Desoto State Park: Chapter One

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by 15's Pop, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Desoto State Park: Chapter One January 12, 2019


    8:45am


    Eight: 45!


    That’s when I found out.


    I had had that great ride last weekend to Cheaha State Park. Worked on writing up my
    ride report of it over the next several days after words, and then got it posted a couple
    of days after that. After that, spent the next couple of nights returning “thank you!s”,
    to all my fellow riders, that so graciously posted a like or note…


    …now I customarily take one of my two bikes out of their stalls every weekend, at least
    for a jog, to keep the batteries from completely dying on me and it was my Big Boys turn
    to run.


    bike in garage.PNG
    Y’all Remember Him, right?


    But the weather this week has been on a steady decline: resembling more of a true
    Alabama winter rather than the almost springiness experience we enjoyed last weekend,
    so I feared I’d have to do an interior painting project I’ve been neglecting and had
    already begun mentally preparing myself for the most thrilling worst of dreary days.


    But, don’t think I didn’t try to make another ride happen this week, right up until the
    last possible moment. All week, at every chance, I pulled up The Weather Channel on
    my phone to stay abreast to the current forecast; but things were not looking good.


    Then a break, caught me by complete surprise, early Friday morning…

    …although busy, if things worked out to my favor, I had a shot at getting off early,
    on Friday, and riding up to Desoto State Park, in the Fort Payne, AL, area, that after-
    noon, (that’s in Northeast Alabama), grabbing a room for the night, because it would
    be dark by the time of my arrival (my camping gear hasn’t come in yet), then exploring
    a bit of the Park before I’d have to head back the following noon day, because
    inclement weather had been predicted to arrive in the afternoon/Saturday/beginning
    at 1:00pm’ish.


    Capture of weather.PNG
    That Green stuff is the water that is currently falling on my house as I type. 47 ℉


    Brief run-down on how my Friday morning played out: I got assigned a project that
    was to start at 10:00am. Things should have worked out like this: 1) the balance of
    my departments projects should have been completed by other staff members by the
    time I was completed with mine, and 2) my project, if it turned out being, of relatively
    routine complexity… meant, I could have easily clocked out by 12:30 or so…

    Why is it, when you get your hopes up…


    Well, things didn’t go as I had planned. First, instead of starting at 10:00am, we didn’t
    get started until 11:00, then it was 12:00 before we finally got started onto the issue
    at hand, then 12:30 passed, my plan sensitive factor… …as well as 12:45… 1:00 got
    to be 1:15, in just a flash, then finally with great shrieks of joy, the project’s success
    was achieved as the clock-ticked 1:35pm; and we involved all drew a sweet breath
    of relief, and with the next breath--immediately commenced to cleaning up the mess
    we had created…


    I didn’t dilly-dally getting out of there, but I knew my window (12:30pm) of opportunity
    had passed.


    After completing everything I need to, to close-up-shop, I then checked with my superior
    to make sure my co-workers were completed as well, then exited the building at 2:35,
    much past the time I needed to leave to be able to make a weekend rendezvous with
    Desoto State Park…


    Dejected, I made no effort to race home. But my head was still thinking of tree lined
    mountain passes.


    sneak peak s.PNG
    Sneak peak at Chapter Two.


    I then surmised as I drove home, that if I got up early on Saturday, as early as I normally
    do during the week, I could still ride up to the park the next morning, surely early enough,
    to get a look-around to plan for a future expedition.


    So when I got home, before even changing out of my work attire, I attempted to fire up
    the Big Boy and move him around to an ejection position, in preparation for an early
    morning blast off.


    Nothing!


    Well, the lights came on… but, as I repeatedly attempted to press the starter button,
    Nothing! I assumed the worst, I assumed I had finally let the battery run down for the
    last time, and he wasn’t going to start.


    Dejected and in great despair, I climbed up my stairs, I still planned on going ahead
    and hooking up the Battery Tender, and changed into some comfortable clothes. But,
    also planning to make an early night of it, I decided to eat an early dinner first so I
    could finalize my travel route plans as I ate. And as I ate… having pulled up the
    weather via my lap-top, I discovered a revision…

    rain at barber snip.PNG
    Rain now to set in, 0900, Saturday.
    #1
  2. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Bad Word! Three more Bad Words. Huge Sigh of disgust! Bad Word.


    Well then, I’m done.


    I answered a bunch of emails, then watched some YouTube stuff. Went to bed
    really late. Figured I’d get up/when I woke up, fix me a big breakfast… maybe,
    purchase a new battery for the lifeless bike tomorrow??? Don’t know? I’m done.


    Was awakened by my alarm clock ridiculously early, because I refuse to re-set it
    for the weekend days, just wake up and turn it off instead, then go back to sleep.


    Kept waking up, all night long, having those ridiculous night-mares, the ones that
    just make you shake your head when you wake up, and say “really?, I don’t think
    so”… went back to sleep…


    Finally, I couldn’t hold my water any longer at about 8:30am, so, got up to pee,
    and, also let the dogs out to do the same.


    Fired up the coffee pot and turned on the computer to see how bad the weather
    really was going to be… while also kind of thinking it strange that it wasn’t raining
    already… when I let the dogs out…


    I grabbed me a coffee-cup full of water to drink while the coffee brewed, and did
    all the gymnastics it takes to get my lap-top operational…


    WEATHER REVISION!!!

    Apparently the “Rain”, got delayed somewhere, and now it had decided to postpone
    …its arrival, to say, oh? Maybe 1:00pm… again!


    Bad Word!


    Multiple Bad Words.


    Oh, game on. Bad Word!


    If I’d a known, you know… I’d have been up at 5:00am! It’s 8:45am now, oh…
    Multiple Bad Words, then I remembered.

    Bad Word!

    The Battery!!!


    I grabbed my bike keys and raced down-stairs to my garage, jumping on my
    bike to roll it back into position for blast off, I retracted the kick-stand, so I wouldn’t
    trip over it…


    …and wondered? Will this Child, born out-of-wedlock, by any chance start unassisted?


    Vah-room, vah-room. Glory Be! I quickly shut him down so I wouldn’t die from
    asphyxiation, because I hadn’t raised the garage door yet…


    Note to self:: If the kick stand is down, and the bike is in gear… it “will not” start.


    Now try! and remember that!…



    beginning clock.jpg

    Let the Games Begin.


    3 minutes until 9.

    I’m doing this.


    I’ve run this drill before. I know what to grab, know where everything is, and I am
    going to do this!


    First, I grabbed some breakfast bar stuff to munch on as I gathered everything.


    breakfast do.jpg

    Not, the Cuisine I had in mind for Today!


    I ran outside to get the dogs from the back yard: they’ve been well trained to go
    in the house when their Master beckons them to do so.


    bo and lucy.jpg

    Bo, and Orio, aka Lucy.


    But someone, not mentioning any names… I’ll just mention she may be a Black
    on White Collie; decided of all days, today, to visit the teenage boys down the
    street, who were walking out to their car, a couple of doors down from me.


    Well, one of the boys was able to quickly jump in the front door of the car,
    before she had reached them, because he had heard me screaming at her
    to stop!


    But the other young man, well let’s just assume he hadn’t quite woke up yet,
    and wasn’t moving as fast as the other young lad… yet,


    …and let’s just say he didn’t really grasp the brevity of the situation until Lucy
    was almost on him//meaning, she wanted to meet the young man and hopefully
    get her head petted and belly scratched…

    …oh, she would have repaid him with copious amounts of licks of gratification,…
    (she has never bitten anyone, I wasn’t worried about that… I never mention that
    to anyone though… don’t really want any un-wanted guest, …she barks really loud…)

    But, the second young man didn’t know all that, so he immediately jumped up on
    the trunk of the car and pulled his feet up where she couldn’t… lick them…


    I retrieved her:: and I mentioned all this part, because, when I had retrieved her,
    the young man inside the car, then emerged in uncontrollable hysterical laughter;
    at how his buddy had jumped up on the car to get away from her.


    (Now mentioning, because this was wasting valuable road time for me).


    The young man who was quick enough to take refuge in his auto, he; was still
    laughing at his friend when I pulled out of the driveway to leave… they were
    shooting some hoops in their driveway…

    And when I got home from my excursion… he saw me ride up, and started
    laughing all-over-again, and didn’t stop until I got my bike back in it’s stall.


    bike outside grage s.PNG
    #2
  3. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    And, I’m off.


    odometer.jpg

    Well, not quite yet.


    Bad Word! If it ain’t one thing, it’s another. The above picture of my odometer
    is not to say “it’s now, 10:58am, because it’s not, (I just haven’t adjusted the clock
    on this bike); it was 9:58am: it’s the bar on the far right of note now!


    As if I need something else to do before getting on the road… I need gas as well.


    getting gas.jpg

    Ok, now; ready to go!


    And to set things off perfectly, as I pulled out of the gas station, a fine mist of cool
    rain fell ever so lightly on the exposed portion of the back of my neck.


    I pulled out of the gas station gritting my teeth, doing everything I could not to curse
    in public, not going to let even pouring showers stop me at this point.


    True, it was getting a little bit nippy. The temperature was in the low 50’s, beach
    weather to them northern types, but the wind, the chill factor, being on the
    Highway (Hwy) in the wet and the cold? as a real southerner… with good senses…
    I should have just taken him to the house… but, we all know, I ain’t got no cents.
    Broke! Couldn’t even pay attention if I had to.


    I jumped on Hwy 59 and headed for the hills: Northeast to Desoto State Park.


    pic on road.jpg

    To the Right in them there hills is where I’m going.


    Desoto State Park is at the Northern end of the Little River Canyon National Preserve.
    One of the many parks created by the Civilian Conservation

    Corps, a work relief program during the Great Depression.



    al statues.jpg
    #3
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  4. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    These statues are to commemorate the band, “Alabama.”



    Desoto State Park is easily accessed from the town of, Fort Payne, AL, where
    the country music band Alabama, originated from. Hence;



    gift shop.jpg
    …bet you can get you some Alabama band’s souvenirs in there. “what’cha think?”



    But if you walk around on the other side of my bike in the above picture with
    your camera, this is the picture you get.



    mtn from gift shop.jpg

    Much better view.



    From Interstate Hwy 59 you can take the Southernmost of the three exits to
    Fort Payne (I’ll get y’all better direction to the top of the mtn in the following weeks.)


    But, enough of that for now, on to the mountain, it’s 11:30am. You can quickly
    get into the Park from Fort Payne, but my exact destination is Dunn Road N.E.


    So, up the mountain I went, on Hwy 35, I believe. Not sure.

    gas station on mtn.jpg

    Got to here today.


    This approach, I came to quickly discover, was a road lined with houses. Nice
    road surface, but way to many houses that had stuff that could jump out
    at you from…


    And it was now 12:00.



    Look, a tourist. selfie.JPG
    #4
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  5. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    As much as I wanted to go on exploring, I knew rain was on its way at about
    1pm. I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee, noted this might be a good jumping-off-point
    into the Park on my Google-Map, then turned my horse around and headed
    back down the mountain.

    I got back on Interstate Hwy 59 at 12:35pm knowing the rain was going to
    reach Birmingham at about 1:00pm, which by my educated guess, Birmingham
    being at least an hour and a half away… meant, yep, one hour of almost freezing
    rain in my face, and now it’s 43 ℉.

    So, you know!, I was really excited, when only after traveling a few hundred
    yards down the Hwy, a brief shower hit me…

    Bad Word! Who pays those weather forecasters? Y’all need to stop,
    they ain’t no good at all, just say’n.


    end clock.jpg

    When I got everything settled back down at home, I snapped this.

    Now I ain’t say’n I was speeding coming home, but those good-ole-boys I was
    fallow’n, in those pick-ups???, May have been? Me, I’m to yellow-bellied to be
    driving that fast on wet pavement, on knobbies… surmise to say,
    I got home though.

    Did almost, run out of gas on the way home though… guess gasoline evaporates
    really fast in cold weather, who’d of thought. Had to stop and get some more in
    Springville, AL, where I decided to just take’m home on Hwy 11. Nice little ride,
    as well. It’s where I cut my teeth, so to speak.


    house on hwy 11.jpg

    Sites you’ll find on Hwy 11.


    smilling in rain.jpg

    I’m really smiling inside this helmet; it just squinches my face in. I’m smiling,

    I am!


    soup and sand.jpg

    Mmm, Mmm good.

    Ain’t nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a cold rainy winter day.

    Yep, that is the sandwich I packed to eat up on the mountain, but it was way
    too cold for picnic foolishness like that today.

    Think I’ll sit right here in the warm kitchen and write y’all a story; about how
    my road trip went today; that I took up to the mountains.

    Goes something like this;

    8:45


    To be continued:: …

    Enjoy the ride
    pops
    #5
  6. 88Marine

    88Marine Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, TN.
    Good report. Thanks for sharing.
    #6
    15's Pop likes this.
  7. bomose

    bomose Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,051
    Location:
    Dixie
    Glad you were able to get out. I thought about riding this past Sunday or Monday, but decided I'd better get started on rebuilding my deck. Weather's cold now, but maybe by next Sunday.
    #7
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  8. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Your welcome! And thanks so much for the reply.
    Hope all is well.
    pops
    #8
  9. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
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    ha! I've been postponing working on my deck, because it's to cold, and instead been going out riding around... :)
    went back to Desoto S.P. this last Saturday; and wow! was that a blast! cold... but wow! working on the write up for it now... and other stuff...
    this weather is so fickle'd right now... wasn't it suppose to snow today...?? I didn't see know snow.
    hope all is well
    pops
    #9
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  10. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    NW Oklahoma
    Good stuff!
    #10
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  11. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Birmingham, AL
    thanks!
    #11
  12. PhotoAl

    PhotoAl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Great ride report, I’ll have to go up there very soon. Last week it got cold so I took the Mrs. and the grandkids to Disney.
    #12
  13. Iron Cross Junction

    Iron Cross Junction Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    648
    Location:
    Just above Pott's Camp along Braddock's route, Va.
    Reading this and some comments help me know what it must be like for the Québécois and others who have real winters to read my whining about the cold and wet months here at the top of Virginia! Lordy, you have balmy times down there in January and February. :D

    Seriously, while it is indeed way harder up here than down there, there are days one can escape the weather ... but not always the honey-do's and related tasks. C'est la vie; makes the riding when it does come sweeter.

    I do miss riding in your part of the world, especially when I made those runs over to Cheaha from Inman Park (downtown Atlanta). With the sun on my back out and back, and 166/46/81 were grand roads, tho the chip seal on that last, the ridge road from vic. Helflin to the lodge made it occasionally more exciting than I wanted when I was in too big a hurry for the restaurant's mmmmighty fine biscuits and gravy breakfasts. :clap

    And, a deer hunter in a pickup -- tho that is, I suppose redundant -- made an abrupt, no-notice left turn as I was passing him there once, which led to surgery for my EV and me. Sigh.

    Anyway, never got to Desoto SP proper, tho near it several times. Grand roads in NE Alabama. Would have moved there after retirement if my choice alone. But, as my Perfect Polish Pillion was an Army wife who never really had a choice of "where next" over the years, it seemed fair to let her choose the last. :raabia Grandbabies won. :augie

    That said, there are worse briar patches for motorcyclists than Virginia. This road starts a quarter mile from my driveway:



    Still, I do miss riding down your way, and enjoy your moto-travelogues.

    Best wishes for warm and dry days to romp in the Yellowhammer State.

    Bill
    #13
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  14. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
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    hey bill:
    always good to here from you.
    and as I sit here I ponder which direction to ride next, such dilemmas...
    greatly enjoyed the video;

    can't wait to get up to your area of the world.
    martin
    #14
  15. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Oddometer:
    3,051
    Location:
    Dixie
    Sorry we haven't been able to get together. Now it's going to get cold again. I did go to Cheaha today, but on the DR up Skyline Drive. Couldn't waste another gorgeous day.

    Attached Files:

    #15
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  16. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Birmingham, AL
    OMG dirt! that's so awesome!
    yeah it was a pretty amazing day; wasn't it!
    I had an evening meeting, but was with you in spirt.
    thanks for the pic, hoping it doesn't rain to much so I can get out this weekend.
    #16
  17. PhotoAl

    PhotoAl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Bill, know what you mean about location. My wife would never leave here with the twin grandkids only a mile or two away. This morning I texted some of my former co-workers to announce that it was retiree weather - nice during the week and cold on the weekends! After that jumped on the BMW and rode to Scottsboro. Not so much adventure as I stuck to the main roads but the wind was pretty good going across the Tennessee River - thanks to a pickup I was stuck besides an 18 wheeler which only added to it. Lots of sunshine and 76 degrees F! There is a nice road on the east side of the river which goes south from the bridge. A few miles down you can turn east onto county road 38. It goes quickly up on top of Sand Mountain and is not in the best of shape. Made me a bit nervous on the Sport Touring bike but I had no problems at all. Today I wasn't feeling that brave so I bypassed it.

    edit: corrected the road number.

    Attached Files:

    #17
  18. PhotoAl

    PhotoAl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Another section of the road and a sharp and steep uphill turn. Basically the road is two steep switchbacks with a snake between.

    Attached Files:

    #18
  19. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    oh wow! thanks for sharing. (:
    that's Langston Gap Rd. Alabama Hwy #38, out of Langston, AL, for those curious...
    #19
  20. Reverend12

    Reverend12 Well there it is..

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,524
    Location:
    Classified
    Excellent Ride Report I enjoyed it!!!
    #20