Puttering Along the SEAT and MABDR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by CloudSplitter, May 15, 2019.

  1. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    OK. It's time to finish the SEAT (SouthEastern Adventure Trail), that I had to abandon two years ago, because I and Hurricane Irma were due to arrive on the Florida Panhandle at the same time. I was going to finish this last year, and ride the portions of the southern MABDR (Mid Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route) I hadn't previously ridden, but never found a time window in which the weather looked promising.

    This time, I plan to meet up with my Wife and Daughter, and her family, in Blackwater Falls State Park, WV, on May 27, but if I'm a day or two late, they'll continue without me.

    So. . . Here's the ride:
    Shadowfax for SEAT & MABDR.jpg
    He's a 2014 Yamaha XT250, and is loaded and ready to go. We'd have left this morning if I didn't have a dentist appointment this afternoon.

    Here's the planned route, as much as is actually planned:
    SEAT Plan.jpg
    From Falling Waters, WV, we'll cut over to the MABDR, where I met JB2 a year or so ago, to follow the MABDR back near my home. From there, we'll (my ride and I) follow the MABDR wherever we haven't already done it on previous trips, until we reach the northern loop of the SEAT. We followed the "stem" of the SEAT, and the section included in both loops, last time, as well as some of the west side of the large loop, so this time we'll complete the northern part of the northern loop, and the rest of the large southern loop.

    From there, we'll slab it back north to Blackwater Falls State Park to meet family for a couple days, then up that blue track, labeled Garry's Return Route (for the MABDR), then super-slab back home. The wife will bring the motorcycle hauling platform for the back of our Subaru, in case I've had enough riding, at that point.

    Without bothering to measure anything, I'm guessing it'l take about two days to get to the SEAT, eight days to complete it, and two days to get back north to Blackwater Falls State Park. Of course that's more than the week suggested for posting in "Day Trippin' ", but this really feels more like a week-type trip than an epic, so here it is.
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    #1
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  2. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Well. . . Not everyone can say they made it to the final destination of a two week trip the first day out, but that's what I did. I stupidly made the color of that return route, I was planning to take back to Blackwater Falls, the same as the one I was following, so. . . Yep, I followed it, instead of the new green route l meant to take.

    Anyway, some pics.

    Nicely built up stream bank

    IMG_20190516_120838869.jpg
    Good lunch spot on the river

    IMG_20190516_130101407.jpg
    Trees just budding near Dolly Sods Wilderness


    IMG_20190516_163356951.jpg
    Interesting area

    IMG_20190516_142152493_HDR.jpg
    Where I zoomed out the GPS, to learn this was the wrong route.


    IMG_20190516_144807253.jpg Made it to the destination.

    IMG_20190516_185242421_HDR.jpg
    Met Dave and Steve, from Toronto, at this motel

    Edit. Meant to mention last night was spent in Brandywine WV. Only $45, and on the MABDR.
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    #2
  3. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Had planned to ride the slab to the South end of the MABDR, and take various published routes from there, but decided to take the slab all the way, including about a hundred miles of I-81 and 75 miles of another Interstate, I forget which. So. . . Not many photos.

    IMG_20190517_182250566.jpg
    Overlook near the Virginia border with North Carolina.

    IMG_20190517_192757366.jpg
    Whispering Pines Motel, west of Ashville North Carolina.

    Tomorrow, start the outer loop of the SEAT.
    #3
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  4. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    I like that you recycled the roadkill and used it for your seat pad:lol3
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  5. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    I like that you recycled the roadkill and used it for your seat pad:lol3
    #5
  6. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    That's no road kill. It's from a baby lamb, imported from Australia.
    #6
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  7. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Well, got to use my Rotopax for the first time, today. Got gas near Asheville, and planned to get more near the SEAT, but there wasn't any. Didn't worry, I'd only gone 50 miles, so had about 130 left, but had the GPS zoomed in too far, and didn't see the waypoints SE91 GFL, or SE92-1G. Then SE 92 G is defunct. Figured out there was a problem. Took the asphalt to Tellico Plains, SE 93, and might have made it if some idiot hadn't cut in front of me at a cafe, then stopped across my lane. When I came to a screeching stop, the remaining gas sloshed forward, and the engine died. It did start again, but didn't get far. There was only 0.4 mile to go, but I had to dig out the gas can. Oh well, lesson learned.

    Anyway, some photos.

    IMG_20190518_101629400_HDR.jpg This was a really nice gravel road, but that pipeline was interesting for a couple miles.

    IMG_20190518_111513813_HDR.jpg
    Too much glare to read this, but this route is along the Trail of Tears.
    #7
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  8. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Meant to add this one, last night, but their internet went belly up

    IMG_20190518_150539925.jpg
    This was no challenge, and it plus the next two streams turned out to be the first three on the Transamerica Trail, back when I rode it, and it started near Tellico Plains. Didn't recognize them until the third one, but that one is so slippery it's hard to forget.

    After the SEAT left the TAT, there were two deeper crossings, but the water was clear, so they were easy to navigate.
    #8
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  9. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    By George, I'm no longer in Georgia. Staying in Oxford Alabama, east of Talladega. The time zone really confused me, since the GPS knew it was an hour earlier than my watch said.

    Anyway, some photos.

    IMG_20190518_155205451_HDR.jpg
    Water break time. Nice stream.

    IMG_20190519_085923225.jpg
    Nearly missed this waterfall. It's back from the road a ways.

    IMG_20190519_094900826_HDR.jpg
    A rare scenic overlook

    IMG_20190519_101813368.jpg
    Nice camping spot

    IMG_20190519_133026516_HDR.jpg
    Flower break

    IMG_20190519_115537651.jpg
    Picnic spot at a hairpin turn. I was gonna sit back here, but poison ivy convinced me to sit against that big tree.

    OK. I'm nearly caught up, and should be able to just putter, like the title says, from now on, doing one track section each day.
    #9
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  10. ebiker

    ebiker n00b

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    Howdy. Hope you haven't been getting the violent thunder storms and heavy rain we've had here. BTW I couldn't remember my old login so I am now ebiker.
    Love ya. Be safe. VPB
    #10
  11. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Woah. . . Who knew there were so many gravel, dirt, and sand roads. I woke up early, and had to wait half an hour till the motel put out breakfast, but still didn't get to the start of the next section of the SEAT till 11:00. Finally at 4:30 I decided to take a shortcut to the end of that section.

    NOW I can relax, and putter.

    IMG_20190520_083921870.jpg
    There were several logged units, but plenty of wild stuff, too.

    IMG_20190520_101003436_HDR.jpg
    A break under a bridge I just crossed.

    IMG_20190520_122241486_HDR.jpg
    This sign doesn't apply to motorcycles.

    IMG_20190520_122713654.jpg
    The bridge is still there, just a little difficult to get to.

    IMG_20190520_140631117.jpg
    This spot IS impassible, except for, say, a trials rider. However you can now cross the tracks over where it looks like you should.

    That's it for today
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    #11
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  12. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Hey, where's my report from last night? Will look into that tonight. Anyway, the weather has been great, except for rain that second morning out, for about an hour. Those two Canadians apparently had the sence to stay in bed, but not me. Put on the Frog Togs, and lit out.
    #12
  13. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Well, today confimed that I hate riding in deep sand. The worst was actually while still in Alabama. I was thinking of turning back, when it ended, after only about a quarter mile.

    The next challenge came after this sign
    IMG_20190521_113716690.jpg
    So I used that as an excuse to turn around, and hit the highway to get around that Sand.

    IMG_20190521_125410894_HDR.jpg
    There were many houses, and some churches, still without roofs, plus many new roofs. I'd say my decision to turn back in the face of Irma was a good one, except for my current decision to bypass the rest of Florida sand. If I'd known this, I could have holed up in a motel for a couple days, then headed for eastern Florida, since my main concern was trees down in the trail.

    IMG_20190521_133708010_HDR.jpg
    Lots of trees down

    IMG_20190521_145252689_HDR.jpg
    We're not in West Virginia any more.

    IMG_20190521_151016337.jpg
    There were four large puddles, like this, but all were easy to get around. They may be deep, judging by a dry one I dropped into.

    IMG_20190521_163016062.jpg
    Last photo. This is where I first saw the Gulf, after deciding to bypass more sand. I was so looking forward to getting to the alternate, easy, track, but after half a mile on the sand of that, I had had enough. Let the GPS find an easy route to the end of today's track. Tomorrow, I'll do the same, in short increments, then try the track heading north.

    Tonight, I'm happily ensconced in The Moorings of Carrabelle (Florida). Ate at The Fisherman's Wife, which I don't recommend.
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    #13
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  14. ebiker

    ebiker n00b

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    Reminder that the holiday weekend is coming up...let me know when and where to meet you.
    #14
  15. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Well, no photos today, due to riding around the sand. Actually I think I went too far. After just using the GPS to route around three small sections, I tried following the SEAT for a ways. Two miles of pavememt, then sand, a little deeper than was comfortable. . . Turned around and lit out for the end of that section. Then, at lunch, I noticed it would be about as easy to go to the end of the next section, so that's what I did.

    Now, looking at it more carefully, I see I went too far, and have skipped too much. Wish I'd stuck to the first plan. Oh well, now I can really putter.

    Am now in Adabelle GA.

    Actually, there was one photo I wish I'd gone back for, a sign for bears crossing.
    Who knew there were so many this far south?
    #15
  16. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Well, today t decided bypassing two days, yesterday wasn't a mistake after all. Georgia has too much sand, to.

    IMG_20190523_082219733.jpg
    Started down the side track to the ocean
    This section was closed, but easy to get around. Still only got about twenty miles, before too much sand turned me back.

    IMG_20190523_105531068.jpg
    The main track was better, but notice the foot of the kickstand is burried.

    IMG_20190523_142517090.jpg
    Another closure, but easy to get by, and only prevents access to an old bridge.

    The closure sign on the other side would be harder to get past, but:
    IMG_20190523_142915865.jpg
    While I was there, SOMEbody moved that barrier on the Left

    Georgia wasn't as bad as Florida, but I don't recommend it without a buddy, unless you're practicing for the Dakar.

    The roads became normal gravel in South Carolina. Got in early, due to bypassing some sections. Now in McCormick SC
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  17. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    OK, that compleats the SEAT for me. Still plan to do the northern half of the MABDR. This morning was so so, but this afternoon was really nice, back up in the hills. I'd prefer less gravel on the roads, but it's still infinitely better than all that sand.

    A few photos.

    IMG_20190524_075831778.jpg
    Another closure that doesn't hurt. The SEAT turns off before that closure.

    IMG_20190524_124158987_HDR.jpg
    This one is real,
    IMG_20190524_124816460_HDR.jpg
    easy for a motorcycle to get around. IMG_20190524_125308833_HDR.jpg
    and only a motorcycle should.

    That's it. I'm now in Dillard GA, where I came in on the northern stem of the SEAT a year and a half ago, and will head north to meet my wife in the morning.
    #17
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  18. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    It was all slab, today, except for a few miles when trying to get around a local parade that tied up the highway for more than half an hour. Gamin's map showed you could get around, but no such luck.

    The CT250 passed 24,000 miles, this morning, and now it's done for this trip. Met up with the wife, and we'll load it on the back of the car in the morning.

    TTFN. There'll be a wind-up in a few days, with lessons learned, after I get to my computer.
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  19. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

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    Met wife, loaded bike, and wending our way home.

    IMG_20190526_085302795_HDR.jpg
    #19
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  20. kvango

    kvango Been here awhile

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    Curious where the SEAT drops down into the hot FL/GA flatlands -
    I might be doing this from MABDR #6 south, linking to the west SEAT maybe to Carrabelle (then home to Clearwater). I will take the auto train up, see family for a few days in NY and see how much time to get home (4-6 days). Did this in 2016 and took the BRP, MABDR looks like fun. Worried about the heat in July.

    SAND - you have the perfect bike - but it takes practice. Get out there, stand on the pegs, keep it loose and the throttle is your friend . . .
    (until it isn’t :muutt).
    Once you get the hang of the bike moving around, not to hard - just need to get above 20mph. Once you dump it a few times, you will see sand is pretty harmless, and gain some confidence. Yes dumping it a few (dozen) times is mandatory.:deal

    Kevin.
    #20