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Artlocks 07-03-2011 01:24 PM

Blue Ridge Trail Explored
 
As prep for a possible TAT trip later in the summer, I decided to try this thing called the Blue Ridge Trail. Due to time limitation ( I had to ride to and from Raleigh, NC) I only did the southern portion, getting on the trail at Buchanan and going down to the single track portion near Damascus.


For navigation I used a 60csx. I recently found this software called GPX2IMG which is like a gift from god. I made one big track of the trail on Mapsource and converted it to an image map. After that all I did was try to keep the black arrow on the image. Never used a map or my brain the whole trip. Actually, most of the time I never knew where I was at.


A big thanks to error cooled for creating this trail. I look forward to doing the northern part sometime soon.


Packed and ready to go.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030871-L.jpg


On the way out.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030872-L.jpg


First sign of dirt
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030874-L.jpg


Overlook
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030875-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030878-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030881-L.jpg


Pines CG. Only $5! Would have been $4 if I had some ones.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030882-L.jpg


A few miles from from the CG, I followed my little black arrow from a smooth dirt road to a rougher, wetter jeep trail.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030887-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030888-L.jpg


This was the first puddle big enough to ponder. For some background, I recently had my hip replaced (re-surfaced). That and the fact that I was alone and heavily loaded was in the back of my mind. I knew I absolutely could not fall or get stuck. Therefore I carefully examined all the options.
Option 1: Go to the left. Not possible due to fence.
Option 2: Go through, but can't tell how deep or muddy it was.
Option 3: Do the bypass shown in the picture below. The mud in the middle was tacky and thick. This should be easy. But if I screwed up and ended in the rut I might be stuck.
Option 4: Go around to the right of Option 3. Too dangerous. There were many ruts, holes, logs etc. hidden in the grass.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030893-L.jpg


I thought I was going to do Option 3, but decided to check out the main puddle at several places with a long stick. I discovered that under the water the surface was actually hard with very little mud.
I did option 2 and it was a piece of cake.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030894-L.jpg


This was the biggest puddle of them all.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030895-L.jpg
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030897-L.jpg


Here I am on the other side. I wish someone was there to film me wheelie-ing through this thing.
Oh, and there were sharks in there too.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030898-L.jpg


Trail views.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030901-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030902-L.jpg


View from high ground.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030903-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030904-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030905-L.jpg


Hogback Ridge Road? These were the biggest power lines I ever saw and I work for a power company.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030906-L.jpg


More Hogback views.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030908-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030911-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030913-L.jpg


Ok, this is steeper than it looks. Maybe 70 degrees as I remember it.
The gate is halfway up the hill so I ride up to read the sign.
Holy crap! When I stop, the bike starts sliding downhill backwards with the wheels locked up!
The WR is so tall I can't touch the ground. All I can do is ride it out until I crash. And going backwards it doesn't take long. Thanks goodness my surgically repaired hip took the brunt of the crash.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030915-L.jpg


I try to lift this up but it won't budge.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030914-L.jpg


I drag the front end around and try again. Still no luck.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030917-L.jpg


I strip off all the luggage but still have little belief that I can lift it.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030918-L.jpg


Lucky for me, a 12yr old girl came by and lifted it for me. Thanks!.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030919-L.jpg


Re-packed and ready to continue.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030920-L.jpg


Cripple Creek mall. You wouldn't believe the stuff they had in there. They should have their own episode on Hoarders.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030921-L.jpg


Raven Cliff CG. Only $5.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030923-L.jpg


Ancient Mayan ruin. From the Jurassic period I think.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030927-L.jpg


Raven Cliff CG.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030931-L.jpg


Favorite part of camping. The fine dining.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030933-L.jpg


Lookout near Corners Rock CG. The trail runs right through this CG.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030940-L.jpg


Lookout view. Unfortunately I never have a camera that is up to my fine photographic skills.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030944-L.jpg


Lookout view. Why am I not smiling? I am having a great time! Maybe I was thinking about the long slab back to Raleigh.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030943-L.jpg


Working my way back to the BR Parkway. New River, Fries, VA.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030945-L.jpg


http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030946-L.jpg




I was lucky with great weather the whole time. A really dark sky and a little rain caught me as I pulled off the BRP to head home. I managed to out run it while pissing off some people with my aggressive driving. The slab back was tiresome.


The riding was great. Except for Hogback Ridge I think I enjoyed the paved parts the most because I could see more. The portion from the end of the trail (start of the single track) to the connection with the BRP was very nice too. Lots of curvy one lane roads both paved and unpaved. I would like to try the singletrack when I am not alone and so burdened.
There was an amazing amount of deer. I encountered deer in the road about 10 times. Now I had a good excuse to ride slow other than my lack of skills.


Here I am back to the motorcycle hell that is Raleigh wishing I was on the BRT.


Thanks to all for reading this. And for those who didn't read, then thanks for not reading.

pbarmy 07-03-2011 01:45 PM

Very cool,makes me want a dual sport!Thanks.(No I dont feel my DL1000 is a"dual sport"):lol3

B3EAR 07-03-2011 05:21 PM

HAHAHAHA!!! Awesome!!!:rofl


Here I am on the other side. I wish someone was there to film me wheelie-ing through this thing.
Oh, and there were sharks in there too.
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030898-L.jpg

lostmarbles 07-03-2011 06:54 PM

great ride report Artlocks :clap

Gaston Gagne 07-03-2011 07:13 PM

One afternoon, I was coming down that road from the top of Round Top, and in a moment of inattentiveness I ended up in the ditch. I didn't have any luggage on at the time, so I got it out of there before the papparazzi showed up.

Hogback can be a harsh mistress. I tore my luggage apart on a tree trying to skirt a puddle out there.

That looks like a good time.

Hughlysses 07-04-2011 06:00 AM

Great ride report! :clap

http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030915-L.jpg

So, what did the sign say?

fredgreen 07-04-2011 06:33 AM

Will your GPX2Img allow you to put a screen shot of your route on your thread...would be cool to see. Great looking trip, wish I had the time to do it..

Artlocks 07-04-2011 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gaston Gagne (Post 16312623)
One afternoon, I was coming down that road from the top of Round Top, and in a moment of inattentiveness I ended up in the ditch. I didn't have any luggage on at the time, so I got it out of there before the papparazzi showed up.

Hogback can be a harsh mistress. I tore my luggage apart on a tree trying to skirt a puddle out there.

That looks like a good time.

I almost crashed going around a puddle on Hogback. There was not a lot of room and the edge was muddy and sloped. I lost control at the exit and almost went over the edge. It was a long way down. If I didn't stop in time I would have been just another waypoint on the Blue Ridge Trail. Riders would be stopping at that spot to piss over the edge in remembrance of Artlocks.

Artlocks 07-04-2011 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hughlysses (Post 16314945)
Great ride report! :clap

http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030915-L.jpg

So, what did the sign say?

Here is a closer up. I think this was Round Mtn road. Does anyone know if this is usually open? Is this road really part of the BRT or did I make a mistake?
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030916-L.jpg

Sound Farm 07-04-2011 08:45 AM

Nice Report!
anymore info on the trail itself. I visited Great Smoky Mountains and the Asheville area last year and just loved it. I actually am trying to make moves to move my butt down there. It is just beautiful !!! I didnt about this trail though- any extra info would be great. I rode the BRP alot wen I was down there - just amazing

error cooled 07-04-2011 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Artlocks (Post 16315648)
Here is a closer up. I think this was Round Mtn road. Does anyone know if this is usually open? Is this road really part of the BRT or did I make a mistake?
http://artlocks.smugmug.com/Category...P1030916-L.jpg

Looks like a blast. Round Mtn is temporaily closed according to John Hairston at the USFS while they have heavy equipment on the road trail building. I came through there on the 20th of June and saw the same thing. No firm reopening date at the moment. The alternate is to take FDR610 into Burkes Garden.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5272/...3d5e94359f.jpg

screamin injin 07-05-2011 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sound Farm (Post 16315733)
Nice Report!
anymore info on the trail itself. I visited Great Smoky Mountains and the Asheville area last year and just loved it. I actually am trying to make moves to move my butt down there. It is just beautiful !!! I didnt about this trail though- any extra info would be great. I rode the BRP alot wen I was down there - just amazing


error cooled put this together, BRP, very nice riding.

Motor 1 07-13-2011 02:33 PM

:lol3 Very entertaining RR. If u can ride that stuff u can pretty much do all the TAT imho. Are ur saddle bags (Dirt Bags)?

mbabc 07-14-2011 02:40 PM

Cool - love it.

LisaS 07-15-2011 05:11 AM

enjoyed your ride report! Looks like a lot of fun!
Agreed that the wr is heavy- my husband as a DR650 and it only weighs 30 pounds more.
Have you done any lowering on your bike- I'm 5'2" and was able to lower the bike 5 inches-even with heel lifts in my boots, I would still like it a bit lower, but at least I can get one foot down solidly or 2 on balls of feet.


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