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Old 04-19-2010, 06:55 AM   #1
comac90 OP
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Peg Draggin' on the Dragon and other Dirty Fun - a 3-day wknd in WNC

Finally!!! ... we've been waiting months to go on our self-nicknamed "Tax Man Ride" - April 15th may hurt, but there's always a 3-day weekend after Tax Day and what better way to enjoy 'taxes' than to breakaway for a long weekend on the bikes.


I'll post up a write-up as I have time over the next few days. But, below are a few pics from our run in western North Carolina this weekend between Asheville, Nantahala, and the Tail of the Dragon.

The trip involved one of these ...



And one of these ...


(Who says V-Stroms and Beemers can't get along?)


These 2 guys (who with 3 kids each and crazy work schedules ... and really, really awesome wives ... needed a weekend away) ...




Some of these ...



A bunch of these ...


And a lot of this ...









We're ready to go again ...
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:09 AM   #2
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:37 PM   #3
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After waiting for months, the weekend of our self-proclaimed "Tax Man Ride" finally arrived last Friday. Originally, there were 4 of us who'd planned on going, but two had to bail at the last minute which left me and my good friend Charlie.

Our goal was to ride 3 days in Western North Carolina exploring some backcountry roads and sights, dirt and paved. Though we've rock-crawled and 4-wheeled together for years, this was the first motorcycle trip we'd been on together. We had no real agenda or schedule other than we knew we wanted to head west of Asheville and use a location near the Nantahala Outdoor Center as base camp.

To understand the true 'feel' of this trip, you gotta understand Charlie. A trip with Charlie, regardless of the outcome of the trip (and we've had some that by all accounts went in the crapper), is a good trip. I've known him for nearly two decades, but he's hard to describe ... He's a unique blend of southern americana and eclectic wit bound together with tremendous intelligence and a big heart. Imagine a guy who randomly bursts into song singing David Allen Coe (or any other country song for that matter) when you least expect, has an ability to quote any line from any comedy ever made (Tommy Boy was a favorite this trip) and always has a slightly slanted view on any situation and consistently sums up said situation with witty one-line "Charlie-isms" that almost always fall under 'you had to have been there'. That's Charlie ... one of the few truly real, big-hearted guys I've ever met. And, whenever we get together, carnage and trouble normally ensue ... though, I'll say in advance that we were pretty 'good' this trip.

Our final route ended up being:

Day 1:
My house in Candler, NC > Hwy 191 > Mills River Rec Area > SR1206 > Right on Hwy 276 > over the Blue Ridge Parkway to Waynesville > Hwy 74 to camp near the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC)

Day 2:
Nantahala > Andrews, NC ...to Tatham Gap to ... Robbinsville > Hwy 129 > Lake Santeelah > Tail of the Dragon (up and back) > Hwy 28 to Fontana Dam (upper and lower) > Bryson City, NC > the end of the "Road to Nowhere" > NOC

Day 3:
NOC > Winding Stair > Tellico Gap > Hwy 28 Dragon > Hwy 74 > back to my house via 74 and I-40
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:12 PM   #4
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Day 1, part 1

Charlie arrived from Charlotte with V-Strom in tow around noon Friday. I don't know a whole lot about V-Stroms, but it looked like he opened the Touratech catalog and had some fun ....



By far the best farkle on the V was the RubberMaid "Action Packer" storage container zip-tied (yeah, I said zip-tied) to the back of the Strom for a top case.



Once we finished packing the bikes, it was off to get some food. You can't start a 3-day journey without some local flavor, so we headed to Celebrity's Hot Dogs off of Hwy 191 in Asheville for some Chili Dogs. Anyone who loves NASCAR will love this place. It's owned by Asheville's own former NASCAR driver Robert Pressley. And, the dogs are great ...



From there, we headed down Hwy 191S and hung a right on N. Mills River Rd to North Mills Rec Area. We jumped on FSR1206 and headed into Pisgah National Forest. It was the perfect temp for mesh jackets and t-shirts. We didn't see many people and the scenery was great.

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Old 04-22-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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Day 1, Part 2

As we came to the end of FSR 1206 in Pisgah Nat'l Forest, we dumped out onto Hwy 276 ...




We stopped here and out came the maps to determine our best route to the NOC. Part of me wanted to head east on 276. I'd ridden it before and it's a great, twisty mountain road that goes by some beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain scenery (e.g. Bridal Veil Falls). I was thinking it would also give me an opportunity to test the limits of the new TKCs in the twisties. But, the 'tire testing' was going to have to wait ... east on 276 would've taken us the LONG way to the NOC and it was getting late in the day.

Checking maps ...





We took Hwy 276 up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and then over to Waynesville. I had never been this route and I'm glad we did. I didn't take any pictures b/c I was too busy having fun in the twisties. The road is in crappy condition in some parts ... perfect to test new tire limits on a 1200 GSA.

From Waynesville, we took the Hwy 74 super slab til it drops to two lanes and twisties a few miles from the NOC. An hour after stopping in Waynesville, we were setting up camp streamside at Lost Mine Campground in the beautiful Nantahala Gorge.



Charlie was roughing it as much as possible. That is until the peacefulness of the outdoors, bubbling brook at all, was interrupted by a loud "nnnnnnnnnnn" sound coming from Charlie's tent ....

.... 'you don't expect me to actually blow up my queen mattress without out an electric pump do you?'





Lost Mine is great ... it's up a narrow road from the Nantahala Outdoor Center and is family-owned. Rates are good, a mountain stream runs through the campsites (great for dozing off at night) and you can buy firewood/firestarter from the owners if needed. Go to lostminecampground.com for details ... no affiliations whatsoever; just stayed there a few times and like it.

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Old 04-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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Anybody with Rubber Maid farkles on a Wee is OK in my book !
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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Day 1, part 3

We ate dinner Friday night at River's End Restaurant located riverside on the Nantahala river beside the Nantahala Outdoor Center. I missed pics of it, but it has a good 'whitewater' vibe and decent food ... and Fat Tire, which of course we took back to camp ...




Add some Fire Paste and you've got a party (uhh, yeah, the tube was empty by the end of the night) ...



Once the fire was going , it was a relaxing, uneventful evening: bubbling brooks, cool mountain air, shadows flickering on the motorcycles from the campfire ....








... and the smell of freshly burnt cannibis from the couple in the campsite next door ... once their 3-yr old was asleep.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:19 PM   #8
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Great start to a weekend of riding.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:54 PM   #9
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Lotsa beer.. that's what we like to see!

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