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The_Precious_Juice 01-21-2014 10:32 AM

U.S.A. Deep South. Jan-March

MC: 2013, completely stock DR650se.
I was fortunate to have old man winter spot me a good day for travel. 50 F is not very common at my base camp. On top of that I had a Federal Holiday to dispatch with some of the traffic. I had to make tracks because another clipper was coming out of B.C.<o:p></o:p>
I was late getting off, but did so around 1010. This should be my hardest riding day. The objective is to drop latitude. No pics, no sight seeing, no off road excursions, just distance. Typically, I would not ride so long and set up camp so close to night, but I actually had logistical support in the town of Wilmington, North Carolina. The mileage is just over 300 miles, and about 5.5 hours in a cage. But I was taking out the Mighty DR during her first 600 mile break in period, and I wanted to vary the rpms and keep the speed below 60mph. I imagined the time would be about 8 hours. I pushed with about 234 miles of the odometer. Hereís how things went down. <o:p></o:p>
Took US. 220 south past of Martinsville, V.A. At the Ridgeway, Eden sign I got on good old 87 south, which is a great number. Great year for movies and music. I found the route a few years back when I used to commute via a cage from Jíville, North Carolina. <o:p></o:p>
11:30. I hit the North Carolina boarder. <o:p></o:p>
12:45: I rode underneath I40 (west/east) south of Burlington, N.C.<o:p></o:p>
I interesting town just north of this is Graham. It has a roundabout, with a nice looking statue. <o:p></o:p>
13:25: First stop of the day at Pittsboro, N.C. I put in about $7.87 worth of 87 octane (2.37 Gallons) price, then pushed the bike over to a spot and ate some packed snacks (protein powder/ mixed nuts/ Kashi cookie) and hydrated (water of course). I was feeling o.k. I put in about 3 hours on the DR. The seat is not horrible, but my feet kind were kind of hurting a little. I was keeping the balls of my feet on the pegs. I just have mixed things up more. I checked my riding gear, and I was ok. I checked my chain, and found it to be over 2Ē of play. I was surprised by that. Being a noob, and needing to make time I did not do anything about it. I decided to go easier on rolling on the throttle, which Iím conservative with anyway. After my rest I pushed on a little after 14:00.<o:p></o:p>
I was next trying to get Fayteville, so after taking some routes off the 87 (1 and 501 I think) I got on 24 east. 24 east will actually take you right into Jíville, N.C. I wanted to head east out of Fínam and get on the 421, but I made a mistake in town and got back on the 87. This took me due south. <o:p></o:p>
I wanted to check my position, because at one point I crossed under the I-95. I did not want to go too far west. I stopped to get fuel. <o:p></o:p>
16:02 I made a rookie mistake and took my helmet off at the pump. So after topping off the tank (1.34 gallons $4.42), I got a sip of water. A cage pulled up behind me, and turned their car off. Opps, So I had to put my helmet back on and push her out of the way. So from here on out, Iíll keep my helmet on, so it will be an easy transition to go push the bike to a resting spot, and getting out of the way. So after checking out my state map, I was good with my location. Iíd come in from the southwest of the town of Wilmington. Sadly, my contact lived on the very north side of the town.<o:p></o:p>
The next couple of hours were long. I had to peel off after Dublin and take off my shades. I forgot that I had them one, so just like that, I picked up another 30 mins of day light.<o:p></o:p>
The stock day time light is piss weak on the DR, but the high beams at night are sufficient. <o:p></o:p>
I took the 74/76 into town, and then got on the I-140 loop, and got off at the University of N.C. Wilmington exit, I then turned north on business 17 (Martin Luther King DR or Market street).<o:p></o:p>
I pulled into the drive away about almost 19:00, so about 9 hours total. 333 miles. I hope to not do that again for a good spell. <o:p></o:p>

During the later stages, I would lift myself off the seat just a hair at times to get a reprieve. I was good to go after my rest stops; and when stopping at lights I got a good 15 min refresher. So the seat is not as bad as I thought it would be, or the forums would have you believe. <o:p></o:p>
I typically shifted the bike into 4<SUP>th</SUP> gear around 40mph or so. I could go 5<SUP>th</SUP> as early as 50mph. I like the gear ratios. In 45mph zones I can do 5<SUP>th</SUP> gear and speed about 5mph, and in 35mph zones I can do 4<SUP>th</SUP> gear, but speed 5mph to 40mph (if the conditions are right). No one seemed to have a problem with the high beams on the interstate. I guess the high beams are like regular lights for a cager. When I took my shades off, I should have put on some reflector belts to help me out with being spotted, but I wanted to make time. <o:p></o:p>
My friends, helped me get my gear off, and I pulled her around the house and put a grey tarp over her. The skies were clear and the wind was nothing. <o:p></o:p>
It was a good relief to make it that far. After some warm great food, and conversation I was happy to ge a warm shower and hit the hay around 2335. <o:p></o:p>

Tarmac: 333 miles<o:p></o:p>
Off road: 0 miles<o:p></o:p>
Total miles: 333 miles.<o:p></o:p>
Total cost: $12.29<o:p></o:p>
Total miles/tour: 333
Total off road miles/tour: 0 miles
Total cost/tour: $12.29<o:p></o:p>
Day count: 1<o:p></o:p>


Jenn 01-21-2014 12:31 PM

That red is hard to read!

Your report is very technical - did you see anything worth reporting? Got pictures? Meet any interesting/fun/nice folks on your first day?

The_Precious_Juice 01-21-2014 03:27 PM

Edit: go to post 128 on page 9 to view what places I toured out of.


Sorry about the red, I'll try and work on it.

I had to make time, so I did not see or talk with anyone.

I did see what appeared to be a pre 2012 DL650 in Pittsboro, N.C. Everything else was cruiser or sport bikes. The single rider had a top case, and no saddle bags.
It was good to ride in the transition of the Mountain Valley/piedmont region of the east coast. Great terrain.

I should be able to get some pics posted tomorrow. Just the bike with gear.
This was a job for a Honda Gold Wing, 335 miles @ interstate speeds.
hopefully later I'll have some Adventures to report.

The_Precious_Juice 01-22-2014 06:18 AM

Day 2.
21Jan14<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
I was up and ready to go by 0700. This is a big day. The MIghter DRís 600 mile service, is here. Wilmington has a good amount of staples to choose from. I went with Honda Suzuki on 5725 Market street. I was told it would be $163, and they would need it overnight to look at the valve (engine must be cold). So I was told it would be ready around 11:00 on the 22<SUP>nd</SUP>. I hate to miss a day of travel, so Iíll see when Iíll be able to pick her up tomorrow. Drop off mileage was 556 miles. <o:p></o:p>
So, my upper back (traps) are kind of sore, and my finger muscles are kind of sore from yesterday. Iím surprised that my neck is ok. The helmet I had on was golden until the last hour or so, then some mild irritation started to appear. My lower back is fairly swore also. Iím surprised my calves are not swore. The ride over to the garage was interesting. I felt like my feet had more sensation than yesterday. I could feel the shifter lever so much better. I had the same type of socks on. It really did not fell lighter with my gear off, granted, I've not been WOT with the MC. <o:p></o:p>
After dropping off the bike, I was able to go into Home Deposit and look at their tarps. I picked up a 16íX20í light tarp (not medium duty) it felt like it was about 3 lbs or so. I think this size would be the minimal displacement for my lean to needs.<o:p></o:p>
Tarmac: about 8 miles<o:p></o:p>
Off road: 0 miles<o:p></o:p>
Total miles: 8 miles.<o:p></o:p>
Total cost: $42.78 (for tarp)<o:p></o:p>
Total miles/tour: 341<o:p></o:p>
Total cost/tour: $50.07<o:p></o:p>
Day count: 2<o:p></o:p>

WildMonkey 01-22-2014 05:36 PM

Will be Following !
And wondering if your going to be anywhere near Pensacola, FL ? :1drink

AST236 01-22-2014 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by WildMonkey (Post 23287676)
And wondering if your going to be anywhere near Pensacola, FL ? :1drink

Same here, as I live just north of P'cola..

The_Precious_Juice 01-24-2014 03:20 PM

day 3
Wilmington, N.C.

Rest and refit day.

Picked up the Mighty DR from the garage (600 mile service). The final was $149.
Topped off tank. $4 or so

Came back and got gear on and looked over the tarp.
The tarp is 16'X20'. I have it under my rear seat under my main pack, and some on the actual rider's seat.

It took hours to set up this soft luggage, but it was light and already paid for years ago. I used a station to weave around the med pack in the rear bag position.

After looking at the weather forecast, I new that the 23rd would be the best day to travel out of Wilmington and into The Deep South. In this case, just west of Hilton Head Island.

Tarmac: about 9 miles<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
Off road: 0 miles<o:p></o:p>
Total miles: 9 miles.<o:p></o:p>
Total cost: $149.01 (600 mile service)
Total miles/tour: 350
Total cost/tour: $204
Day count: 3

The_Precious_Juice 01-24-2014 09:02 PM

Day 4
Wilmington, N.C.

Window of opportunity was open to ride deeper into Dixie.

I did not sleep well knowing that I had a cold day of riding. It was 24 degress F in Wilmington, and still below 30 F when I pushed off around 0930.

I was on the north side of town, so I got on the 17 south/I-140 to make for good time. Too bad I did not pack my heavy Spartan riding gloves. Man, if felt like I was kind of putting my hands in ice water. Just south of town I stopped and picked up some hunter gloves (two pairs). It rain me just below $10, so I did not like that, but the gloves were worth it.

I was shivering quite a bit. I had my joe rocket gear, but only shorts on underneath. After stopping and getting off the bike, when I got back on I would shiver a lot. I was doing some good isometric contractions to prevent this.

I stopped again at the S.C. visitor center, and ate/hydrated, and picked up a S.C. map. The DR was barley giving off any heat on its oil/air cooled engine. My feet were even getting really cold. It was much warmer by the time I left just afternoon.

I went on the 31 to go around Mrytle Beach.

I had a miss q getting back on the 17, but was good all the way to my next stop, Georgetown. I put in 2.3 gallons ($7.56), and ate and hydrated. I got there at about 1318 and left at about 1350. I had done about 131 miles so far.

From then on out I was pushing hard, and barley drank or ate any thing.

I took the by-pass at Charleston, but got off too early. It took me a while to find the 17. I did not have a gps garmin device, but just my map and notes from google maps.

My next exchange was going to be highway 21. Easy to remember seeing how it was a Wood Brothers car.
It took a while to get there, so I pulled over at Jacksonboro to fuel up {16:36/ 1.8 gallons/ $5.77}
The map says I was still a good ways away. Blast. I had 240 miles down. by now it was well into the low 50s and perfect riding conditions.

Once I got on the 21, things started to get better. I had to guess on the 170, because I thought it ran north and south, but it was east west. The DR helped me out by changing lanes at the light while traffic was still. Within a few hundred meters I saw my first of just two Bluffton signs. 25 miles to go.

The last hour of the trip was the best (much better than super cold Wilmington), the views going over the 170 was great. It was about 20 mins from twilight.
I had to go into Jasper county for a minute, but the small bridge that takes you back into Beaufort County is really scenic. One has arrived into swamp country for sure.

For good measure, I made one more mistake. I went the wrong way on the 278, has I was hitting the ramp, I noticed the 2nd Bluffton sign, so at the next light I turned around and soon after pulled off into my contacts neighborhood. It was about 1800. I had done 300 miles.
Once again, this was just a tarmac day with no pics or talking with anyone. I saw a few other riders out, but none on Dualsports.
It was good to get at this base camp. I dropped some latitude once more, and had good folk to stay with.
Furthermore, another cold front was coming in.
Tarmac: 300 miles<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
Off road: 0 miles<o:p></o:p>
Total miles: 300 miles.<o:p></o:p>
Total cost: $22.77
Total miles/tour: 650
Total cost/tour: $226
count: 4

WildMonkey 01-25-2014 04:31 PM

How Far....
Into Dixie are you going ? :ear


The_Precious_Juice 01-26-2014 05:50 AM

Maybe all the way to the bottom. It is really flexible as of now.

I've almost reached the end of the Jet Stream here in North America :D, so I really do not have to worry about dropping a lot of latitude any more.

I could be in Northside Jacksonville, FL area by this late afternoon.

Tenative plans are the Everglades.

The_Precious_Juice 01-26-2014 05:54 AM

Day 5 and 6
24 and 25th of Jan
Bluffton, S.C.

Not anything to report with regards to adventure riding.

Yesterday, I tried to adjust my chain, it feels tighter, but hopfully I did not screw up the sprocket alignment.

The forecast is looking good to leave today. It should be a high of 56 F in Bluffton, S.C. so should be warmer closer to Florida.

Another cold air blast will be around in the next couple of days, but I doubt it will get into the upper 20s at night down in Florida. :1drink

Kommando 01-26-2014 05:28 PM

If you're around here this week or the following weekend, let some people in the Sandbox regional forum know. They can show you some places to see and trails to ride.

The_Precious_Juice 01-27-2014 01:01 PM

I'm at the skyway motel
Daytona beach

Using nexus 7 so cannot type well

Thanks for the advice

The_Precious_Juice 01-30-2014 05:45 PM

day 7
Bluffton, S.C.

Good day all and all.

temps were in the low 40s F when I left Bluffton, S.C. Sunny day.

I took the back roads and crossed the 17 into Savannah.

stopped at Richmon Hill, GA for gass just south of there.

I weaved in and out of the I-95 and the 17.

The stock seat on the Mighty DR talked me into stopping at Woodbine, GA for gass.

I lubed my chain for the first time with the Dupont stuff from lowes. I did not do a very good job. I know I did not get every link.

By a little after 14:00 I was in Florida for the first time ever. :clap

I found the good ol A1A soon enough.
I cruised by what appeared to be a football stadium in damn near no traffic conditions.

I gassed up just south of J'ville, and pushed the bike over to eat chow.
I had a retired cop and Marine pulled over in a white fan (ford sprinter like) and ask me some questions about the bike.
He bought a 2012 DL650 V-strom, and we were talking about the DR and the DL. He drove all the way to WV to pick her up. :huh
He is planning on riding out to CO this year. He is late 50s and has been wanting to do a tour for a good while.
I showed him my Eagle Globe and Anchor on my 2008 military issued boots that I'm touring with. :freaky
He told me it was going to rain tomorrow.

Here's were I actually did some adventouring.

Northwest of St. Augustine, I found a great place.
I was on the 1 and then pulled off to the west and right when I picked a spot to turn around I found a easy dirt/sandy road to go down. It was easily 15 feet wide. I took my first right and then went down a couple of hundred meters and found my spot.
It was about 17:30 or so. I'll try and post some pics later.

I started getting ready for camp and I kept hearing some loud noise in the brush about 30 meters away, and it kept getting louder.
It had me spooked as it got close, so I hailed, and eventually threw a stick in the woods. It was going right to my bivouac sight. (I had the DR off the trail, and walked across some boards (over still water) to get to good location to sleep).
I finally saw it. A giant rat! No... A armadillo I think. Man that thing was loud. It reminded me of the squirrels back north in the fall leaves. They don't give a F^&k about how much noise they make.

More pics.
If you look just over the left mirror, you will see the green plant leaves that I sleept next to. I had to cross about 7 feet of standing water.

Facing west

I checked in at the base camp with my cell-phone, and relaxed under the stairs around 19:26.

Green horn mistake. Tomorrow starts early in Florida. She started with a light rain and moderate rain off and on all morning. 0200-0630.
My giant 16'-20' tarp was covering up the bike.
I got out of the ran by 0630, and my recon 3 sleeping system was fairly wet. The weak spot was the zipper. Water got in from there.
This was preventable, so I had my own self to blame.


241 mile day. Finally something less than 300!

Maybe about 1 mile off road!!! Get some!

$19.30 spent.

First time:
In Florida
Camping overnight the first night when visiting a state for the first time.
First time off road with the DR.

I'm not going to add up the total trip per day, but every 11 days. Too lazy

The_Precious_Juice 01-30-2014 05:46 PM

day 8
27jan Monday.
Near St. Augustine, FL

So it took a spell to push out of there in the morning. My stuff was wet.

I left around 1003. I rode into St. Augustine. I was not too impressed, so I just parked at the Best Western and dried my gear in the hot sun. After eating a bit (Barnacle sea food place). I pushed south around 12:55. I needed a battle buddy to help me with the Big bore bike tarp! The pool guy at the hotel volunteered to help me.

I got to Daytona Beach around 1427. It took the 2nd time to get a great deal on a $35 night hotel on Atlantic AVe. SkyWall I believe was the location.
they were saying $40, because it was a King size, but I got $5 off.
I recommend this place. Hot water, good Wi-Fi, fridge, microwave.

I checked in via the Nexus 7, and then went to get some chow. I'm doing good on dropping weight on the tour. I'm not eating much.
I went to Molly Hathcet's.

For less than $9.00 you can get a massive (I'm talking right out of the Candy Yams S10 play book monumental), sub. It is like three meals in one!

The strip was ok. Not my kind of place.

I needed to catch up on sleep (had been up mostly since 0200) so I was done by 17:20.

I take my tank bag off the DR night sets in. I also remove important gear from the soft bags.
63.3 miles

Maybe about a mile off-road to get out of my first over night camp of the tour.

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