Before it gets too cold!!

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

  1. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,048
    Location:
    sunny san diego
    Nicely done!! Always look forward to your Ride/Life reports!!
    Ginger Beard and black 8 like this.
  2. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    Thanks Dano! Hope to not disappoint with the deatails. Have a great weekend!
  3. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    3,102
    Location:
    33.202738 -117.384040
    Thanks for taking us along Ginger Beard... really enjoyed your ride report along with my morning cup of Joe...

    :beer
    klaviator and Ginger Beard like this.
  4. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,090
    Home and alive is always a bonus!
    dano619 and Ginger Beard like this.
  5. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander

    Than you Black 8, more to come!
  6. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander

    Made it in spite of Miami drivers!! :lol3
    klaviator likes this.
  7. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,905
    Location:
    captures.crunching.farewell
    Looking forward to the play-by-play!
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  8. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,885
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    And a few weeks ago when I was in western NC (1st week October), it hit 99 F one afternoon at 2,000' elevation! Every other day it was closer to 90 F. Surprised the hell outta me. At the top of Mount Mitchell it was 25 degrees cooler.

    Riding was awesome, and it didn't rain on us, so no complaints. I love riding in western NC.

    Enjoying your adventure. Looking forward to the after-trip discussion.
    klaviator, Ginger Beard and B10Dave like this.
  9. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    DAY Uno



    Just to recap , this ride was a bit of business and pleasure with a lot more pleasure than business. Getting out and testing the hell out of my latest bag design was needed and it just so happened to be the perfect excuse to spend a couple of weeks on the road (or off of it if possible).

    That said, I woke up early the first day, having slept very little due to the anxiety and excitement that always precedes these big rides.

    "Did I pack everything? Did I pack too much? Is the bike squared away? Did I leave the house in a manageable state for my partner? Did I back up my routes to my phone? What is the meaning of life? Maybe it IS aliens? "

    Too many strange deliberations for a sound sleep.

    I woke up before my 4 a.m. alarm , made coffee and loaded the bike into the truck. Double checking that I had indeed remembered everything that I would need to survive two whole weeks in a first world country, I found a small puddle where my bike had sat overnight. SHIT!! I put in the oil drain screw sans crush washer... Which was sitting on the floor taunting me with it's shiny crushable self.

    In my pocket it went and after finding every excuse to linger with my girl over coffee, it was time to go. On the road by 5:30 and on my way to South Central Florida where I'd leave my truck at a friends house and begin my ride.

    Gas at dark thirty and I'm ready for my 4 hours drive. My old beater pickup. I love this tired old thing.
    IMG_20191011_063428.jpg



    Beautiful sunrise over the farms.
    IMG_20191011_070204.jpg


    And a break for my first of many weight conscious and healthy meal choices over the next couple of weeks. My girlish figure isn't going to maintain itself!
    IMG_20191011_090411.jpg


    Time passed quickly as I pre-rode the next two weeks in my head during my drive, even laughing at conversations that had yet to happen. That's normal and this is fine.:loco

    IMG_20191011_110451.jpg



    My first job after unloading the bike was to throw it on the ground and put in the crush washer that I'd professionally left in the oil pan. I surprised myself by not spilling any oil!
    IMG_20191011_113552.jpg
    I spent some time hanging out with my friend Sharon and helping her with a bike issue and by 12:30 I was on my bike and in the dirt.
    IMG_20191011_125958.jpg

    And rescuing the first of many turtles that I'd encounter on my trip. Hey look, a juvenile FL softshell turtle!! I love these leather backed testudines.

    IMG_20191011_131822.jpg
  10. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    Now, I'm not sure how such rides play out in the minds of other riders but for me? It takes me a day or 3 to acclimate to idea that I'm actually on a ride. There's a strange disconnect form where I am to what it is I "should" be doing and it transposes me from a place of enjoying the moment to world of what if's and what shoulds. This day was no different and I'd battle this dissociation until I sipped that first beer at camp. Luckily I had a little birdie upon my shoulder that would whisper reminders in my ear, telling me to slow down and enjoy myself because if I'm not enjoying my time then what is the point of all of this?

    IMG_20191011_152817.jpg

    I was making good time as I roosted and slid my way north along the western edge of Florida's Lake Wales Ridge. I passed through the towns of Dundee, Polk City, Haynes and Dade City with hopes of getting close to the GA border today.

    I stopped at a gas station in Dade City and made the terrible decision to eat some of their finest cuisine. To ad insult to what would later be revealed to be an injury , they were cleaning the floors with what must have been full strength concentrate of Fabuloso. A smell that i would be tasting for the rest of the day... The "chicken sandwich" tasted neither like chicken, sand or a witch. All of those would have been preferable to the plasticine breaded tile that I'd put watery ketchup on. The corn dog was actually delicious in comparison which says something because it too was awful. I actually took a shot of hot sauce to rid my pallet of the sting.

    Note to self, no more gas station food unless it's hot dogs. I don't learn...:lol3
    IMG_20191011_143839.jpg


    Those poor fools way up there.
    IMG_20191011_153046.jpg



    The beautiful Withlacoochee River was my only company through this part of the forest.
    IMG_20191011_153358.jpg

    IMG_20191011_153405.jpg



    By 3 p'm' I was in the Citrus WMA. I had passed through here before but only on the main grade so I was curious to see how my "Google Track" would play out...


    IMG_20191011_161009.jpg

    Turns out pretty damn good!!

    IMG_20191011_161024.jpg

    I found myself enjoying this place way too much to make any reasonable distance and resided myself to playing for a couple of hours. I even managed to get myself stuck right in front of a Jeep full of girls that all laughed at me as I was digging and dragging my bike back down the steep sandy hill. Got to love those country girls!

    IMG_20191011_162933.jpg

    IMG_20191011_162143.jpg

    I love sand, no seriously. I really enjoy riding in the stuff. It's fast and flowy while slightly unpredictable but also forgiving in a get off.
    IMG_20191011_164945.jpg
  11. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    Between jumping the hills in the clay pits and climbing up the sugar sand quarry walls, i managed to use up most of my daylight while simultaneously crushing any chance of making it near the FL/GA border today.

    Worth it! IMG_20191011_161820.jpg

    I left the forest and headed towards a little campsite on the Withlacoochee river estuary that a man at a gas station had told me of.

    The weather was warm and sunny with a cooling breeze. Not the worst start for a road trip.

    IMG_20191011_174344.jpg

    Man oh man did he hook it up!! The campground was inexpensive, clean and had sites right on the water of the marina!! It also had a small restaurant and store with good food and a decent beer
    selection.

    The young proprietors kept a tidy house and were really accommodating. If you ever pass through Inglis FL and want to enjoy a waterfront site while putting money in the pockets of locals then stop at B's Campground and Marina!
    IMG_20191011_181740.jpg

    I set up my tent while enjoying the serenity of the marina and then hit the restaurant for fish n chips accompanied by a Florida brewed IPA. I spent the rest of the evening chatting with locals about ecology, laws and dual sport riding all while sipping a nice cold one.

    IMG_20191011_194019.jpg
  12. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,884
    Location:
    ADVmonster
    It's even legal in somes states:wink:
  13. SuperChuck

    SuperChuck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    388
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Cigar City Jai Alai is an amazing IPA. I imagine it's commonplace down in FL near the source. Loving the RR recap so far, keep it up!
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  14. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    I need to move there! :lol3

    Thanks!

    They sell the it in most grocery stores in FL . I'm not a big IPA fan but Jai Alai is delicious.
    JRowland likes this.
  15. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    After a quick g'night to Sarah, I crawled into my tent for some much needed shuteye. The glow of moonlight mixed with the sound of water lapping the rocks and docked boats , creating a dreamy state without having yet closed my eyes. As I drifted off to sleep, I was startled back to a fully conscious state by the buzz of my phone on the tent floor.

    It was a text from my buddy James that our friend Phil had hit a boar with his bike and was being airlifted to a trauma center in my home town of West Palm Beach.

    SHIT!!!

    According to James , Phil had a pretty good concussion and a broken clavicle. The bike , a newer Street Scrambler , was... Scrambled. Broken front wheel, bent fork, bent bars with destroyed headlight and gauges.

    Phil and the bike faired out better than the piggy.

    71737112_10221405567315315_5076679600461840384_o.jpg

    James took care of Phil until rescue arrived, being sure to keep him from moving around much or falling asleep. Luckily Phil's helmet and armored gear did it's job.

    72351051_10221405567035308_35681527438245888_o.jpg

    I fired off a few texts to let my buddy Rich and my girl know what was going on and laid back down to try and get some sleep. I wanted to get in some decent mileage tomorrow and needed an early start to do that.
    black 8, dave6253, Plebeian and 9 others like this.
  16. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    I slept really well considering that I had gotten such bad news right before bed. I sat up wide awake just before 5 a.m. when I heard the faint sounds of a chugging diesel marine engine. Climbing out of my tent, I was greeted by the crew of a shrimp trawler heading to the docks after their night out on the water.

    The damp , cool morning stillness was briefly interrupted for your dining pleasure. Check out those lights !!

    IMG_20191012_064305.jpg


    IMG_20191012_064328.jpg

    IMG_20191012_064342.jpg

    I watched the moon fall into the distance as the guard changed.

    The sun making it's first appearance.

    IMG_20191012_065442.jpg

    I lingered at camp for bit, making coffee and figuring out which track to load as I had several. I opted for a more direct route in order to make up for yesterday's shenanigans in the Citrus WMA , ate a quick snack while drinking coffee and then hit the road.

    Not a bad view for sipping a morning beverage.
    IMG_20191012_071411.jpg

    I stopped briefly for a diner breakfast in order to cleanse myself of the gas station garbage that I'd choked down during yesterday's ride and then kicked rocks to the first of many open and fast dirt roads that would get me quickly to the FL/GA border. 75mph is about all this little bike has in it on these sandy highways.
    IMG_20191012_120800.jpg
    black 8, bomose, dave6253 and 12 others like this.
  17. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    These tree tunnels are mesmerizing with a beautiful dappling of light through the heavily shadowed canopy. the downside is how that light obscures the road surface, hiding potholes, rocks and other road imperfections...Including cows. Ask me how I know.
    IMG_20191012_125226.jpg
    That's a happy face under there.
    IMG_20191012_125241.jpg


    One of the many old homesteads that have become decorations for the pastoral landscape.

    IMG_20191012_130029.jpg



    If you love sand then South GA and most of Florida are a veritable paradise for you soft surface sorts.

    Not the trouble that recent auto traffic has had trying to navigate this corner. Get some knobbies people!!!

    IMG_20191012_133611.jpg

    Riding through here at speed is quite smooth but it does bring a slight head shake above 50 mph.

    IMG_20191012_133633.jpg


    A slight wiggle of your foot is all it takes to be ankle deep. Pin it to win it!!

    IMG_20191012_133810.jpg

    It was now just after noon and I was nearly at the GA border. I had to do some zig zagging in order to link dirt routes and ensure that I reached GA off pavement.

    Glad I'm not down there...
    IMG_20191012_135502.jpg


    I was now in the Osceola WMA on a route that I'd pieced together form google maps. I was pleasantly surprised by what would wind up being the most enjoyable part of today's ride.

    This is an old road bed as evidenced by the gratuitous use of Coquina on several of the bridges and drainage ditches.

    IMG_20191012_141709.jpg


    There's a serenity in running these little used roads , the sounds of wind and wildlife being your only companion. This is why I have always loved motorcycles. I know that this can be done in a car or truck but even with the windows or top down, there's just too much separation from the natural world. not the case on a vehicle that forces you to stick your feet in it with every stop.
    IMG_20191012_142155.jpg
    Terranewbs, black 8, bomose and 12 others like this.
  18. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    14,339
    Location:
    Indiana
    :lurk
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  19. rsteiger

    rsteiger Bob Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,415
    Location:
    Hotlanta Area
    Would love to get a GPX file of the route you took!
  20. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,868
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    Just south of the state border I stumble across an abandoned gas station. I walked around the old building that appeared to have been both a country store and a dwelling. The well crafted building, though now showing the signs of its age, was clearly loved at one point. I wondered of the family that owned it and what became of them. There was a tranquility in the air and in that old framework.


    It would later be revealed to me that it was owned by a woman named Elsie and her family. Thanks for the info @merc16 !!


    Edit* A bit more about the old store

    https://www.farenoughphoto.net/blog/abandoned-florida-gas-station




    IMG_20191012_143120.jpg

    Even the wildlife seemed relaxed in the shadow of this old store.

    Hey buddy, I see you too.

    IMG_20191012_143215.jpg



    And a short while later I was leaving the dirt roads of north Florida for the blacktop of Southern GA. A note to Georgia (and FL). SSSSSTOP PAVING SHIT!!! :dirtdog
    IMG_20191012_145621.jpg
    Hamilton County...
    IMG_20191012_145643.jpg
    I passed through the town of Fargo GA and realized that I was starving. I spun on my heels and went to grab lunch at the old Swannee River Cafe, now called Jillbillie's . They're now under new management and i was a little disappointed to not be surrounded by the decapitated heads of deer that once adorned the walls. I was reassured by staff that as soon as renovations were done then the deer would return. Whew, thank goodness!! What freakin' good is a country cafe without gratuitous taxidermy.

    You want a salad in the south?!! You get chunks of whole tomato big enough to make you choke. You also get the heavy shrapnel of an exploded Iceberg head. "Blue cheese please."
    IMG_20191012_151921.jpg


    I'm not angry but I am hot and a bit dehydrated. Luckily this is the south and I drank a gallon of sweet tea while sitting here. By the way, the food here is pretty damn good and quite cheap. Really hits the spot after a day of riding.
    IMG_20191012_151937.jpg

    With a full belly and a full tank, I bid Fargo adieu and headed into the forest just to the north for another google route that would get me to the SEAT.