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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GAS GUY, Apr 7, 2021.
This small town in Latvia is not abandoned, but also have weird dolls garden.
When I moved to India in 2010 I left behind all my film cameras including mid-format Kiev 6C. Then in 2017 or 18, when I went to print hi quality large size photos for upcoming show I saw in that shop/lab in the fridge some Ilford and Kodak?? or Fujifilm??? rolls. I do not remember well other brands, but there was Ilford which I used before.
"Just returned home last night from an exceptionally adventurous ride into Southern Ohio and the S.O.A.L. while experiencing a diverse assortment of terrain and weather. Was in the heart of those storms Thursday night too! Thanks, Motojunky, for the effort you have made by putting this route together and sharing it with us restless souls. Give me some time to gather my thoughts and pull my pictures together from multiple cameras and I'll do my best to repay you with a report."
Cross-posted from the SOAL thread, to stay current, until I get the report together:
Motojunky21 said, "GAS GUY, really looking forward to hearing about your trip and seeing your pics. Made it down there yesterday and restocked the stickers."
My reply, "Good to hear! I held that damp, musty pile of money in the palm of my hand and was wondering if you were ever going to go collect it. And that was before the torrential rains came later that day. Wonder how that flimsy tupperware fared. That is an ideal spot for such an adventurous stash (love your novel idea) and an interesting point of interest. Upon my return, I've done some digging (no pun intended) into the Armstrong Cemetery (High Hill) and will include some trivial information pertaining to the family members buried there in my report, which I'm currently working on."
By-the-way: Not only did we traverse Tobe Lewis Road, but we had to go over a downed tree that was attempting to impede our progress!
In Search of S.O.A.L.
Two riders ... in search of SOAL.
Ohio said, "You can find it here."
Motojunky21 laid out the blueprint ... in the form of a GPX file.
We entered from the north.
We woke at 5 a.m., rode to work with fully packed motorcycles, worked a full shift, then rode the 270-miles to Pike Lake State Campground. We arrived and managed to set up our tents just before dark.
Finally ... Ken is on a real adventure with his new KTM 790. He bought it in the spring of 2020 while we were off work for 10-weeks during the initial pandemic shutdown. He has been busy with life and family, so has not been able to ride it as planned. It only has a couple of thousand miles on the odometer. No worries, we will put it through the paces on this adventure.
He has it outfitted with the Mosko Moto 80-liter Reckless (Revolver) luggage system.
Road Games - Listening to music and playing with my point-and-shoot makes the miles easy.
The Golden Hour - My favorite time of the day.
Site #21 at Pike Lake State Campground would be our basecamp. We'd ride out in the morning and return in the evening. This is always a nice option as it allows you to drop any unnecessary travel gear such as panniers. Compromise is always a reality of the adventure tourer.
While I like to wild camp at times, I wouldn't leave my tent and panniers behind in such circumstances. Whereas an organized campground affords some security.
Independence is another virtue of the adventure tourer. Panniers, jet boils, and provisions go a long way in allowing for versatility.
Where do you store your point and shoot so that you can take photos while riding? Do you take any precautions against dropping it, like a lanyard?
Mostly the Olympus resides in the mesh pocket on the Wolfman Enduro tankbag. No precautions are taken - except being as calculated in my movements as possible. But still, I've dropped it twice in the past decade. It has a few scratches and dings. Once I missed the pocket while putting it away while traversing a gravel road in Ohio; it went bouncing behind me. After retrieving it, to my surprise, it still worked. But it is the "Tough" version ... meaning it's shock and water proof. It's the adventure model!
Another time, while riding the Great Lakes 3000, I was standing on the pegs while riding one-handed (and shooting pictures with the other) down a grassy two-track, north of Lake Superior, when I hit a rut and while saving the bike - dropped the camera. Scott, Kenny, and I searched the tall grass alongside the trail for over a half-an-hour before finding the adventurous camera. Still works great. Even the original battery still holds a decent charge.
- You can see the pocket, and the camera inside of it, in this picture. I use the same bag on the ST.
In Search of S.O.A.L.
The first day was overcast. Since it was so hot (90's) and humid, we were glad not to have the sun beating down on us.
On route. On the gravel Vanaka Bank Road. We left out of camp heading south and ran the route in a clockwise fashion on the first day.
Navigation Duties: A Kyocera Duraforce Pro (waterproof phone) would be used for navigating the S.O.A.L. with the Zumo running backup as an overview; I'd forgotten that I managed to load the route onto the GPS long ago (1st version) as sometimes I'm successful loading a route onto the GPS (if it's small) and sometimes not so much with large routes consisting of multiple sections, and I loath having to load a section at a time while on the trail (with larger routes) when I've other things to focus on. That's just me.
Using the phone for navigating is far from perfect but it wins at meeting my current priority: Ease of loading and updating GPX routes versus fiddling with my clunky GPS units. To be fair, perhaps a higher end GPS unit would make the whole ordeal substantially less painful as compared to what I'm accustomed to, but at this point in the game, I'm not interested in investing to find out.
Optional Section: We tackled the optional difficult section on Conley Road in Brush Creek State Forest.
Slippery Creek Bed: Kenny has yet to learn about picking as direct a line as possible - in order to drastically limit front tire steering inputs - under such slippery circumstances.
McCullough Creek (East Branch) Strikes Early. Won't be the last time. As I hustled down to help him lift his bike, I almost lost my footing on the slick stones.
In Search of S.O.A.L.Part Three
Bear Creek - Just enough water to make a small splash along Euton Road.
Euton Road (115) - This was an appealing dirt road through a corn field.
Riding up to Copperhead Fire Tower - Shawnee State Forest Service Road 6 (visible in the background) leads you up to this fire tower.
Ohio's first fire tower. It was built in 1924 at the cost of $1,100.00 and is located in Shawnee State Forest which is Ohio's largest state forest. Shawnee State Forest came into existence in 1922.
The 60-foot tower is in sound condition and is open for you to climb. The view of Shawnee State Forest from the top.
Smooth and twisty gravel roads abound throughout the forest. We encountered sections of gravel switchbacks as well.
In Search of S.O.A.L.
This abandoned Trailer on Hall Fork Road (T-160A) piqued my curiosity. Throughout this route, we'd pass many trailers from the 70's and 80's that appeared to have had absolutely no maintenance performed on them over the years, yet were still inhabited. Besides being exceptionally remote, much of the area is impoverished.
There was a calendar still hanging on the wall. It was flipped to October and was of the year 2017. The calendar was from Raber's Shoes & Saddlery in neighboring Peebles, Ohio.
Pretty sure this is Reel Ridge Road. It was shortly after stopping at the abandoned trailer.
Interesting Speed Limit Sign on Morel Hollow Road. Just off Sunshine Ridge Road and just east of Armstrong Cemetery.
Armstrong Cemetery (High Hill) & Morel Hollow Road. Blue Creek. Adams County, Ohio.
The two most prominent tombstones in the cemetery belong to John and Elizabeth and their son Caleb and his wife , Sarah. You are greeted first by Caleb and Sarah's stone because it is closer to the dirt trail that leads you to the location.
John S. Armstrong: 1807-1865
Elizabeth Vernon Reynolds: 1810-1888
John and Elizabeth were both born in Virginia. One of her parents, Coley M. Reynolds (1793-1867) is also buried in this cemetery. Their lineage goes back to England.
According to the 1850 Census, John was a laborer with a net worth of $160.00.
John & Elizabeth had six-children:
Eliza J. was the oldest and born in Kentucky; probably while en route to Ohio as Mary F., James, George, Caleb W., and Elizabeth E. were all born in Ohio. They were all 2 or 3-years apart.
Speaking of Eliza J. - her gravestone is also in the cemetery as well as her infant daughter, Rebecca. Her daughter, Rebecca died on July 16, 1855 at 8 months and 4-days-old.
Then Eliza J. (wife of Tho Begley) died on August 15th, 1855 in her 24th year! Perhaps there were complications during the birth of Rebecca.
Caleb W. Armstrong (1841-1915) married Sarah M. Elliot (1848-?) in 1867.
Sarah and Caleb could both read and write.
Caleb served in the Civil War with the (Union) 91st Regiment of the Ohio Infantry for 2-years, 10-months, and 15-days from 9 August 1862 to 24 June 1865.
John and Sarah had seven children, one of which was named Bathsheba. There is also a marker there that says, TWINS, but I can't find a record of who they might be. There is also two stones nearby that say Mother and Father, so I would assume they belong to Sarah Elliot's parents.
Caleb died at 73-years-old of diabetes.
In Search of S.O.A.L.
A section of rocky ledges drops you down (from the cemetery) to Tobe Lewis Road.
Two Trails Diverged - Tobe Lewis (Buckeye Trail) goes down and to the left, while Morel Hollow Road continues on to the right. We'd pursue Tobe Lewis Road.
Tobe Lewis Road - This is also the Buckeye (hiking) Trail.
Big Trouble on Tobe Lewis Road. On a rough road going downhill. Now the adventure ramps up a notch and becomes even more interesting.
Missed by a Mile - How he missed the mark so badly I don't understand. I showed him how to use the crook of the branch protruding up from the downed tree as a leverage point for his front tire to keep the bike stable over the cambered terrain and slanted tree. You can see it is about a foot-and-a-half to the left of where he entered the log.
Catapulted - After badly missing the proper line, the KTM went down hard and fast as Kenny was shot into the forest like a cannonball. He even somersaulted. No exaggeration ... he flew past in a blur. He was out further than the picture and had worked his way back by the time I snapped the shot. If not for the thick underbrush 20-feet away - he would have ended up clear over in the next hollow!
In Search of S.O.A.L.Part Six
Old Barn - Down a grassy lane off of Rhodes Road (T-150).
Old Barn with Hex Sign - Middle Branch Road (T-404).
Middle Branch Road (T-404).
Blue Creek General Store - Stopped into the Blue Creek General Store on OH-125 for a delicious and filling Italian sub on a toasted bun. This place impressed me. Besides the friendly owners, stellar food at fair prices and generous portions, the kitchen area was spotless.
Antiques and knick-knacks lined the shelves along the ceiling.
Great pictures and RR as always, but a pictured of that toasted sub would have been nice.
Thanks! You got it.
In Search of S.O.A.L.
Wamsley Church - OH-348 & Mt. Unger Road (T-160C). Groundhog Hollow.
Then we made a big splash at the Brush Creek water crossing! I hit the water so hard (and in the deep center) that I had water spray up over the windshield and shower my glasses and face. It felt wonderful on that hot and humid day.
All safe, sound, and drenched on the other side.
Departing Brush Creek.
Beech Fork Road.
Crossing Beech Fork.
Coffee in the Creek - As we blasted through this short and shallow (but somewhat slick) water crossing, it dawned on me; that this would be an ideal spot for a memorable coffee break. And it was time. I'm always on the lookout for a departure from the typical. Any opportunity to add a little magic is seized upon.
Just so happened to be a large, flat rock at waters edge to act as a field expedient coffee table.
Creek or Trail.
Ken Preparing Coffee - Tapping his MSR 2-liter Dromlite for fresh water to brew up our coffee.
As a bonus, an abundance of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies were fluttering about in the glow of the sunlight filtering through the trees.
I should definitely dig out my old Olympus OM1n and see what lenses I still have.
I’m fortunate to still have practically all the negatives I shot (all monochrome, mainly on FP4, HP5 or Tri-X) and all of the transparencies (mainly Kodachrome 64).
In Search of S.O.A.L.Part Eight
Davis Road (T-126B) - This is near Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve:
Chalet Nivale Nature Preserve - Bacon Flat Road (T-126D):
Pike State APV area (just east of Sinking Spring) on OH-124. Figured I'd surprise Kenny by not forewarning him - before whipping into and tackling the trail system:
Gathering ourselves and hydrating:
Then we started getting into some slicker hill climbs. The steepest and most challenging parts I didn't dare try to stop or photograph. Took everything I had to get the big GSA up some of those whooped and wet climbs. I could feel my back tire breaking traction and spinning as I feathered the clutch and modulated power to maintain forward momentum. Right on the edge.
Kenny got hung up here. I'd just made it up that sharp ledge, made of roots, where he is standing, before the trail took off to the left:
There were pockets - within the labyrinth of trails - that were muddy enough to pack up in my well worn Mitas E07 rear tire:
A Deserving Machine - The GSA is always impressing with it's versatility and deserved a picture in front of the APV sign (as we departed) after clawing it's way up hill after hill:
Great pics Jeff. That head on one of your GS; the side stand looks totally not strong enough to do it's job. Looks like it is about to collapse. I am sure that is not the case but the picture sure casts doubt of it being suitable...
You made me go look. It does have a radical bend. It is indeed fine though. Just some crazy German engineering ... like the rest of the bike.