Five Corners of Georgia - Labor Day Weekend

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Catalyst, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
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    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    With Labor Day weekend about a week away, I had no firm obligations. What to do?

    Ride!

    I had orginally caught the riding bug after going on a TN-Ozarks TAT trip back in June. I had a DRZ 400 and recently added a F650GS to the stable (is 2 still a stable?) to add some road ride-ability.

    I started toying with the idea of riding around the state of Georgia trying to hit each of the five corners. I asked around a little bit, but couldn't find anyone with routes to share so I bought myself a GPS, had it shipped overnight, got a quick MapSource tutorial from a buddy and started planning!

    Here's what I came up with...
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    Starting in Augusta, I'd head to Tybee Island for corner 1 taking as many back roads and dirts roads as I could find along the way. Then ride down to St.Mary's for corner 2 and swing under Okefenokee and skirt the GA/FL border over to Lake Seminole for corner 3. Along the way to corner 4 near the Tennessee River I'd ride through the Talladega National Forest. Then head through North Georgia to get the last corner. The original idea was to meet up with a buddy in North Georgia and ride some Forest Service Roads so I hadn't planned a route home to Augusta.

    Pulling everthing together at the last moment, I really hadn't even had a chance to see if it'd all fit...Just the essentials, ha!
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    All this somehow got narrowed down into this...I had to sit on the topcase to get it closed!
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    I was lucky to get off work early Friday and headed out at 3:00. The dirt started just a few mile from Augusta by the Plant Vogul nuclear plant. Deep sand, but it just got better the further I got.

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    Old Augusta Road!
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    Entering Chatham County - Savannah.
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    It only took about 2 1/2 hours to get to the outskirts of Savannah where my brother lives so I'll definitely be trying this route again in the cage the next time I visit them. It was more than half dirt.

    Downtown Savannah on River Street.
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    It was a gorgeous late afternoon to ride out to Tybee Island with a great breeze and refreshing salt air!

    Corner 1!

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    Really having no clue how long this trip would take (I'd already given my co-workers a heads up I may not show up to work Tuesday), I quickly headed down to St. Mary's and the Cumberland Island Ferry dock. St. Mary's is a beautiful little town and things seemed hoppin' down at the little bars and restaurants along the waterfront.

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    Day 1 Stats

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    More to come...
    #1
  2. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

    Joined:
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    Augusta, GA
    #2
  3. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

    Joined:
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    Day 2 started early. I headed out of St. Mary's towards Folkston, GA where I came across this great mural.

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    On MapSource, I had a really cool route picked out around Okefenokee...

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    ...but the topo maps I have are a little ambitious in the definition of a "road". :doh

    It was a gated maintenance area.

    So I had to reroute around the swamp, but still managed to find some great roads. Honestly, it probably best I couldn't take the roads I wanted to take originally because there is a lot of water down there!

    Here's my first little puddle. No problem, right? :evil

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    I hadn't stopped because of the water...I caught a glimpse of this little fella!

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    He was sunning himself there.

    More puddles everywhere!

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    This one was fun! It dropped about a foot half way through for a little ways. Give it more gas!

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    Soft, loamy, wet! The GS and Karoos performed great!
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    The rest of the ride was pretty tame, but I actually really enjoyed the ride along the GA/FL over to Chattahoochee, FL to get a picture of Corner 3: Lake Seminole and the GA/FL/AL line.

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    Part of the Lake Seminole Dam.

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    Snack break! Back in a few minutes...
    #3
  4. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    After Lake Seminole, I started up the GA/AL state line leap-frogging back and forth between Eastern Standard Time and Central Standard Time zones. Whenever I crossed into AL I thought I was making amazing time! :D

    Road through Columbus, GA and checked out my company's competition.

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    Columbus is a great little town. It looks like they've done a ton of work to their downtown - new signage, lots of brick work, public art, fancy pedestrian crossings, salvaged architectural building fascades... Looks like it paid off too. There were plenty of people walking around downtown, hanging out at sidewalk tables outside restaurants, etc. I'll have to go back for visit.

    After Columbus, I started heading a little northwest towards Talladega National Forest and found an old section of their scenic highway. Seen the Blue Ridge Parkway? Beyond the curviness, it was nothing like it! The road surface was really old and I honestly didn't pass one other car the 15 miles or so I was on it! I guess that was pretty cool, but a shame more folks don't visit.

    Nice view!

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    Found FSR 500 and entered the Choccolocco WMA. Made me hungry. Choccolocco. Mmm...sounds like an ice cream flavor.

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    Typically great FSR through the WMA.

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    Another one of my roads was gated, so I rerouted...accidentally all the way back to where I was an hour before! :becca

    Since I already knew what awaited me heading the same direction I'd been on, I had to reroute again and try to make up time.

    I made it to Cedartown, GA, but it was a long, long day! St. Mary's around Okefenokee, around Lake Seminole and way up the GA/AL line.

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    Man, this ride is wearing my butt out! :lol3

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    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    67,190
    Time to get some riding pants! You've had a good labor day weekend on two wheels, thanks for sharing it :thumb
    #5
  6. linuxoctane

    linuxoctane Adventurer

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    Location:
    North GA
    awesome report!
    #6
  7. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

    Joined:
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    I've got riding pants... I just need to lose some weight so they fit again! :rofl
    #7
  8. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

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    Day 3 was another early start. How can I naturally wake up in the wee hours of the morning while on a ride, yet wrestle with the snooze button during the week? :D

    Left Cedartown and took backroads through the early light to Cave Springs.

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    I didn't mean for that picture to look artsy. I just couldn't find a camera setting that would work worth a darn with that little light! Turned out pretty cool though.

    Followed 100, then some backroads again and wound up on 157 where this cattle were hanging out on beautiful rolling hills.

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    You know it's a bad idea when the last thing you do before you leave your house is unpack your rain gear!

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    It poured down for a while, but as soon as it slowed to a drizzle I discovered I was only about a mile from Cloudland Canyon State Park! I'd always wanted to go there. It's just as nice as the pictures I'd seen!

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    Onwards towards corner 5! Down the mountain, through the valley, and up the the ridge on the other side.

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    I think those are the famous clouds entering the canyon on the other side.

    Heading to the elbow of the Tennessee River where the GA/AL/TN borders meet, the GPS was taking me on some great country lanes up on the ridge.

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    Once again, the topo maps were over-ambitious and I reached a dead-end! Luckly there were more "roads" around, so I made my way towards the corner...

    ...and came across this.

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    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Who can see a sign like that and not HAVE to go see where the road leads?

    Ah...here.

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    You can't tell from the picture, but there's a good drop off right at the front of the picture.

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    Hate to disappoint y'all, but I thought about it too long. Going down? No problem! And I was dying to try it! But the likelihood of it ending at a dead end (and considering the GPS track record) was too high. The mud was slick, I was in the middle of no where, and alone. Plenty of other opportunities for fun another time!

    But lookey, lookey, it's corner 4 -- the elbow in the Tennessee River near Chattanooga.

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    So I started looking for another way down off the ridge and came across another dead end! Arg! But hey, what's this? A path around the barricades! Booya.

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    Going...

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    Going...

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    Gone!

    See the bike?

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    You'd think I'd learn...

    I finally found a real road off the ridge and high-tailed it towards Dalton, GA where I found this cool mural.

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    I followed 2/52 up and through Fort Mountain State Park.

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    I continued across North GA on old 76 and wound up in Clayton where I tried to plan out how to reach corner 5. Somehow I managed to miss my turn and wound up in South Carolina, so I headed up 28 towards the corner.

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    There are probably service roads that head further north east, but I hadn't routed any of this area or had a chance to ask some DOGS about how to get there. So, since it was already evening I started heading south again.

    Found a nice place to camp here.

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    Man, why would they put a sign like that right in the way of the park sign? :rofl

    Setting up camp.

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    Day 3 stats.

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    #8
  9. Jman955i

    Jman955i Falls Down A Lot

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Martinez/Augusta, Georgia
    I'm ready when are we going. I would have to take the XR, I got that paint shaker rear tire taken care of now.:D
    #9
  10. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

    Joined:
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    Augusta, GA
    Another early start? Of course...

    Followed old 441 a ways, past Panther Creek and then headed down towards Elberton for some breakfast. From there, I called another buddy of mine for some good dirt suggestions and headed on home feeling my way around for dirt roads along the way.

    Didn't hit any dead ends this time!

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    I can't remember where these roads were, but they'd be fun to ride again on a good 'ole AARSE ride!

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    Not too many pictures on this leg...was just looking forward to being home!

    Around noon on Monday.

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    Augusta, GA - home of the godfather of soul, the hardest working man in show business, Mr. James Brown!

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    Day 4 Stats

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    1,500 miles and about 32 hours of travel time.

    It was great way to spend the Labor Day weekend.

    Now...who's up for a Corners of South Carolina ride? :evil
    #10
  11. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

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    The XR when you have all those other choices in the garage dying for action too? Can you put some knobbies on the triple? :rofl

    How 'bout a ride around SC?
    #11
  12. Go-4-It

    Go-4-It Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Northern KY
    Thnks for the ride I enjoyed it! Thats a novell idea and a good enough reason to just go for a ride!
    #12
  13. Jman955i

    Jman955i Falls Down A Lot

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    Location:
    Martinez/Augusta, Georgia



    Ok. I'll ride anywhere.:D
    #13
  14. craiger527

    craiger527 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Columbus, Ga
    Great story...I live in Columbus GA and thank you for the kind words about our town. They have done alot of work on the downtown area. We are hosting "Bikes on Broad" this weekend. Let me know if you come thru again and we can go to Pine Mtn and ride. Who is the competition you were checking out?
    #14
  15. evilted

    evilted Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Atlanta, GA
    Nice RR. Definitely gives me some perspective, and appreciation, for the cool stuff you can find within a day's ride of home. ;)
    #15
  16. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

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    "Bikes on Broad" - cool idea. Our main street in Augusta is a Broad St too. I stopped by your local Visitor Center run by the Convention & Visitors Bureau. Just arrived a few minutes too late. They'd just closed.

    Thanks for the ride offer! I'll have to come back and check out the town again.
    #16
  17. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

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    I laid out a quick GoogleMaps circuit of SC and it's only about 950 miles. :evil
    #17
  18. sdthorpe

    sdthorpe Adventurer... yeah right!

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    569
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    Sorry, but a SC ride would suck. oh the west and north west parts would be good, but major suckage after that...

    I say we do an Alabama corners ride!!
    #18
  19. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

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    Nice.
    #19
  20. WYO George

    WYO George witness protection file #7236

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    Nice report, I'm originally from Toccoa, Ga and lived there for 23 years before moving out to Wyoming. Looking at those pics really made me home sick as I've been to all the areas in your report, and most likely been to 90% of the roads you were on back in my youthful wandering days.

    Thanks,
    George
    #20