Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GAS GUY, Mar 28, 2014.
Found this little guy today. What the hell ?
that' a weird looking bug
Kenton, Ohio -
That bug looks meaner than a nine peckerd Billy goat
It is. Found out it is poisonous and called a Saddleback Caterpillar.
Returned home from Slade, Kentucky on Tuesday. Will get some more pictures up from the very challenging (on a GSA) Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT) and Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway (DBBB). I'd mentioned before that the "Expert" sections on the MABDR were really no problem at all, even on my fully loaded GSA. Well, the KAT, especially when it is very wet, is incredibly challenging on a big bike. The GSA was filthy. Yesterday after work I hosed it off and mud was running down the driveway.
I've still got a few pictures from the MABDR to post up, then I'll get some more KAT trail pictures up and a few from the ride down through Ohio. Took the slower route, down some more enjoyable roads - versus the interstate - and passed through many interesting old towns.
MID-ATLANTIC BACKCOUNTRY DISCOVERY ROUTE -
Not too far from the start of the MABDR (in Damascus, Virginia) along section 1, is Skull's Gap Overlook. It is in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and lies at about 3,000 feet. The nearby Mount Rogers is nearly twice the elevation and the highest point in Virginia. Whitetop Mountain also resides in this area, and is the second highest point.
This view from Skull's Gap Overlook is of the valley of Smyth County, Virginia.
The fertile land and the large amount of rainfall supports the vast forests and the well-tended fields. Smyth County is historically renowned for it's apple orchards. At the base of this mountain near I-81 is the town of Chilhowie - an native American term translated as "valley of many deer".
In the next valley is the town of Saltville where the rich salt deposits attracted Mastodon's and Wooly Mammoth's during the last ice age. During the Civil War, the North battled to control Saltville because it was the main supplier of salt used to preserve meat for the Confederates.
Looks like another grand adventure! I was thinking that KAT ride looked like a bit of a work-out for you and that big bike of yours!
For sure, it is a handful. Scott was on his Husky 610 (half the weight of the GSA) and commented that he is impressed with the places that I take that big Camhead. Plus my DOT knobbies were half wore out and would load up with mud. I handle it well until I'm drenched in sweat and fatigue sets in. Especially in this heat. It was in the 90's every day and humid and wet.
MABDR - Southwest Virginia
Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route -
Last two MABDR pictures:
- This was an appealing scene towards the beginning of section 1 before arriving in Damascus. Keep in mind that I was traveling south. Heading north you may very likely ride right past this cozy barn, tucked in-between a field and the wood-line, all of which is nicely framed by a small opening along the tree-lined gravel road. A good excuse to ride the MABDR in both directions. Would likely be two different experiences, especially during different seasons. Fall would be incredible, I'd suspect.
- Then after arriving in Damascus, a celebratory afternoon coffee and some delicious pork tacos were consumed at Mojo's Trailside Cafe and Coffee. After which, I banged out 250 miles or so of interstate (one of the reasons I like a big adventure bike) to stage myself in Marietta, Ohio - for the next days rural wandering ride home to Michigan.
This MABDR was an incredibly enjoyable ride for me. The build-up, the anticipation (especially after the movie and route were released) - and the execution. Of course it was not perfect for everyone all of the time. But all things considered, I think it was an exceptionally well flowing route that takes into consideration all skill levels and the vast array of adventure machines used - while allowing the rider to enjoy their surroundings and not be on high-alert all of the time. I doubt the route was ever intended as a be-all-end-all of adventure touring. It does capture the essence and should spark our desire for further wanderlust and inspire our imaginations to search out those other roads and points-of-interest that this particular route didn't, as surely it would take a lifetime to fully encompass the vast Appalachian Region.
re: "you cannot legally traverse any water in Michigan unless it has a bridge"
Back in the good old days they used to run a hare scrambles near Belding, MI that dumped us into a tributary creek of the Flat River. We dropped into the creek, raced about a half mile up the creek and then had to climb what became a deeply rutted, muddy embankment to get out. The rut would get deep enough by the end of the race that the only way up was to wheelie it to keep the footpegs from dragging, or go around beyond it to a slower "Plan B" route. Great times!
He has a Hi-Vis vest just like yours.
Yeah, I mentioned that to Scott. A caterpillar after my own heart.
West Virginia -
A short post outlining an unexpected detour and a chance vista.
After finishing up the Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route, I'd departed Damascus, Virginia in the afternoon with Marietta, Ohio in mind as the target destination by nightfall. So, I started banging out miles on the interstate. Just after crossing into West Virginia, the traffic that I was flowing with on I-77 came to an abrupt halt. Lucky for me, this happened right at an exit. That rarely happens. Instead of cooking in the heat at a standstill, or at best a crawl, I bailed across two lanes and grabbed the exit leading to U.S.-52. Shortly after exiting, this historic sign presented itself. Kind of an odd placement.
Somewhat interesting short story. There, now you can read it.
From here the road snaked around and climbed and dived, as most roads do in this region. Surprisingly, the road ended up passing by a small rest area at the top of a hill. After taking a break, a wrecker driver informed me that if I jump on 460 (at the bottom of the hill) and follow the truck detour, it will dump me back onto I-77 North above all of the construction and traffic congestion. It worked like a charm.
Before departing the rest area I gazed out at this incredible West Virginia landscape.
Yellow Springs, Ohio -
This larger-than-life mural blew me away. It ripped me from my thoughts, as I was exiting the southern-end of this bizarre town (which Antioch College calls home), while heading south on U.S. Route 68.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." - Margaret Mead
Bellefontaine, Ohio -
It was a somewhat spur-of-the-moment decision; a different direction than I had initially anticipated. We'd decided to head out on a Kentucky Adventure Tour. Scott would truck his Husqvarna 610 down to Slade (Kentucky's Gateway to Adventure) along with his adventure pop-up camper. There we would set up home base and ride out and back daily. I'd ride the GSA down and meet him. With a day of travel each way, that would leave us two full days of riding in the region, on this 4-day venture.
It took a while to get there in the real world, so likewise, it may take a bit before I arrive there in the virtual world.
Ran the interstate down to Findlay before veering off onto U.S. Route 68 south. I'd follow this nicely flowing road and enjoy some of the historic towns that it passes through along the way. Those charming towns that make you question your choice of current living arrangements.
By the time I'd reached Bellefontaine, Ohio - hunger was starting to set-in, since I left the house without eating. But, I had the foresight to stash away a sandwich in the pannier.
This is also known as Blue Jacket Town, for the famous Shawnee chief who led the "Seven Nations" in their defeat at Fallen Timbers, lived here. He was later prominent in the Treaty of Greeneville.
So, I plopped down on the sidewalk and began eating my turkey and Swiss sandwich - as a blindfolded Lady Justice stood stoically high above, with her balance and sword, behind the glass within the fascinating court house that held my undivided attention.
Of course, after brunch, I had to stretch my legs along Court Avenue - which just happens to be the "Oldest Concrete Street in America". From 1891. Here started the better roads movement which has given our citizens from coast to coast swift and sure transportation. I've a couple of Bun Burner Gold's that attest to that.
A statue of George Bartholomew was erected in 1991 at the head of the street to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1st concrete street in America. Supposedly, the paving of concrete streets in Bellefontaine, Ohio during the 1890's resulted principally from his efforts.
Almost felt like I was in Russia or something. With the statue and the European looking buildings against the drab sky.
At the end of Court Street there was a coffee shop. Too early for another cup though. Maybe next time I will sample their offerings.
This is what you view above and across the street from the coffee shop. I could definitely dig that vibe with my morning coffee. Small town America is wonderful.
While walking around in my weird out-of-place gear, the whole time staring up at and admiring all of the impressive old architecture and taking pictures, a man with a young family called out to me, "Make sure to stop over at the shortest street in America, it's just to the left from the stop light."
Before departing Bellefontaine, had to stop over to the shortest street in America. Nothing special, but what the hell. It's the little things in life, right ? Pun intended .... I guess.
"Shortest Street in America" - McKinley Street. That's it. You are looking at all of it.
Yet another point-of-interest. Man, a lot of history in this town. Better get rolling before I find more.
Back road America is a nice place to be!
Small Town Ohio -
I'd continue south down U.S. Route 68 through Urbana, Yellow Springs, Xenia, and Wilmington until I veered off onto yet a smaller State Route 134. That was also followed south until it merged back into 68 near the Ohio River Valley. I'd like to spend more time in the future exploring these and many more small Ohio towns. Their historic areas are always engaging. Ohioan's are creative creatures and have a way of embracing American nostalgia. I never seem to tire of riding in Ohio.
- Yellow Springs