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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    We are really roughing it here, similar to the early settlers who first came here several centuries ago. At least temps in the 80's today will help us in our excursion.
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    #41
  2. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Today started sunny and warm. Mid to upper 80's predicted. Too bad the battery in Tracey's Versys didn't warm up to the occasion. So our late start had it's first stop at AutoZone. Our plan was a scenic trip east on the south side of Lake James State Park. Well, we got lost, thankfully on some very nice roads, but without a lake view. Our 40 mile trip for lunch was 75 miles. But we're on vacation - who cares. Finally arrived at Judges Riverside Restaurant along the Catawba River in Morganton, NC, that was highly recommended by the RV Park owner. And it did not disappoint! This afternoons ride was going to be a struggle in staying awake.
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    #42
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  3. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Our plan now was to head north to BRP, go west until the Marion exit, and head south back to base camp. We took 181 north, with long sweeping curves as we climbed in altitude towards BRP. Spectacular weather with spectacular views.
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    #43
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  4. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    We got on the BRP near Linville, NC, same place that I did yesterday. Except today was 20 degrees warmer. Much better.
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    #44
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  5. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    We made a drink stop in Little Switzerland. And we decided to have dessert - homemade pie and cake. I had my strawberry rhubarb pie ala mode - scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. Two-thumbs-up from all.
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    #45
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  6. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    We wandered in a food coma a few more miles on BRP, and then headed down 80 back to base camp. Total for the day was 142 miles. A warm, sunny, perfect day in the mountains.

    Did I mention that our RV Camp also had an r/c flying field? Right off our front porch. My buddies had packed their electric r/c helicopters once they found out. So they both got a few flights in before dusk. I wish I could have brought an r/c airplane of mine too. IMG_0872.JPG IMG_0874.JPG

    Attached Files:

    #46
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  7. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Ah, springtime. The birds start chirping, the grass turns green, and the flowers grow. And bloom. Spring = pollen = allergies. And I'm dieing. For today's ride I'll be hopped up on 3 different meds and nasal spray. Plan is to ascend to the BRP, and head southwest to Asheville. Here's the first sign we saw leaving the campground and up NC 80. It's going to be a good day.
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    This is the overflow at Lake Tahoma Dam, which feeds the trout stream that runs behind our motor home.
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    #47
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  8. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    As we climbed, it not only got cooler, but the springtime pollutants diminished. Here at the eastern continental divide (elev 3350), the trees leaves were full. The southern roadside weed staple kudzu must not like altitude, so the crowd favorite dandelions are taking over here.
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    #48
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  9. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Our BRP trek will take us to Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the eastern US. We passed thru several tunnels during our climb.
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    At 4600 ft, the trees are just starting to bud. which means very little pollen! I can breathe the mountain air, Man! IMG_0891.JPG

    At 5160 ft, very little bloom. And looking towards Mt. Mitchell, nothing but evergreens and deadfalls await us. IMG_0892.JPG
    #49
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  10. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Mt. Mitchell, at 6684 ft, is the highest peak in the eastern US. This is as high as we got, the parking lot. And temps had dropped 20+ degrees. A crisp clear morning! IMG_0894.JPG
    It was a 300 yard hike to the summit. I missed working out last night again, and that makes almost 37 years in a row. And the first person over 55 that attempted the summit didn't quite make it. We heeded the warning. We decided riding a motorcycle was safer. IMG_0897.JPG
    #50
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  11. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Sierra Nevada Brewery was our lunch destination. They didn't serve Michelob Light (got a smile from waitress), so I had a tea. Duck fat fries, hot pretzels & pimento beer cheese, farmhouse burger, bangers and mash, and ham & pineapple pizza were sampled and very good. Food coma again! IMG_0898.JPG

    A view of the back deck. An amphitheater was down below. IMG_0899.JPG
    #51
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  12. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    The return trip was uneventful and nothing to brag about. Logged 144 miles today. I'm over 1600 miles for this trip. Time to plan tomorrow's excursion.
    #52
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  13. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    Weds we did the BRP and Asheville thing. Thurs will be a different theme.
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    #53
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  14. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    We climbed back north up and across the BRP via NC 226/226A, a leg of the loop know as Diamondback, and peaked at Little Switzerland. Dropping down the other side, we came upon a North Carolina Mining Museum and Emerald Village. A Homeschool group field trip was there, with students panning for gemstones and polished rock. Three different mine shafts were visible, with old discarded mining equipment from days gone by.
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    #54
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  15. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    We then hit NC 80, heading for lunch at Bonnie & Clydes Drive-In near Bakersville, NC. Noticed this old car in it's final resting place on a hillside. May have been a moonshine runner or a revenuer in pursuit, but someone didn't make the turn at the top of the hill.
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    Bonnie & Clydes was packed full of locals when we arrived, which was a great sign. And we were not disappointed.
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    The crowd had mostly cleared when we finished. IMG_0924.JPG
    #55
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  16. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    I've been tossing around the idea of resto-modding an old 50's 5-window truck. Here is a good example of a Dodge 5-window with split windshield.
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    #56
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  17. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    We crossed into TN for a short while making our loop to head back south.
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    We passed a large compound with razor wire fences, thinking it was a maximum security prison. But the parking lots were packed full of cars. Too many to be a prison workforce. Then I saw why.
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    #57
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  18. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    This was our view heading into TN
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    This was our view leaving TN. IMG_0940.JPG
    #58
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  19. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    We did manage to stop at this waterfall before we encountered bad weather.
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    I climbed (slid) my way down for a better look. Told Tracey he may need to call 911 Mountain Rescue to get me back out of there.
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    I successfully made the ascent without ropes or help.
    #59
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  20. BuckeyeDoug

    BuckeyeDoug Not a Pirate

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    We hit the storm in Burnsville, NC. We hung out at a gas station for 30 minutes, then trekked on. We took NC 80 all the way back to base camp. Road was very wet, but we got dumped on pretty hard the last several miles. I had put my rain suit on, but not my booties. Mistake. My left boot is no longer waterproof, and it does retain water. The rain passed and sun came out 15 minutes later. Figures.
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    We logged 147 miles of mostly twisty roads. A good day, even though the rain dampened the last leg. I think we may go south on Friday, as same afternoon storms are expected to the north.
    #60
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