Weekend ride in Va, Big Walker Mountain and loop back home by following part of New River.
To avoid any permanent damage of my last 2 neurons, I was well due for a weekend ride/camping. I pick up the various map I have, usually I use National Geographic map,. For this trip, I did pick up map # 787. (Just in case you wish to see where the area is.). The trip took me up to where I did want, not geographically but save me from being insane for good.
I did set-up the bike/gear in less than one hour and left on a crispy Saturday morning. Driving down my drive way was already a big relieve, this weekend was mine, with nothing to worry about but just enjoy the refreshing solitude we often meet in our helmet. The best therapy ever and no hangover guarantee.
I always favor back roads and in this case, choose to reach Whiteville, VA by the 52. From there and being guided by my paper map on the tank bag, I reach the first gravel road SR603. Easy service road, the sun is now up and warming me up nicely, I ride visor open, enjoying the fall perfume. I’m sure you have noticed that each season as a particular perfume, People wear different perfume for different occasions, I fill-up my mind with different season’s perfume, last longer and make me happy.
At the exit of this service road, you have a beautiful vista on the valley before Big Walker Mountain. The valley is dedicated to small farmland and few locals. From there, turn right and then left to forest road 1023. The road goes up and then after few miles you face a dirt bank blocking the access to the trials going up the mountain. I did think few seconds if I will go up the bank and keep going on my trip or make a U turn and go back down to the asphalt road. Of course I was reasonable and went over the dirt bank to keep going.
That trail goes up, with some rocky passages and some mud passage. It was time to put the S10 to work. Disable the traction control, stand up on peg, shoulder above headlight and here I go..I was very please how the S10 did manage all obstacle the trail did trow at us until…..my oil light come up….panic mode, stop, breath, re-breath…..finally take my courage and check the bottom of engine for damage, I look again and again and again….nothing, not a drop of oil, not a mark of damage. I let the engine cool down a little and restart. Engine light comes up again…. stop again, check and recheck, nothing. Having read on various forums, I remember that some folks have issues with the oil level sensor. I decide to keep going. To make this story short, I did hit the “back oil plug with a rock, that did damage the oil plug just enough to have oil drop on my garage floor, but it was not the reaon of the oil light coming up, during an other hit, the electrical wire running form the oil sensor on the side of the crankcase has been cut…..now I have installed a bash plate, repaired the electrical wire and replaced the oil plug. The S10 is a wonderful bike, but the diapason engineers have overlooked detail of such exposed components.
From there, went to set-up tent and eat the pasta salad. Went to sleep, and wake-up like a Popsicle. I did not notice, I did put the tent not far from a cabin. A very nice lady lives there and she came to me with the best hot coffee I had in months. We chat for at least one hour, she told me her story, I told her mine, and then it was time to go. Meeting peoples that openly and with no fear of being judged open their door to you is way to precious not to be grateful to have had the chance to chat with them. Rarity.
The bike started right away, oil light still up, and I decided to go Jefferson National Forest and Brushy Mountain. Took few other gravel roads. By Sunday mid afternoon, I deicide it was time to head back home. As always making the best use of all back roads. By doing so, sometimes you find a jewel, in this case it is named “ Nebo Mountain Road. I sincerely think that it is much better than the Dragon, and with absolutely no car. The only vehicle a came across was a KTM super duke going. That guy knew the road and how to use his ride.
Make it home by following the New River Basin then if I remember well south using 18.
Sunday night, happy, brain washed, slept like a baby.