Father and Son Dualsporting the Carolinas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by herrserj, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. herrserj

    herrserj Adventurer

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    In september of last year my father (Parallaxbill) and I decided to take the msf course offered by our local community college and then buy motorcycles. I a 2013 DR650 and he a 2013 KLR650. We have since rode almost every weekend with few breaks in between. We have talked about doing a camping ride featuring the Blue Ridge Parkway ever since. Last weekend we made it happen. It had been a long while since he had camped primitively but I had enough gear for both of us. We packed up the bikes friday afternoon after we both got out of work.

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    We headed out of Monroe, NC towards Rock Hill, SC to avoid the crazies in Charlotte. From there we followed SC 5 towards Blacksburg, SC where we got on HWY 29 to Gaffney in route to HWY 11 aka the Chesnee Highway or Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. We found 11 pretty boring riding but the views were decent. Still better than riding on 74/64 on dual sports though. Just past Lake Keowee we turned north on HWY 130 and the views and riding much improved. From there we took a connector at Bad Creek called Pine Ridge Rd (state 37-413) to HWY 107 into NC. The ride from here on was more of what we expected. We continued on 107 through Cashiers and Glenville with great views of the lake at Glenville then along the Tuckaseegee river towards Cullowhee.

    I went to school at Western Carolina University for a year in Cullowhee, NC and became very familiar with the roads and forest service roads around it, part of the reason we planned this leg of the trip. I had never been on these roads on a bike though. We decided to take Caney Fork road to Moses Creek rd to forest service roads that lead to Lost Knob where I have camped quite a few times before. It was getting dark and the roads were fairly unknown to us but they weren't in too bad of shape. Dad had one off when we missed a turn do to loose gravel but only suffered scuffed crashbars and a sore shoulder. We went all the way to the parking lot at Lost Knob before turning around and coming back to find a campsite near Deep Gap. Tent and hammock were deployed and alcohol stoves were fired up for dinner.

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    With bear dogs running all night and some sort of UFO that my dad heard, sleep was a little hard to come by. There was also a bit of rain than hit the trees but never seemed to find our canopies. In the morning we had coffee and oatmeal and it was back on the trail. We headed SLOWLY back down to Moses Creek and out to Hwy 107. From there we found our bearings and took 107 through Sylva to 441 towards Cherokee and got some gas along the way. We got on the Blue Ridge Parkway just out of Cherokee and it was perfect. The weather was 70's and slightly cloudy so far.

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    My only drop of the trip came at the first overlook north of Cherokee where I simply forgot to put my feet down when I stopped. No damage, no harm done except to my pride.

    The parkway was everything we expected it to be, great views and great riding. We stopped at quite a few overlooks along the way.

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    We planned to stop in Asheville for lunch but after riding around in downtown looking for parking and a near miss with a large SUV we decided to hit Cheddars on the outskirts of town to avoid any more problems. From Asheville we got back on the Parkway toward Linville on wet roads and a good bit of fog and low clouds along the way. Made for some very interesting riding. We got off in Linville to get gas and spotted a DRZ and a Husky of some sort loading onto a trailer, but they were gone before we got done filling up on gas and water. From there we headed down 183 towards Old 105 along the Linville Gorge. We checked quite a few campsites on the north end but ended up setting up about midways down the road in a nice spacious site.

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    After dinner we had a cigar and a drink under my tarp and went to sleep under some very heavy rain. It was a good test for us and our gear, which worked nicely to keep most everything dry. In the morning we skipped breakfast since it was still raining and headed down Old 105 towards Hwy 126 (really nice riding, even in the rain) to 64 to Morganton. Rain was spotty as were our electronics and communications. We got on 18 and stopped for breakfast at a gas station and talked to a few locals and headed on our way. From there to 27 in Falston to 274 south in Bessemer City where we paused to take off rain gear and plug comms/phones back up and headed home. We had pretty much clear skies from there to Newport, SC and Rock Hill towards home.

    I think we learned a lot from this trip and the only real problems we encountered were phones and intercoms running out of battery and not being able to charge in the rain. The Frogg Toggs raingear as well as most of our camping gear worked just like it was supposed to. I can not wait until our next trip and it will be posted here on this ongoing thread. Like I said before, we ride almost every weekend and this is going to be a place for us to post our adventures. Hope you enjoy.
    #1
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  2. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    About my little "off" on Moses Creek Rd. I had been fighting a fierce hamstring cramp in my left leg for a half an hour or so by constantly standing on the pegs to stretch it out but it wasn't easing off much at all, so when we missed our turn I slowed to a stop to turn back I attempted to put my left foot down but it didn't cooperate. I forced through the cramp damaging the muscles in my left thigh causing it to turn black from the back of my knee to my butt. It hurt badly but John picked my bike up on his own while I tried to walk it off. That night it hurt bad as did my left shoulder that hit a nice sized rock when I hit the ground. I had thoughts of heading home the next morning due to the pain but kept it too myself sort of thinking ( or hoping) I'd feel better once we hit smoother roads later in the day. I was stove up pretty bad the next morning but was glad I stuck it out for the rest of the trip. I'm slowly healing up although my left leg is still giving me a little trouble 7 days later, but it's only purple now.
    I really enjoy riding with my son and look forward to many more rides like the first one he has posted here.
    #2
  3. nineTofive

    nineTofive Adventurer

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    Looks like a nice little ride you guys had together.

    Thats cool to get out there father and son!

    Cheers to many more trips youll have.

    Aaron
    #3
  4. Koolranch

    Koolranch NCADVR

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    Nice RR, what hammock is that? I just got one last week and gave it a try over the weekend. I bought a Hennessy.

    Steve
    #4
  5. herrserj

    herrserj Adventurer

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    Its from Arrowhead I think. Gathered ends with whoopie slings and a fixed ridgeline. Just a replacement for the ENO I had that tore. Eno tarp and bug net have held up fine.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    #5
  6. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Nice ride report, John! Sounds like a great trip. Hope your Dad gets fully healed up soon.

    Once Numa Jr. learns what his fall class schedule looks like, we'll have to pick a date for a ride together.

    Numa
    #6
  7. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

    Joined:
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    Between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    Oh, about that UFO. :huh
    Sometime between midnight and about 2 AM I heard what sounded like an ultralight airplane coming right towards us and passed right overhead. Keep in mind this was on a misty ridge at just under 5,000 feet in elevation where our campsite was. When it came over all the bear dogs got quiet until I could no longer here it's engine running somewhere to the southwest of us.

    I have no idea what it was. Possibly a drone? But why? I haven't a clue. But it was very real and strange that high up on the mountain in the middle of the night.:confused
    #7
  8. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    I'm just so thankful neither of you was abducted!

    Numa
    #8
  9. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

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    There wasn't a trailer park anywhere near the area. ;)
    #9
  10. herrserj

    herrserj Adventurer

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    Kinda forgot about this thread for a while and it seems like a good time to update it. Since I last posted my father (ParallaxBill) had a bad fall from a deer stand last October, but he has mostly healed up from it since. His right shoulder is still not fully healed so no real dual sporting for him since the fall. We have also each acquired a new bike. I bought a 93 Kawasaki Concours 1000 back in February for a commuter and longer distance touring bike and I've put just over 5000mi on it since then, along with plenty on the DR650. He started back riding in May on the KLR and last month bought a 2012 Suzuki Vstrom 1000. We've been doing a lot of ~200mi day trips since to see how his shoulder holds up before we do a really long trip.

    I planned out for today what I hoped would be a 300mi ride to stretch our "touring" legs a bit. We left my house just east of Charlotte, NC and headed for hwy 218 and rode all the way to the end in Polkton. I led us south of the Uwharrie National Forest to a road out of Troy that is one of my favorites thats not in the western mountains of NC. Love Joy Rd starts right in town and leads out through a neighborhood area and out into the national park. The pavement is quality, traffic low and views are pretty good. We ended up heading all the way to the north end of the park, good roads all the way. Last time I was out that way I accidentally found Pisgah Covered Bridge and we somehow missed it, but doubled back since Dad had never been there.

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    After a short stretch and water break we headed back towards hwy 49 to figure out where to go next. My dad likes taking pictures of the bikes in front of water and High Rock Lake wasn't that far away. I really didn't want to head back yet, so we headed northwest towards the main bridge over the lake. The slightly cooler weather for today had EVERYONE out at the lake, so we made a quick pic stop and headed back out of the traffic around the ramps.

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    From there we headed back down to 49 through Mount Pleasant and towards home. Didn't care much for the droning on straight highways but there really isn't much alternative in the area. We decided over our Sena's on the way back that we would update this thread and try and make a better effort to keep it going. I really enjoyed the ride today and I'm pretty sure he'll be here soon to agree.
    #10
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  11. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Those two bikes look good sitting together!

    Numa
    #11
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  12. AlH

    AlH Long timer

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    Check this out- http://www.skyshipsovercashiers.com/ :yikes
    #12
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  13. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

    Joined:
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    That was a good ride that proved a good test for me and my new Vee. My bike had charging issues as soon as I bought it but with the help of my coworkers, some are top level electrical engineers, I replaced the regulator/rectifier and now no more problems. My personal test was to see how long I could deal with the pain in my right arm since the initial surgery to repair my crushed right upper humorus failed and three of the eleven screws migrated through the bone and into the socket susequently destroying it. The resulting arthritic pain and stiffness is severe at times. I've come to the conclusion that I can manage 6 hours or so before the pain is really bad and dangerously distracting. But, that means I could manage a western NC mountain trip as long as I make it an overnighter to rest before the long ride home. My daily commute is not a problem at all since it's only a 20 mile round trip.

    Some interesting graffiti inside the covered bridge.
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    A pic of our dualsports up in Gold Hill, 20150802_103858.jpg NC the previous weekend.
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    #13
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  14. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

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    Somebody got a new ride!
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    #14
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  15. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    I guess a long term update is due on my injuries sustained in October 2014.

    I've undergone 4 surgeries to repair, then finally replace my right shoulder joint. In November of last year I got what is called a reverse shoulder replacement since the humorus bone had died and fallen apart. My rotator cuff tendons were gone so the reverse was the only option other than amputation. So far it has worked far beyond expectations from the surgeons point of view. I have a lot of range of motion and nearly zero pain which should be gone completely by one year post surgery. I still have issues with a numb right leg but it has no pain. I visited a spine specialist recently and he believes I had a fracture or a ruptured disc in the thoracic region of my back that they did not look for during my original hospital and rehab stays. I am going to have an MRI done on my back soon to see if there is anything they can repair but frankly I am in no hurry to have any more surgery for quite a while.
    I have no problem riding either of my bikes now and look forward to my son John and I riding every time we get the chance which is usually every weekend. I've been blessed to be able to continue my life in every way since my fall.
    Here is a photo of my new shoulder.
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    #15
  16. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

    Joined:
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    More pics of our bikes on some rides together.
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    #16
  17. zooomer

    zooomer Adventurer

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    Hey guys... My brother and I live in Marshville. That pic of the Helicopter is about 6 miles from my house.
    I didn't realize there were any locals on this forum Good to see y'all!
    #17
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  18. canadasax

    canadasax Been here awhile

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    Love the father/son ride reports.
    Great pictures.
    Good to see that you are healing rather nicely , parallaxbill.
    #18
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  19. parallaxbill

    parallaxbill Mid-Carolina ADVR Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    John and I headed west from the Charlotte area Saturday morning on our V-Stroms with no particular destination in mind but ended up out on the Chesnee Highway (11) turning north towards Brevard on 276. Unfortunately we didn't take the time to stop and get my Go-pro mounted and I regret that since the route would've made for some great video and photos. After hitting a very crowded downtown Brevard we headed up to visit the Sierra Nevada brewery for lunch and a beer. We had thought as late as we arrived the lunch crowd would be thinned out but the place was packed. We had one beer each (can't remember which) then headed out looking for some place to eat. We managed to get caught in a sudden thunderstorm that drenched us both. Our ride back was uneventful since we chose 26 to 74 then 161 south back into SC and then east back home. My Vee likes interstate speeds very much and finally allowed me to get into 6th gear which gave me 4,100 rpm and 81 mph indicated which is about 76 actual. I always wanted to try 6th gear. lol!
    Here are a few pics. Sorry we didn't take more.
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    #19
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  20. BluRidgeRider

    BluRidgeRider Long Rider Supporter

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    Nice looking pair of Stroms!




    Numa
    #20
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