuss things if you like. The report should cover most of it.
  9. GF-kam

    GF-kam Long timer

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    Hi Cannonshot,

    Absolutely! In my own ride reports, I always give credit to individuals and organization who as pioneers pave the way for rest of us. As yourself.

    Last couple of years, I've contributed to BDR Membership campaign. I proudly brandish my BDR Membership decals, map & DVD set, and apparel. Great organization. In fact Rob Watt was very helpful keep me and my inmate up to date last year with all the IDBDR closures through Idaho and Montana. That reminds me, we should ( those who ride MABDR ) post any road status ( closures ) on BDR Forum and website. Lastly I try to support other organizations who sponsor the BDR efforts. One such organization is Eurosport of Ashville, NC ( BMW / KTM dealer ). I understand they are helping out mapping the southern leg of BDR.

    For those not familiar with BDR Membership, you should explore the number of vendor discounts ( sponsors ) when participating. Last year I save $.50 cents on initial Membership investment. Fantastic deals if you're looking for accessories, training, or bike upgrades. You can find more information on the BDR website.

    Inside scoop. BDR just finished shooting CABDR. Somewhere in SoCal. The DVD and map is planned for January 2019.

    Kam
  10. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off

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    Cannon

    Some awesome photos. Can I ask if you use a point and shoot type camera or that then with your action camera? And it it's a point and shoot, just which one and your mounting, remote for shutter, etc.... Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask.

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  11. DSquared

    DSquared Dilly Dilly! Supporter

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    Don't break your leg again on your spring RR. :hide
  12. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    :ear
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  13. sperduton

    sperduton Been here awhile

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    Fantastic report thanks a ton.
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  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Sorry for the delay but I was doing my civic duty today. I serve on three councils related to off-highway stuff.

    I got a couple of inquiries on this.

    I had a nice 18-300 DSLR with me that I never used. I probably will leave it home much of the time in the future. I find that the point and shoots take pretty good pix by themselves. The only thing lacking is a good telephoto. I use waterproof cameras (dustproof is as important as waterproof). This time I used the black Olympus TG-3. With the center lens I sometimes get a finger in the way. Another that I use that has an offset lens position is the Olympus TG-860. The TG-860 is probably a better choice. The black one has Wi-Fi and GPS. The other one has a fold out screen and an extra shutter button for selfie shooters - of which I am not. But, that is nice for over the shoulder trail pix. The camera straps are attached to a retractable cable reel.

    These cameras have some significant positive attributes as do many P/S cameras these days.

    I think I mentioned that I take most of my pictures one handed while on the move. This means I have to be able to draw, arm, and fire the camera with one hand. Gloves can make this a little more difficult sometimes. Also, it is easy to move the knob on back of the camera with a glove or while pulling the camera out of your pocket so it is best to tape that selector dial in place. Once you shoot one handed for a while you get pretty good at framing photos without even looking at the camera.

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    :lol3

    Aw, I was proof riding an adventure tour I laid out in the Ozarks (Ozark Adventure Tour - OZAT) when I had a mishap that left me riding on a broken bone for a few days. It kind of put me out of action for a good portion of the riding season before I recovered. Don't want to do that again.

    Thank you!

    I think I missed a post from a fellow redleg (artilleryman). Sorry if I did, but hello! :wave Edit: I found it, it was a message in my mailbox. :D
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  15. BLucare

    BLucare What could possibly go wrong?

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    And we are all grateful for that!

    :beer
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  16. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off

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    Thanks Cannon. Have you tried to mount the camera on the fairing or bars for easy access or to just snap a picture.?
    Sorta like you would with a GoPro? I've used the GoPro for landscape but it's no good for most other. Plus the remote is nice on the Gopro. Was hoping to hear that you had an idea like that you used.

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  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Interesting idea, but what I am doing works best for me. Plus, then the camera is always with me on or off the bike. I have used a pouch with a magnetic flap on a waist belt before (if your coat has a belt) that worked equally as well. On a dirt bike I use a partially open pocket on my riding vest. I've taken so many pictures in this fashion that the hand moves are pretty much automatic. I have used a Contour on my helmet in the past and it would have been good for some of the fantastic twisties on this ride. It is also nice for those quick pictures like a bear crossing the road in front of you as it is just a flip of the switch to start filming. What I found with video is that it is a lot of work to handle and edit. Although it is the best depiction for some gnarly sections on a ride, what I found by looking at the YouTube viewing numbers is that only a relatively few people actually click through to watch it unless it is a crash sequence or something like that. I suppose that may be related to the number of people using their smartphones to view forums that don't want to deal with the video.
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  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    On to Oldtown, part 5.

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    Took a side trip to a plantation house at the Washington Bottom Farm along the South Branch of the Potomac.

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    One of George Washington's descendants, also named George Washington, lived here. The real George Washington surveyed the place in 1749. There was a settler's fort here in 1756. The guy that built the fort did so after he had been a captive of the Indians. Even though it was a settler's fort, militia were stationed here during the French and Indian War. The descendant George Washington and his wife moved here and lived in a log cabin until this magnificent house could be built.

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    They had 11 children and lost one to illness and another to the Civil War. Another son was wounded at Antietam. Two daughters carried a message to General Jackson under a saddle to warn about the Union forces in Romney. George raised beef cattle, sheep, and pigs. He would buy horses from England. Washington kept a daily journal that illuminates life on this farm. He had 20 slaves and inherited 7 from his father. During the Civil War Confederate Cavalry camped here. The railroad eventually came through and laid a siding at the farm indicating this was a substantial operation.

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    Gas in Springfield. Not much here. They fought a Civil War skirmish here. There was also a battle here in 1780. The town started up in 1790.

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    Green Sping, WV, is this side of the river from Oldtown. Back in 1819 the VA legislature provided for a public tobacco warehouse here. I tried to find out what occupied the big industrial looking site you see on the aerial. I couldn't learn anything ahead of time, but I asked some astonished old guy on the street (that seemed shocked by my attire and means of transportation) and he told me it was a railroad timber operation that only closed a few years ago. They provided ties, bridge timbers, and the like.

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    It looked like a big facility when it operated.

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    There is a wye here where trains can travel between the two rail lines.

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    Part of the wye. Some trains in the yard as well.

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    They had an interesting railroad station at one time, but it must be gone now.

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    This is one of 17 private toll bridges in the US. It crosses the North Branch of the Potomac and leads to Maryland.

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    The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal made it from Georgetown (DC) to Cumberland, Maryland, in 1850. There is a long story to this thing and I'll cover more about it as we go forward. It was intended as an important cargo route and served as such for a while. Railroads pretty much replaced it and flood damage finished it off in 1924. The principal cargo was coal.

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    Canal construction started in 1828. They thought it would cost only a few million to build. A labor shortage, labor unrest, primitive tools, rock and soil issues, and a lack of money made this very difficult. There was a period of years when no work was done at all since there were no funds. In 1850 they completed a portion of the canal but gave up on the idea of making it to the Ohio. There are some interesting stories about life on the canal and I'll share some tidbits later. After this thing went bust, the US government bought it for $2M and turned it over to the National Park Service. Later actions by the government have improved the experience along this 185 mile route.

    There are 74 locks, 11 aqueducts to cross major streams, 240 culverts to cross smaller streams, and a 3,118' tunnel.

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    Good info here. You can read all the estimate and actual cost figures that were thrown around.

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    Oldtown was an abandoned Shawnee village. Tom Cresap started a trading post at the site of the abandoned village in 1741.

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    Jack still volunteers as a firefighter.

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  19. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    The C&O canal towpath is an amazing ride through history. Did the whole length with the kids boy scout troop on bikes. It drips with history, great stuff!
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  20. Lucas71

    Lucas71 Been here awhile

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    Very impressive rr ready to take off work and ride


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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