|05-29-2007, 01:16 PM||#1|
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Western Piedmont, NC
The Charlotte contingent arrived at Rally HQ not long after we did. Layla and I were returning from a delightful weekend of kayaking at the Cheoah River, where we bore witness part of the mayhem that is Deal's Gap. We finally ran the middle line at the big drop. Anyway, I digress. The Charlotte folks were mighty nice to overlook the chaos of getting back from a boating trip. Monday morning arrived with the Greenville contingent. We put sweet new MT21s on a new DRZ400SK4.
Finally ready to leave. Maybe the sun will shine today.
We were to meet Lucky at the gas station at 10:45. We were more or less on time.
We took off. Of course, we did the supermoto thing through the shopping center for the fun of it, and this morning at work I was asked, "Was that you in that pack of motorcycles going real fast through the Food Lion parking lot." Note to self: chill out in town.
Corpening Bridge was the first dirt of the day, and established the fact that we weren't going to space out to cut down on dust consumption. Hey, that's cool as long as I'm out front. So we blast through to Collettsville and NC 90 and then head up Globe Mtn Road. We hadn't even picked up speed when I heard some commotion and saw a cloud of dust in my mirror and an unmounted rider. They got the bikes picked up before I thought of grabbing a photo.
All of this was witnessed by the fellow with the grouse tails (visible in the photo) and the mopads and scewters. He seemed a bit incredulous that guys with such nice equipment would have a hard time on a straight smooth road. He was also nice enough offer a spare rear view mirror and take the broken one.
This fellow was also witness to the accident. His advice: drive carefully.
The nice guy is as dedicated to license plates as the mug people across the valley are to coffee mugs.
So last ride, we took the road out of Mulberry Creek straight out to 321. Waterfalls Road is a right all of us but Layla missed. It turns out to be the way to go. Fun stuff: small paved road, tight turns, and, as the name suggests, a cool set of falls. Layla's XT sets the scene.
One of the few places that wasn't dusty.
XXLAl and his sweet new DRZ. It makes me think impure thoughts about my XR.
So I have been eyeing up the old school river crossing where the bridge now is. I gave it a go (on a borrowed bike) and it wasn't bad. XXLAl and Q fired it up. Al is also field testing those MT21s.
So far so good. We blasted up Penley Road to Aho Gap like you see in Dust to Glory. Over the other side and down to 321 and into Boone. The call of the lunch was strong and there were differing opinions about how to handle it. We had settled on the Ham Shoppe, which does serve a righteous sandwich, but the sheer volume of humanity was pretty offputting and prompted J Lo, roadbuzz still fresh in his ears, to say in his outside voice, F@ck this place!" Mom with the takeout order in her hand was not amused.
Old, long dormant instincts began to take over as we followed the Watauga River to its confluence with Beech Creek. If you're actually reading this, take note of the road that goes up Beech Creek through Kellersville. Bust a left at the transfer stattion and follow the roads up through Beech Mtn. Do it before it turns to condo hell.
It still looks like this, but this place already has a mailing address.
Wrong turns will only take you to phat vistas--time well spent if you're not hungry. This has to be one of the biggest climbs in the east. We had a gas crisis, but we made it to downtown Banner Elk. The Bayou Smokehouse is a pretty good place to eat.
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, "Duh."
We pulled out of the Smokehouse with rain falling. Like I said, this one could have gone either way. We cruised over Hickory Nut Gap to Newland, where I began to regain conciousness.
Side note: that XT 350 Yamaha is DA BOMB. I haven't ridden a modern XT, but I wouldn't trade. C'mon Yamaha.
A mirror full of Suzukis. SWAT Team trucks might be scarier. Don't slow down, whatever you do.
Thanks for looking.
Cela est comment nous roulons.
|05-29-2007, 01:52 PM||#2|
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Forest Hill Country Club
A memorial day, fo' sho'
What Gaston so modestly leaves out is his righteous route planning skills! Mad props to GG for 162 miles of... everything! Always fun riding with the CLT posse... we missed Dizzle, but hope his NASCAR gig won't interfere with the next go-round... This was an excellent day, and while it may indeed require a change of air filter (a little rain would be most welcome, especially for us sweep riders!), it was welllllll worth it. And while the chow was indeed primo, the cold beer was even better.... Never so happy to see someone else's misfortune, as what we though was a license check was a fender bender... no one hurt, and we all proceeded smoothly down the mountain. J thought we were headed home, which we were, but as the weather cleared, our second wind kicked in, and a 45 minute ride turned into another 2 hours of some killa single track where even a heavy 650 can evoke days of horizontal shaft Briggs and Stratton 5 hps on a rigid frame! I hope I speak for all when I say it was indeed time well spent. Slante Mhe!
'07 KLX 250S... with mad mods
'08 DL650... party on, Darth
'68 CL90... my first ride!
Straight from here two lanes of Freedom...
|05-29-2007, 06:52 PM||#4|
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Greenville, SC
If Gaston ever invites you on a ride, go. But unless you're an experienced flat-tracker and an ISDE veteran, don't try to keep up.
GG, the blast through the Food Lion pl really set the tone for the day. Thanks for the great loop and the great pace you set. I still can't believe that I'm not lying in the hospital in Boone with PeeJ stamped on my forehead after we came up Aho at upwards of 60mph.
I vaguely remember some beautiful laurel and rhodo zipping by...
Lots of wild turkeys in those parts.
I wish Cotton was a monkey.
|05-30-2007, 07:48 PM||#5|
Joined: May 2006
Location: out in the clover patch
Looks like you found your way back to one of my favorite roads
Good job with the bridge detour
How's the 'ol DR been running.....any more troubles?
I'm looking forward to riding some more single track with y'all again!! I had to work (sucks) monday
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