|11-10-2006, 02:49 PM||#1|
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Upstate SC
Fly, buy and ride -- or how I spent my spring break
I’ve been lurking here for a while and subscribed back in April. I thought I’d tell you about my trip to buy a bike and my ride home.
I bought an ’00 mandarin R1150GS from an ad in the flea market here.
I flew from Greenville-Spartanburg Airport in SC to Newark on Tuesday, April 11, met up with the seller at my in-laws’ house and bought the bike. I took it for a spin around the neighborhood and on NJ Route 4 for 19 miles or so, then came back, packed the system cases, removed some stickers and went to bed anticipating the trip I had ahead of me.
12APR06 -- Wednesday morning.
I visited some friends for an hour or so, then mounted up and headed out for I-80 for some slab time. I
The first bike I saw on the trip was another GS. I waved and gave the advrider salute.
In PA, I stopped at the big Cabela’s store just off 78. I stretched my legs around the store, bought a cargo net to ease some of the pressure on the system case lids by moving my rain gear to the seat, had some lunch, topped up the fuel tank and hit the slab for a few more miles.
Tired of the slab, I took the exit for Gettysburg. I got to the park about 1700 – just in time to miss the visitor’s center, which closed at – you guessed it – 1700.
I strolled around part of the graveyard, took in the views of the monument that marks the area of the Gettysburg Address. I was moved in many ways – as a South Carolinian, as a citizen and as a soldier. What a sobering place.
I mounted up and headed back south. I stopped at a roadside monument – one of many that marks those three days in 1863.
The infamous Peach Orchard is over the hill behind the bike (which is pointing north – I pulled a U-turn into the pullout).
Back on the road, I enjoyed the PA countryside and the highway into Maryland (where I did a little more in-town, um, adventuring in Frederick) -- …
and the Old Dominion.
I even saw dinosaurs.
I stopped for the night in Front Royal, VA. It was only 377 miles of riding in about 10 hours, but it was a great day.
13APR03 – Thursday.
I woke up and packed up, then went out to a wet-but-no-longer-raining morning. I put the system cases on while I chatted with some Border Patrol guys who were staying in the motel. Destination: Skyline Drive.
I motored through town to get here:
This 35-mile-per-hour road was pretty much deserted for its one hundred and a few miles, and I had a great ride.
That was a good warm-up.
Now for the real exercise. (The pics are probably not in order.)
I stopped for lunch and fuel in Big Island, VA. Great chicken fingers. Then I was back on the road, southbound.
It's a great road.
Ready for a break, I stopped for a snack in Meadows of Dan, VA. I met a K-biker named Steve there who, like me, was on spring break from his teaching job. He was headed north after riding the Tail of the Dragon. We chatted while we ate our ice creams. He told me about a motel down the road. I was on the lookout for it, but it came up sooner than I wanted to stop, so I rode on.
The low fuel light came on, and I thought I would have to stop on the side of the BRP, but I found a gas station at the Boone exit. I should have topped up while I was in Meadows of Dan.
E.T. shadowed me for a while.
I had been cruising behind a cage when I came to a looooong (by BRP standards) straight somewhere near the NC/VA border and was about to pull out and pass when I saw the flashing light up ahead at the edge of my range of vision. I stayed where I was and felt sad for the driver who was pulled over and a little glad that he had occupied the speed enforcers.
I stopped at the beginning of the detour on the BRP near Marion. It was a great riding day – 489 miles, all but a very few on Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Friday, 14APR06 -- Up in the morning before day …
I took the 55-mile detour to bypass the 11-mile construction zone on the BRP. Divided highway and Interstate 40 – slabslabslabslabslab -- to get to Asheville and back on the BRP. The authori-tays (NCDOT?) could have put up a few more signs to reassure travelers about the detour route.
I finished out the BRP. The stretch from Asheville to the end near Cherokee/Smoky Mountain National Park is incredible. My favorite section, actually.
Lots of these:
And wonderful curves.
This is on that section:
I wanted to turn around and ride it again (I did turn around for this photo on the Cherokee/Grat Smoky Mountain N.P. end because there isn't a "Leaving the BRP" sign), but my sister and her kids were visiting my parents, so I headed on.
I went to Cherokee, bought a bauble for my wife, fueled up south of town and pointed the front tire toward Franklin, NC, and on to Highlands. My batt’ries were dead in my camera, so I didn’t get a pic, but those of you who haven’t been in a while may not know that a big slab of rock has fallen at Bridal Veil Falls on NC 28 just outside Highlands and blocked the little horseshoe drive. You can still walk under the falls.
I had a great BBQ lunch in Highlands, then headed toward SC on 28. The route goes into North Georgia for a few miles, then into SC. My wife was away at a conference, so my childhood home was my destination rather than my house. The two are only about 45 miles apart.
I pulled up in the middle of the afternoon. About 52 hours since 000 on the trip meter with 1128 miles behind me. It was a great ride.
Now for some visiting.
My niece taught me a new way to eat a sammich.
My nephew told me a story:
I enjoyed the weekend with family, rode the bike in a parade Saturday in my hometown, and took a ride with my Dad, my brother, a cousin, and a couple of buddies late in the day Easter Sunday. We rode to Helen, GA – my GS, Dad’s ’82 V45 Magna, my brother’s ’05 Ninja ZX6R, and three 600-class Gixxers. It was a fun little jaunt, then I split off from the group and headed home.
It was a great ride.
All the best, you FFs,
I'm not lost. I'm explorin'.
"My dream is to live my life as best I can before I die, even if it kills me." -- Mr. Cob
"If you're on ADV and you're still anonymous, you're doing it wrong." -- Boondoggle
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