Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-31-2009, 05:34 PM   #1
JayElDee OP
not saying what I mean
JayElDee's Avatar
Joined: May 2007
Location: The City that Care Forgot
Oddometer: 622
Travels with Stella! In Appalachia

The roads seem to continue on and on.

After out west last spring I started thinking about the fall and where to go. Decided on heading to where West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio meet. I had driven that area and was impressed by the great roads there, so started planning.

It was a hard trip. Only 10 -11 days on the road and only about 3300 miles, but it was harder physically that my big trips out west. Maybe more traffic. Maybe more people. Maybe the weather. But it was harder, though still thoroughly enjoyable.

When you're planning one of these rides they usually get a name for the file you keep on the computer for all the stuff related to the ride. This was to be called the Falling Leaves Ride, but after a day or so it would be known as the Falling Rain Ride.

I thought the weather would be fine. Was I wrong. It was not fine.
Starting out I squinted in the bright hazy light for the last time for about 5 days.

I used my sunglasses this day and not again for the next 10 days.

Left home and headed for NE Alabama, slabbing it to make time, arriving in Scottsboro, Alabama in the early evening. Even though it was early October, it was a bit cool. And the next morning I awoke to 50+ degree temps and rain. Getting on the road and away I headed onto backroads that would be the remainder of my trip, but in the wet, which severely limited photo ops. Up the eastern side of Tennessee was fun though and then I arrived in Kentucky. The quality of the roads abruptly changing from just fine to mediocre and sometimes just plain bad, but the scenery improved by leaps and bounds.

hwy 74

Tn 90 became Ky 74 and they were both great, though the surface of 74 sometimes consisted of broken pavement, very broken pavement and was pretty damn slippery in the wet conditions. I was the only one on the roads and much of the time the roads were canopied with trees.

Stopped in Middlesboro, Ky for the evening, ate Mexican for the second evening in a row and awoke to find rain again the next morning. My route across Kentucky would take me from Middlesboro in the SE to the Lexington area, and horse and bluegrass country. Decided on this at the last moment and it was a good decision. Basically I followed 421 to 89 to Paris, Ky--about 17 miles out of Lexington and in the heart of horse country. Stayed there a couple of nights because it was now cold (low 40s) still raining and the riding and countryside were beautiful even in those conditions.

This area was one of those areas that I would see for the next week. What I mean is that you can ask for the "best roads" in the area from fellow forum members who live in the area. and they will give you their favorites, but the reality is that ANY road in the area is just peachy. Any route from A to B will be a treat. And there are so many of them that you never seem to run out. So, even though the rains continued and the temps hovered in the low 40s, it was still great for this swamp boy.
JayElDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
JayElDee OP
not saying what I mean
JayElDee's Avatar
Joined: May 2007
Location: The City that Care Forgot
Oddometer: 622
Man, you guys in the Lexington area sure have some pir-tee pir-tee pir-tee countryside.

I decided to stay in Paris for two nights, hoping the rain might stop--it didn't--but also, just to explore, I did.

Miserable weather and enjoying "most" minutes. There was a covered bridge nearby, the Colville Covered Bridge outside of Millersburg.

and down the road

and more of horse country

and at the end of a long day
JayElDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 06:17 PM   #3
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2009
Location: Collinsville Va
Oddometer: 1,726
Very nice photography!
2007 Daelim S-2 250, 2013 Piaggio BV350
tastroman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 08:03 PM   #4
Mod Squad
GB's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 56,854
Picturesque riding in beautiful Appalachia! thanks for the report and superb pics
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
JayElDee OP
not saying what I mean
JayElDee's Avatar
Joined: May 2007
Location: The City that Care Forgot
Oddometer: 622
The next morning it was still raining and now colder.

But at this point Ohio beckoned and it was time to leave Paris, but not before a lot more of Kentucky. I left Paris heading for Ky 57, a very nice motorcycle road with sweepers and scenery heading out through more horse and blue grass country.

A word about Kentucky. There is some real poverty there. The most common home building material is a trailer, sometimes modified, most times not, but usually looking a cut above a lean to. Across the highway from the above is this:

See the Trans Am (I think)? It's hood is popped. See the boat resting on the ground? See the chrome rims on the leaning pick-up truck? There were many many areas where derelict vehicles outnumbered by far those running. It was a little weird in a "Deliverance" kind of way and that is totally unfair for me to say that, but it is an area you don't want to break down in. On Hwy 57 heading north my zumo declared I could follow it all the way to Ky 546 (another cool road). It kept telling me that even though there were old road signs that told me the road ended ahead. And my low fuel light illuminates. I chose to believe the zumo; it was newer and shinier than those signs foretelling doom.

I finally turned around when the "road" narrowed to about 6 feet, having long since lost any type of marking. And it was still raining. My zumo is saying, Hey what do you think you're doing? Turn around. Trust me!

So I backtrack, doing the math how many miles I have left on this tank. I almost fitted Stella! with a MSR 33oz bottle. Almost. So, I am looking for fuel and I wind up in Sharpsburg. Lots of old fading bungalows on a main street that is past glory.

A Marathon appears. I pull in. I start unlayering. It's one of those stations that doesn't take cards at the pump, gotta go in.

I pump a tank of 89, and head inside.

Kentucky is a tobacco state. I open the door to the small office and the stifling heat is only exceeded by the smell of old ashtrays. Four guys are within watching cable news. I say hello and get no response. Two young white guys, one in an Ohio State hoodie (Bubba), one sitting on a 5 gallon bucket; an old white guy and and older black guy commenting on a tragedy being reported.
Bucket white guy: Bubba, why don't you ring it up.
I try how are y'all, trying to ID myself as a southerner, in case that's important. No response. The computer comes to life and spits out my receipt. I sign and leave, happy to leave, and happy to have gotten this bunch on a good day. There would've been no vibes if the bad vibes were absent.

I re-layer and hit the road again.
I head up to 546 which runs into Ky 10. 10 is another nice road, new surface, fast and with sweepers, has someone's name on it but I forget. I am sort of paralleling the Ohio River. Just before I cross into Ohio a short detour leads me to the Brown Covered Bridge at Bennet's Mill.

and this one

I include that last one because, well, everyone who's ridden any has had those "OH SH!T" moments. See how the tracks are wet, duh, it's still raining. So I am riding through and because it is wet and the wooden tracks have been wet for days and have grown stuff that on the evolutionary scale at that point was approaching newt, I am thinking that a little faster is better than a little slower, and it is until I reach the end of the bridge and see that Tygart Creek Road, I am riding on it, I see that it takes a previously unnoticed sharp right at the exit of the bridge. I gently hit my brakes, shoulda just hit the rear, but I feel my front wheel turn slightly left, slightly skiiding as I continue to go straight. I feel the ABS kick in. I immediately let go of the brakes, the bike straightens and disaster approached and averted. My "moment" had arrived and departed. I easily make the turn, God was in his Heaven.

So, I ride on and decide to fill up on the Kentucky side of the river at Grays Branch, at the intersection of 10 and 23.

Kentucky can an off putting place. At once it is beautiful horse country and rusted jalopies. Really big houses on the top of a hill or creative uses for trailer segments.

For me,it is cold, like 41 and raining or misting or just not drying out. Wherever I stop hoodies outnumber anything else. Gray. I see a PURE station, no it was a BP. Slide to a stop at the pump. Gonna do premium this time. Go inside the "mart" where the largest selection of anything is of tobacco. I didn't know TOPS made tobacco, too! Lanky guy comes up to me:

It's cold to be riding out there.

It sure is
and I think everyone thinks it's cold. I sip the large hot chocolate and just wait for the physics of transference of heat energy...and chocolate. So there's this Suzy Vega song about being in a coffee shop and watching a woman outside in the rain. Well, outside the window, in the rain at this gas station/mart comes a petite blond, attractive mid twenties. She is disembarking a Ford pick-up; sucking the last few drags of her cigarette. I watch her sidle, she does sidle, up to the store and enter.

She approaches Lanky Guy and does a little tribal choreography and Lanky Guy sort of recognizes her, but then
Hi, I'm Beth I used to.....

Oh, yeah, it;s been a while!

Yeah. I got two children now - My three year old, Ella, she's a demon, she-And I got one,a little girl, she'll be 1 on the 20th of this month!

Oh , yeah?

Yeah. She's a demon too!

Ha, How's Bill?

Oh, I ain't seen him is a good while, and I don't care!
I have to go file the papers you know what I mean?

I hear that!

Lanky Guy starts backing out a bit.

Yeah well good seeing ya.


and on the way out the door, Lanky Guy says

See, ya, around

I watch her leave to see if I can see who is driving. But I could not make out anything more than a gender ambiguous hulk in the driver's seat.

But she, Beth, announced all that in a crowded roadhouse mart. There were 15-20 people in there. I was about 15 feet away and heard it all.

You can just hear the damndest things when you listen.

And I cannot leave Kentucky without a mention of this.

No matter what roads you travel there are trucks to deal with. Not oppressive, but present and driving fast.
JayElDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 08:02 PM   #6
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: New Zealand
Oddometer: 71
Beautiful photos!
Looks like a great area to ride in.
kaipara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2009, 03:17 AM   #7
Sherpa-ing around
Thorne's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Lone Pine, ON, Canada
Oddometer: 1,206
Great photo's. Thanks for sharing.
I'd rather die living than live dying.

Thorne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2009, 03:02 PM   #8
JayElDee OP
not saying what I mean
JayElDee's Avatar
Joined: May 2007
Location: The City that Care Forgot
Oddometer: 622
Thanks to all for the kind words and mention must be made to thank Jeff and Vann and Boxer and Fullmonte for the route suggestions. I can honestly say that from Scottsboro, Alabama all the way up and down the roads were great; just one after another. 26 and 260 and 800 and 555 in Ohio; 10 and 16 in WV; 16 in Va and 98?; 80 south of the BRP in NC; 180 and 60 in Ga all great. Others were less "strenuous" but always enjoyable like 231 and 331 in Alabama. So thanks, people.

So, back to the trip.

I cross the Ohio River at Grays Branch, Ky., into Franklin Furnace, Ohio. I had some time and the misting had stopped so I decided to take the "Scenic Ohio River Byway" of US 52 and Ohio 7. If there was a disappointing road on the trip, this was it. Maybe it was the gray day or the afternoon traffic, or the big dump trucks that clogged the road, but it was not all that scenic, at all. I expected vistas overlooking the river. Not to be. It was one town after another and not much of a view. There were alternative routes to Marietta, where I would spend the night, but I kept hoping. Finally I hopped on 77 at Parkersburg and again in the rain made my way into Marietta for the evening.

In Marietta I experience my first Bob Evans.

So, I get into Microtel in Marietta and I am checking in and something happens that happened a lot on this trip. There was a fellow traveler, a young guy (you may quibble as to what constitutes "young," but generally it is someone less than your age, but this guy was prob in his late 20s early 30s).
he looks at me and says

You're riding a bike in this? He is local.
with a broad grin, Yes.

He shakes his head and by doing so suggests to me that I, in fact, AM THE MAN! but to him, might be something more like What A Moron!

I got that a lot. Incredulous fellow travelers. In fact, I saw very few motorcycles on the road.

I got on the elevator, somewhere, and there was an older couple in there, but younger than me I think. The woman says

Aren't you cool?

and I say, Yes I am cool and I am cold also.

This hobby we share, admit is VERY COOL. To do the stuff we do in these rides, short or long, whatever. Getting on that machine and heading out is very cool and it is just fine to recognize that and enjoy it. It is very cool.

But I digress.

I go into Bob Evans. I order the Chicken Parmesan for 7.99 (not bad, btw; get the Chianti with it) and this chick sits in front of me.
All of the servers are just so happy to be there, at Bob Evans. Their cheerfulness is is almost infectious. The chick orders
a full dinner entree AND a full breakfast, two eggs over medium, bacon and biscuits. And cleans her plate, before I make a dent in the chicken p.

While I "dine" the server keeps coming up to me asking, "How is everything tasting?" Not How is everything? Not Is everything OK? How is it "tasting?"
Maybe this is a colloquial thing. And other servers asked the same question of other diners.

The next morning greeted me with, you guessed it, rain and 38 degrees. I pack up and head out. I tried to take 26 off of 77, but couldn't find it so took 7 to 260 to 26 to 800. A wonderful though cold and wet ride.
Twisties, sweepers, little traffic, just great.

I stop at Mathias BMW in New Philadelphia to check on my throttle body synchronization. It was pretty good and the staff there thought the roughness and surging I reported was due to "bad Ohio gas." They were nice people there.

I ride on to Coshocton through much of Amish country, arrving in the late afternoon. Very few rooms in the inns because I arrived on the first day of the Apple Butter Stirrin' Festival in Roscoe Village, just outside of town. I head over to Roscoe Village hoping to stir some apple butter, but the locals were closing shop for the day, still it was a neat place.

as it was supper time now, I stayed there for dinner at

and then walked back to the Coshocton Inn through the village at night

JayElDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2009, 10:54 AM   #9
JayElDee OP
not saying what I mean
JayElDee's Avatar
Joined: May 2007
Location: The City that Care Forgot
Oddometer: 622
It was a Saturday morning when I left Coshocton for Mc Connellsville to meet Jeff for breakfast.
It is easy to get lost in Ohio. But in Ohio lost is good. It's another one of those places where there may be a "best" route from A to B, but in reality any road is good.
I got lost on a beautiful twisty/sweeping lightly traveled road. It wasn't long before my bearings were restored and we met at a diner on the town square, called the Blue Belle 50's diner.
Nice place, popular and cheap home cooking.

Jeff was heading to Athens and he led me on the fabled 555. What a road! One of the "funnest" (don't think that's a real word) roads I've been on, with all the tight sweeping elevation changes, one right after the other. There was some gravel in the turns, the same color as the road, and that made life interesting, but still, great road and over much too soon. After Athens it was a road to the east and West Virginia, I think it was US 35?? The rain had finally stopped, as it turns out for the rest of the trip and I could finally push it some. The new set of PR2s which had performed well in the wet, performed well in the dry also. No surprise there, but nice nonetheless.

Jeff said that if I am going to ride along the river to try the West Virginia side and it was better. he also said not to miss HillBilly Hot Dogs In Lesage, just before Huntington, my destination for this evening.

So I am cruising along WV 2, and it is nicer than Ohio 7, when I come upon a ramshackle clot of buildings on the east side of the road. The famous (notorious?) HillBilly Hotdogs

It is quite a scene and there was definitely a coarsely hewn sense of humor here.

So there is the web address and you can buy the t shirt--no kid's sizes though.

I resist posting food pictures because usually, not always, they look like this--my order

(insert "ewwwwww" here)

This is the
Stacy's Flu Shot
Hot dog loaded with jalapenos and topped with our homemade chili sauce. Stacy Nida sears this flu shot'll kill anythin that's allin in yur head!!

and so far so good, though I did get the flu shot this year. I get it every other year because I figure they get it right about 50% of the time.

But it was good.

And that evening I dined at my second Bob Evans
JayElDee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2009, 12:36 PM   #10
Beastly Adventurer
Rider_WV's Avatar
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Leon, WV
Oddometer: 2,396
HA, you actually ate at HillBilly hotdogs?? sorry to hear that

Good RR, sorry to hear you ran into rude people in KY. in general, eastern KY residents are very polite
Rider_WV is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2009, 03:10 PM   #11
Beastly Adventurer
mrbreeze's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Tennessee
Oddometer: 8,940
ahhhh yes, I live in middle TN. We have had many gray days so far this fall. Unseasonably cold and wet. But Saturday they are calling for sunshine and low 70's, and my V-Strom is expecting a good workout!

Nice RR, btw. Keep it coming.
mrbreeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2009, 03:30 PM   #12
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Union, Ky.
Oddometer: 306
Kentucky Hospitality

Well golly geez, we good people down here in Caintucky. I moved to from Washington DC to Kentucky 15 years ago and you are right people are different here. I found everyone and still do very helpful and friendly. Most speak english too. Anyway, great post, great pics. Now if you all would quit telling everyone about the great roads and scenery here in KY. Did I mention what assholes we are. Just kidding. It is pirty round here
Marc from Union, Ky
MSF RiderCoach
2005 K1200LT
2004 R1150GS Adventure
2013 DR650
mpillis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2009, 05:28 PM   #13
picking and riding
USAIR's Avatar
Joined: May 2008
Location: Northern Kentucky
Oddometer: 1,641
Awesome photography really good stuff here.
Love the Hillbilly Hot Dog Stand,

You had me till the photo of hot dog with mustard...I hate mustard

USAIR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2009, 05:29 PM   #14
Sittin' on a Rainbow
HalfBrokeMule's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: East Coast
Oddometer: 30
Love your Photog work!
HalfBrokeMule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2009, 06:20 PM   #15
JayElDee OP
not saying what I mean
JayElDee's Avatar
Joined: May 2007
Location: The City that Care Forgot
Oddometer: 622
well, golly gee gosh darn it, thanks

I didn't say that the people in Kentucky were rude, did I? If I gave that impression it was not meant. Those guys in the gas station were just weird, and not friendly, but I did not attribute that to them being Kentuckians at all, and if I implied that I hereby formally apologize to all Kentuckians. These guys were not your ambassadors.

And the girl with the two children that were "demons" was cute (read "hot").

But Thanks for checking out the RR.

And yes, I ate at HillBilly Hot Dogs. It was good and iirc I think my weenie was $1.59

And the people there were very nice, as opposed to...just kidding

Jalapenos on a hot dog, how can one resist?

And I will keep it quiet about the roads. Promise.

JayElDee is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:19 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015