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Old 04-07-2011, 06:14 AM   #1
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: DMV Area
Oddometer: 38
Mountains, Leatherwood, Mother-n-Law, & Worksheds…

My wife and I had been talking about performing some work on her mom’s house. I knew I wouldn’t have time to go down and perform extensive work right away. I needed to survey the damage and then return at a later date more prepared.
So…. There I was—trying to figure out how to solve this small problem. Why don’t I just ride down? I get to have some “fun”, work on the mother-n-laws house, beef up my riding skills, and practice photography. I had done it. I had talked my way into making the 335 mile trek to Leatherwood (not to be confused with Torchwood….or Deadwood….), Virginia on my “new to me”, fully farkled KTM Adventure 640.
Let’s get right to it! I’ll try to capture lessons learned, since this is a “training” event, right?
Here’s the route:

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Here’s the equipment:

^^^ There is something inherently wrong with this picture. No emergency tent! This bit me later.
First lesson learned was twofold. 1.a) Ensure you do a good enough route recon to determine tolls/fees/etc. 1.b) Have cash to be able to pay those fees. I didn’t realize there was a fee to ride on Skyline until I got there. Somehow the fact that it’s actually Shenandoah National Park didn’t hit me.
Next lesson, 2) don’t just check the weather at the end points (which I did). The “in between” part is what gets you! It was below freezing on Skyline at points. It went from super windy, to misty rain, to sunny, to freezing, to flurrying, to slippery and not all in that order. It was totally random!

Lesson 3, Pack a tent! *sigh* Man, this should have been intuitive, but I was caught slippin… After freezing my butt off on Skyline (darn near hypothermic!), I decided I’d call it a day. It was only 38* when I got off the mountain, but I just couldn’t get warm enough to continue on (8:30 PM). I was a hazard to myself and others on the road. It played out like this: I’ll just stop in Lynchburg (off all places…) to get a room. Well, it just so happened that Liberty University ( is in Lynchburg and they were having some type of family weekend. Every single hotel in the city was booked….well, all I came across except one: Travelodge. Score!!! I used my trusty Droid X to make the reservations while I warmed up at a Holiday Inn that denied me… I mounted up to get to my safe haven for the night, but on my way out, I noticed I was riding up a rather steep road and then it happened. A freakin’ red light. Dang! Come to a complete stop at the light (traffic everywhere) and put my left foot down. It was at the point that I realized I didn’t downshift to first. Yep, you guessed it. Teeter totted my 37” seat height 640 ADV over to the right side and slip, BAM! Frak! Cars everywhere, light is green, I’m praying that God just end it all right there as I lay the freakin’ intersection…. I popped up, did the “hobble of shame”, hit the kill switch and give everybody that was looking at me a bow. After getting the beast upright, I put it in 1st with the engine off (so it wouldn’t roll down the hill), somehow got on the darn thing, started it and made my way to my hotel room paradise... WINNING! So I thought…

Kind of hard to justify spending cash on this room…. Judging from the door, I was afraid somebody was going to barge in waving a pistol. I should have went to Wal-Mart, picked up a cheap tent for the night and moseyed on over to Liberty University to set it up after hitting a couple of parties!
I think the only good thing that happened after I got to this hotel room was Robin Alexander…

I dropped my trash inside of my hotel room and walked down the street, full gear, no shower, just man funk from being on the road for 8 hours. Scoped out the menu and what do you know……they have “Maryland Crabcakes”. Oh, I gotta try this!

Verdict? Way too small to be considered Marlyand’s finest IMHO.
The next day I get up and head to Leatherwood. I’ll conclude later, but until then, here’s a short clip on Skyline:

"You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore." Admiral William Adama
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:27 AM   #2
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Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Mequon, Wisconsin
Oddometer: 106
Tim, I love your first trip report! Don't you have heated grips on that Orange Crate? First thing I'd add, you never kbnow when you are gonna hit the bad temps - can even happen in warm weather. I am with you on the room, while I don't need anything fancy, "secure" comes to mind!
Dave Wright
Mequon, WI
KTM 950 ADV. (gone, but NOT forgotten!)
DRZ400, KLR 250, Duc 1098s Tri-Colore, MV Brutale 910s, PS1000LE a few others....
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