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Old 06-07-2011, 08:53 PM   #1
mbabc OP
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'Little Blue' goes looking for Orange...

This Spring I began thinking it would be fun to take my WR250R on a long weekend camping trip. My klr has proven to be a great long distance bike, but I've been following the ‘Minimalist Touring Thread (250cc and under)’ thread and decided my WR250R would do the job just fine (after a few modifications). First thing was a Seat Concepts seat under my sheepskin to log some serious miles. Next was a smallish Cee Balies wind screen to take a little wind blast off and I also purchased a set of Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebags and racks. I had recently added the 3 gal. IMS tank which would push my range out to 150+ miles. With 'little Blue' all set, all I needed was a destination.

Since it's the 150 anniversary of the Civil War I began re-reading some family history of my great-great-great grandfather Orange's experiences back then. He was a soldier in the Union army and he saw action in Tennessee and Georgia (plus he took a little additional side visit to Virginia). All this being just a couple states away from my home in Louisville, KY. my plan was coming together. Since I was on a mission of sorts, I decided it would be best as a solo ride where I wouldn't be holding any riding partners up with too many stops to look at obscure roadside markers.

A little work with MapSource and Google maps I came up with a 1500 mile route on back roads of Kentucky, Tennessee, one little corner of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Of course I had to include the Blue Ridge Pkwy. on my way up to Virginia. I also added lots of camping areas along the route as waypoints in my Garmin Oregon but I didn't make any reservations. The plan was to ride and camp as I pleased and just let things work themselves out.

Anyway that’s my intro to my big Spring adventure. May 18th was departure day. More later…


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"I have never seen a Kentuckian without a gun and a pack of cards and a bottle of whiskey." - Gen. Andrew Jackson
'08 WR250R - '12 Super Tenere - '64 CT-Frankentrail
Little Blue goes looking for Orange
I don't know what time it is, I've switched to kilometers
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
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Cool trip.

What forum is that "minimalist touring" thread in?


Found it!

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Old 06-08-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Here you go DE.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...highlight=duke
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"I have never seen a Kentuckian without a gun and a pack of cards and a bottle of whiskey." - Gen. Andrew Jackson
'08 WR250R - '12 Super Tenere - '64 CT-Frankentrail
Little Blue goes looking for Orange
I don't know what time it is, I've switched to kilometers
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:30 PM   #4
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mbabc

Sounds fun & interesting - nice history theme too
Get arty with the pics and I need to see food - I'm hungry

3 gallons - 150 miles - thats US galls of course so I suppose about 60mpg - not very good for a small engine - is that what 250's return generally ?



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Old 06-08-2011, 02:47 PM   #5
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I see your gonna pass through my hood (Murfreesboro, TN). There is a bunch of civil war stuff in our area. If you have any issues or need a garage to wrench in just let me know.

I have also been smitten by the lowly Wr250 and would like to know your thoughs on the windscreen and the 3.1 gallon tank after its all said and done. I almost purchased the 4.8 IMS tank but I am leaning heavily towards the 3.1 and using some MSR bottles for a back up.
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:05 PM   #6
mbabc OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhm2a View Post
I see your gonna pass through my hood (Murfreesboro, TN). There is a bunch of civil war stuff in our area. If you have any issues or need a garage to wrench in just let me know.

I have also been smitten by the lowly Wr250 and would like to know your thoughs on the windscreen and the 3.1 gallon tank after its all said and done. I almost purchased the 4.8 IMS tank but I am leaning heavily towards the 3.1 and using some MSR bottles for a back up.
I actually went on my ride about 3 weeks ago. Thanks for the offer of help, beautiful part of Tennessee for sure! I think the wr makes a fine light adventure tourer. Just need to pack carefully and keep off the Interstates in my opinion, though I've done that too. Windscreen keeps just enough of the blast off for me.
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"I have never seen a Kentuckian without a gun and a pack of cards and a bottle of whiskey." - Gen. Andrew Jackson
'08 WR250R - '12 Super Tenere - '64 CT-Frankentrail
Little Blue goes looking for Orange
I don't know what time it is, I've switched to kilometers
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #7
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My great, great, great grandfather Orange Cotton Babcock was 34 when he left Youngsville Pennsylvania with his younger brother Merritt (24) to join the Union cause. He was a farmer and teacher in the Fall of 1862 when he signed up with Independent Company C (infantry) of the Pennsylvania Volunteers.

This image shows him in from what I've been told, a Sergent Majors uniform. They were the only NCO's that were issued swords. We don't have any pics of Merritt.





We’re not sure why, but in December 1862, both Orange and Merritt were transferred to the 18th Infantry Regiment USA, 2nd Battalion. This light infantry unit was part of the regular Union forces, not volunteer state regiments, which made up the great majority of Union troops.


Here's Orange in his frock coat with Hardee hat.




The 18th was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland (Gen. Rosecrans), XIV Corps (Gen. Thomas), 1st Division (Gen. Baird), 3rd Brigade (Brig. Gen. King). By the time Orange got to Chickamauga, GA. he was under Capt. Haymond in the 2nd Battalion. His unit fought at the battle of Stones River at Murfreesboro, TN.,

http://www.nps.gov/srnc/index.htm

but I’m not sure if Orange and Merritt fought in that battle seeing they were just transferred in early December and the battle was Dec. 31 – Jan. 2 1863. Maybe they did bring in replacements that quick?? Pretty sure he must have stopped in Louisville on the way to TN. since the Louisville & Nashville railroad was a major supply line to the Federals. The Stones River Nat'l Battlefield was my first main goal.

My ride plan was to leave Louisville after work Wednesday and get 150 miles in. I left from work on Wednesday about 4:30 and rode in light rain/drizzle down to my first nights camp at Dale Hollow State Park. Good to be on the road again!





'Little Blue' ready to go...





Headed south through Bardstown...











Made it down to Dale Hollow State Park right on the Tennessee state line just before dark.





I had the campground to myself and it started to clear. Good thing, 'cause I'm solar powered and I need some sun tomorrow!

First nights camp pic...





I got up everyday at around 6:00 and tried to be rolling before 8:00.
Going to be a fine day!














Took Hwy. 53 through central TN., beautiful state and roads. "Old times here are not forgotten"...





Lot's of neat little old towns along the way. Later in my ride, I rode the Blue Ridge Pkwy from Cherokee, NC into Virginia. Spectacular road and I really enjoyed it, but I really like going through these small towns. Waving to folks on their porches, seeing the yards sales, nice lawns and gardens.











Center Hill Dam...





Took the 4 lane (70s) from Woodbury into Murfreesboro to the Nat'l Cemetery at Stones River.





Our family history says that Merritt was wounded in action and died April 24 1863 at General Hospital #6 Murfreesboro. Maybe he did fight at Stones River and died 4 months later of his wounds?? Uncle Merritt is buried at the Stones River National Cemetery. Paid him a visit and left a card and flag from his many grateful nieces and nephews.





























The railroad is still a major supply line between Nashville and Chattanooga...





They were having a hatch of these red eyed devils while I was there. Had them back home several years ago. My dog loved them, said they were very tasty...

















Beautiful place...








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"I have never seen a Kentuckian without a gun and a pack of cards and a bottle of whiskey." - Gen. Andrew Jackson
'08 WR250R - '12 Super Tenere - '64 CT-Frankentrail
Little Blue goes looking for Orange
I don't know what time it is, I've switched to kilometers

mbabc screwed with this post 06-08-2011 at 05:18 PM
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:11 PM   #8
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbabc View Post
I actually went on my ride about 3 weeks ago. Thanks for the offer of help, beautiful part of Tennessee for sure! I think the wr makes a fine light adventure tourer. Just need to pack carefully and keep off the Interstates in my opinion, though I've done that too. Windscreen keeps just enough of the blast off for me.
I guess if I could read I would have figured that out.....but hey its the thought that counts right!
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:51 PM   #10
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Looks like an excellent ride Mark. I'm IN.

-Jerry
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:22 PM   #11
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Excellent RR, Mark!

First pic above, I'm pretty sure I've stopped there for fuel a number of times. Is that just south of Albany, KY? Then again, maybe a lot of KY/TN gas stations look like that.

Second pic, well, does anything that cool warrant additional commentary?

Third, these things are indeed the Devil's work. Pretty sure their incessant whirring racket explains the madness so common amongst the great Southern writers.

Wanting a WR like I do, following this RR is not going to be helpful.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:18 PM   #12
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mhm2a -

Here's a pic of the Cee Baileys shield. Good product. Thick plexi, I have a tall touring one for my klr and like it, so figure I'd go that way for the wr.





I also got in on a group buy for a Seat Concepts seat. You use your pan and they send the foam/cover. Staple it on yourself or have a shop do it for $30 or so. A buddy had monel staples, so I did it myself. Pretty easy and VERY comfortable, adds needed with for my middle age spread. Used my sheepskin on top too.


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"I have never seen a Kentuckian without a gun and a pack of cards and a bottle of whiskey." - Gen. Andrew Jackson
'08 WR250R - '12 Super Tenere - '64 CT-Frankentrail
Little Blue goes looking for Orange
I don't know what time it is, I've switched to kilometers
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:25 PM   #13
mbabc OP
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Excellent RR, Mark!

First pic above, I'm pretty sure I've stopped there for fuel a number of times. Is that just south of Albany, KY? Then again, maybe a lot of KY/TN gas stations look like that.

Second pic, well, does anything that cool warrant additional commentary?

Third, these things are indeed the Devil's work. Pretty sure their incessant whirring racket explains the madness so common amongst the great Southern writers.

Wanting a WR like I do, following this RR is not going to be helpful.
Thanks John. Great meeting you last week. I found this wr relatively cheap on craigslist in Illinois. Keep an eye out for them...

The pic is on SR-61 south of Burkesville.

Get that KTM sorted out soon!
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"I have never seen a Kentuckian without a gun and a pack of cards and a bottle of whiskey." - Gen. Andrew Jackson
'08 WR250R - '12 Super Tenere - '64 CT-Frankentrail
Little Blue goes looking for Orange
I don't know what time it is, I've switched to kilometers
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:09 PM   #14
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From Stones River I went south on Manchester Pike (Hwy. 41) which parallels I-24 to the little crossing of Beechgrove, TN.






After the battle of Stones River which was pretty much a draw as I understand, Gen. Bragg and the Confederate Army of Tennessee withdrew 20 or so miles to the south and built a fortified line along the Duck river from Shelbyville to Wartrace. Gen. Rosecrans and the Union Army of the Cumberland mean while resupplied and rested in Murfreesboro. The powers in Washington were putting pressure on Rosecrans to move south and engage Bragg and keep his forces from helping relieve the siege of Vicksburg to the southwest. Rosecrans resisted for almost 5 months before making a move. The Confederate line was more easily defended by rugged terrain to the east with gaps through the mountains and the majority of troops to the west where it was more open ground. One important thing the Union forces did these 4 months was train an elite calvary force supplied with new 7 shot Spencer repeating rifles commanded by a Col. John T. Wilder. On June 24, 1863 Wilder's 'Lighting Brigade' spearheaded an advance into Hoovers Gap through which the Manchester Pike passed. Following in support was Gen. Thomas and his XIV Corp. Grandpa Orange and the 18th Infantry were along for the ride...

Gen. Thomas's forces soon overwhelmed the Confederates and they fell back to Tullahoma and soon thereafter, Chattanooga. This ended up being a major Union victory and some say lead to the victories at Atlanta and beyond.








More backroads and small towns on the way south...











Saw this enclosed marker and had to stop. Doesn't seem too controversial? Why the chain link and barbed wire?








Gen. Bragg had dug in at Chattanooga, a vital railway and gateway to the heart of the Confederacy. Bragg concentrated his forces to the northeast of the city defending the crossings on the Tennessee river where he expected Rosecrans to attack. I continued to ride south, generally following the advance of Gen. Thomas and his XIV Corps to the southwest of Chattanooga.
Bragg again withdrew, this time into northern Georgia.

I crossed the Tennessee river into the northeast corner Alabama and then into Georgia.





I started to see the damage caused by the tornado outbreak that hit this area in late April.








Next stop was the Chickamauga battlefield just to the south of Chattanooga. Gen. Bragg gathered reinforcements and his forces grew to over 66,000 men. He made his move September 19, 1863 along Chickamauga creek. This was a heavily wooded battle ground and commanders on both sides had difficulty directing their troops. The 18th Infantry under Gen. Thomas made the best of a bad situation and held their ground. Gen. Thomas earned the nickname 'Rock of Chickamauga' for his efforts, but the Confederate forces ruled the field this battle. The Union forces this time withdrew and retreated into Chattanooga. Unfortunately for Orange, he was captured by the rebels and soon found himself on a train headed to the prisoner of war camp in Danville Virginia.








I headed east and the north on Georgia back roads and back into Tennessee. My seconds night camp along the Ocoee river. Neat but rustic camping at Ocoee River Rats. Again I had the place almost to myself.





A full day at 372 miles...





Fire...good...beer...good...





A few beers and some beanie weenies and I'm done.

Tomorrow it's up to Tellico Plains and on to the Blue Ridge as I make my way to Danville, VA.
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"I have never seen a Kentuckian without a gun and a pack of cards and a bottle of whiskey." - Gen. Andrew Jackson
'08 WR250R - '12 Super Tenere - '64 CT-Frankentrail
Little Blue goes looking for Orange
I don't know what time it is, I've switched to kilometers
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:44 AM   #15
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what a terrific thread
a fantastic ride through history
love the pictures and the words behind them
the UNCLE MERRITT portoin of your ride report is a stand-out contribution
thank you for sharing with us
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