A desert rat explores the south.
I've been posting a lot of day trips lately. I noticed a few other inmates have started one long thread to cover all their travels. I figure I'd do the same instead of having 25 different day trip posts.
A little background. A year ago I left Arizona and moved to Charleston, South Carolina. This place is about as different as a place could be from my home in Flagstaff, Arizona. When I got here I also picked up a vstrom and a KLR. The vstrom was really my first true street bike and the beginning of my transition from a daily commuter and a dirt rider. To someone who goes on road rides for a couple hundred miles or a few days. Up until yesterday I also had a honda silver wing that I'd use for the occasional foray. The Silver Wing was a cool bike but not great for two people. It has definitely rekindled my interest in scooters though, and I'm thinking a zuma might be my next bike.
So here are my travels around the south. It's a damn pretty place and a great place to ride. I take a lot of photos as pretty much everywhere down here is new to me and I want to document it all before I get used to it and it no longer seems so special.
I'll start off by putting all my old threads in here then adding new stuff as it happens.
Silver Wing in the Marsh by dsrphotography, on Flickr
No this isn't a very adventurous ride report. My back has been bothering me so I haven't ridden much this week. When I woke up it was very foggy and we've been having some high tides so I thought it might be a good time to go for a spin and check out the beach and marsh. I probably didn't ride more than 15 miles exploring my little island.
Also went 100 miles south later in the day to check out another beach...thought I'd add the pics as well.
Oyster Shell beach by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Birds in the Marsh by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Silver Wing with dolphins fishing in the background by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A cool road out to the marsh by dsrphotography, on Flickr
More of the same road by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Shrimp boats docked by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Bridge working posing for me by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Bridge construction even on Sunday by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Workers putting together steel frame by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Colorful Bridge construction by dsrphotography, on Flickr
I've not seen the water this high since hurricane Irene by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Walking right into the surf by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Getting past the breakers by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Heading home again. by dsrphotography, on Flickr
I'm finally taking my Silverwing on a trip! In the past few weeks I've been on ebay getting all my camping gear. Now that I've got it all together its time to hit the road! I'm not going very far. Just from my house in Charleston SC down to Fernandina beach Florida. I'll be taking back roads and stopping to grab geocaches on the way. This little trip will bring me through Beaufort Sc, Savannah, Jekyll island, and finally to Fort Clinch state park. Here are the pics.
Stopping on the Edisto river for a drink and to add another layer. by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Fisherman heading up the Edisto for some trout and redfish by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Stopping at Sandy beach to look for sharks teeth by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Found this geocache along the marsh at Sandy Beach by dsrphotography, on Flickr
The water was like a lake. by dsrphotography, on Flickr
The watch tower at the Port Royal boardwalk by dsrphotography, on Flickr
The view from the watchtower at Port Royal by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A fisherman heading out in his skif by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Finding a geocache along the Port Royal Boardwalk by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Port Royal Boardwalk and watchtower by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A rice mill on the Butler plantation, also the hiding spot for a geocache by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Scooter at Jekyll island Campground by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Jekyll Island campground by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A feeder creek on Jekyll Island by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Another creek view by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Looking out over the harbor by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A cool bridge at the mouth of the creek by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Fisherman on the bridge by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Exploring some of the dirt roads on the island by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A breakfast of biscuits and gravy, while watching the sun rise by dsrphotography, on Flickr
One of the many beach front bike paths on the Island by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Just another gratuitous shot of the silver wing by dsrphotography, on Flickr
I brought all this crap on the scooter by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A view of the fishing boats in Derry Georgia by dsrphotography, on Flickr
The water front in Derry Georgia by dsrphotography, on Flickr
One of the many creepy old houses in Derry Georgia by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A buffalo farm along route 17 by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Met this cool little kitty at the Buffalo farm by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A little Donkey at the Buffalo farm by dsrphotography, on Flickr
It was in the 70s Saturday so we decided to go for a ride through the National Forest. The plan was to check out the visitors center and look for some geocaches while exploring the dirt roads. As soon as we got to the national forest it became apparent that it was hunting season. There was hunting trucks along the roads and packs of hounds. No big deal I thought. I can still cruise down the dirt roads. I just won't go into the woods. We kept passing tucks of hunters and they didn't give us the usual friendly wave that you get from most people in SC. I didn't think much of it and kept going.
On the way out I saw a DNR worker at a check station. I asked him how the deer hunting with dogs worked. He explained that the packs of hounds chase the deer through the woods and then when the deer crosses the road the people sitting on the trucks shoot at the deer! On the road! From the bed of a truck. This blew me away on many levels. One people hunt from the road while sitting in the bed of a pickup, and two I was pretty much riding right through people hunting. It's like there was a guy in a deer stand and I decided to park my bike right in front of him. Well that would explain the lack of friendly waves.
Here are some pics from our ride. I wish I got some pics of the dogs. We kept running into them while I was riding doen sandy roads. They were friendly little things.
The National forest visitors center by dsrphotography, on Flickr
I own you bitch! by dsrphotography, on Flickr
More diorama goodness by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Who can resist a diorama by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Red wofl by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Red wolf at the visitor center by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Creepy church in the woods. by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Creepy church from the outside by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Old organ in the vampire church by dsrphotography, on Flickr
This church was very creepy even in the day by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Having a drink at a fork on the road by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Should this one make me smaller or bigger? by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Finding a geocache in the woods by dsrphotography, on Flickr
I wonder if these are edible by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Exploring a dirt road by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Cruising through the national forest by dsrphotography, on Flickr
I'm a morning person and my wife is not. Saturdays morning are a constant struggle in out house. If she sleep in till 8 I feel half the day is already over. Where she thinks 8 is two hour too early. With that in mind I work up nice and early today, took care of the dogs and got on the scooter while the morning light was still nice. I didn't go far. Just 40 miles or so. There was a new geocache that I wanted to grab, that was located in a pretty tidal marsh area. When I pulled op to the spot there way a lady chicken necking for crabs. She had only caught one so far but had already lost a few. She also mentioned a beach across the marsh that was covered in fossilized shark teeth. To get to the beach you need to swim or have a boat so that will have to wait for a warmer time of the year. On the way out I grabbed the geocache and two foxes ran across my path. All in all a great ride, early in the morning where I had the roads all to myself. Don't look below if you don't want to see gratuitous Silver Wing pics!
Decided to go on my first overnight bike trip, drove from Charleston to Asheville and stayed at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle campground...here are some pics.
Stopping for gas and a good view of the mountains..also some pork skins
We explored Asheville a bit, this is called chicken alley
We found this place that did indian fast food, I had a naan bread a chai tea..it was nice to warm up as it is very chilly compared to home.
Here are some shots from around the campground
All this past week it's been raining and storming so I haven't had much time on the bike. Yesterday the heat index was over 100f but it wasn't raining, come hell or high water I was going for a ride..plus I had a new Alaskan leather buttpad to check out.
I left the house at 5pm to try avoid some of the heat. Didn't really work as it was as still in the high 90s. The traffic was oddly light for a holiday weekend. Getting through the construction zone that is Mount Pleasant took the normal 45 minutes. Once we cleared town the 17N was pretty much empty so I cranked it up to 80 and hummed to myself while the miles ticked by. I brought along the Go Cruise Throttle Control to test out as well. It was a little fiddly to use and I hit the rev limiter while trying to shift gears with it engaged. After a bit I got the hang of it and it seems this will definitely be brought along for longer rides.
After about 50 minutes I pulled off for McClellanville. This is a beautiful old town that sits right on a marsh. Most people here make their living either as fisherman, crabbers, or oysterman. There are a few shops in the "downtown" area. Most were closed. I'm not sure wether that was due to it being labor day or they where never open. The windows seemed pretty dusty so I'm thinking most of the shops were no longer open for business. The majority of houses down here are of the old fashioned southern style, big with may windows and large columns. We have the same houses in Charleston but they look perfect like they are painted every six months. Down in McCellanville the houses have a bit more of a lived in look, the grassy yards are a little wilder, the houses look like they may have skipped a year between paintings, and the tin roofs have a patina of moss.
We drove slowly though town checking out all the big houses and chuches. Most of the yards were shaded by Live Oaks. Branching off the main road were winding sand roads that crisscrossed between the houses before ending at the marsh. We drove to the end of the road were there is a public boat ramp so we stop and stretch our legs and have a drink. As I was removing my helmet I saw swarms of what I thought was gnats but after i felt the first bite I realized there was clouds of mosquitos in the air. We took all out gear off and ran out onto the pier to have a look. The breeze was stronger here and it kept the bugs down. The view from the pier was great. The river winds through the town and it's bordered by oyster flats and private piers covered in crab traps. We watched the busy boat ramp for a while people were coming and going in kayaks and fishing boats. There was a pack of friendly dogs, mostly pitbulls that greeted people at the ramp. They would check out the catch and take pets from kids while the boats were being unloaded. We watched a pair of dolphins swim up the river into the harbor and the dogs ran from dock to dock barking at them when the surfaced. I snapped a few pics for our local tag game then got back on the bike to explore the town.
We drove through the center of town checking out the old houses and parks. From my last visit I knew they had some fishing docks towards the top of the harbor and I wanted to see if I could grab some pics while the light was good. I turned off the main road and passed some interesting houses. One house looked like at one time it had been a house boat and had been brought onto the land a permanent structure. Another house had a tree house in the front yard and leaning against the tree house was a huge anchor. It must have been 10ft feet tall. We got to the harbor and it seemed most of the boats were either closed up for the day or in the proces of closing up. I snapped a few pics whilst trying to avoid the clouds of mosquitos. From here we jumped back onto the bike and headed back to Charleston. I'll have to come out here again when the weather is a bit more temperate and take some more pics.
A view of the waterfront.
A dolphin swimming up the river.
Kayaker unloading at the public boat ramp.
A quick photo for my local tag-o-rama game.
One of the nice old houses along the main street through town.
Riding down main street.
Checking out the fishing docks.
Shrimp boats done for the day.
The weather has finally cooled down into the mid 80's so, it seemed like a perfect day to ride south and explore Beaufort and Hunting Island State Park. I had been down here before but didn't go further than Beaufort. This time I'd check out some more of the Sea Islands.
We passed through Beaufort. Not much going on. I thought the farmers market would be on but I guess it's another day. I was hoping to get some boiled peanuts, but it was not to be. I wanted to find some shade and have a snack but it seems the entire town was covered with paid parking spaces. I run hot dog carts in Charleston and spend my day feeding parking meters. I refuse to do the same on the weekend so I headed down the road, they weren't getting my damn quarters!
As we drove onto the islands the landscape changed from marshy with little islands to large stands of pine mixed with palms. This landscape reminded me of the woods around Northern Florida and the Ocala National forest.
As we drove along I saw a dirt road that paralleled they bay. I love exploring dirt roads especially by the water so, I decided to check this one out. It had a nice tree canopy and on one side was the river and the other was the salt marsh.
At the end of the road was a dirt boat ramp. Next time I come down I'll bring my kayak. There was fish jumping all over the place. In the background the sign says don't feed the dolphins. There must be plenty of them if they are telling you not to feed them.
Now I know you can't see it in the photo but there was a pod of dolphins fishing right out in front of us. The bridge goes to Fripp Island, which is private. South Carolina is covered in marshes but it actually has very few beaches. Every time I see a gated community blocking off public access to the beach it makes me cringe. I'm not sure why South Carolina decided to sell so many of it's beaches to the highest bidder. I would assume that public beach use would bring in more revenue, than having it locked behind a gate for a chosen few.
After exploring the dirt road and taking a loop past the visitors center we passed by a few boardwalks like this one. These are nice as they allow you to get out into the marsh without a boat.
Here is the entrance to the State Park. The forest surrounding it looks wild, like at any moment a dinosaur would run past. You could see a lot of little hills back in the woods. I'm guessing these were shell mounds left by the indians.
We drove around the park just checking things out. A really nice one way road winds through the park. It's very narrow and cuts right through the forest. You are close enough to the woods that it feels like you are hiking but still on your bike.
When we got the the beach it was nice and quiet. Just a few people walking along and collecting shells. There was a lone dolphin out in the surf as well. We watched him for a while then changed and body surfed for a while on a stretch of beach that had some decent waves.
There was lots of flowery bushes along the shore and they were covered with butterflies.
After a few hours of swimming we decided it was time to dry up and explore the park a little more. I had heard there was a lighthouse and I thought that might make a good photo tag for our local tag-o-rama game. So here we are back on the cool twisty road through the woods.
We passed this cool wagon. I love old wagons and vans. This one had been converted into a surf mobile.
We followed the winding road as it went past some holiday cabins and eventually led to a dead end. Right before the dead end I saw this little stretch of sandy dirt road. I'm a sucker for dirt roads especially when they end at the beach, so I decided to head down it.
We got to the end and it was a really pretty spot. The beach was empty except for a couple who had rode down the beach on bicycles and set themselves up under the shade of a couple of palm trees. There was lots of drift wood and parts of old palm trees sticking out of the surf. I imagine during a hurricane this stretch of beach would take a pretty good beating. Next time I come down I plan on walking this stretch, it looks like it would be excellent for finding shark teeth and shells.
The sand was pretty thick and deep so my wife jumped off while I attempted to turn the bike around. At one point I had to get off the bike and gun the engine to get it to float over the sugar sand. After a bit of sweating and cursing I got back onto the road.
Before leaving the park we stopped by the lighthouse. As far as lighthouses go it was a good looking one, surrounded by a forest and still just a few yards to the sand. You can climb to the top, we saved that for the next trip.
Leaving the park we headed back towards Beaufort and home. Here you can see how the low country gets it's name. Much of the roads are bordered by salt water marshes. Even if you are 20 miles inland the marshes give the air that nice salt water tang.
Coming into Beaufort we passed this DIY house boat project.
There isn't much elevation in the low country so going over bridges is always pretty fun. Here we are crossing the Woods Memorial Bridge over the Beaufort River.
Heading home we passed the Marine Corps Air Station. They had some cool looking jets out front.
So that's it for my first ride report. Next time I plan on getting off the bike more and taking more pics.
I moved to Charleston a year ago from Arizona. I figured it was time to both get a break from the humidity and see a new area of the country and ride on a famous road. The forecast called for storms all weekend...it was dry and beautiful. Traffic was light and there were lots of other cool bikes on the road.
Well my new job has turned me into a weekend warrior so I decided to trailer my motorcycle down to Florida for a weekend of camping with the wife and the dogs.
We camped at Gamble Rogers state park which in right on the Beach. It's located about 20 miles North of Daytona and 20 miles South of Saint Augustine.
Here is a picture of the campground and our site.
Forgot the bed so we had to make a run to target...
The ride I had planned would bring us inland to the Ocala National Forest. There are numerous natural springs in Northern Florida and we wanted to explore some of them. So we packed the fins and Snorkels and headed off.
Here is the loop....
The ride starts off with a bang. Right behind the campsite is a road called the Walter Boarman Loop. The road is just stunning, it's narrow, full of twists and turns and is surrounded by marshes and tidal pools. This area reminds me of old Florida.
After the loop we pulled off and explored a bit of the Bulow Plantation. This was a working sugar plantation and is now a State park.
After some Sandy trail riding in Bulow we continued down us 100 and through the small town of Bunnell. Not much to see here although there is a decent place to get a Hot dog called the Hot Diggity Dogs.
From Bunnell we turned off the 100 and headed SW on route 11. I gotta apologies because I have no pics of this part of the trip. The roads were pool table smooth, and covered in a dense tree canopy...all I could do was ride. Eventually the 11 interesects route 40 were we turned due west. Route 40 was more smooth perfect roads and it brings you through Barberville Florida which has a pretty cool cool education center that shows you how pioneers lived in Florida in the early days. Pretty interesting stuff and a popular spot for school groups. Ten miles down the road from Barberville you Cross the St Johns river at the town of Astor. They river water is almost black here. There is a nice draw Bridge next to the Marina and plenty of Alligators milling around the sailboats. Here is a cool mural that I saw painted next to the bridge.
From Astor we continued to head West until we hit the US 19 and headed North. So I'll say again no pics of this stretch....the road was perfect, smooth, curvy, and hills! Yes real hills in Florida. It was a short ride ip the 19 until we hit our first stop which was Silver Glen Springs. We unpacked the snorkels and dived it. The water was crystal clear and full of fish, due to the brackish nature of the water we saw stingrays and Blue crabs as well.
After about an hour of swimming we packed up again and headed north for Salt Springs which was 15 miles up the road.
This spring has a great campground and is another great one for Snorkelling.
We had out packed lunch at Salt Springs then headed back for the coast. This time we took the 40 straight through to Ormond Beach then took AIA south back to Flagler beach where we sat on a bench and watched the surfers.
Well It was a great loop. Just 140 miles but it really shows you a lot of Florida. I highly recommend this trip if ou have the time.
We couldn't decide what to do with our Saturday morning. I said lets go camping. An hour later the dogs were at boarding and we had hit the road. Here are some pics.
En-route from Charleston to Hunting Island State Park for an overnight hammock trip by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Setting up for our overnight hammocking at Hunting Island State Park by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Dominic checking out his hammock at our Dec. 1st overnight camping at Hunting Island State Park by dsrphotography, on Flickr
The Hunting Island State Park campsite view from Dom's hammock by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Our Hunting Island State Park campsite - Dec. 1st - hammocking by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Remains of a young horseshoe crab found on the beach at Hunting Island State Park by dsrphotography, on Flickr
The beach at Hunting Island State Park by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Sandra finds a geocache among the driftwood by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Hunting Island Lighthouse by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Little Birds feeding at the surf line by dsrphotography, on Flickr
The beach was covered in dead trees by dsrphotography, on Flickr
An oak tree and Palm grew together then were knocked down in a storm by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Digging up clams on the beach by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A nice collection of palms by dsrphotography, on Flickr
The vstrom at the entrance to the walk in campsite by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Our campsite in the Morning after the rain storm by dsrphotography, on Flickr
View from Sandras Hammock by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Watching the morning Sun light up the tree canopy at Hunting Island State Park by dsrphotography, on Flickr
A stormy morning at Hunting Island State Park by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Surfers at Hunting Island State Park by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Boardwalk at Hunting Island by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Finding geocache at Hunting Island State Park by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Crossing the Bridge over Harbor River by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Very old Church at Penn Center by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Driving on the Beach at Parris Island by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Looking for sharks teeth at Parris Island by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Finding a sharks tooth by dsrphotography, on Flickr
Very interesting "new" thread. You've gone too, seen, and taken some really nice photo's! I like geocaching as well, and sometimes this hobby has taken me to some places I probably wouldn't have otherwise visited.
Great pictures. Thx for sharing.
Love it! Hope you're enjoying the relocation.
Just curious what size are your pelican cases on the Wee?
I am trying to figure out if I want pelicans or alum panniers.
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