Yankee Go(ing) Home AL-OH

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BuckeyeDoug, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    I logged 95 miles yesterday wandering around my old haunts. Brings back some good memories of the times before I moved away in 1989.

    I was supposed to start my first leg to Asheville, NC today, but mother nature started crying again last night. I'll finish the plaster repair and painting in family room this morning, then formulate a plan based on weather forecast.

    Took a small hike with friends at a place called Raven Rocks in Amish country yesterday afternoon. I had never been here before. A mini canyon for Ohio standards.
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    Look at how these trees, as saplings, grew near the cliff edge. At sometime they were nearly pushed over, then grew back upwards to reach the sunlight. Nature sure is amazing at adaptation.
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    #21
  2. WECSOG

    WECSOG Dirt Road Denizen

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    Those burial mounds are interesting. I've been to the one in Miamisburg a few times.
    #22
  3. WECSOG

    WECSOG Dirt Road Denizen

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    :photog:jack
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  4. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Sunday morning was gloomy and cold, low 40's. But the weather forecast predicted clearing skies and low 50's. So I decided to get halfway to our Asheville, NC command post, with my target destination of White Sulphur Springs, WV. I departed Mom's at noon, and headed down to the Ohio River for lunch. Gulla's Hot Dogs is in my parents hometown of Bellaire, OH. I was born less than a mile away, and my Dad was a teacher there, so I'm sure I've been going here since 1963. A neat family owned business that has survived the ups and downs of the local economy. But none for me, they were closed on Sundays. That abandoned train trestle crosses the Ohio River into WV, built in the 1800's when the B&O Railroad established a rail line thru the area.
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    #24
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  5. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    I need to retire and become a weather forecaster. Get paid, always wrong, and never held accountable. A perfect retirement job!

    Today would be cold. Never above 50 degrees until late in the day. The first 5 hours are in fog/clouds/drizzle. I failed to remember that WV gains altitude as you head south into the Monongahala National Forest, and altitude means colder. So pictures are few and far between. I have always been intrigued with the different architectures used in construction of the old county courthouses. Fairmont, WV, was one of my warm-up stops. Construction completed in 1900.
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    Underground coal mining has long been a staple of the WV economy. I passed several memorials along this route honoring those who perished in that endeavor. Here is one of the monuments in Philippi, WV.
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    Philippi also is home to the first 2-lane covered bridge I've ever seen. This historic bridge was also involved in the first ground battle of the Civil War. Unfortunately, my rolling pic of the interior was a blurr, but it was divided with huge wooden beam trusswork. Too cool.
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    #25
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  6. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    The altitude climbed to nearly 3500 ft, with my climb peaking at the entrance to one of the eastern US ski resorts, Snowshoe. I wanted to continue up, but slow going in the weather had me behind schedule. Pic or I wasn't there......
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    Sunshine?!?! What's that?!?! This is the first I've seen it this whole trip. And wow, how scenic.
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    #26
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  7. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Here is an amazing geological formation, the Devils Backbone Anticline
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    #27
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  8. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    My final destination today was White Sulphur Springs, home of the Greenbrier bunker (and hotel and golf course). To my dismay, the guard wouldn't let me in, as motorcycles are not allowed due to horses on the grounds and the fear of spooking them. Bummer. I may try to get back there today and walk around.
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    I rode on to Lewisburg, WV for the night. Total miles logged was 280. Much more tolerable than 700!!!! Today's run to Asheville will be under 300 miles too. Time to see what Mother Nature has in store for me..........
    #28
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  9. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Day 5 started same as days 1-4: cold mid 40's and overcast. So no return to Greenbrier. It felt warmer at the hotel than it actually was, so my first stop was a mile down the road to put my overpants and glove liners on.
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    My second stop was 5 miles further. Found a double tunnel railroad trestle. Notice one tunnel is smaller than the other. I first thought pedestrian, and I was half right.
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    And that was a strong flowing stream. Another first for me. IMG_0808.JPG
    #29
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  10. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Spring bloom is a little bit behind this year at altitude.
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    Saw more of these signs than I did speed limit signs today. Good stuff. IMG_0813.JPG

    The skies started to open up as I approached VA. That would be a welcome sight.
    #30
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  11. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    The western end of VA started to flatten out some, with long sweeper turns that I could actually exceed the 55 mph limit. And my south west direction followed between the ridge lines. But still very scenic, and since valley roads are always next to streams, it was cold. It started warming up as the altitude dipped below 2000 ft ASL and spotty blue skies appeared.
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    Attached Files:

    #31
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  12. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Burke's Garden in Tazewell County, VA. A bowl of pasture land at 3000 ft altitude completely surrounded by mountains. Formed by the collapse of underground caverns, it appears to be a volcano. Google it, pretty neat story. IMG_0829.JPG

    Aerial view from sign IMG_0830.JPG

    And the access road was very twisty too. IMG_0819.JPG

    This is the view 360 degrees. Amazing. IMG_0821.JPG

    Amish have moved back in and do a lot of farming up there. IMG_0826.JPG
    #32
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  13. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Now my route shifted south, and I needed to get across 5-6 ridgelines to get down to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Well, there just happens to be one of those roads with a fancy name and stickers and t-shirts: The Back of the Dragon. VA 16 is a 30-mile roller coaster from Tazewell to Marion, VA. This sign was at the southern end.
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    Once again, the cold weather clothes stayed on as the altitude was increasing. The blue skies are deceiving.
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    #33
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  14. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Dipped into the eastern tip of TN, about 30 miles east of Bristol, for about an hour. Very scenic along this stream. Trout fishermen were trying to get some spring trout in a few locations. IMG_0837.JPG IMG_0838.JPG IMG_0839.JPG .
    #34
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  15. Bhart89

    Bhart89 Long timer Supporter

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    Love the pics! Keep them coming.
    #35
  16. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Warmth. Finally. Shed the leather and fullface helmet for mesh and half helmet. Mid 70's. Crossed into NC and weather was great.
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    Linville, NC. Very scenic (and expensive). But the altitude was climbing as I approached the BRP. And it was getting colder. Again. IMG_0844.JPG IMG_0845.JPG

    Attached Files:

    #36
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  17. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Picked up the BRP east of Linville. At 4100 ft ASL, I had to stop and go back to the cold weather gear. And as always, the BRP never disappoints.
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    #37
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  18. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Made it to base camp at Buck Creek RV Park in Marion, NC around 5pm. Logged almost 300 miles today. Forgot to take a pic of base camp. We will be riding loops in all directions thru Saturday, hitting the twisty roads as well as the scenic. Stay tuned.
    #38
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  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Great writeup and pictures so far Doug. Now you are in the middle of some of the best riding in the country. I'm jealous! Looking forward to the rest of your report.
    #39
  20. Snapper33

    Snapper33 Globetrotter Supporter

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    The NC, SC, GA, VA, TN, WV region is my favorite part of the US. Great report, ready for more.
    #40