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Riding Metaphor

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by StriderJim, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    94
    Location:
    Hickory, N.C., USA
    First of all, so nobody's head explodes, this is Metaphor:
    [​IMG]

    Why did I name my bike 'Metaphor'? If you're really curious, go to my blog at: ridingmetaphor.com and look around. Maybe read the first post, called "A Run to the Sea." It will become clearer.

    Anyway, hello folks. I've been mostly lurking here for a couple of years---but now I'd like to get started with a thread that will hopefully be continuous—for all my riding.

    I'm in N.C., near the Appalachian-Blue Ridge, and ride a lot in the N.C.--Tennessee--Virginia mountains, but I also take longer trips. I'm retired, which makes that possible.

    [​IMG]

    This year my plans are to head to the Texas Hill Country in about a month, for an 8-10 day ride. Later in the summer I want to get to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I've been to the Wash. State line, but never made it to the coast on a bike. That trip will probably be about 3 weeks long, unless I get lost, or tired.

    I'm not an really an adventure rider. You saw the bike I ride. But we Harley Road Glide owners have a secret and …...............….................oh, I can't tell you what it is. It's a secret. But it's a good one. Maybe you'll figure it out if you follow along and listen carefully enough.

    Anyway, I took a ride yesterday on a standard loop up to the BRP...........getting back into shooting pics from the bike. I use a P &S for that, hung on a string around my neck. I also carry a DSLR, which I use when I'm not moving.

    Here's the route I took yesterday. I-40 from Hickory to Morganton—up NC 181 to Jonas Ridge, to the BRP, and north to US 421 to North Wilkesboro—to NC 16 south and back home. It's about 160 miles.

    The County Courthouse in Morganton.
    [​IMG]

    The high point of the route is Hwy 181—which has a stretch of 14 miles or so that is filled with mostly sweepers, great pavement, wide lanes with shoulders, passing lanes in places, and a 55mph speed limit. It's my favorite road in the area, and I ride it a lot.

    Here's a few shots on 181, before the curves start.
    This place has one of everything for sale----or maybe they just
    have one of everything.
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    Almost missed this little log house. My timing was a bit off with the P&S.
    [​IMG]

    Nice homestead.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the start of the good part on 181. A few years ago, a crotch rocket
    managed to miss this first curve and go straight into the guard rail on the right. Guess he was just excited.
    [​IMG]
    Up the mountain:
    [​IMG]

    And onto the Parkway:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Spooky Brown Mtn. Not really. There are supposedly unexplained lights visible on certain nights on the mountain. Don't know about that, but somebody made some money off a song about it--long time ago.
    [​IMG]

    Pointy Mountain. No lights:
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    I take lots of pictures of roads:
    [​IMG]

    Not so many of Metaphor:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Interesting little building. This place has miniature horses, so it may have to do with them. They weren't visible when I went by. This was on 181.
    [​IMG]

    Grandfather Mtn in the background. Guess I do take a lot of bike pics.
    [​IMG]

    Here's Price Lake, near Blowing Rock:
    [​IMG]

    And, last but not least, overlooking the Yadkin River Valley.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for stopping in. This was just a trial run for me. Getting used to posting, and Smugmug.

    I'll be posting frequently between long rides. If it doesn't rain too much I'll be taking a several day ride into East Tennessee in about a week. I'll be visiting historic sites important in the settling of the area. I have an ancestor who made the history books in a minor way that I've learned a bit about. Descendants of my family on my maternal grandfather's side have been there since 1771, and I was born there.

    So I hope some of you will hang around. I'll try to keep you fed with photos.

    [​IMG]

    ridingmetaphor.com
    #1
  2. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Jim, great thread, thanks for sharing! I was born and raised in western Washington; let me know if I can provide any help or suggestions for your upcoming journey.

    Sounds like I need to add 181 to my bucket list... :)

    Keep up the good work!

    Ferris
    #2
  3. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Jim, Great thread! I checked your website and hit a chord right away with Gillian Welch. Some days her music fits so well I can't get enough. Have you heard of Malcolm Holcombe? Carolina Chocolate Drops?

    Great photos as well. :thumb

    Ferris, we did 181 on the first BRATPAC but I remember that you guys didn't catch up to us until Mt. Pisgah. Yeah, 181 fairly rocks. It has Ferris written all over it. :D
    #3
  4. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

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    Almost like I've known Holcombe, or run into him somewhere. Never heard of the Chocolate Drops.

    Gillian's music has really grown on me in the last month or two. And she looks like redheads on both sides of my family. Pretty sure her mom was from the mountains around here. And Rawlings' guitar work is something like I've never seen. Phenomenal!

    Hope to catch up with you guys this summer. I've really enjoyed Ferris's thread in the past couple of years.

    Riding Metaphor
    #4
  5. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

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    Meant to follow up on this, Ferris. My plan is to go to the Olympic Peninsula. I've seen so many beautiful pics of it, seems the thing to do.

    Hopefully, just find a place to camp and stay around there for a few days. Any thoughts on that?

    Don't know how I'm going out or back yet, but I'll figure that out..
    #5
  6. SparkyL

    SparkyL Been here awhile

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    I'm going to put my feet up and stick around a while. Try to learn some more about your area. Been through there once, but didn't wander far enough off the BRP. Great start. Please keep it coming. Thanks!
    Dave
    #6
  7. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Strider, a few days ain't gonna be enough. :D
    #7
  8. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Quite likely - Malcolm's from your neck of the woods. Here's a listen:

    <iframe width="640" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Uf0Q4991css" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #8
  9. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

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    Well, I'm giving myself 24 days for the trip, and the backup plan is 38 days:D, so something will work out.

    Last time out, I rode from Coeur d'Alene to home in 5 days without a strain. Another day will get me across Washington. Not to worry.
    #9
  10. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Strider, sorry for my poor attempt at humor; I meant a few days won't be enough to do Washington State any true justice. :)

    I've been fortunate enough in my riding career to knock out a couple of month-long tours; there's nothing finer than being on the road day after day after day after day. Color me just a little bit envious!

    So: There are lots of riding trophies up in that part of the world, but I'll start with a couple of chunks I'd avoid at all costs:

    - Hwy 101 up or down the Washington Coast; with few exceptions you'll never see the Pacific Ocean, and your constant companion will be logging trucks. And if it happens to be raining (which is likely - it rains 364.97 days a year up there), the thick, brown slurry coming off the trucks will coat everything you own, including the both sides of your windshield, at least one side of your faceshield, and likely at least one side of your glasses. Oh, and the logging trucks don't pay much heed to the speed limit, which is problematic if you're dogging along at 30 mph trying vainly to see through three or four or five layers of muck and a cold, driving rain - you'll be nothing but a pesky backmarker to them. Sport, if you will.

    - Hwy 101 up or down the northern Oregon coast. Decent enough road, much better views of the ocean than 101 in WA, but just about the time you notch Metaphor up into high gear you'll have to start downshifting again for the next tourist town, each with a plethora of maddening traffic lights that are measured in hours, and each one perfectly timed to turn red just before you get to it. Trust me on this.

    - Interstate 5 anywhere from Olympia, WA north to the border at Blaine, particularly the stretch from Tacoma to Everett. If you want traffic, lots and lots of traffic, this is your dream come true, particularly during rush hours.

    - Interstate 5 in the Portland, OR - Vancouver, WA area. See above. Also note that the Washington State Patrol works I-5 with an absolute vengeance, particularly in Vancouver. Same with I-90, particularly at the border with Idaho. Feel free to ask me how I know...

    OK, back with some good stuff in a bit. :)
    #10
  11. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    Here are some trophies/crown jewels up that way, in no particular order. Some of these you may already be familiar with:

    CALIFORNIA
    - Hwy 1
    - The California Redwoods
    - Monterey
    - Sequioa/Kings Canyon NP
    - Yosemite NP
    - Death Valley/Panamint Valley
    - Scottys Castle
    - Mammoth Lakes
    - Lassen NP
    - Lake Tahoe
    - 108/Sonora Pass Hwy
    - 120/Tioga Rd-Big Oak Flat Rd
    - Hwy 395 (great way to move up or down much of the west coast)

    OREGON
    - Crater Lake
    - Diamond Lake Hwy (138/4)
    - The Aufderheide (NF-19)
    - Willamette Nat'l Forest
    - Detroit, OR
    - NF 46/Breitenbush Rd-Clackamas River Rd and 224/Clackamas Hwy from Detroit to Estacada
    - Hwy 101 in southern OR from the CA border north to Reedsport, OR
    - Mount Hood and Hwy 35
    - Interstate 84 along the Columbia River

    I'm sure I'm forgetting something, and I haven't even got to Washington yet.

    Do you subscribe to RoadRunner Magazine? They did a Shamrock Tour in Oregon (using Salem as their base) in their Feb '14 issue. http://www.roadrunner.travel/find/tours/#north-america/usa/or
    #11
  12. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

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    #12
  13. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Jim,

    You know you prompted me to blow the dust off of my Gillian Welch collection. I fed "Time(The Revelator)" into the CD player on the way to work this morning. I think it is almost uncanny how well David's guitar sounds like Gillian's voice. Perfect harmony between instrument and voice. The title track gives me pause...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdYG-Nh_AxU

    Someday we ride, eh?

    JB2
    #13
  14. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

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    Good one. I've been listening a lot to "I Dream a Highway". It reminds me of a lot of Dylan's early stuff (and some later, too). A lot of 'stand-alone' stanzas.

    "What will sustain us through the winter?
    Where did last years lessons go?"


    Someday we ride.
    #14
  15. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

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    #15
  16. Hevy Kevy

    Hevy Kevy ADDRider

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    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap

    Thanks for posting that vid. He's frickin great!!
    #16
  17. Fast Ferris

    Fast Ferris Shift Shaper

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    You're welcome. My twin-brother-from-a-different-mother JB2 turned me on to Malcolm some years back; JB2 and his wife have been big fans for a long time. In June we've got a nine-day Appalachian riding adventure lined up, and Malcolm is playing a gig for us to kick off the event. Can't wait. Malcolm's got a combination CD/DVD coming out called the RCA Sessions, his first-ever DVD - early orders are being accepted beginning today: http://www.malcolmholcombe.com/cds.html


    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Cool that you mention Dylan. I wore out "The Basement Tapes" on Vinyl, 8-track and cassette. I see the parallels. Also very cool that you picked the lines in "Dream A Highway" that caught my ear the first time I heard it. If you really like Gillian's song you may like the song "This Year" by the White Buffalo.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xnil4Um1io

    I've recently become a huge fan of Jake Smith and the White Buffalo. He carves words into pictures and music and delivers them with honest passion. Rare to find a voice, a picker and a writer of his quality all in one person. Like Gillian in some respects, but not the same.

    There's always a line that defines a good song. The one I hear most when the bike is pointed toward home and the journey's end is near...

    Turnin' my back to the wind
    Scratchin' time around my chin
    Deep water frozen under the bridge
    Crossin' my heart to the homeland

    Malcolm Holcombe, "To The Homeland"

    Countin' on that ride. :D
    #18
  19. octavious

    octavious Been here awhile

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    That pic of Price Lake is great. I went to school at ASU and we used to camp off the BRP and fish Price Lake a lot. I was up there on a camping trip last year and thankfully that place never changes.

    Thanks for sharing.
    #19
  20. StriderJim

    StriderJim Adventurer

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    Very welcome. You know it did change for awhile a couple of years ago. They drained it. Never did know why. It got better, though!
    #20