Before it gets too cold!!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ginger Beard, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    I truly love the region. I keep threatening to do an "abandoned towns and structures of the South" tour through GA,SC, and AL. There's so much to explore there!


    Your trip sounds like a good time. Did you ride the regular Sm500? If so then it may be time to revisit the route. The "Plus" version adds in a ton of great singletrack and poorly maintained forestry roads.
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  2. Gadawg803

    Gadawg803 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I did ride the regular Sm500. While I was reading your report I was thinking I needed to ride the plus portion. Your pictures look great.

    looks like you had a great ride. Thanks for taking us along
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  3. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    You're going to love the plus sections.

    Thank you and thanks for reading along!
  4. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    We wound up getting a hotel across the street from the one next to the restaurant...Yes, there were two hotels in walking distance! :lol3 This one was behind a gas station which also turned out to be the office. Rich and I were pretty stuffed from the subs so dinner consisted of some snacks and a couple of beers. We spent the rest of the evening talking about the ride and life as well as planning our next big trip. Rich and I are both self proclaimed assholes and we both have a propensity towards interpersonal isolationism. That we get along well enough to not kill one another in our sleep is a pretty big deal. Add to that the fact that we can stand each other long enough to do multi day trips together is a pretty good indication that even though we are assholes, we are like minded assholes and tolerant of each other's idiosyncratic tendencies. It all works out.


    Even with the days workout being relatively short lived (We did just over 100 miles today) we were both pretty exhausted. neither of us made it past 9:30.


    We woke up early the following morning at our little hotel/gas station. An odd setup on the surface but some choice coffee to start the day as a result. Rich was up and ready in what seemed like a few minutes. I on the other hand, had wandered outside after eating my Hardee's breakfast. That's when I ran into an older gentleman named Jim. He was a tough looking older cat whose external appearance utterly betrayed the mind that was hiding underneath. Ex military and a retired lineman with a degree in engineering, he looked the part of a country bumpkin with his camo shorts and hat paired with an American flag "Born Free" T-shirt . I dug it as I had grown up in the country (I'm also wearing camo shorts as I type this! :lol3 ) and he reminded me of the old timers that were friends of my dad's and would look out for us kids growing up in the boonies. We got into a talk about work, the quickly changing social dynamic of the younger generations and our ever polarizing political atmosphere in which no one can criticize a politicians actions without being lambasted and chided and where intellectual consistency has degraded to picking teams and standing by them like fanatics regardless of how much they trample our Constitution rights and our founding principles. For a moment i didn't feel like an outsider looking in at a world that I'd never be able to relate to. He was kin, perhaps not by blood but certainly by mind and spirit. He then told me about how he was looking to expatriate to Central or South America, a sentiment that seems all too common among the retirees that I meet.

    I stood out there talking for what must have been a long damn time because when I turned around i noticed that Rich had already packed his bike. He looked a bit annoyed and did the old "look at the time" hand gesture to me. I ended my conversation with Jim, thanking him for the refreshing talk, and got my shit packed post haste. Again, my lack of punctuality had become an issue. Sorry about that Rich, I promise to get it under control for our trip west! :beer


    We rolled out of the hotel a while later , into a cool and humid morning. There was a blanket of fog that would linger for hours but try as it might, it couldn't dampen our mood!!

    Back on the trail and a forestry road that skirted the GA/TN border. We had finished the SM500 sections that we'd planned on riding and were now riding the portion of the SEAT that heads southwest.

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    Some wonderful primitive camp sites on this river!

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    We crisscrossed the river several times as we worked our way into Northern GA.
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    We were now in GA and working our way along winding country roads in search of the next bit of dirt.
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    Now we're talking!!

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  5. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    You get talking to someone and having a great time, and your friends are tapping their watches? I think that exact scenario happens to most of us. Always good to take time and chat up those that may or may not know more than you do. Good work!
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  6. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    It was deserved. I was being a stage 3 lingerer after we had planned on leaving early.


    Still totally worth the conversation and getting to know Jim. Super cool guy that was on his first solo road trip after having lost his wife. No regrets.
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  7. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Just for perspective, one of the members ( Jeff Duckworth ) of the Facebook Dual Sport page shared a few pics with me that really highlights that rock garden that I struggled through. Thanks Jeff for letting me use the pic!!


    Edit: Turns out that he's a member here! Thank you @Hipower90 for the great shots!!

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    And one more that shows the steepness.

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  8. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    Quite the trip and RR! :clap
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  9. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Glad you like it man! Thanks for reading!


    We should get in a street ride soon. :beer
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  10. danh600

    danh600 Long timer Supporter

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    That needs about three foot of water and a kayak for me to go down it!!!!!:rofl
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  11. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    :lol3 You're in luck, the route goes UP it!!
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  12. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Minus 19C here this morning and there you guys are poly-wagging around the southland in bliss. :(
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  13. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    Yes we should. The temps are finally coming down too!
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  14. motomike14

    motomike14 Thumper Crusader Supporter

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    Great read. I do miss living near Tallahassee simply for those quick get aways on those lonely dirt roads and occasional trail adventure. Cool synopsis with your local interactions as well; I enjoy hearing stories of local interactions and how people are still holding on for what makes their areas special.
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  15. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

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    Your recent bridge photos are of Jack's River I believe...right in my backyard!
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  16. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Thanks man! Meeting locals , hearing the history of an area and about the lives that are spent there is a big part of why I take these trips. I'll have more updates tomorrow. Thought I'd get more done today but the flu is kicking my ass.
  17. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Yes sir! The road getting there was a ton of fun!
  18. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Unfortunately there isn't much dirt left on this portion of the SEAT but what is left is quite enjoyable.


    GA loves gravel and they love to pour it deep!! Rich was a little surprised by the complete lack of traction but adapted to it quickly. Soon we were back up to a fun clip, sliding around corners and roosting plumes of tiny stones.



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    With cool temps and zero traffic, we were having a great time. Today was going to be our last day on the road together and we were determined to have at least on damn night camping!! We had plans to make it to a site in the Talladega National Forest where we would hang out by a camp fire, have a celebratory drink or three and then part ways in the a.m.
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    I took few pics for the remainder of the day because after the first long dirt section, there was almost zero for the rest of the ride. It was a bit disappointing but the most of the roads were still enjoyable. We stopped off in Cedartown in order to get provisions for the night which included whiskey and a couple of subs that we stuffed into our jacket rain gear pockets. Worked perfectly since neither of us keeps rain gear in them. :lol3


    With pockets full of sandwiches and a Camelbak stuffed with liquor, we kicked rocks and hauled ass for our site. This would be another night of riding well past critter o'clock and we were reminded of the increased pucker factor several times.

    This would be the last section of dirt and it would lead us to Coleman Lake where we'd spend the night. With the stock light on my WRR, Rich lead the way so that I wouldn't be relegated to creeping along at 20mph. Within about 3 corners it was pitch black. We surprised several deer along the way, them not being used to thumping motorcycles and blinding LED lights.

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    Once at camp we started to set up our tents. No sooner than I had put out my tent poles than the campground host showed up to remind us to pay. She was super sweet and volunteered to bring us firewood when I asked if there was any available. Obviously there was a fee but she she really hooked us up with a decent pile of wood and wound up only charging me 4 dollars rather than the 7 listed on the sign.

    Unfortunately it was all damp from the rains of the last couples of days and was completely resistant to our efforts of igniting it. No matter, Rich was determined to have a camp fire so we set about collecting mountains of pine needles and leaves, using the heat to dry the wood. A few twigs , an inordinate amount of pine needles and about an hour an a half worth of effort and we were rewarded with an actual fire. Boy scouts, look out!!

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    We ate our subs by the fire, reminisced a bit about the last couple of days and decided to actually make a plan to ride the western states this coming summer.

    The simple joy that can come from staring into a crackling fire and baring witness to the rising embers racing to ascension beyond the canopy of trees is something that can't be duplicated by any other phenomenon. It's primal and it effects you if you choose to pay attention. Whiskey doesn't hurt the experience one bit. What a great night!
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  19. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    I hit the sack around 11 p.m. with Rich staying up for another hour or so. Dude really likes his camp fires. :D


    In such a peaceful setting, it's hard not to get a good night's sleep and with a belly full of food and alcohol, it would have been impossible.

    In the morning I popped my head out of my tent to see a crisp gray start to the new day. There was a tangible energy in the air and though I was bummed to no longer have Rich along, I was excited to ride through the Talladega Forest and begin working my way home.

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    I made coffee then took a walk to see the Lake. A lite fog still clung to it's mirrored surface while fish fractured the reflections it held. I grew up on a lake and there's a magic in these moments that I miss ,living where I do now.

    Being the only one along the shoreline was a great way to start my day. I sat for a few minutes just listening and feeling this world that I'm part of.

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    When I returned to the campsite, Rich had gotten the fire going again, using the embers and coals from the night before. We spent some time time talking about life and how we both often feel like we are watching society from the outside looking in which suits us both just fine.

    Slowly getting our shit together.

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    Bikes wondering what's going on.

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    For my Harley peeps...

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    And with that, a handshake and a bro hug, we went our separate ways. Rich had a long ride back to Waynesville and I was headed...somewhere...
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  20. danh600

    danh600 Long timer Supporter

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    Dave

    I have rode 281 a few times. It's actually one of my favorite roads. Just has a nice flow to it. Plus Cheaha is a nice spot to stop and stretch your legs.

    I always go to the end where it turns to dirt. I turn around and do 281 again. But it looks like if you keep going straight it takes you almost right to that camp ground. Is that right?
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