Winter Blues and Tennessee Clay

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by BushPig6, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Hey Folks,

    It’s 16 degrees out and snowing here in PA, so I’ve decided to crack a beer next to the fire and write a ride report for you all...

    I had a 2 week winter trip planned after New Years. Every winter I take my truck, camper and bike somewhere south where it’s warmer. Usually NC, TN , and once to AZ.

    Winter has been pretty warm so far this year, but it was time to kick up some southern clay. This time I decided to take my Dr650 to the Smoky Mountains.

    Day 1 - January 8th

    Heading on 78 west towards Harrisburg, PA I hit heavy winds and snow squalls. I pulled over at Sheetz “Shits or Shartz” as I call it and it passed within 15 minutes.


    Made it down to Chambersburg PA area. Got my supplies for the week and looked for a campground. Really annoying to find an open campground with hook ups in the winter time. But, found Twin Bridge Campground was open. Nice open area and the owners were nice.
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    Day 2 - January 9th

    Woke up around 6am to a sunny but cold day. Stopped at Dual Sport Armory in Winchester VA, where I’ve bought parts for the DR online before. Turns out they’ve closed the retail store and are only online now. Don’t blame ya’s.

    Made it to another campground near Harrisonburg, VA. Snow was still on the ground, but the temps weren’t too bad. Went for a quick ride before the sun went down and hit some back roads mixed with some dirt mountain roads.

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    Day 3 - January 10th

    Made it down to Baileyton, TN. It was about 65 degrees and sunny. Set up shop and had about 2 hours to ride. I found some dirt roads going over the mountains behind me. Finally felt comfortable to ride and not freezing my arse off.

    Came back to camp and had a fire, beer and my homemade beef jerky. Ready to go to sleep and hit some good roads in the morning before I continue on.

    Change of plans...I woke up at 12 midnight to a couple cop cars roughly 20’ from my camper shining a light in some crazy lady’s face. She was ranting about how she was innocent while they were searching her. I thought how funny it would be to come out of the camper in my underwear and shout “what’s all this racket out here, I’m trying to sleep!” Like I own the place, ha. They ended up towing her car sometime during the night.

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    To be continued...I’ll post some more soon...Lots more riding to come...
    #1
  2. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

    Joined:
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    Love the set up you have.
    #2
  3. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Forecast predicts nights in the teens for Turtletown for the next few days. Time to sit by the fireplace and think about summer in the smokies.

    Bob
    #3
  4. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Day 4 - January 11th

    Stepped outside my camper and it was warmer outside with the sun coming up. Made some coffee per usual, got my gear on and hit some mountain roads again.

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    I really like some of these back roads they have in the mountains down here. Even if they are paved, they’re basically single lane roads running along a stream in a valley. I was very surprised they weren’t dirt though.

    Made one more stop before heading back to load up the bike. Unfortunately this fine establishment was closed...What a bummer. Ha.

    Checked the weather and it’s not looking good. It said a high of 40’s in a few days which was about the same as back in PA.
    Unfortunately, I had to start heading back home until warmer weather.
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    I was sick of driving all highway on 81, so I decided to take my time driving along route 11. The “scenic route.” Never as good as riding the bike. But, I can’t complain—I’m basically towing a house behind me.

    Made it to Fort Chiswell, VA today and a pretty big storm is supposed to come through tonight. I rode around a little then cracked a couple beers while waiting for the storm.

    Within a couple hours it was pouring rain and the wind was relentless. Further south I heard they had tornadoes, so I was a little uneasy being in the middle of a valley in a “lightweight” trailer. I blasted some music and played guitar until it finally passed. Luckily the DR was parked on the opposite side of the camper or it would have blown away in the wind! Just glad to be alive really. Ha.

    Day 5 - January 12th

    The sun was already drying everything up from the night before. Within an hour I was back on the road heading north.

    Made it to Natural Bridge, VA today. Really nice area with that rolling hills Virginia feel to it. Stayed at a KOA and should have took way more pictures of the camper setup. Each spot was on a hill and had its own small deck with a fire pit. Really clean with small cabins too.

    I already scoped out some good roads on the map and it was really warm today. So, I geared up and started ripping some mountain roads again.

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    Stopped at “The Pink Cadillac Diner” for lunch. Not bad and I didn’t have to cook. Ended the night with a fire and some cold Yuengling.

    Day 6 - January 13th

    This morning was pretty chilly. Bout 40 degrees and cloudy. Took the DR on more random roads and found some nice dirt also. My hands were frozen but it’s still warmer than PA, ha.

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    I was itching to hit some trails, so I found “Peters Mill Run / Taskers Gap” near Woodstock, VA. They also had a campground at the start of the trails.

    $5 to ride and free camping!! Wtf! Bought a permit at the gas station and stocked up on supplies. Too easy!

    The road was tight and sketchy getting to the campground, but good thing the rig is small. Campground was tight as well. Hit the trails with a few hours of sunlight left.

    Muddy, sandy and rocky...just the way I like it. One main trail for about 10 miles with some rough trails that went up the sides of the mountain. A lot more trails there I didn’t get to hit.Time to clean the ol chain. That sand is nasty. We don’t have much of that in PA. But, it’s fun to rip on. Unfortunately, I was too busy and didn’t get pictures of the trail.

    There was still daylight, so I decided to move to another campground only 10 minutes away. It was off of the mountain and a lot easier on the rig. Beat from the long day, I crashed at 8pm.

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    More posts in a bit...

    Attached Files:

    #4
  5. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

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    Thanks! It works well. The truck I use for work and everything else. The camper is only 3,000 lbs, so easy to tow. And the DR, well you know...
    #5
  6. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

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    Thanks Bob. Yeah, sucks to cut the trip short. But, hopefully soon the weather will be decent again and I can head out.
    #6
  7. EGR

    EGR n00b

    Joined:
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    Location:
    TNsticks
    FWIW. Maybe 20 years ago TN passed law that mandated if school bus uses a road it must be paved. Period. Since TN is balanced budget-period-TDOT has funds & wayback roads are paved. We’ve got a wintertime cold sunny day slow KLR and have to go to next counties East to nearest interesting unpaved sections. One actually has, woohoo, water...
    #7
  8. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

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    Ahh, that makes sense. Nice and twisty roads down that way. Always great riding there.
    #8
  9. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

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    Day 7 - January 14th

    Packed up early this morning and headed to Denny’s for breakfast. Light rain and foggy coming down the mountains near Front Royal, VA.

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    Made it back to Chambersburg, PA area. Weather says cloudy, but looks like 100% rain. I got a spot to camp in the Michaux SF area. I’ve been through here before multiple times on the bike, but haven’t really explored too much.

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    I ripped down Birch Run rd to Long Pine Run Reservoir. Really nice area and well kept. Raining harder now, I headed back to the rig. Made some coffee and cranked the heat. Ended up deciding to go home since I’m only 2 1/2 hours away from home.

    I didn’t get many pics due to the rain, but I’ll definitely be back to riding this area when it’s nicer.

    MABDR / NEBDR coming this year and also the TAT!!!
    #9
  10. fried okra

    fried okra Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    VA/TN/FL
    Nice to see a Triumph tag on the front of the Chevy.....you've got some old Triumphs maybe too?
    #10
  11. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

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    Ahhh, Unfortunately I don’t. Tiger 800 as of now. One of these days though...
    #11
  12. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

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    You have any?
    #12
  13. fried okra

    fried okra Been here awhile

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    Apr 7, 2007
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    Location:
    VA/TN/FL
    I'm down to 5 now, four of the 500cc ones from 1969 to 1972 and a 1964 Tiger Cub.

    I had 5-6 more, 650cc and 750cc single and twin carb versions.

    The old right shift 500c bikes were where I started and that's what works best for me now.
    #13
  14. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    I enjoyed your ride report and thanks for sharing.

    Eric
    #14
  15. EGR

    EGR n00b

    Joined:
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    TNsticks
    ”Made it down to Baileyton, TN. “

    next time stick it out couple more hours TravellingSW on the slab. get over W of Cumberland Plateau or into NGA. Upper ETN, SWVA, WNC are all in the exact same climate zone as Chambersburg. Altitude.

    Get down to below 1k ft elevation. Plenty of good camping & roads. You can ride back up hill in warm & stay low in cold.

    Last ice age I was living just N of you near Huntingdon PA. Moved to Bristol. More snow there than in PA.
    #15
    BushPig6 likes this.
  16. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

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    Thanks Eric, more to come this spring.
    #16
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  17. BushPig6

    BushPig6 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the info. Watching the weather everyday, waiting for 50’s, ha.
    #17