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Old 05-08-2011, 04:50 PM   #91
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:42 AM   #92
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I took Friday off to head to the Eastern Rendezvous. Rendezvous #1 was in Newton. We passed each other while searching in vain for our rendezvous point. What luck! We headed to Conover for some fresh and delicious southeast Asian food.




We zigzagged our way across Catawba and Alexander Counties. We stopped in at Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park for a looksee. They were getting ready for a hare scrambles on Sunday.




We crossed Brushy Mountain at Russell Gap and went past Tom Dooley's and over to Champion/Mt Pleasant. A few posts ago, I commented on the quality of roads in Wilkes County.

Old 421 to Shingle Gap to Old NC 16 to Vannoy.



We stuck with the hard top on Buckwheat and up NC 18 to Laurel Springs. We checked in at party HQ and took in the scene there. I refrained from too much beer and did a local area reconnaisance which took me through someone's living room.














They have split rail fences out there.




Painted white ones




How do you send your rendezvous weekend into the wretched excess zone? Good luck to J-Lo! He was missed.




We took in the bluegrass band and hung out until I'm not sure what time. That was Friday.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:28 PM   #93
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Saturday morning getting ready for KTM Mike's ride.




The pace was brisk and photo opportunities were not frequent. We zigzagged up and down the Blue Ridge escarpment between NC 18 and US 421 (actually a bit west of 421) about 50/50 hardtop and gravel. Fun stuff. Three cheers for KTM Mike and his badass LC4!















This was as far west as we went.




Back to Rally HQ










So at that point, things get a little blurry. We were in Freeborne's bar, then there was a campfire, someone handed me a mason jar (maybe two), a hammock was involved...

Needless to say, we got a late start on Sunday. We had yet another rendezvous, this time with Lucky. He rode over from Morganton, and we had another well timed encounter in Vannoy. Now he knows about the high friction aggregate the DOT uses in Wilkes County.



It was pretty warm once we dropped off the Blue Ridge for good. We all agreed that we would have traded our bikes for canoes at Oxford Dam. We capped it off with fresh and delicious Thai cuisine and iced coffee in Conover.




We bid our farewells and headed back to the house. I sought the nearest sofa I could find and slept until Layla got home. She won her downriver race at the Cheoah. Three cheers for Layla!

As always, thanks for looking!
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:41 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston Gagne View Post


So at that point, things get a little blurry. We were in Freeborne's bar, then there was a campfire, someone handed me a mason jar (maybe two), a hammock was involved...
I hope you didn't run into that guy




pics shamelessly pilfered from that iDave feller
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I sought the nearest sofa I could find and slept until Layla got home. She won her downriver race at the Cheoah. Three cheers for Layla!
WoooHooo!! Go Layla!!
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:23 PM   #95
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I felt like I was missing out last weekend at the RDV. I set off this morning in search of Ponderosa.








The top of Old 421.




I proceeded to Trade, TN, where I took 67/88. NC 88 is a nice road along the North Fork of the New River. Three Top Mountain is an impressive topographical feature that changes character as you go by it.









I jumped on NC 194 and headed into Lansing, where I made a left onto Big Horse Creek. I didn't have a DeLorme's page with me, just a New River Blueway map with most of the road designations left off. I got a bit lost in here, but I can connect Farmer's Store to Big Laurel via Flatwoods. Beautiful country.

All indications were that Rock Fence was my ticket to Ponderosa.



P.S. Joines is a fun road.

I made a move that obviously many others make even though I probably shouldn't have. The steep grade and broken rock also indicated a turn around, but I'm a little slow on the uptake.

I pulled into the driveway of what I thought was the house I was looking for, but there was a car in the driveway, and all of the windows were open. Whoops. Nevertheless, I ended up in a really cool place.



The structure on the top of the bald to the left in the photo above is a hangar for an aircraft, and the landing strip (plainly visible in the photo) has about a 15% grade. Takeoffs I can see, but landing? Would you do those uphill or downhill?



In spite of the fact that I'm on what seems to be a well defined ridge and I keep heading to the "north" trying to punch into VA, I ended up back at the hangar. At least I wasn't lost any more. All of this was Christmas tree farms with crisscrossing farm roads.




Let's get out of here before someone chases us. So I gave in and went back to Farmer's Store and over to Whitetop Station. Bumper to bumper traffic on the Virginia Creeper today.

I always wanted to check out SR 600 from US 58 to Konnarock. It's as good as you would expect it. Short side trip to the top of Whitetop Mountain.








Honeybees were lighting on the porch and climbing into the cave.




I rolled down through Konnarock and into Damascus. Some nice people let me by on 58 for a clean run into town. Thanks! The Dairy Bar was closed. Double cheesburger: DENIED. Quincey's serves up a nice toasted hoagie.




I made some attempts to find a path up from Laurel Bloomery, but I was getting tired. I went through Mountain City and over 167/Big Laurel to NC 88 again.





Old 421 to Mast Gap and up NC 194 to Banner Elk. Hickory Nut Gap to Newland to Old Jonas Ridge.




It was hot at the bottom of the mountain.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:40 PM   #96
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Our last ride together. We spent 25,500 miles together. That's a trip around the equator. Good luck, Clifford.





I think he's found a loving home. The buyer is more nuts about XRs than I am.





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Old 06-13-2011, 04:12 AM   #97
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This weekend was shortened by graduation ceremony. This is one part pomp, one part circumstance, and one part endurance event. I was "training" the night before, so I was ready.








My new to me Husuzuberg. I guess it's finally time to get it dirty. Harmon Den is a worthy place for a first ride.




Another bad timing turned good at KayaKTM's place. There was a V-Strom with a destroyed front wheel in the driveway. The fellow is home from the hospital already, or most of him is.





Traffic was really light, and cars pulled over for us when we did come upon them.




It's tough to keep that "Husqvarna" in the viewfinder!











We expressed Hurricane. What fun!




Rut roh Reorge. You did bring a raincoat, right?




Amazingly we didn't hit much rain until we crossed the ridge on 63, then we got dumped on.

We get a long weekend this week!
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:27 PM   #98
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The new foundation looks pretty good.





Layla serves notice.





That's eight suitcases of honey.




Once again this year, they hardly made a stink although I did take a sting to the chest.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:24 PM   #99
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A Tarheel in Hillbilly's clothing?

I'm really enjoyin' this thread by the way.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:00 AM   #100
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Maple Sally








A nice, tight pattern.







Richlands




After some lunch in Blowing Rock, we headed down Pilot Ridge and over through Old House Gap.




A follow up on the honey: one of those suitcases had the queen in it, and we blew her out onto the ground. She may be back in the hive. Time to get busy with the honey.







Layla's girls did some fine work this spring. Nice work, ladies!





The sourwood is not looking particularly promising this year. I keep hoping that that cold snap shut them down for a week.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:18 PM   #101
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I recently got out for a semi big three day trip from Wilmington, DE to White Haven, PA.

Wilmington- pretty nice garage, eh?





When I woke up at 4:45, the moon was out, but there were thunderstorms all around the house as I was getting ready to go. I was soaked before I left the neighborhood, but that was the only bad rain I hit the whole trip. By Avondale, PA, I was clear of any real traffic, and the weather started to improve.

Lancaster County, PA




Even as early as Lancaster Country, I was hitting some fun roads.


Berks County





When I found this, I also figured out that I was off course.







The Berks/Schuylkill County line on PA 501.













When I got to Pine Grove, I picked up PA 125. This road is excellent beginning to end.


Getting on toward Shamokin and PA 61, the scenery changes to coal mining.





Shikellamy State Park in Sunbury, PA overlooks the confluence of the Susquehanna and the West Branch of the Susquehanna Rivers.





It was here that I ate my prodigious sandwich that I had carried from Delaware. I also met a fellow on a DR 650 who had found a suicide victim in the park the day before. He seemed a bit freaked out by the whole thing.

From Shikellamy, I rode up to Mifflinburg and gassed up and headed out to Laurelton, which is another one of my indicators of correct living.




First things first: I headed out to find some camping at Poe Valley or Poe Paddy State Park, so I can lose the luggage.

I know a shortcut to the parks.












I was a little late for the peak of the mountain laurels, but they were still in pretty good shape.

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Old 06-27-2011, 09:00 PM   #102
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Nice work Agent Gaston! Hittin' the spiritual homeland. Water lillies at Hawk Mountain?? Looks like it to me. Stomped those grounds last time I was in the Commonwealth.

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Old 06-28-2011, 02:25 AM   #103
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Thanks agent Pants. The water lillies were right along the highway. I wanted to hit both Hawk Mtn and the Pagoda, but I opted to keep moving to get to Bald Eagle.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:25 AM   #104
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Poe Valley SP turned out to be the park with showers, etc. They also have CCC workstands in each campsite.






After 200 miles in and out of rain, I needed a little chain maintenance. I set up camp and checked out the concession stand. Pretty nice fare for out in the middle of nowhere.




I took Poe Paddy Drive up to the overlooks. This is the Centre of Pennsylvania.








I was taking the long way into town, so I checked out some of these "drivable trails" that I passed. When they are dead ends, there is usually signage. I'm pretty sure you can put together epic dual sport rides in this area without following any kind of plan.


My freeform ride brought me out to Penn's Creek.






I was on the wrong side of the creek, so I rerode Poe Paddy Drive and down into Milheim. Milheim rocks. Burkholder's Grocery is great. Their prodigious bakery stromboli is $4.99. The Milheim Hotel is a nice place to sit down for a drink, but remember: only one per wheel.

Gassed up and ready to hit Seven Mountains, I headed back to camp.








In spite of it being after sunset, I hit the swimming area before I turned in. We are off to Seven Mountains in the morning.

Oyasuminasai!
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:37 AM   #105
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Big day ahead. Seven Mountains is a ninety mile course and has a variety of riding surfaces: rocks, sand and rocks, roots and rocks, and mud and rocks. I did not get the earliest of starts this morning.

This whole area is covered with chipmunks. That would explain all of the red tail hawks. This little fellow and several of his friends shared my breakfast.




Poe Valley is between the two main loops of the Seven Mountains trip. I headed west in the morning.




Plantation Trail





Last time I was here, I had trouble on the Plantation/Burn transition. The map is a bit misleading. Burn Trail is the business.




Last time I was here, I smashed my foot between a rock and the side of my motorcycle. As I was riding along, I said to myself, "This looks like that spot." I no sooner lifted my foot when I caught a rock with the right footpeg.





I rode down into Milroy for gas and caffeine. It's already lunchtime and getting hot.




There is work being done to these trails. Some reroutes had me a bit worried because they haven't been blazed and are still a bit sketchy.




The stuff on the Jacks Mountain end is more challenging. Middle Ridge and Summit are pretty tough.




The east end.




Hey, where's my truck?




Where are the leaves? Last time I was here, this little draw was knee deep in leaves, and Clifford's clutch got abused climbing up this.





I didn't make it up the climb to High Knob. I went around the back way. Maybe with a better tire and a 14 tooth sprocket. It was slick and hot.













There must have been one hell of a flood. Bull Hollow Trail is nuked. I don't think I would have made it through there going uphill.


At the moment, Pennsylvania is really green. Nice to see.





I made it back to Poe Valley and headed into Milheim for supplies. Tomorrow it's off to the Poconos.
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