GAS GUY 2019 - (One year a time)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GAS GUY, May 12, 2019.

  1. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Kentucky Adventure Trail - (KAT)

    Traversing the Little Shepherd Trail (near Harlan) and en route to Kingdom Come State Park.

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    #41
  2. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The magical sheen - immediately after a brief rain shower and just before sunset. Burkes Garden, Virginia.

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    #42
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  3. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Another dramatic landscape in the mountain rimmed basin called - Burkes Garden.

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    #43
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  4. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Appalachian Adventure - (Ride Overview)

    Just returned from five-days of Appalachian adventures. Now that I'm home, I'll start getting some more pictures and details posted. Since I'd ridden the MABDR in it's entirety in 2018, the focus instead was on nearby points-of-interests and some sections of the DAT (Damascus to Augusta Trail).

    Although, I did re-ride the section of MABDR between Marion and Damascus - and will post-up a few pictures from that. The DAT starts up (and continues southwest toward the Smokies) where the MABDR leaves off.

    My suspicions tell me that some (or much) of the DAT will be incorporated into the SEBDR (Southeast BDR) eventually; after all, there are only so many unpaved roads that can be utilized for such an endeavor.

    The DAT also shares much of the route with the SEAT (Southeast Adventure Trail) and some of the TAT (Trans America Trail) and even some of the Smoky Mountain 1000.

    Some of my destination goals and accomplishments on this ride included:

    Burkes Garden; The Back of the Dragon (Route 16); a small section of the MABDR; a visit with Crazy Larry in Damascus; a portion of the DAT; Shady Valley and The Snake (Route 421) Mountain View Moto Campground; Roan Mountain; Rich Mountain Fire Tower; Hot Springs, NC and The Rattler (NC 209); Buzzard Roost; The BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway); Little Shepherd Trail along the KAT (Kentucky Adventure Trail).

    - Gravel travel in the Unaka Mountain Range while traversing the DAT. Near the Tennessee and North Carolina border; back and forth actually. No state line signs up there though.


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    #44
  5. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    - Scott taking a break along the Blue Ridge Parkway - while mentally processing the prodigious view.

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    #45
  6. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The Blue Ridge Parkway - This is a panoramic that I hastily snapped from the side of the road as the ever-shifting fog was swooping through a valley and up the mountainside. The winds were blowing and the views were quickly changing like a chameleon. Every bend in the road brought about something different. At one stop, I walked over to the edge of the road seeking a photograph, but everything was shrouded in a thick fog. By the time I made it back to the bike (maybe 30 steps away) and turned around, the fog was completely gone and a mountainside was revealed.

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    #46
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  7. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The fog and wind was extremely heavy between Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell. That makes sense, considering they are located along the highest elevations of the BRP. The peak of Mount Mitchell is over 6,600 feet, making it the highest elevation east of the Mississippi River.

    - Below is the Craggy Gardens visitor center parking area. That little visitor center sign is where I went to take the picture, but instead walked into a wall of fog.

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    - Walking back to the bikes across the BRP.

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    - By the time I got to the bikes and turned back around the fog had been sucked up and over the ridgeline and was completely gone. Went back and took that photograph. Incredible, there was a mountain with a tunnel hiding in that fog just a moment ago.

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    #47
  8. luftkoph

    luftkoph Been here awhile

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    I passed that way on wed the 22nd, low clouds ripping up the mountain side then around the corner sunshine
    #48
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  9. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Holly's First Ride - (Memorial Day 2019)

    Finally, opportunity and perfect weather coincided, allowing me to get Holly out and enjoying her first ride - on the Mysterious Red Rushmore bike. Nothing too demanding; the plan is to slowly build miles and to keep things interesting and engaging for her. We took a relaxing country ride of probably 80-miles or so, through some wooded areas, we meandered along the Huron River, and even experienced a brief hike along some trails through the Barton Pond area which brought us to waters-edge and also some flower-sniffin' opportunities. Literally.

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    On the way home, I did briefly run a section of Interstate in order for her to become accustomed to those conditions, as she has always been apprehensive of the Interstate; with this rock-solid Rushmore bike and her high quality Shoei Qwest helmet, she did exceptional. We cruised effortlessly at 75 mph. Not that my intent is to make an Iron Butt rider out of Holly, but I do want her to be able to stay long enough in the saddle - that I can share some fantastic destinations with her.

    The coil over shocks that I installed exceeded my expectations, and ride even better two-up, than solo. There was plenty of room ergonomically; I never felt crowded with her behind me. Still waiting for the 11" recurve Freedom windshield; that should put the airflow right where I want it. Hopefully in the next few weeks, we can get her out on an overnighter - and seek out a new style of adventure.

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    #49
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  10. Ranko

    Ranko Adventurer

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    Hello Jeff,

    I am really glad that you have the will to write again. Congratulation on the new bike. It's far away from my interest, but I know the feeling.
    #50
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  11. telejojo

    telejojo Long timer

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    Why did he have to sell it because her back was bad ? His back was ok I guess
    #51
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  12. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    That is a keen observation and an incredibly good question; your mind works like mine does. That is what I used to say to him, and in his defense, he did hold the bike for about a year with very little activity, before he finally threw in the towel. Basically, he and his wife (somewhat newly married - a few years ago) are pretty much inseparable and both are very sociable, spending most of their time with other people or hosting. She would tell him to go on rides, but he never felt comfortable with that thought. Probably, most of us that spend any amount of time on the road, have at least an element of introversion; probably not so much for him.
    #52
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  13. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Enjoy the new Mysterious Red Rushmore bike! She's a beauty and I'm really enjoying your pics and narrative! Thanks for sharing.

    Eric
    #53
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  14. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Thanks Ranko - I'm not much of a talker; more of a thinker and observer; so it's probably a good thing that writing inspires me. Wish I had more time to delve deeper into the structure of good prose, but I'll just make do, and pursue, what elements my available time allows.

    Don't worry on the Harley Davidson ideals. Some of my best riding buddies don't want anything to do with them either, and some of them used to ride the big twins. Scott is one of them; he cringes at the thought of HD's ever since he has transitioned over to BMW and never looked back. No worries, we joke around about it and whatever anybodies interests happen to be - that's cool with me. That is what makes life interesting. I firmly believe in individuality first and foremost.

    But you know me, I like them all. Therefore, as usual, there should be something for everyone eventually, in my rides. The GSA is pretty safe in the stable. Just did some extensive upgrades over the winter on it; will highlight those improvements soon. I've many more pictures and details to post up on the 5-day Appalachian Adventure ride that I just returned from.

    You never know, the old "Battle Wagon" (ST) might get out and about eventually - if the schedule ever allows. Nothing covers asphalt like the mighty ST. Lately though, I've been slowing down and running a more mellow pace. That could change at any moment. Even I don't always understand my bizarre compulsions.
    #54
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  15. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    I knew there would be some inmates - that would appreciate the Mysterious Red Rushmore bike. These new Harley dressers sure have come a long way. Don't get me wrong, they are still antiquated in many ways versus the competition - but therein lies some of the charm. There's just something about an American V-twin ! For some of us anyway. Actually, I prefer any twin cylinder or thumper over 3 or 4 cylinder inline engines; that is one of the reasons for my affinity to the BMW Boxer engines. My Camhead GSA, for all it's technology, still oozes with character. Hell, even my ST, even though it's a 4-cylinder, is a V-motor; that is one of the reasons I prefer it to the FJR.

    Anyway, thanks Eric, for the compliments. I really appreciate the feedback. Any feedback is welcome (even critical) as long as it's thoughtful (civil) and genuine. A writer's worst critic, can often be his greatest asset. That is not directed at you Eric, but just a generality for any reader. That is something that makes a lot of sense, but that we often don't embrace. I just want inmates to know that I'm receptive to creative or constructive criticism.

    You being a Virginian, hopefully you enjoy my Virginia pictures and destinations. I've covered a lot of Virginia over the years and it's definitely one of my favorite southern states. Don't know how many more trips I'll be making back down there in the near future though. With all this galavanting around the U.S. these last few years, I've been neglecting my own state of Michigan. I'd like to start doing some rides again in Michigan and maybe out west. Then in 2020 - we will have the North East Backcountry Discovery Route (NEBDR) to chase down.
    #55
  16. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Well don't be a stranger if you come back this way, food, beverage and a nice room and restroom is waiting. :)
    #56
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  17. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Ride Origins - (Gloom to Gusto)

    This Appalachian Adventure wasn't originally planned and only spontaneously morphed into existence after a failed departure on a two-day ride to explore the TOT (Trans Ohio Trail).

    After Saturday morning rain and general gloominess had me dozing back to sleep on the couch, still in my Klim Overland pants and TCX Infinty boots, the motivation and departure never materialized.

    Spent the rest of the day in somewhat of a funk for not getting out on a ride - and knowing Sunday alone was not enough time to pursue a worthy chunk of the route, considering the ride down and back.

    Late afternoon I said screw it, and sent my boss a text - asking for the week ahead off of work. He said, "Have fun."

    I'd leave the shiny Harley Davidson's in the garage and load up the versatile GSA for this run. Sunday morning you wouldn't find me in bed.

    Since I now had the whole week to run, figured I'd save the TOT for a future, shorter jaunt - and just bang on through Ohio, shooting for the Appalachian Mountains; had some bucket list destinations to explore and wanted to ride some of the DAT (Damascus to Augusta Trail).

    While it still has not begun getting hot in Michigan, that all changed for me as I was approaching Southeast Ohio. By the time I crossed the Ohio River into West Virginia it was a full-on humid scorcher. Mid-90's all the way down into Virginia. Saw 97 as I passed through Charleston. That Capital building with the gold dome always grabs my attention when I roll through Charleston on Interstate 77/64. One of these days I'd like to stop off and check it out. There was scaffolding set up all around the upper perimeter of the Capital building as some kind of major work was being undertaken; maybe just fresh paint, I don't know.

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    #57
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  18. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Eric - I'm blown away by your generous offer. Thank you ! Note will be taken and next time through, maybe we can meet. My dad is still on the Surry side, so eventually I'll probably have to head for the coast.
    #58
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  19. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Burke's Garden - (Day 1)

    Just a handful of miles to go before I'd exit Interstate 77 - and traffic came to an abrupt halt. The original plan (developed on the fly) was to exit at Rocky Gap and then follow Route 61 (west) to Burke's Garden.

    Never made it to Rocky Gap. Instead, after creeping along for what felt like an eternity, an opportunity to bail from the torturous crawl presented itself. I was able to exit the interstate and run a series of backroads to Burke's Garden. It still is not clear to me, but I may have (probably) exited and then went up an on-ramp; it was a small blacktop road with no discernable markings. At that point .... I didn't care.

    I'd intended on visiting Burke's Garden last year while riding the MABDR, but ran out of time, for running down extra points-of-interest. So, the anticipation was building as I was fast approaching the veritable garden; it was first on my list. This unique area supposedly has the most fertile land in the region.

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    Just as I was getting into the main loop around Burke's Garden, a young Amish boy in traditional farm dress came into sight. He was on a bicycle and had stopped and was intently peering over the edge of the bridge and into a creek. Pulling up alongside of him, I asked, "Are there any camping spots in the vicinity." He pointed towards the direction I was heading and replied, "Up there on the mountain." Before pulling away, I'd asked him, "Do you mind if I take a picture of you." He politely informed me, "We don't do that."

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    Up on that mountain is where those switchbacks and the bear that I'd discovered were located , which I had mentioned previously (in real time while on the ride). That is also where I crossed the Appalachian Trail and spotted the lone tent where the A.T. and the gravel road (that I was riding) converged. The Appalachian Trail runs along that whole ridgeline on the backside (southside) of Burke's Garden; probably a third of the ridgeline that encompasses Burke's Garden - is actually Appalachian Trail.

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    #59
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  20. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Burke's Garden - (Day 1)

    Before moving on, I'll take a moment to share some history and a few more pictures that I'd taken just after the rainfall.

    Known for it's fertility and great natural beauty, the bowl-shaped Burke's Garden is the highest valley in Virginia. That's interesting; we don't usually consider valleys in terms of elevation.

    Burke's Garden is a topographically rare elongated basin rimmed entirely by the Garden Mountain.

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    Burke's Garden was discovered by James Burke in 1749 while hunting. He built a cabin nearby and settled there around 1754.

    Major Lewis's expedition against the Indians, 1756, camped there, and Burke's fort was there in 1774.

    After four years Burke and his family moved to North Carolina, when hostilities began during the French Indian War. Burke died in North Carolina in 1783.

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    According to tradition, Burke buried some potato peelings in the region's fertile soil during a survey expedition. Sometime later another group camped out at the same site and discovered the potatoes, resulting in the area becoming known as Burke's Garden.

    In 1781 Indians raided into Burke's Garden, carrying off the wife and children of Thomas Ingles.

    The threat of Indian attack and the remoteness of the area discouraged permanent white settlement until the early 19th century.

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    #60
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