Puttering Along the SEAT and MABDR

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

  1. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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.
    .
    .
    #1
    Bors, Ginger Beard, emxgarcia and 3 others like this.
  2. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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.
    .
    .
    #2
    Ginger Beard and Snapper33 like this.
  3. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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
    emxgarcia likes this.
  4. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,985
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I like that you recycled the roadkill and used it for your seat pad:lol3
    #4
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  5. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,985
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I like that you recycled the roadkill and used it for your seat pad:lol3
    #5
  6. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    That's no road kill. It's from a baby lamb, imported from Australia.
    #6
    DCrider likes this.
  7. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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
    ejm4 likes this.
  8. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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
  9. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  10. ebiker

    ebiker n00b

    Joined:
    Friday
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    West Virginia
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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
    .
    .
    #11
  12. CloudSplitter

    CloudSplitter Putterer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    986
    Location:
    Northern West Virginia
    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.
    .
    .
    #13