Amblin' about North America - half a year with a 2-wheeled home

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sly-on-2, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. gssurfer

    gssurfer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    US
    Amazing report!!! Keep it coming!!! Please? :evil
  2. Sly-on-2

    Sly-on-2 Rockin' Winger

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
    [FONT=&quot]Revision - I finally gave up after two hours last night of issues. My internet stopped working. Damn. It's never easy. After running the WINSOCKIPFIX, I'm back online. Here it goes again.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]



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    Alright folks, here's another post, with the remaining bits to soon follow. About a week overdue.


    Rafting: Check; Royal Gorge on The Arkansas River
    The 86th Annual Pike's Peak International Hill Climb
    Riding around <st1:City w:st="on">Denver</st1:City> - With a weekend on <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Evans</st1:placeName></st1:place> on my new old '69 Scrambler, including 50 miles of gravel.
    Parties - Damn good parties. All day on the 4th, 5th, etc.
    An all day birthday bash with good new friends, good new people, and epic party conditions. Blue crabs flown in from The Eastern Shore, MD. Two entire bushels. When I lived in DC, I took my '85 V-Max on tire-scorching tours for blue crabs. The third annual in 2001 was my most memorable. The GoldWing & 350CL were parked for all parties etc in 2008.

    Check more stuff... including: weekends with family in Virginia, many weeks spent not at home, home changing many times, and lots of other things associated with ending a huge trip and a long time job hunting. Work is good, though working full time is best suited to people who are settled and not dealing with always moving. Anyhow, I'm moved in now. Watching TV for the first time in forever, the Tour de France. What luck!

    Post to follow.


    ...after I switch to Smugmug to pick a picture of the old orange honda.



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  3. Sly-on-2

    Sly-on-2 Rockin' Winger

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
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    I left KC in the early afternoon to go catch Saturday night racing at a short track. Nearly every Saturday night in the Lower 48, I've been able to find a racetrack. Today, I could choose between two tracks that are both nearby.

    :clap


    I had no idea how lucky my choice would later prove to be. I chose the I-70 Speedway, and off I went. After getting near the track, I stopped in for fuel and for beer. I do love strapping beer and ice to my already overloaded bike. It's so over-the-top ridiculous, I can't help but laugh.
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    Neither can onlookers.
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    Amblin’ down the road with a case of Bush Light and two bags of ice strapped to my bike, just grinned and even chuckled as people craned their necks to gander at the overloaded OldWing and its soon-to-be-beer-drinking operator.




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    I rode up and immediately got off the gravel and rode like a banshee through the field and went over to a group of tailgaters to ask about the race. Turns out, one of the guys would later drive the number 2 red ford you see below. I rode up like an idiot. I've found that if I ride up without fanfare, people wonder what I'm doing. If I ride up to them on a 1,000 pound bike through a field at 50 mph with dust flying and the back end sliding, they want to know what I'm doing. Whatever the reaction, I enjoy riding the OldWing off-road as if it were a 400 pound thumper with knobbies. These folks were really friendly, but not looking for someone to join their party. They did give me the lowdown on the weekend. Where to camp, when to go inside, what to expect...


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    Though I still had no idea what to expect.
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    Check out the Pontiac GTO's. It must have been a club weekend.






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    The trailer for the #37 reads: "Allison Quick." With a name like that, the girl was born to race.




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    When I saw the Zaxby's trailer, I knew I was in for a treat. At this point, I've been to over a dozen short tracks and I'd never seen any big-name sponsors.



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    A Harley bagger doesn't usually strike me as picture worthy, not even if it's my favorite, an Ultra Classic. However, the sticker on the helmet did catch my eye.
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    "In Memory of the 58,215 who never returned home from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Vietnam</st1:country-region></st1:place>."
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    The sign below seemed redundant. I know the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but can't we still assume that people know not to booze and swear in the family section?


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    Having a family section implies that anything goes in the other sections.
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    I bet that somewhere, there is a guy who did something heinous and is responsible for that sign. I would also bet that the story behind it is hilarious!
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    Check out the banking! That is one steep half-mile asphalt oval. Actually, now that <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bristol</st1:place></st1:City> has been re-paved, this is the highest banked paved track in the country. If you're not a race fan, take my word for it, that's cool!
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    After watching the race cars run a few laps, I started walking around and looking for people to meet. I saw a guy with a cowboy hat standing with a little kid and walked up to say hello. He introduced himself as Smokin' Joe. The name seemed fitting as he is known around the track as having the best barbeque around. I thought it was ironic that I live in the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Camel</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">City</st1:placeType></st1:place>, home of the famed character of the same name. Anyhow, he'd recently put up the lights that lit the dirt track and had done so in record time. I'd worked on a similar project while at GTE and fully understood how impressive such a feat was. Smokin' Joe has been involved in racing since he was a kid, he lives near the track and is the guy responsible for running things around the I-70 speedway. Not only that, he runs on both the dirt track and on the asphalt track on most weekends. Unfortunately, his race car was sitting on the sidelines with a blown motor, so this weekend he was a spectator.
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    He left to attend to official business and I left to get some dinner. Shortly after I sat down to enjoy a burger and beer, the kid (8 or 9 years old) walked up to me and said: "Smokin' Joe wants to see you." This kid is really cool. He wasn't phased one bit by walking up to me and asking me to follow him. I asked where Joe was and told him I'd find him after I finished my meal. The kid looked at me and said, "no, Smokin' Joe wants to talk to you so you'd better come now."
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    So off I went following the little man through the crowd. Joe said he wanted to introduce me to some people and we set off to go up to the suites. He introduced me to the track's owner, Brad McDonald, and to BT, the Operations Manager. Later, BT walked up to me and handed me a ticket to tomorrow's big event. WOW! Looks like I’d be hanging around.
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    Smokin' Joe and I stepped out on the balcony overlooking the track because where we'd been standing in one of the suites was also the room the announcers used to call the race. A bit later, Joe told me that the announcers, Brad & Greg were probably going to interview me.
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    In between races, Greg walked over with the mic, and in front of a crowd of a couple thousand people, introduced me. He then handed the mic over and I gave a 90 second summary of the trip to date. Four months, 25,000 miles and over a dozen stock car races at short tracks around the country from <st1:State w:st="on">New Hampshire</st1:State> to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:State w:st="on">Wyoming</st1:State></st1:place>. From <st1:State w:st="on">Montana</st1:State> to <st1:State w:st="on">Alaska</st1:State>, and from <st1:State w:st="on">Virginia</st1:State> to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:State w:st="on">Oregon</st1:State></st1:place>. Greg then asked all the single girls to walk by the suites overlooking the front stretch and to wave and smile. What a guy! Unfortunately, there were no takers. Not a single girl smiled or waved. Oh well, a lot of the race car drivers are single and a whole lot more eligible than a cross-country rider on an old ugly Wing.
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    Ouch!
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    I modified an old rule I live by from: “don’t compete with mucisians for women,” to “never compete for girls with rockers or racers.”


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    After the race, Smokin' Joe invited me to hang out with his friends at his legendary tailgate. I got to meet his wife, Jennifer, and a whole bunch of race car drivers. All-in-all, I met really good people.
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    Check out Rick below. Rick is super cool and raced his first race at I-70 in 1974. Let's see, in '74 I was an infant. Rick's seen a lot over the years and is a staple at the speedway.
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    Mark Spillman had just won the title for the Superstock division.
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    Jacobee Deckman had just won the championship for the Enduro class.
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    Check out the I-70 points summary for details.
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    At age 20, Jacobee was well known on the circuit as a talented driver. Mark, only a couple of years older, had finished in the top 5 for 16 of the season's 17 races. I had a great time talking to Mark who was down-to-earth. Very humble for a guy who was about to get a huge trophy for his season's accomplishments.
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    Their friend, to the right of Mark & Jacobee below, had gashed his head open while helping with the tailgate. I've seen some bad wounds and have seen the subsequent shock that injured people usually succumb to. Not this time though. This guy clenched his teeth and focused on not passing out and sure enough, 15 minutes later he was up and about. I'd expected him to be white as a ghost and to need a couple of hours to get over the shock. I saw him the next morning and congratulated him on being one tough son-of-a-gun. I'd never seen anything quite like it. It was a bad injury.


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    The next morning, I scrambled out of my tent to escape the near hundred degree heat. It was already 84 outside and there was no shade in sight. After having stayed up partying with the I-70 crew until nearly dawn, I was not in the mood for sunshine and water from a bottle. Oh well... the perils of living on a motorcycle. I certainly couldn't spare water to rinse my face and coffee didn't sound like a good idea. So I got on my bike and went to find ice tea and eggs. Morgan's Family restaurant to the rescue. I sat at the bar and entertained all four of the waitresses while I ate. They are all really young and just laughed and laughed at all of my jokes. That’s quite a hangover cure.


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    <o:p> </o:p>
    After breakfast, I found an O'Riley's autoparts store to get something that would hopefully fix my bad fuel problem. Then, I clicked off a couple of dozen miles to see if it worked. Like a charm. Some of Richard Petty’s STP fuel treatment had worked its magic. Time to turn around and head for the track to catch the green flag for the day's big event.


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    All I had to do was to pack my cooler, grab a roadie and start walking.
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    On the way into the track, I met Mitch. Mitch and I really hit it off and ended up drinking beer, watching racing and even tailgating afterwards.



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    I was glad to have my brimmed hat to shield my burnt face and neck from the scorching sun. So was Mitch. See the spotter perched high atop the dirt-track grandstand.


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    The lady to the right was married to one of the drivers and stood there for the entire race and alternated between cheering and fretting.




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    Here's me and Smokin' Joe.


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    I'm glad to have this picture, as the night time pictures I took at the tailgate didn't turn out.




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    Mitch and I walked back to his car and fired up the grill and we chowed down on a couple of burgers before he hit the road.


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    After the main event on the asphalt track, I headed over to the dirt track to watch modified cars run on dirt.


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    It was pretty tame around the track late night on Sunday.



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    <o:p> </o:p>
    When I woke up on Monday morning after a weekend of World Cup racing, I emerged from my tent to see an empty field. Almost no one had stayed on Sunday and the scene was night & day different than the scene from the previous morning. I packed up camp in record time and loaded my bike for a long day of riding. I hoped to ride 600 miles before the sun set.





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  4. Sly-on-2

    Sly-on-2 Rockin' Winger

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
    [​IMG] Before I left, Rick, Harold and Lisa stopped by to say goodbye. Rick had a bunch of I-70 stickers for me and Lisa had some baked goods. I've been very fortunate to end many days by reaching into my saddlebag and pulling out something delicious that someone had given me hours or days earlier.
    <o:p> </o:p>
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    After a quick trip around the field and gravel, I pulled out of the speedway, anxious to be back on the road. First destination, the Ozarks.
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    I headed for <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Little Rock</st1:place></st1:City>... via Branson.




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    It was a rainy day, so I don't have pictures of the Ozarks, Branson, or the ride into <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Little Rock</st1:City></st1:place>. The good thing is that I never really got wet. Rain was intermittent and light. Too wet for riding with my camera, but not too wet to prompt me to hunker down. If I had my riding gear, it would have been a prefect day. Instead, it was just a really good day of riding.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    About an hour before dark, I called my friend Ling in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Little Rock</st1:place></st1:City>. Sure enough, even though it was last minute, she was glad to hear from me. I was so excited to see a good friend and teammate from B-School. After an hour of Interstate riding, I rolled into <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Little Rock</st1:place></st1:City> at sunset. It was beautiful. The city's skyline, the red reflection from the setting sun on the river, the wonderful roads with little traffic led easily to downtown where I quickly found Ling's place.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We hopped in her car to head up the street for a delicious dinner. As an added gesture of hospitality, she gave me a reprieve from camping and had a hotel reservation for me. Thanks Ling! I swam, showered, checked e-mail and updated my atlas all before Leno started. What a night. Nearly 500 miles, though short of my goal, it was still a LONG day of riding. The backroads that snaked through the Ozarks proved challenging. My riding skills were up to the challenge. My spine and shoulders were not. I was super sore and a comfy hotel bed hit the spot.
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    Once again, like I'd done in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Denver</st1:place></st1:City> and in MO, I don't have pictures. Sad!
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    In the morning, I unwrapped a delicious loaf of breakfast bread from Lisa and brewed coffee and sat at a table with a big 'ole grin. Eating on the ground isn't nearly as satisfying as having a padded chair and proper table.


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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Now, I was in the <st1:place w:st="on">Deep South</st1:place> and in for an entirely different topography and scenery set. I wanted to ride only county roads and still make <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tupelo</st1:place></st1:City> in time to go out for dinner and drinks.


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    Check out the Riceland plant.


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    I love riding through cotton fields. Usually, I only see cotton in <st1:place w:st="on">Eastern Carolina</st1:place>. There sure were a lot of cotton fields in <st1:State w:st="on">Mississippi</st1:State> and <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alabama</st1:place></st1:State>.
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    I wondered how long it had been since someone had purchased a new pair of denim jeans at the Sugarboy Store?


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    Ole Miss, it's a beautiful campus for sure.


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    I rolled into <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tupelo</st1:place></st1:City> and saw signs to Elvis' birthplace. <st1:place w:st="on">Graceland</st1:place> is too "downtown" for me to see on this trip, so an excursion to where the King of Rock 'n Roll was born, really fit the bill.




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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Now if only I could meet the King on this trip, Richard Petty is the <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Man.</st1:place></st1:State> And, if you live in NC, you can have his likeness adorn your licence plate. Sound too good to be true? Just check out the tailgate on my truck to see the King's profile.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The guy at the AmeriInn agreed to cut the rate from $45 to $37. I wanted to stay in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tupelo</st1:place></st1:City> and didn't want to camp. But I didn't want to pay forty bucks either. (Taxes and fees)
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    From the time I began the trip, until I reached the Canadian border, I'd only stayed in two hotels. Once I headed up through <st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region>, through <st1:State w:st="on">Alaska</st1:State>, and all the way back to <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Arkansas</st1:place></st1:State>, I'd not stayed in a hotel. 58 consecutive nights without paid lodging. Tonight, I just whimped out and got a room.
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    The bartender at the Jefferson Inn (a place I picked because of the reference to a great president, who commissioned the Lewis & Clark Expedition,) recommended that I not stay at the Economy Inn, but did describe it as the cheapest place in town that was safe.
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    Safe & Dilapidated.
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    When I asked the front desk clerk for a $25 room, she didn't balk for long. My $25 included taxes and fees.
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    I checked in and then went out for dinner.
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    <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tupelo</st1:place></st1:City> is lame on a Tuesday night. I did meet some cool people and did dance to a Garth Brooks song, but then drew the line at Achy Breaky Heart. Back to the Roach Motel for a good night's sleep... in my sleeping bag.




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  5. Sly-on-2

    Sly-on-2 Rockin' Winger

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
    [​IMG]

    <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alabama</st1:place></st1:state> is beautiful, and by sticking to back roads, I saw a few cool things. A huge natural bridge, an old covered bridge and then an old jail that was being restored.




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    See the log above? It had hundreds of nails driven into it at tiny intervals to prevent inmates from sawing their way out.
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    An hour long hike to see the natural bridge was just what I needed for a boost of energy and I left there ready to ride.


    Time for vittles.


    I drank enough sweet tea to send my blood sugar level to the moon. Sweet!!!!!


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    My buddy Dave was expecting me, and I pulled into the Atlanta Brewing Company around four. Just in time for the Wednesday night beer tasting. Taste I did.


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    <o:p> </o:p>
    We left the brewery with some of his friends to go and sample some of the ABC Cask Conditioned beer. A local restaurant was highlighting their award-winning creation that evening, and the brewer had to be there. Dave's been brewing for several years now, and the new brewery is a really high-tech operation. I've stopped at over a dozen breweries on my trip, and The Atlanta Brewing Company really stands out as having the most sophisticated operation.
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    Check out the Kettle below. Dave commissioned craftsmen in British Colombia to hand-make it to precise specs.
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    It's not an accident when beer is delicious.
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    The Old-Wing out front
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    Dave and I in the tasting room. It's the nicest tasting room I've ever seen. Nicer by a factor of many.




    <o:p> </o:p>
    In the morning, I left <st1:city w:st="on">Atlanta</st1:city> and went to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Rome</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">GA</st1:state></st1:place> for a great cup of coffee.



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    Being in Atlanta was wierd, now being in a "small town" in suburnan Atlanta area was even wierder. I miss Alaska, Wyoming & Montana.


    The waitress has a brother that runs a chop shop and has built some pretty radical sleds.

    She and I chatted for a bit, then I enjoyed more coffee while retracing my route. I was sure that Georgia was state number 40, which would mean that the trip would be over soon. But I'd miscounted. Georgia was only 39. My options: Florida, Ohio or Deleware. Florida was out as I'd just done 3,000 miles in FL in 4 days over Christmas. Plus, I had to be in VA soon. Deleware was out because that meant DC, Baltimore, Philly, etc. No thanks. Ohio was perfect because that meant I could tool around WVA for a bit; one of my favorite states and a damn fine place to ride backroads. Plus, I'd decided a month ago in New Mexico that going back to visit the folks who helped me in Elkin, WV was a must. So Ohio will make 40.

    After riding past <st1:placename w:st="on">Berry</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">College</st1:placetype>, I made it to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placetype w:st="on">Fort</st1:placetype> <st1:placename w:st="on">Oglethorpe</st1:placename></st1:place> and stopped in for sightseeing.

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    The cannon below was manufactured in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Richmond</st1:city> <st1:state w:st="on">VA</st1:state></st1:place> by the Tredegar Ironworks Company. Several years ago, I spent a New Year's Eve at the Tredegar Ironworks building, now a cool venue on the <st1:place w:st="on">James River</st1:place>. It's all brick with ceilings over 25 feet high. It's quite historic. Seeing the canon that was manufactured in a place where I'd been awed a few years ago, was yet another example of things on this adventure coming full circle.


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    I remember back when that t-shirt was still black. Many moons ago.


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    Back in Tenessee.


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    [​IMG]


    Wow - It seems like so long ago when I rode in Manteo at the beginning of the trip. As soon as I saw a restaurant, I stopped in for Sweet Tea, Hushpuppies, and Salt & Pepper Catfish.


    [​IMG]






    [​IMG]






    [​IMG]








    [​IMG]










    <o:p> </o:p>
    The next few hours were some of the most serious riding I've done on the trip. I'd compare it to the roads in <st1:city w:st="on">Northern</st1:city> <st1:state w:st="on">CA</st1:state> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Humboldt</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">County</st1:placetype></st1:place> where I lost my gear. For a few hours, I didn't see lines on the road or road wide enough for two cars to pass easily.






    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    <st1:place w:st="on">Highlands</st1:place>, NC is a neat mountain town.


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Fun.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My buddy Tom was gracious enough to host me yet again. I'd begun the trip with Tom in <st1:place w:st="on">Western NC</st1:place>.


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    As I'd done with so many other hosts, I kicked off the visit by borrowing clean clothes. The <st1:state w:st="on">Vermont</st1:state> shirt is similar to the one Greg wore in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Vernal</st1:city> <st1:state w:st="on">UT.</st1:state></st1:place> Like that night at the Dinosaur Haus, Tom and I stayed up swapping stories of summer adventures. Thanks buddy.
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    The portraits of the three brothers made a good backdrop for a picture.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After a tumbler of scotch and water, I planted myself in a comfortable chair for the next couple of hours. Ahhhh... spine relief.


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    After a few hours of sleep, I had to get up and ride non-stop for seven hours to make it to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Charlottesville</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">VA</st1:state></st1:place> by early afternoon.


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    It was the only time on the trip that I used an Interstate for anything more than avoiding a city.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Interstates... gotta love them as they keep everyone else off the back roads.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It was a long day of high-speed riding with stops for fuel only. Beautiful scenery and high expectations made for me arriving with high energy.



    Good thing too... as the bike was parked for 30 minutes before...






    [​IMG]



    That's my... "I'm way too damn old to be drinking SoCo" face. Hell, that's the stuff that killed Janis at age 27. So perhaps it wasn't the Southern Comfort, but the associated rocker lifestyle. But as for me, I'm not going to blame my lifestyle, I choose to blame the booze. Bourbon isn't evil, but it's super sweet cousin called Southern Comfort is, and is most definitley not Comforting.


    Alright folks, that's all for now but more to follow... soon.

    Sly
  6. gatling

    gatling Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,984
    I visited that same covered bridge in Alabama. It's a beautiful area.
  7. 4power

    4power Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Pennsyltucky
    That SoCo face cracked me up, first time I smiled all day. Thanks for this great ride report!
  8. Sly-on-2

    Sly-on-2 Rockin' Winger

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
    Here's one from Sunday's adventure at Devil's Playground at Pike's Peak for the 86th annual International Hillclimb, The International Race to the Clouds.

    Here's to the guys over in the "Hacks" forum. Ya'll have inspired me. A hack is in my future.

    [​IMG]


    More RR to follow...
  9. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,625
    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    Great stuff! Looking forward to more! :thumb
  10. DDT

    DDT Road Slut

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    29
    Yeah, that was such a sweet surprise to have two pages to read. You must have come right by my house when entering GA from AL. If your ever down this way again on Saturday night, come by and we'll go to the local dirt track and I'll put you up for the night. DT
  11. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    brisvegas,oz
    great to be back reading the sly adventures:clap :clap
  12. Sly-on-2

    Sly-on-2 Rockin' Winger

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    156
    Location:
    Previously, Camel City Carolina, now Denver
    [​IMG]

    I don't have pictures from the haul from Western Carolina to Central Virginia because I was too busy watching for Johnny Lawman. I had the OldWing topped out at a steady 85 or so for many hours. Strangely enough, the superslab didn't bother me. I just hauled ass knowing that I was about to hang with a bunch of good friends.


    After arriving at the hotel, enjoying a cocktail and a shower, we headed off for downtown.


    [​IMG]



    Timing was perfect as I rolled into <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Charlottesville</st1:place></st1:city>. My buddies had just arrived, so I grabbed some clean clothes (did laundry in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Asheville</st1:place></st1:city>) and we hit the road.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My buddies had followed the blog and were curious to hear the extended version of some of the stories. After all, five months can't be adequately condensed into 50 blog posts.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After a night in town seeing old friends, we woke up to re-live an old tradition. Seeing The University of Virginia Cavaliers play football at Scott Stadium.


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    What a glorious day!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The pictures of us from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placetype w:st="on">Camp</st1:placetype> <st1:placename w:st="on">Wahoo</st1:placename></st1:place>, the coolest Cavalier tailgate, aren't going to make it on the blog. Let's just say that I haven't lost my beer-bonging touch, and leave it at that. It's like riding a bike.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    FYI: The picture to the left and the four below were taken with an I-phone.


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    After two fun-filled nights in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Cavalier</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Land</st1:placetype></st1:place>, the guys headed off to catch a plane to their respective towns, and I hopped on my motorcycle to visit a 40th state.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    While at a coffee shop in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Rome</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">GA</st1:state></st1:place>, I'd recounted the number of states visited on this trip and realized I was only at 39. <st1:state w:st="on">Florida</st1:state>, <st1:state w:st="on">Ohio</st1:state> and <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Delaware</st1:place></st1:state> were the only viable candidates. After my Christmas trip to the Keys a few months earlier, I had no interest in going to <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Florida</st1:place></st1:state>. Plus, I just ridden GA, AL, MS etc. <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Delaware</st1:place></st1:state> involved DC which entails traffic. Time to route to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Ohio</st1:state></st1:place>. Via WVA of course, one of my favorite states. I tooled through the Wild and Wonderful West Virginia mountains, and enjoyed spectacular scenery.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    While riding one particularly remote road, I saw two old Panheads and had to stop. After visiting The Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC during the first weeks of my trip, I'd been fascinated with '47 Pans. I'd met a guy at the Evel Knievel Days in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Butte</st1:city> <st1:state w:st="on">Montana</st1:state></st1:place> I'd met Brother Harry who rode with Panhead Bill, but I didn't meet Bill or see his 1960 Pan. who rode a '74 Shovel (another classic I really like,) but I'd not met anyone riding Panheads on my trip.
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    When I pulled up, I got giddy when I saw <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Massachusetts</st1:place></st1:state> tags on the bikes. These guys really rode! They were in the middle of a conversation with another gawkier, so I didn't interpret. They must get bombarded by curious onlookers at every stop. Even after talking with someone else for over 15 minutes, they were still willing to talk to me and hear about my over-loaded Old-Wing that was parked next to their timeless machines.

    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Dell & Joe introduced themselves and told me about their bikes and their trip.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The red springer is a '48 and the white hydroglide is a '49. Both Panheads are in great shape. The guys knew the proprietors over at the Wheels Through Time Museum. They'd been riding for nearly a week and were taking the old machines on routes similar to mine, though at much slower speeds. They stuck to two-lane mountain roads.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Below, Dell is describing the timing adjusting mechanism on his Springer. These guys run 9 to 12 pounds of air in the tires. Front and rear tires have low pressure to improve comfort. The bikes are rigid, which means no rear suspension. The springs beneath the seat do a good job of making their long days comfortable.
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Meeting Joe & Dell really made my day and allowed me to check something else off my list. I'd not met anyone riding old bikes during my entire 30,000 miles and 39 states. Wow!
    <o:p> </o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Check out the Atlas strapped to the back of Dell's bike! You know someone is really out for a ride when they've got an entire United States Atlas as opposed to a county or state map.


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Though the Appalachians aren't nearly as tall as the Rockies, they start at sea level, where many <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Western</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Mountain</st1:placetype></st1:place> towns are a mile above sea level before the mountains begin their skyward landscape. 3,000 - 4,000 foot elevations in the <st1:place w:st="on">Appalachians</st1:place> are very impressive. Mountains indeed.




    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After saying goodbye to the guys and their vintage machines, I headed toward Elkins WVA. I'd broken down there earlier in my trip, and wanted to swing back by and say hi.



    When I rode the Goldwing up the ramp to the shop enterence, they guys sure were surprised. We said hi & bye and I was back on the road. I'm glad I got to let them know I was still alive, and that their good deed was much appreciated.


    It was so good the last time, I stopped in for another burger.


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    After 300 miles of tiny mountain roads, I crossed the <st1:place w:st="on">Ohio River</st1:place> and set up my tent just before dark.
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>Before leaving in the morning, I talked to the owner. Interesting guy. He built a subterranian house 30 years ago and has vitrually no heating / cooling bill.
    </o:p>


    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    In the morning, I went back through WVA via a different, but equally obscure route.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Somewhere around 2:00 or 3:00, I saw the sign and had to stop. I was staving! My first meal of the day was a fried hotdog and bottle of Bud.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Delicious. I also met some cool characters. If you're ever in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">West Virginia</st1:state></st1:place>, be sure to see if the East Run Band is playing nearby.

    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>




    <o:p></o:p>
    I left the Up South Tavern and continued on.












    [​IMG]
  13. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Cool man, thanks for the fresh posts.:thumb
    Seriously one of my fave' ride reports.
    I dig your people skills

    Got any stealth-camping tips?
    I've found it hard out East (as opposed to B.C.) every scrap of land seems to be someones property...
  14. Milkcow

    Milkcow n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    central Arkansas
    I can't believe you took this trip on a 'wing, don't you know you can't ride on gravel, meet great people or enjoy yourself. "You must be nuts"

    Next time ask before you do something so irresponsable.

    I had a 83 Aspencade for 11 years and put 87,000 enjoyable and trouble free on it.
  15. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    120,658
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
  16. MSchu

    MSchu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    IA
    Back to Page 1.

    Moar!
  17. YZman

    YZman Bouncing off Trees

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,136
    Location:
    Montucky
    Sly you have sure sucked me into this report. I just found it monday and plowed thru it all and am anxiousely waiting for more.

    You sure know how to get the wander lust in me going. I may not ever be able to take a trip such as yours but I will most certainly be riding somewhere sometime soon to try and get away from it all.

    Cant wait to read the rest of it.

    I cant help but think what your family thougt of the "new you" when you finially got hime. This trip most certainly changed your outlook on things.
  18. Wildabeast

    Wildabeast Wide Open

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    309
    Location:
    Vermont
    What's up Sly. I didn't know I had a shoter brother than myself ... we be the same.
  19. simondippenhall

    simondippenhall Simondippenhall

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    338
    Location:
    Hampshire, England
    Dear Sly

    I came across your RR which was referred to in another thread.

    I have read it from start to finish over the past few days.

    It has been intensely enjoyable because

    -your writing style is wonderful, giving us all an insight into how you were feeling and what you were experiencing
    -the photos show the beauty and variety of the US (where I lived for 4 happy years)
    -you have cracked the secret of riding slowly without a plan, following the moment and not stressing yourself by feeling under pressure to be at a given place at a given time.


    If you make it to the UK there are several beers waiting for you!

    BTW your taste in bikes is great...after 30 years of saying I wouldn't buy a Harley, I bought an Ultra Classic and am loving it!

    regards

    Simon
  20. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13,425
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I just started reading this thread a couple of days ago. I just finished page 5 (Chicken AK) page, and man, I am hooked! this is one great RR.

    Thanks for sharing your story.