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FL to MI on a DR200 and as much dirt as possible....

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by GreenF350, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. GreenF350

    GreenF350 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    41
    All right ladies and gentlemen, this is my first ride report. I've taken probably a dozen longer motorcycle trips and even considered sharing a few here, but always figured no one wanted to hear about MY adventures, especially since I'm not a skilled writer. That said I have always enjoyed and been inspired by others ride reports so I feel I need to at least make an attempt to give back a bit. If it ends up terrible and a waste of a thread, please let me know. Don't worry, it won't hurt my feelings or keep me from travelling or hanging out here at advrider, it'll just keep ya'll from having to read a crap ride report!

    Ok, down to business. Early this year I decided that I wanted to ride from the Florida panhandle (near Pensacola) where I live, up to see some friends and family where I grew up in the northern, lower peninsula of Michigan, and do it on as much dirt as possible. I know many of you here can understand why that is appealing, but most of the people I am around on a daily basis thought I was nuts and wanted to know why. I just don't have a simple answer to that. I guess the simplest answer is it combines a lot of things that I really enjoy doing. Having never planned or done quite this sort of ride before I wasn't sure where to start. Unable to find a good source for dirt road mapping I started plotting GPS tracks on Google Maps using satellite view and started vectoring north, it was working, but was very time consuming and tedious. Shortly after that I got the brilliant idea to ask for advice on here and a few people started telling me about each state's or region's adventure routes...now we are talking!! I used the routes of others and pieced together a plan that I figured would take me about 10 days to complete. With a route to guide me I just had to figure out when to take the trip this spring/summer...of course, like most of us, COVID had different plans and dang near nixed the trip for 2020, but at the last minute work was willing to let me go and there were no restrictions in place. I don't have any friends that have the time, the desire and the equipment to try and drag along with me on a trip like this so solo it is. The only other problem I had was that I had JUST sold my DR650 to make room for a Tenere 700 as soon as I could get my hands on one (that wasn't red). No worries, I still had a perfectly good DR200 that my wife had abandoned learning to ride on dirt (Her only mode of transportation when we met was a motorcycle, but she doesn't like the loose feeling on dirt). I've only ever packed for a long camping trip on cruisers so I decided to get some soft bags I could throw over the bike and used a dry bag on the back fender with my sleeping bag and tent. Here's what it looked like.

    IMG_7735 - Copy - Copy.jpg


    Then came the weekend I was leaving...Now I'm not sure how many people watch the Gulf of Mexico in late summer/fall like we do down here, but this is what I was facing.....

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    I was originally planning to leave on Monday, but looking at where Sally was going to be I decide I want to leave a day early and try and not start my first day in a hurricane/tropical storm and cancelling/postponing it after everything I went through to make it happen wasn't high on my list of choices either. After some discussion with the wife, she agreed that leaving a bit early is probably the best plan and she can handle things around the house since it's supposed to go well west of us and not be THAT strong of a storm. So I hit the road on Sunday.

    About a half an hour from my house I stop for gas. As I'm getting ready to fill it up I realize I've had my first casualty of the trip.

    IMG_7784 - Copy.jpg


    Fortunately it's REALLY minor, just the end of one of my tank bag straps got loose and melted on the exhaust. It made it a pain later in the trip when I tried to remove it, but otherwise...inconsequential. Back on the road. It was a pretty hot ride wearing full gear, but I didn't really have any room to store it, and I guess the extra protection can't hurt. (I'm not really an ATGATT sort of person, I know....I know....) I was quickly reminded how uncomfortable that stock DR200 seat was and only made it another 30 minutes before I had to take a break. Made it an hour before the next one and picked up the first dirt road on the Southeast Adventure Trail shortly thereafter.


    Road Selfie!

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    Near Marianna, FL. This is 50-75 miles inland from Mexico Beach, FL (Ground Zero for Hurricane Michael in 2018). This doesn't really show it well, but many, many trees around this area are all snapped off at the same height, part way up from the winds. It will be decades before a lot of places in this area and south will look even remotely like it did before the storm.

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    Near the beginning of the first section of dirt. Pretty cool looking oaks.

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    Random Road Picture.

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    There wasn't as much sand as I expected, and I am pretty comfortable in the sand, what I wasn't really prepared for was, like usual in the southeast US, there were a few spotty afternoon showers and this left some roads that had a higher clay content surprisingly slippery despite appearing dry on the surface. The first time I found some I almost slid right off the corner, but managed to bleed off enough speed without TOO much brake and keep it upright.

    A lot of this area is farms.

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    Passed an old mill...Looks like the water wheel has been removed.

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    Looks like I'm limited to 10 pictures a post so this seems like a good spot to pause. I'll pick up where I left off in the next couple days as work and life allow.
    #1
  2. lilgman

    lilgman n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Lesotho, Africa
    Thanks for taking time to write! I'm enjoying so far!
    #2
  3. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    732
    Location:
    Western Canada Dream
    Thats awesome Green F350...

    Good old Pensacola Fl,,, i enjoyed visiting that area on my 1 year get away across the Americas...

    Lots too see and do in the surround area where your from,,, thanks for staring...

    J.T. from Western Canada
    #3
  4. pro69ss

    pro69ss Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    198
    Location:
    St Petersburg
    In ...
    Thanks for sharing.
    It’s good so far !
    #4
  5. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,693
    Location:
    seal beach, ca.
    Hats off to you for taking on the small bike ADV.

    Wishing you all the best!!

    IN. :thumb
    #5
    black 8 likes this.
  6. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    CANADA-100 ft N of International Falls, MN
    I’ll be following along.
    Enjoy the trip and thanks for taking the time to put report together.
    BB
    #6
  7. BSTT

    BSTT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    145
    Location:
    Braunschweig, Germany
    Thanks for starting the report, keep on going!
    It is not so often to see someone is going FL northbound on dirt.:clap

    Ciao Gero
    #7
    GreenF350 likes this.
  8. GreenF350

    GreenF350 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    41
    Thanks for the kind words everyone....I guess I better keep going then! :beer

    I left off on my last post still on the first day of my trip. It seemed I was a little behind my "planned schedule" although that is a loose term. I did have planned stops each night, but I wasn't particularly tied to them. I just don't like being the guy coming in late to a campground and making a bunch of noise getting set up and settled in and travelling at night on a motorcycle is less than ideal. As I pressed ahead I found a double rainbow...the bad news is I didn't find any gold, the good news is I never found the rain that was causing it.

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    A little farther along I found a "tunnel" of trees. Cool... (Oh, let me get one more disclaimer out there...I was trying to figure out the best way to take pictures without stopping and digging out my phone or camera. Because of that, I apologize ahead of time if I accidentally get a few out of order because I had my phone, a camera and a Go-Pro that I was using at various times.)

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    I cruised along really enjoying the scenery and being back on the road. I usually try and get a good trip in about every 6-12 months and I was at about 11.5 months and may have been having withdrawals prior to this trip. :baldy I was so distracted by enjoying the ride, that I blew right by one of my planned turn-offs to get to my campsite that was on what I am pretty sure is normally called Lake Eufala, but Google Maps has it listed as Walter F. George Reservoir. I pulled off and topped off the tank while I studied my phone in the dark trying to decide if I wanted to press on and find a new location or back track about a half hour/hour depending on route. This time I decided to go ahead and back track using main roads to get to camp. I hop on the highway and kick it up to 60mph...dang near wound out, and get to the campground on the north end of Lake Eufala (I think). When I pulled in I made a quick lap, but couldn't find where to pay and register. I end up going back over to the boat ramp and then, trying to be as considerate as possible I end up grabbing a flashlight and walking another lap. I find a "Registration" box, but it just has a list with some basic information to fill out but no pay tube I am used to....Hmmmm. I see other people camping so I give up, pick a spot and set up camp. I'll have to figure it out in the morning. After I get set up and start looking at my route for tomorrow I realize I was at one of the free camping areas I had found...sometimes I'm an idiot. :doh Ah well. No harm, no foul.

    I end up sleeping like crap. It seems like every 30-60 minutes there is a loud splashing down in the lake that is loud enough to wake me up. I think I know what it is, so I'm not real concerned, it just keeps waking me up. I get up in the morning to a pretty dang good view.

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    I get around and throw on some coffee and work on some breakfast. While I'm sitting there I here that splashing again and look over. My suspicions were confirmed as I see an alligator that is (presumably) chasing fish like he is a porpoise. There were a few, but this was the best picture I got of them.

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    They weren't bad at night when I set up, but in the morning the gnats were out of control. While I was having my coffee and watching the gators a local fella comes across the lake in his boat. I can here him singing almost as soon as I can see him come around the corner in the first lake picture. He pulls up and starts hollering for "Bob". Turns out that my neighbor and he is the camp host. He's all excited and hollering at him about a cooler he found somewhere on the lake while he was out fishing that night and how he was all worried be might find a body or who knows what in it, but it was empty. Phew...that's good to hear. :lol3 After the guy in the boat leaves I end up talking to "Bob" he says it's not his real name, but he's been there so long and that's just what everyone calls him. When they closed the campground they let him stay there for free and look after things, so he was just enjoying the "free room and board" for the summer. We talked for a bit while I had to constantly fight to keep the gnats out of my ears and nose. They weren't biting, but dang were they annoying. He tells me he had just heard on the radio that they were giving out $900 a week if you were on unemployment and said he needed to figure out how to do that and jokingly suggested maybe he could convince someone he was a freelance photographer. :lol3 I told him I didn't blame him, since that was more than some people I know make when they are actually working! I finally decided I better pack up and hit the road, but this was going to be a short day as I had only planned on getting to Talladega National Forest today. Here's a shot of camp before I packed it all up.

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    I got packed up, geared up and hit the road. I stopped for gas again at the same gas station from the night before in Seale, AL where I was debating where to camp. Had a guy probably in his 30's pull up in a truck and strike up a conversation. Apparently he had just gotten a Chinese knock off of a CRF230 and was learning to ride and thought it was awesome I was travelling on a little "dirt bike" and said he like to do it some day too. He had a bunch of questions and he was so excited about it, I couldn't help but be excited for him. I answered what I could and eventually hit the road. I love the random conversations with strangers when I'm travelling on a motorcycle, but I noticed they are much less frequent when I'm not travelling with my wife. I wonder why? :rofl:y0! I only took a few pictures while travelling on day two. I stopped to try and get a break from that stock seat and snapped a few. This is probably the best one.

    IMG_7818 - Copy.jpg


    I also snapped a picture of the road to send back to my wife since I was just starting to see some rock as the road base instead of dirt. Not the gravel, but "solid", shale like rock. It's not that good OR exciting of a picture, but I felt it would be uncouth to tell you all about a picture I had taken and not post it. :dunno

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    As I get into Talladega National Forest I see two guys taking a break on some Kawasaki dual sports (Didn't pay REALLY close attention, but I'm thinking KLX300/KLX400 type). I wave and debate taking a break myself and inserting myself into their conversation, but decide I'm not that outgoing. I get to to Turnipseed Campground around 3pm and pick out a campsite in the back. There were only 3 campsites in use, one in the front, one in the middle and me in the back....Nice. It looked like I had a squirrel that left me a welcome gift.

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    As I'm trying to register I notice they don't have a pen or pencil to fill out the envelope. No big deal, this is really common and I threw a pencil in my bag for this EXACT reason. I dig around and can't find it, maybe it was in the other side...dig around in there and still don't find it. I empty out the bags and still can't find it. What the...?!? Ok...maybe I accidentally left it at home. I'm too honest for my own good sometimes (if that's even possible) and I'm always scared they will check and I would get accused to "stealing" a campsite, especially when I've paid or like the night before when I don't pay at night for some reason and really do plan to pay up in the morning, so I have to improvise. A charred piece of wood from the campfire, a whittled stick and I'm good to go! It actually worked a bit better than I expected.:super

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    Now that I'm finally registered I get set up for the night and then have a bit of time to kill....More to come on that in the next installment.

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    #8
  9. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    732
    Location:
    Western Canada Dream
    Now I'm starting too miss my dr 200...

    Maybe I can do a cross country on my crf 50cc trail bike... Ha...

    Good on you Green,,, going at your pace and taking it all in,,, life is not a race track and your the living proof too this...

    Pal Don from Western Canada
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    #9
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  10. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    13,936
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    Ole Bob's going to be disappointed when he finds out that it's $900 a month!:lol3

    Great report so far! Love seeing people out touring on small displacement bikes, especially when dirt is involved! :ricky
    #10
    GreenF350 likes this.
  11. black 8

    black 8 motographer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    4,015
    Location:
    33.202738 -117.384040
    in for this little bike adventure...
    #11
    Jeathrow Bowdean likes this.
  12. GreenF350

    GreenF350 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    41
    So I had some time to kill....When I came into the campground I noticed there was a hiking trail and a sign that said said "Cheaha Falls Shelter. 1.? miles". It had the actual mileage, but I can't remember the exact number anymore. What I DO remember is I figured I had bought these fancy Forma ADV Low boots specifically so I could hike if I wanted to (and to try and keep my feet dry when it rained or I splashed through a creek), so I grabbed my hydration pack, my phone and a flashlight and off I went. I was really hoping it wasn't just a shelter, but that there was actually a waterfall and that it was flowing since I've found quite a few that only flow certain times of the year or after it rains.

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    Having been in Florida for awhile after having lived out west for a few years I was REALLY appreciating the elevation changes, even though it was nothing like the mountains out west and I was sweating my tail off walking up and down the hills. While I am walking along I notice a few flowers. My dad is a photographer (sorry, I didn't fully inherit those genes) so every once in awhile I get to screwing around with a subject, scene or camera because it seems like when I was younger my family was always pointing out things on hikes and drives we thought would be cool if they could be captured in a photo. This flower is one of those things. I have a handful of different photos of it, but this is probably the best one.

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    As get down in the valley and get across a dried up creek bed I I see something strange on the ground. From a distance I am trying to figure out what it is....Did something die and decompose there? Did someone spill something? What the heck IS that?

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    As I get closer and get to investigating it doesn't take very long at all to figure it out. Funny thing is, I know about aphids and honeydew and how some insects "milk" aphids, etc. But I don't think I have seen ANY since I was a little kid and I don't think I've ever seen this many in one place.

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    "Cool!" I'm easily entertained so I kind of watch them crawl around and check out all the different insects that seems to be there because of the aphids while I catch my breath and try and cool off a bit. I get back to hiking and almost get ambushed by a spider with a web right next to the trail. Now...I don't mind snakes, other creepy crawlies and whatever else, but I've just never been a fan of spiders. He seems to be pretty content hanging out on his web and he looks pretty cool so I try and grab a picture.

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    I cross a road and a little farther on, something grabs my attention. A log that just happens to be decaying in a way that really made the grain stand out. Again, I try my best to get the artistic aspects of it captured in a picture, but as most of you probably know, it is almost impossible to make a picture do justice for any view you've seen with your own eye.


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    By now I'm pretty hot and sweaty and I'm questioning the intelligence of hiking on day two of the trip with limited sets of clothing and no showers in the still hot and humid weather. I guess that's the beauty of travelling by yourself....As long as you can stand yourself and you aren't planning on spending much time in civilization a few body wipes can do the trick for a bit! :puke2I feel like I've hiked 2-3 miles by now and start thinking about turning back but I'm pretty committed now. The trail looks like it splits and now I have to make a decision, I take the left fork and go pass what looks like an old campsite and then come to a steep hill. Yippee! I can see the river down below, so I follow the trail down and get this view.

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    Nice! Exactly what I was hoping for. I wander around snapping a few pictures and find another flower along the edge I try and get a good photo of. It was SO red.

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    #12
  13. lilgman

    lilgman n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Lesotho, Africa
    Wow! This RR is special with all the pictures! Great job on the photography!
    #13
  14. oldschoolsdime92

    oldschoolsdime92 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    118
    Location:
    ohio
    Checking in for the duration of this trip! Love this!!
    #14
  15. GasMich

    GasMich Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Higgins Lake MI
    Riding along with great interest on this one. I live in Florida in the winter and Michigan in the summer. Great pictures and write up. A DR 200? Wow. I have an XR200 I love, but no way that far.
    #15
  16. GreenF350

    GreenF350 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    41
    I hike back up out of the valley and decide to explore the other fork of the trail for a bit. As I start down the other trail I see a sign that says to stay on the trail....Hmmm, I suspect the other trail isn't an "official" trail, but I guess I stayed on it so I'm good, right? The second trail goes across the stream up above the falls and then goes downstream on the other side of the falls. I didn't go past the crossing though. Here are the pictures of the "headwaters" of the falls.

    Upstream.

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    Downstream.

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    I figure I probably need to head back as the sun is finally started to get a bit lower in the sky and I'd rather be back at camp by dark. I didn't notice it on the way in, but headed back out a flower catches my eye. Not because it's a flower, but because I thought I saw a spider at first (reference the above post where I mention I don't like spiders :lol3). Anyway, it's a cool looking flower regardless so it gets its picture taken too.

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    I head back to camp, the trail crosses a dirt road and I realize it kind of follows the trail so I cut off on it to get back. When I get up to the "main" road I get a view of what tomorrow morning holds. (This picture is actually from my way in to the campground, but thought it fit good here.)

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    I get back to camp before dark, grab a bite to eat and rack out for the night. It gets a bit cooler and there are no gators splashing around so I end up sleeping a bit better than the night before.

    When I wake up in the morning it's definitely a bit cooler than the previous morning. Not sure if it's because of the latitude or elevation, but either way I am much more comfortable even though you can still tell there is some moisture in the air. Sure enough, I hit the road and head up in elevation and start to climb into the clouds even though I don't think I ever got much over 2000' or so in elevation. For those of us in Florida though, I guess that qualifies as a mountain since the highest point in Florida is only 345'.

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    I stopped at one of the scenic overlooks and grabbed a photo of the first view that you could see for miles (despite the clouds and fog).

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    Also, I certainly don't condone graffiti, but maybe I'm not as mature as I think I am since I kind of chuckled as I took this picture.

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    #16
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  17. GreenF350

    GreenF350 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    41
    So...I guess I kind of screwed up my own ride report. I mentioned in the beginning about how I was using multiple gadgets to get my pictures and might get a few out of order....well, looks like as I was going through the pictures I missed a few from day two. That's what is in this post. Sorry for them not being chronological.

    What are the chances when I'm "in the middle of nowhere" that I meet up with a train? Must've been pretty good because I got there right as the arms are coming down. I don't mind because my posterior REALLY needed a break. I spent a lot of this trip cringing and cussing about the stock seat. I ain't no sissy though so I just keep toughing it out by standing up (even though the little 200 ergos are terrible for that) or finding ways to move around and change the pressure points.

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    Once the train passed I am back on the move. Somewhere in Alabama I came across what I am pretty sure is a dead Eastern Diamondback. It looks like it was ran over. I've seen this a few times out on the dirt roads and to be honest I always wonder what the snake did to deserve it. I know lots of people feel the same way about snakes as I do about spiders, but for me, if the spider isn't directly in my space (i.e. tent or house, etc) or coming at me, I'll let it live. It just seems wasteful to kill something if it isn't a direct threat or going to be eaten/used in some way. Oh well...just the way it is I guess.

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    So one more thing I tried hard to capture in some pictures. I came to a "T" in the road and my GPS said I needed to go straight across. The road I had to cross didn't have much visibility with the hill/corner it was on. Initially I was a bit confused although I almost instantly figured it out. That moment of confusion was enough to get me to snap some pictures though before I moved on. (In case I didn't capture it well...The road only looked like a "T" because with the bank on the corner of the paved road I couldn't see over it. From my point of view there was no road straight across.) I didn't want to dilly-dally around in the road since the last car that went by was moving pretty good, so I ended up cutting across at an angle so I could "shoot across" the road to the shoulder and not worry about the condition of the intersection or the other road. It kind of seems silly while I am explaining it, but I was travelling solo and already hyper vigilant about potential risks and their mitigation. Not to mention I didn't want to take a chance of ending this trip early.

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    Ok...Sorry for going backwards for a minute. Hopefully that is the last time, but I can't promise it. The next one should be back in order.
    #17
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  18. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    732
    Location:
    Western Canada Dream
    All good Green...

    I do the same thing you mentioned,,, I hide my cup cake bike in the forest then set out on foot...

    Its nice too use both modes of adventure...
    Take the wheels as far as they allow us too go,,, then head up on the trail with boots on the ground...

    What a great way too stay safe with out the extra work of getting cross threaded on the bike :clap

    20200530_110045.jpg

    Some skilled riders passed me on the trail up one mountain I was on,,, they couldn't believe that I left my bike behind...

    Later on that day I walked past them when they got to the dead end...

    They asked how much further it was too the top,,, about 2 more hours at a steady pace,,, 2 1/2 miles ruffly...

    They seemed shocked that its was that far,,, its like they had never walked up a mountain before,,, not that they thought about going on foot... its actually one of the easiest modes of transportation... Ha...

    Thanks for the awesome photos Green,,, and the kool adventure,,, much appreciat it brother... safe travels...

    J.T.
    #18
    GreenF350 and sledrydr like this.
  19. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    13,936
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    Man, you're bringing back memories of my rides through that region.

    Before the county "fixed" the graffiti

    IMG_20191021_104653 (1).jpg

    And before the train signal was put in.
    davesr20davidsr20_bd1f0a7a-1fd1-430c-adb3-9255f88951fb_zpsm5m97jdk.jpg

    And before that Timber Rattlesnake lost its fight with a car. :lol3

    IMG_20191012_162622.jpg

    Keep it coming man! Really enjoying seeing the places I've been from a different and unique perspective!
    #19
    Amphib and GreenF350 like this.
  20. GreenF350

    GreenF350 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    41
    As I rode along I found a few places that I was able to see out over the countryside from close to the highest point in Alabama.

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    As I got onto the national forest roads I ended up stuck behind a logging truck for a good ways. I followed him for quite a bit and either he didn't see me, or didn't want to give me an opportunity to get around him so I decided to just hang back a bit and stay out of the dust.

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    Eventually he took a different fork than I did and I was back in some clear air. If I recall correctly this was before I got to Coleman Lake, because I had heard from "Bob" at my last campsite that Coleman Lake was free and I wanted to add it to my database I keep of the good free sites. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed that it was not free, but was pretty built up for as far down the dirt roads as it was. Maybe there was another way in? As I rode along I snapped a few pictures of the road.

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    Most of them so far were passable by a passenger car, but I didn't see a lot of traffic and the views were great. I was able to make pretty good time through here. I THINK this is the area I was riding through when I noticed that the map I had loaded in Locus Pro was showing all the little dispersed camping sites. You know, the little turnout off the road that has a fire pit and a flat spot for a tent. This may be one of the best kept secrets as I find it hard to plan/find a legitimate dispersed camp if you haven't been through somewhere before and don't know the area.

    I got to one area and was intrigued by the amount of yellow flowers growing in the ditch along the road. By the time I realized it might make a good picture I was already past most of them so I made do the best I could.

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    A little farther along I found a field that was the same way. I don't think they are the same type from a distance, but I'm no botanist and don't know my flowers/plants that well.

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    Came out into a little valley and thought it might make a good picture....not with this camera apparently. It doesn't have a viewfinder so you literally "point and shoot" and hope you get a decent one. You can get the idea though.

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    Ended up on a little "two-track" for a bit.

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    I hop back onto a paved road for a ways and enjoy the increasing curves. I don't have a lot of pictures, but for those that haven't ridden pavement in the Smokies/Appalachians, put it on your bucket list. This is just when it was starting to get good. The farther north I went, the better it got. The riding out west in the mountains is good, but I think I enjoyed these roads even more. Maybe it's just because it is fresher in my mind...I dunno.

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    Back onto some dirt.

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