spur of the moment Skyline to Deal's Gap

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by numist, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. numist

    numist fool

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    sfbay
    Last night, Dezmo's cat took an interest in my stuff. To a kitten, everything is a toy!

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    Today Dezmo had the day off, so he took me out and we put on some good miles.

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    Not many pictures from the ride though, we were too busy having a blast in the hills. We did spot this face off at a gas stop.

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    Unfortunately there was no fight to the death. Instead, they were competing to see who could put up the most advertisements for their company. Boo.

    We had to cut the riding short, because the actual map for today looks like this.

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    The folks at MR were kind enough to let me stow the bike there while I'm gone, and I asked—if they have some free time—if they could put on some new tires and oil because we don't want a repeat of Colorado. Everyone wins!

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    While at the airport, I whipped out my Holga Hipstamatic and got this shot of my most adorable little plane. Actually I don't know why I took this picture other than it caught my eye.

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    That's it for today. I probably won't have anything interesting tomorrow, but on Saturday the ride continues!
    #21
  2. MotorToad

    MotorToad SuperChicken

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    St. Joe, California
    Brown-nosing for a spot in the highlights, I see. :) I think the Cali plates would have been enough.

    You owe me 25¢ for the use of "Hawklette." :p

    I first "met" Dezmo in '00 or so on IRC and when I moved to BHam I had a chance to ride a few times with him at the Gap. A motorcycle superenthusiast.
    #22
  3. Dezmo

    Dezmo Ill fix it

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Thank you.

    Numist: got the oil changed today, your tires showed up this afternoon, Ill swap them out in the AM.
    #23
  4. numist

    numist fool

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    sfbay
    I usually don't shill myself quite so hard, but it fit the rule: stickers go on the bike if it's a route I've been or if I've gotten something for free from them. at least that way I can maintain perceived moral superiority over the people who pay for sponsorship-style stickers and cover their bikes with them.

    the 25¢ is yours, but you've got to meet me in person to collect :deal

    thanks! those tires have been a treat!

    if you folks need service around Asheville, ask for Tex at MR Motorcycle and it'll get done right. :clap


    sure is. he beat the crap out of me on the Rattler.
    #24
  5. numist

    numist fool

    Joined:
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    Sorry for the late update, I spent last night at Station's Inn and had no cell reception or internet. How refreshing. Anyway, tonight's a two-day update and covers a whirlwind of travel.

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    But here's the part we care about from yesterday.

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    It was cold. Really cold. I pulled off at one of the visitor's centers on BRP to warm my bones by the wood-burning stove that heated the place while flurries of snow teased us outside.

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    Oh come on, that numist is a wimp. How cold could it be?

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    It was cold. See the windchill? That's 22°F standing still. And me without real winter gear.

    It was pretty, though.

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    Really pretty.

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    The whole day pretty much went like this.

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    I pulled into Boone at 6pm or so, hoping to call it an early day and get a hot shower, but the restaurant I pulled into was packed and Milami reported that every hotel was full or only had suites available at $180 and up a night. Something about a Wizard of Oz festival. As I was considering pitching my tent and chattering myself to sleep on the side of the road, she found Station's Inn, which was about 60 miles North just off the parkway and had plenty of space. Perfect.

    Her finding hotels and motorcycle shops and book flights while I'm on the road has been super helpful, this trip would not be nearly as relaxed and successful without her. Especially since my phone was out of battery after the night and day's travels. Thanks Milami!

    The room was full of road warrior/biker type stuff.

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    And the parking was convenient, too!

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    The whole row was like this, back behind a restaurant nice and cozy.

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    At breakfast I spotted this place across the street. Not sure if they're serious—there's a lot of bad marriage jokes to be made here.

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    Breakfast done, here's today's route.

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    After a BRP closure due to construction, Virginia came quickly after that.

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    And the views continued. This is the last wide vista, I promise.

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    At one of the overlooks, there was a lot of cars, so I pulled off to see what they were looking at.

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    Turns out they were birders—more accurately they're hawkers, if that's a word. A sign in the parking lot explained.

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    At the James River visitor's center I got off and had a short hike. There's a pedestrian bridge built under the BRP traffic bridge!

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    From which a good view of the river can be had.

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    At the other side is a reproduced lock of the old canals that used to be in the area, but the real show was the view from the ground.

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    Inside the visitor's center there was a Mileage & Route Information box that predated the interstate system, so if you're looking for directions to the interstate you should look elsewhere—perfect for me!

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    I thought this sign was odd. It may as well read "STUNTERS ONLY!"

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    In the background is another sign that reads spiral curve. While "spiral curve" obviously means "decreasing radius corner", the picture sure doesn't make sense. They should be using a sign more like the fishhook in Santa Cruz.

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    Now that's how you advertise a DR corner!

    Towards the end of BRP the GPS I bought from GSJon crashed twice and hung once, and to recover from a hang you have to pull the battery out, which requires a 2mm allen. Luckily I came across a tool shed and got it sorted. I have my directions written out on a notepad in my tank bag, but the GPS is darn convenient.

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    I'm at Shenandoah Valley Campgrounds tonight, tomorrow the journey home begins. I'm going to miss it out here in biking nirvana.
    #25
  6. Katoom119

    Katoom119 Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,843
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Very cool. Stations Inn is where the ADV Eastern Rendezvous has been for the last couple of years. There's some really good riding out that way. Don't know if it'll be there again this year or if it'll move.
    #26
  7. numist

    numist fool

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    sfbay
    It was hard getting out of bed this morning, I was sure that my clock was a few hours fast because it was still dark out when my backup alarm went off (backup because the sun is supposed to be my alarm :shakeyfist). A look outside told why—rain!

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    But it's day 15, and I'm not about to get discouraged by a little weather, especially on my way home to 'lami, so I put on miles until it was dark and I didn't have a lead cage to run interference for deer.

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    The route I'm taking home from BRP comes courtesy JJ of MO/SIL MSTA, but reversed. He picked a good one, too.

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    One of the nice things about overcast days is that it makes for good picture taking.

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    Post offices in Virginia aren't modern buildings like in California, or pre-fabs like I saw elsewhere in the country. No siree, out here they're made out of wood or brick or history.

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    Went through a lot of forest today, reminded me of Woodside. Just gorgeous. I hope it comes through in the picture.

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    One thing I first noticed in Tennessee was that postal vehicles aren't the standard Grumman LLVs that I'm used to seeing in California. Apparently you can use whatever you want out here, as long as it's right-hand drive. I saw a lot of RHD cherokees and a couple sedans. Freaked me out every time.

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    Today had a good variety of road, from trail to semi-slab.

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    And I had to stop and take a picture when I saw this.

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    For completeness, it even had Florida tags.

    In Ohio I was treated to some river views.

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    Always wanted to take a picture like this.

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    Toward the end of the day, I happened upon a Tim Horton's. I was so excited I couldn't even take a clear picture. Also, the signs were really bright. Yay Timmies!

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    I also passed by what looked like a scrap sorting/processing yard, but I really don't know. It looked cool though.

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    As I mentioned earlier, I rode until relatively late tonight. The slab-like section of the trip was only a few miles, and then it was back to the state highways. Once all the cars had turned off, I ran out of nerve after all the deer I encountered on the parkway on day 13, so I pulled off into a driveway of a house whose lights were on and asked if I could camp in their yard.

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    As I set up my tent, the neighbour's kitten came by and started attacking my tent poles. Again: to a kitten, everything is a toy!

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    Luckily the little bastard hasn't attacked my fully-constructed tent yet.

    And here we are at the end of the day, with an extension cord for power and everything. I couldn't ask for better hosts.

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    See you folks tomorrow for what's probably day the last of this trip.
    #27
  8. numist

    numist fool

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    35
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    Up with the sun this morning, and it was cold! I boiled a cup of tea and that was enough to fight off the morning chills.

    Now that it's light out I can better explain how I picked this place from its neighbours. First, two garages. The one on the left belongs to the lady of the house, and the one on the right is MAN LAND, full of tools and big screen TV and industrial equipment and three antique bikes. Milami, if you're reading this…

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    My spot in the madness, on the front lawn.

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    I counted no less than four John Deere units around the property, all pretty old. I love the look of the headlights behind the grille on these things.

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    Today's route was pretty boring, a straight shot home, no interstates until East St Louis.

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    I'd half-assed checking this route after I'd programmed it into the GPS, so once in a while it told me to do something like this. Remember this if you're ever using intersections as via points and the two roads don't actually intersect without ramps.

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    To those that know me, it should come as no surprise that I followed these directions and took all four cloverleafs. Not because I'm good at following directions, but because I was tired of going straight.

    Now, having been raised in Canada, California, and New England, I'd never been exposed to church signs as they exist in The South. I first learned about them due to Ryland's church sign maker, but the true severity of them didn't really sink in until I was well into Tennessee.

    So it was fitting that I ran into this guy in Illinois, as I was almost home.

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    That's god damn right.
    #28
  9. numist

    numist fool

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
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    sfbay
    The park rangers said two weeks and it will look like fall. If you like slow traffic, that's the time to go.

    The owner is trying to sell, so maybe one of you should buy it and turn it into an ADV base camp!
    #29
  10. nashopolis

    nashopolis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    802
    Location:
    Nashville, Tenn
    Saw you passed through Nashville - next time holler at me and I'll say howdy! thanks for the ride Report!
    #30
  11. MotorToad

    MotorToad SuperChicken

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    St. Joe, California
    So I'm thinking it's time to finally catch an action shot of the mighty cross-country numist trip, perusing killboy.com's highlights page... and... disappoint.






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    Oh, look! It's some sort of ER650/DN-01 hybrid. On its kickstand. Again! :lol3
    #31
  12. numist

    numist fool

    Joined:
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    sfbay
    no problem. next time the plan is definitely to spend more time traveling and maybe even more time planning! :lol3

    here, from the same set:

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    #32
  13. MotorToad

    MotorToad SuperChicken

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    St. Joe, California
    Revisiting this thread is pretty freaking weird. Now all the things at the start are familiar surroundings and the pictures of Deal's Gap are things from distant memories. And I rode that very same Hawklette not two months ago. Now, about that 25¢...
    #33
  14. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,520
    Location:
    New Haven, Ct.

    Dude….your wife looks like that... & you left?…..not once but TWICE?
    There's something wrong with young fellows these days.
    #34
  15. numist

    numist fool

    Joined:
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    Not to worry, she left me this spring.

    MotorToad: yeah, this thread is a weird walk down memory lane. About time to go on another trip, I think. As for the 25¢, I think I've paid you back in gas already :p
    #35
    MotorToad likes this.