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Old 07-10-2008, 04:47 PM   #16
naustin09
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yeah dude, don't stop now....
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:51 PM   #17
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Approaching 1:00am now, I had to be honest and admit I was getting a bit tired of walking.
The GPS showed 1.0 miles to the main road to Reddish Knob, though it had been fluctuating a bit, dropping down to 0.3 miles at times, so I wasn't sure exactly how far we were.
My phone had never rung, likely due to us being too far out of service at this point. Melissa's phone had long since died, and now mine did too. Hopefully, there's be someone waiting for us at the Knob, and we wouldn't need them.

We pressed on, and eventually came to a sign of civilization.
Not much, mind you but every little bit boosts spirits.
We were now on a very narrow, rocky pass, and we were climbing as much as walking.
To the left, just as the rocks dropped off down a cliff, was a single metal cable. I'm not sure what its purpose was, as it was too high to be useful as a fence or restraint, but it gave us some hope that we were close.

Was that even the main road on the other side?

No, it wasn't. The path continued, but once again we were back to dirt, and were able to walk on only two limbs. About another quarter mile down this path, and another clearing seemed to emerge in the distance.

Unlike the other clearings, this one wasn't caused by a change in the terrian to large, sharp and relatively dangerous rocks. No, this one was asphalt!

ROAD!!!

At last! We we'd made it to the main road to Reddish Knob.
Only a little bit further now, up the twisty road, to the peak where we could be rescued!
Melissa was, at this point, in surprisingly good spirits. After getting off her knees from when she'd been kissing the pavement, the two of us burst into song, singing some silly and highly repetative songs she'd learnt as a girl scout years ago.

These songs continued as we walked up the road to the peak of the Knob. We didn't stop singing until we'd reached the very top, looked around, and realized that it was now 2:00am, and we were completely alone.

Continues...
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:49 PM   #18
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I had two promised I'd made to Melissa.
I had every intention of keeping both of them.
When we'd left the bike behind, I'd promised Melissa we'd get out of this alive.
But before we'd left, I'd made her another promise.

We would have sandwiches on Reddish Knob.

We looked around, found two rocks, and we sat down and pulled the somewhat squashed meals from our pockets.

Maybe I was just really tired, but that was the best damn peanut butter and jelly sandwich I'd ever had.

We also tried our phones once more, figuring if we even got another 30 seconds out of our batteries, we might be able to call for help.

I called 911 again, and spoke to a man. I said, as quickly as I could, that I'd called before explaining the situation, and that we'd reached Reddish Knob.

He said he had no idea what I was talking about, that I hadn't called that emergency number before, and that I'd probably been in a different county and therefor routed to a different dispatch. He then asked me what Reddish Knob was, and before I had a chance to answer him, my phone died. Melissa wasn't able to make any call from her phone.

I wasn't overly worried at this point. We could spend the night at Reddish Knob, and generally someone would be up there at some point during the next day. I figured even if no one came looking for us, people would probably take the trip to the scenic location the next evening: people go there all the time enjoy the view of the sky, the surrounding cities and to get drunk, so it's unlikely we'd have to wait more than 24 hours before someone came along.

On the other hand, being at a mountain top ment it was really windy. We were already pretty wet from sweat and the earlier rain, and it was getting to be rather cold. But the sun would rise again in 4 or 5 hours, and taking a glance at Melissa gave me quite a few ideas of various ways to keep warm until then.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:52 PM   #19
SloNEZ
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Wow!
When I first started reading this one, I was gonna' make some smart a$$ comment like "TTIWWP" ... but it isn't!
Awesome so far - can't wait for more.
Man. Two up on a Ninja 250 with some serious off-roading. You da' man.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:24 PM   #20
longrider999
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OF age

skippii,son ifn you dont get my underage daughter home by 2am you are gonna be a biker thats gonna wish hed have a GPS to find his own DICK!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:18 PM   #21
Skippii OP
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Several years ago, while at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, I worked as a Cadet at the police department there.
It was a fun job, though I only did it for less than a year. I must have left some sort of impression on the department, though, because one of the officers recognized my name when he heard it over the police radio. Obviously not his jurisdiction, of course, but it sparked his interest for a while.
Several hours later, around 12:45am, curiosity got the better of him. He called a friend of his on his cell phone, a Sergent in the Rockingham County department, and asked what the result had been of "those guys on Reddish Knob".
Well, the sargent knew nothing of this--which ultimately isn't suprising as Reddish Knob is not in nor particularly close to Rockingham County--it's on the boarder of Augusta County and West Virginia.
So, the Sergant said he'd find out and let the officer at JMU know how the story had ended. He made a few phone calls to his dispatch office to get the info. He was told that they had recieved a phone call from two motorcyclists who'd had the bike break down and ended up walking to Reddish Knob, and that the police dispatcher had called a friend of the motorcyclist to have someone pick him up, but hadn't been able to confirm that anyone was in fact available to do so. There was no more information available.
This troubled the sergent, but was immediately sent on another call. As soon as he got a chance, though, he figured he'd drive over to the next county and up to Reddish Knob to make sure there wasn't anyone over there waiting.

It was after 2:00am before he got a break from police calls, when he and another officer headed out on the 30-mile drive to Reddish Knob.

Just before he arrived, he got a call from the Rockingham County Dispatcher. The dispatcher said that she had just received a call from the Augsta County Dispatcher, who had asked her if she knew anything about a guy stuck on Reddish Knob, because it sounded like there was someone there.

Well, 15 minutes later, at around 2:30am, he pulls up to the top of the mountain and see two people wearing motorcycle jackets sitting in the cold.
The sergent couldn't believe that the communication had been this bad, that no one in either Rockingham or Augusta county had been notified by the dispatcher. It had been 6 hours since the motorcyclist had made the phone call saying he was stranded, and yet the only way he found out was when a friend had called to ask for the details of the incident.
Taking the two stranded cyclists home, he expressed his concern for them, as well as his concern about the communication in his department.

Continues....
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:21 PM   #22
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:30 PM   #23
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:03 PM   #24
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Epilogue:

Arriving home at 3:00am in the back of a police car (despite being a friendly trip) wasn't exactly the ending I'd expected for this trip. It was, however, better than some ending I'd feared at certain points.
This was the second time I'd ever had to return from a motorcycle trip without my bike--the first time being a rather uneventful flat tire from which I hitchhiked home.
I soon noticed that I'd also somehow returned home without my cell phone. I remembered calling 911 from Reddish Knob, so I figured I must have dropped it there. Well, I was far too tired to go back now, but I figured I'd take my car in the morning to see if I could find it.
The next morning, I start up my car with my fingers crossed.
My car isn't exactly the most reliable thing around. I drive it on average 10 miles a month, when I don't have access to my bike (This usually involves a scenario such as me dismantling the engine before I realize I've forgotten to pick up the replacement part from the dealership.) The last time I drove it, it stalled out several times, wouldn't start, and overheated.
I pulled out of the parking lot, thinking to myself, "the adventure isn't over yet!"

A minute later, I pulled back into my driveway, filled the engine up with coolant, added a quart or two of oil, pondered briefly what all those crusty lumps were on the oil dipstick, and set off once again.

The engine may have badly needed the coolant, but adding it didn't seem to help much with keeping the engine cool. It wasn't long before the needle was into the red. Oh well. I'm planning on selling the car soon anyway.
I get back to the forsest, being extremely careful to make sure I'm taking the MAIN, PAVED road to Reddish Knob.

BAM

That was the sound of the deer slamming onto the hood of my car, rolling off my windshield, and then running away back into the woods.
That's the second time in my life I've hit a deer, and neither time was I rewarded with fresh venison--only dents and broken lights.
This time, though, the damage didn't look too bad. So I got back in the car and kept driving. A bit of a funny noise, but nothing too loud. And then the engine coolant light comes back on. And I know it was filled up half an hour ago.
*Sigh*
Driving in the hot weather with the heating on full isn't exactly a nice trip, but at least it keeps the engine temperature from going past the red--while I'm moving at least.
Going up this steep mountian doesn't seem to help much either, but my car gets me there in the end, up to the top, where sure enough, I'm able to find my cell phone.
A few missed calls from the police dispatch, and a message telling me I need to come into work for the graveyard shift that night. So much for my day off to recover.

The luck from the ride didn't end only with me, however.

Melissa and her roommate had gone out grocery shopping in the morning, only to have his car break down coming home. Unable to get it started again, they finally were given a ride home--once again, in the back of a police car by a friendly police officer.


THE END
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:08 PM   #25
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Melissa just e-mailed me these pictures she took of the ride. Hopefully she'll e-mail me some more (including some of her), but these three are all I have right now.

The first one is the very beginning of the trail. In the background you can see one of the fun "jumps". I don't know why we didn't turn around back then.

The second one is also from the very beginning, giving you an idea of what was considered a "nice" part of the path.

The third one is the first and smallest of the downed trees.


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Old 07-10-2008, 10:30 PM   #26
Mileater
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Eh? Not quite the end?

don't you have a motorcycle to collect and return to the barn???

Quite an adventure for an afternoon outing! Thanks for taking the time to put it all up for the inmates... brought a few smiles to a few faces, I'm sure.

Good luck with the next part of the adventure... and keep us posted!

Cheers,
Allan
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:45 AM   #27
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Good stuff! This will be a great story for you and Melissa to tell your kids about.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:13 AM   #28
Bronco638
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Um, so when do you start shopping for a D/S?
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:27 AM   #29
motocav
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Good old Reddish Knob

Back in high school I attended running camp at Eastern Mennonite. We had to run up Reddish Knob on one of our trips. That was a bitch. Great view though. I think I'll have to take the niner up there, though I'll probably stick to the mostly paved roads. :)
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:03 AM   #30
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Dude! You truly are the "Dragon of Asshat."

Well Done! I salute you...
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