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Old 03-28-2011, 07:59 AM   #1
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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1874 miles, 5 days, 8 states and 1 front tire to see a little girl...

who cried as soon as she saw me.

Bit of background. I'm 26, in college (about to graduate in June ), my father passed away in February after a year long battle with cancer. My brother, his wife and their 6 month old little girl live in Virgina. I've only seen my niece once and have never been to their house, and i was off for spring break. Trip time.

My first time holding her. Lasted for about 20 seconds before she looked up at me, stuck out that lower lip and starting crying...can't blame her



So, let's get it started. here is the route i planned out, lots of fun between the borings:


I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. I slabbed it down 75 to Tellico Plains, TN, camped for the night. Then the cherohala skyway east to Deal's Gap. from there going east a bit more to Cherokee, NC, the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, taking that north into Virginia where i'd slab it over to Stafford, VA to my brother's house for some family time, then finally slab it back home. Sounds fun, right?

My noble steed for the trip was my much loved '01 R1150GS, also known as the "poser bike". I bought her last july with around 10,600 miles on her, the begining mileage for the trip is below.



beginning mileage


As you can see, she is quite loaded. I was planning on camping 3-4 nights until reaching my brother's place to save money (as well as for the experience), and even though it was 70F when i left, i (thankfully) took all my winter gear with me as i figured it was going to get cold in the mountains. If i'd only known...

Day 1 is next.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
gremor
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Bring it on.

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Old 03-28-2011, 09:14 AM   #3
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Day 1:

Started out boring enough, planned for about 5 hours on the highway. At least the weather was nice out. I live 5 minutes from Kentucky, so i didn't bother to get that state sign, so the first stop was



Next stop, Hunt's Lodge Campgrounds in Tellico Plains. I rolled up, nice looking place, but completely empty. It is mid march after all and they had just opened for the season. No one was there, not even the owners. I called the number on the door, a nice lady answered and let me know she was in Ohio , but go ahead and camp, her husband would be by in the morning to collect the money. No problem, i set up shop.



Problem was, it was only 4:30 by this point. I had no one to talk to, nothing to do, so i went to find some food and go exploring. After getting a burger at a local place down by the river, i hit some backroads and find


Falls? Like a waterfall? Cool. Too bad the trail ended, and i didn't find any waterfall


No problem, i took the trail to the left. Found some water crossings



And then i came across a slightly deeper one, but with a campsite next to it...


Now, this campsite is about 5 miles off the main road, whereas my campsite was within a drunken stumble of the same main road. I figured "if i am going to camp alone, i want to camp alone out in the middle of the woods". Sounds fun, right? Sun was setting, so i rushed back to break down and move camp for the night

Of course, about the time finished rushing and getting the bike re-loaded, she decides to get tired...


Camp relocated and set up


Supplies have been rounded up:


Life is good:





Day 2 is next.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:40 AM   #4
larryboy
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I like that second campsite better too!!
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:39 PM   #5
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I have camped in that same spot - nice find!!!!!
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:58 PM   #6
littlelionmonster
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Nice trip! Waiting for more.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:12 AM   #7
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Day 3, the fun begins.

Woke up to it being surprisingly warm and pleasantly quiet, ready to hit some roads.

A picture from inside the tent


The camp



I put everything away, geared up and rode the few miles down to Tellico Plains, refueled and grabbed some snacks i'd eat for breakfast later on.

Didn't really take many pics on the Skyway, i was too busy enjoying the completely empty road and the beautiful morning. I only had to pass one car, a Mercedes SLK and i got to pass him twice. Once early on, then i stopped at one of the overlooks to eat breakfast and he passed me, so i got to pass him again about 15 minutes later. He saw me coming up behind him, waved and moved over for me. Gotta love nice drivers.

My view for breakfast




...aaand i hit North Carolina of course


This was only my second time on the Skyway, last time i ran it the other way while on my FZ6. Such a great road.

Next up, Deal's Gap. I've ran this road on 2 other occasions (once on one of my VFRs, once on the FZ6 in the rain). Like the Skyway, it was completely dead . First time i caught up to and passed a guy on a GSX-R riding with a guy with a SV (650 i think), they were from West Virginia. While i had to stop and wait for a road crew, they caught back up, i could hear them asking where the hell i came from when i passed them (to be fair, i did signal my pass and gave plenty of room). Some people don't know these big pigs can dance pretty damned well .

had to be done


some shots










and of course, douching it up...



The carnage from the skyway and deal's gap:





Chicken wha?



After turning 180 and heading back into NC, i pointed east towards Cherokee, NC, the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I'd never ridden on the parkway before, so i was quite excited about this part of the trip




And, like the roads before, the BRP was completely dead . Speed limits were posted at 45mph mostly with some 35mph areas, i was able to cruise at 55-60mph most of the time without a problem. Passed a few rangers, i just waved and they didn't bat an eye.

One cool thing i saw that i hadn't seen mentioned before was that there are gravel roads that seem to follow and then occasionally cross the BRP at times. I took a few just for fun and a change of pace.

Pic on one of the trails, on top of one of the tunnels


Awesome scenery around here:


Hit the highest point of the BRP, a little cool and windy up here


GPS proof


Such a beautiful part of the country






Coming down, i stopped to see this



Along the day i stopped to see about where i should camp out for the night. I was disappointing when i was told that campgrounds in NC weren't going to be opening for another week or so . So i did the next best thing, found a Days Inn...



i probably could have found some off the map place to camp, but the truth is i was tired and i really just wanted a warm bed to sleep in.

Day 3 next...
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:57 PM   #8
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Very cool! The streams look beautiful there.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:28 PM   #9
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Right there with you
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:25 AM   #10
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Subscribed!
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:40 AM   #11
shortfoot
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Good post ,love the bike. She's a keeper.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:52 AM   #12
kodiakman
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Great pics of your trip. Thanks for sharing them with everyone.
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