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Old 07-10-2013, 06:19 AM   #406
Scotty P
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:11 PM   #407
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Georga AGAIN!?!? Allllllright :D

I had a cousin's wedding to attend in the North Georgia Mountains (insert Squidbillies joke) and decided to ride the GS...naturally.

I left work on Friday afternoon and took my usual route of hwy and back roads down toward Augusta County.

Buffalo Gap as the sun went down over the mountain.

I don't like riding 42 in the dark on account of deer and critters so I finally decided to grab a beer, make dinner and camp outside Craigsville, VA on Archer Run Rd. Nice and quiet with no vehciles passing all night.

I woke around 5:30, packed up and was riding by 5:45. I made my way south past Goshen then along Brattons Run Rd where I crossed 64 and went exploring up Scenic Dr F447 to Top Rd. I spotted a nice overlook pull off and decided to make my morning cup of coffee in the Aeropress. What a great sunrise cup-o-joe to perk me up. This is shaping up to be a great day.

Berries just starting to turn.

Scenic Rd indeed

From here I wound my way down the mountain heading in a southerly direction and found myself in Clifton Forge. Home of skippii's temporary garage setup and possibly ThunderCu*t

This would be me if I ate another me.

From Clifton Forge I continued in a SW direction just following the roads, my heart and keeping the sun mostly at my back and side. This was the first of many new "GPS ROUTING NOT ADVISED" signs I saw. What a hilarious turn on technology. It took all my strength not to steal it for my garage sign collection

I thought that looked like a mini volcano so I took a picture. Mt St. Hell-If-I-Know

Did you go and bust up that chifforobe?

Made lunch at the Farmer's Market in Lebanon, VA. Had to pause for a pic in front of this sign.

Meandering through West Virginia perhaps? Who knows.

Work Farm?

I found myself cruising near Tazewell so I called up LadyDraco and stopped in for some coffee and a nice hour long chit-chat. What wonderful hosts with great personality and perspective. I always value the time spent talking with them, albeit unfortunately hurried in these modern times and my modern ways.

This wasn't far from their spot. I actually blew right past their driveway cus I was distracted by this silly sign.

Then I decided to go get distracted and blow past a bunch of people's driveways through some cattle fields and crossing a few gates. All seemed public so who cares. It was wonderful and the smells of agriculture in VA are a permanent marker of freedom in my mind.

One of my destinations on this trip was the Natural Tunnel near Clinchport, VA. (That's Ralph Stanley Country for any Bluegrass fans out there)

View from the overlook.

The original Lover's Leap.

I put on some sandalls, took off my shirt and jogged down the few hundred vertical feet to the railroad below.

The natural water table above leaves a constant mist of falling droplets cascading from the rock edge as you feel swallowed by the enormity of this geologic formation.

There was the easy way...and then there was the running in Birkenstocks way. I took the later. It was only 90 degrees.

One of the park employees running the chair lift for the lazy and incapable had this bat stuck to his Lancer.

Saw a convoy of these...

Storm clouds were-a-brewing but I didn't really give a hoot. Onward to the Cumberland Gap!

Aw shucks...why hello thar

This is the railroad tunnel through the Cumberland Gap as viewed from the VA/TN side.

And the view from "downtown". I stopped at the only curiosity/antique store where the owner, an elderly man with a long white beard and penchant for 19th century reinacting exlpained he did not have stickers and I should be safe and stay cool in that suit.

There is a historical sign and a well preserved Volvo Coupe

God must be kicking it in Kentucky or something.


Tunnel of Love

I stopped here at LMU on the rise by that large dorm for a snack in the shade of a BBQ Pavillion. It was warm and I needed to take 5 to eat some granola and hydrate.

Cruising around TN where the old meets the new.

I've never really driven throgh downtown Knoxville so I made a visit. I seriously enjoyed Cormac McCarthy's novel Suttree, set in Knoxville, and could understand some of the topgoraphy and shape of the city after having made a visit. Much has changed from those days recalled in his stories.

Heading toward NC for the night, I had to double back for a picture with this bolt and nut made out of license plates. How cool is that!?

Interesting, I've never heard of the Foothills Parkway before. I'll take a gander.

I rode through this storm before getting on the parkway then it seemed to follow me up this valley. Every time I stopped, the same rainbow continued with me. It was magnificent.

With the same rain storm fast approaching, I beat feet for US129 - the Tail of the Dragon. Where a squid can be a squid!

Much of this. Hang on to your hats and keep your eyes two turns ahead

Wound up riding off this stand into the grass as I left since some harleys I roared past pulled in. Didn't want tto deal with them or their sneers. Harleys.

DANG! This looks like a sweet spot to camp for the night!

View from my hammock site just below the dam.

I drank some whisky, watched the fishing boats cruise back to camp along the narrow lake and promptly fell fast asleep to the sound of crickets and frogs. It had been a VERY good day
Lost with Mike
Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #408
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Onward to Georgia! I got a wedding to attend!!!

The following morning I packed up before the sun rose, as usual, and set out for some twisties I love to frequent when I'm visiting NC. I was kick ass and taking names on Joyce Kilmer Rd around Lake Santeelah when I came across these two SCCA drifters in an old MR2, RX8 and lowered old Supra. They were having a blast tearing it up but seriously got in my way for the morning. I held back for a bit then blasted past the stinky oil burning MR2 with ease. The two faster cars quickly caught on and wanted to race. I'm chipper but haven't had any coffee so I just hung with them and we hauled ass along the twisty lake rd. I've run this road HARD before and nearly ate it that time so I was aware of some seriously sketchy spots and likely gravel areas. They were all right where I left them.

At the end of the road/stop sign I passed them and waved then continued straight ahead into the lush Joyce Kilmer Forest - a stand of old and majestic trees/vines/rhododendron embodying the sheer beauty and density of the Nantahala (Land of the Noon Day Sun) Region.

I often go from balls to the wall riding to a relaxing sit on a gentle creek with a cup of tea or coffee and my camera. This is one of the many reasons I don't like riding with others. There are a lots of ups and downs in my daily rides as well as U-Turns.

From here I meandered on dirt roads up toward the Cherahola Skyway.

Temps were in the 60's and the sun was bright above the clouds.

Then I proceeded to plug in my GA destination and hit shortest route/no hwy. Come on Garmin don't fail me now.

I wound up at a few dead end turns but kept climbing this mountain hoping the road would take me out. No luck. It ended at a turn around where a family was camping. I stopped and chatted with them briefly then turned around to head back down. Shortly after turning I gassed it on some wet rocks and grass and lost the back end big time.

After extracting my throbbing foot and ankle from beneath my behemoth and wondering how I was now facing 180 from the initial direction of travel, I jumped up gave them a thumbs up and snapped this pic. A few minutes later I was back down the road.

Ankle was sore and got a nice purple/blue bruise on my hip but otherwise no worse for wear.

I paused for a break beside a stream when I saw some trash. I picked it up. Every little bit counts right?

Exploring down along River Rd to Joe Brown Hwy where it i ssupposed to continue through to TN.

No such luck.

Massive road improvements taking place and I didn't feel like getting hurt more this morning trying to summit this shit.

So I made way for a better picture and better views.

Somewhere off the Cherahola in TN around Tellico? I liked that remote cabin in the stand of hemlocks

Neat rustic old cabin.

Inviting if I do say so myself.

I cruised to Elijay on some familiar roads from a trip Dad and I took in 2009? then went with family to the wedding of my cousin. It was outdoors, unique, modern and inside an old mill. The band was kicking, the southern food was spectacular and everyone had a blast! and I HATE weddings
Lost with Mike
Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:06 PM   #409
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Heading Home...

The last day of the trip is always sweet but involves returning to normality...put that outta mind till I'm back in the land of SUV's and Soccer Moms.

Just outside Elijay at some of the TVA lakes.

Cruising N to the NC border on whatever road will take me there.

Always loved these unique signposts in small outta the way crossroads.

My GPS says to go over that mountain. Sweet.

After the road turns to gravel, then narrows, I come across one of my first obstacles. This is somewhere near Loving Rd and the GA/NC border but I have no clue where.

I made it underneath the tree and the road became progressively worse. I pushed on because....I'm young dumb and have a camera. I didn't buy this bike to be a pussy.

MY FRIEND! I love turtles.

I passed only one cabin/shack/compound on this road with an old man sitting by a burning trash can fire. He stareed at my sorta wide-eyed and I waved as I rolled past. About five miles later I came across this gate where three roads came together and ALL of them were closed. How he got in and out with closed gates and a tree across the trail is beyond me but he looks like he'd been there a LONG time.

I decided to chance it and went around this gate and down the hill 4 miles to where it met up with a paved road. Phew...just before the next gate I came across a couple out for a morning stroll. They were just as shocked to see me as I them. I stopped, turned off the engine and explained I was way lost and trying to get back to civilization. Compared to the road I had just been on, this was worth risking the ticket to make it out. They congratulated me, asked me about my lobster and off I went.

Nantahala River area...


A southern staple...really it is a food group. Bawwwld Peanuts

Into Cherokee where everything is business as usual.

Annnnd quickly out of Cherokee for clear reasons.

It was about 15 degrees cooler up top on the Parkway.

These views of the black spruce and balsalm never get old

Nature walk to smell the roses...errrr weeds

I could ride here FOREVER

This flower was SO fragrant. LD, know what kind it is?

Grandfather Mountain in all its glory. I have a shot from the same spot a few years back in a snow storm in March

Lynn Cove Viaduct

Looking back

too fast

The sun sank lower to the horizon but I rode on.

Children played baseball along the parkway in this beautiful meadow. They waved back as I passed.

Oh to live down this driveway...

I camped in an abandoned driveway in Tuggles Gap. They were closed so no pie for me.

The following morning I woke around 5 and was on the road avoiding wildlife like the plague.

I was rewarded with this spectacular sunrise.

WTF! It was not in my lane but I made a U-Turn to go back and move it out of the roadway.


The rest of the ride home along 29 and backroads was relatively uneventful and I made it home in one piece ready to hit the twisties the next weekend.

Once again, thanks for joining me...many more reports to come
Lost with Mike
Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #410
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I'm still subscribed... I need a road trip.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:12 PM   #411
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and a SPOT that doesn't show the seedy motels

That comment you made cracked me up!!!
Lost with Mike
Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:00 PM   #412
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Bob makes the SMIB thread more fun. Make sure you wish our West Coast inbred a Happy B-day.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:34 PM   #413
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Nice Mike!

We just got back last weekend after hitting some of the same places around SW VA and southern Kentucky.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:58 PM   #414
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Well done as always Mike!
"...and now it's been raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock for a few days." -WVhillbilly
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #415
Jax Off again.
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Wonderful Mike!!!
SO SO Wonderful.

Bustin up a shifferobe on .....
Mt. St. HellifIknow.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:10 AM   #416
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Great as always Mike. Your ride reports almost make me wish I was a morning person.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:23 AM   #417
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Thanks for the kind words!

Lost with Mike
Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:02 AM   #418
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Riding WV with a Friend

A buddy just recently got into riding and picked up a Nighthawk 750 with some bumps and bruises...but it runs and now has fresh tires thanks to Rusty Rex and a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada. I figured I could use a short weekend ride through WV and without my Jesse cases after my tree-incident, I'm somewhat limited in long distance packing. One dry bag and I'm ready to go.

Riding through Arlington on my way to meet him I spot some dude carrying a bear costume head across the street. Wtf?

It took over an hour and half to get from Arlington to Gainesville. That was some of the worst 66 traffic I've ever sat in.

Once it opened up around Manassas we cruised onward into the sun towards 55.

We camped at Wolf Gap Rec Area and had a nice visit from a VA State Police officer patrolling the camp. Good thing my opened beer was still in a paper bag and I was cooking korma chicken and cous cous by headlamp. He rode a Concours14 so we chatted about bikes for a bit before he sulked off to harass other the name of safety of course.

Saturday morning met us with some light drops of rain on the open hammocks in the woods. 5:00AM but good enough for me. I slept great. We packed up quickly, made a cup of coffee and set out down to Wardensville to drop off some trash.

From here we wound on Old 55 through to Moorefield then the back way down toward Petersburg. Shot along the river through the gap.

Cool old Cheverolet Truck

Heading up toward Mt Storm Lake we got caught behind a National Guard Caravan

Dispatching with them on the twisties, we shot up to Mt Storm Lake and promptly got stuck behind the bluegrass band "Nothin' Fancy"

Liked this one.

Dental Hygiene is important

They were setting up to dive this morning.

Scooted over to Blackwater Falls for a walk down. They cleared a bunch of brush there and really opened it up from the stairs down to the platform.

We arrived in Thomas around 10AM - a bit too early for the Fiddle Folk but worth the obligatory picture.

Woody Pines had played last night. I dig them. Their van was parked out front.

We then mosied over to the Fairfax Stone.

Lead Mine Mtn Rd

A little one handed riding/shooting

We went past Horseshoe Camp and down to the river up to Parsons. There was a huge fairgrounds covered with white RV's as far as you could see. Now I know where Nothin' Fancy was headed to...Bluegrass Festival!

I do what I want.

We cruised to Elkins where a check of the weather suggested rain was holding off until 4 or 5 PM. I offered to lead the ride over to the Battle of Rich Mountain outside Beverly. Going up Rick Mtn Rd (The old Staunton-Parkersburg Tpk)

The names of fallen soldiers are carved into the rocks through the woods...time is taking its toll as it does on everything.

While stopping for this pic I noticed something rusty in the ditch. It was a camshaft...wonder how the hell it ended up here!

Taught him a bit about counter-intuitive leaning on gravel which he said seemed to help. Of course standing on the pegs changes your CG and spring weight but that is for antoher day and another bike.

It ain't WV or LF without a little of this

Cruised into LF as the rain begain - perfect timing. Parked in the CandyVan/Goosecreek site and strung up the hammocks in the trees and stashed the beer in the cool creek. I left this 3" spider to protect it. It worked.

Time for a brew and a hike! The old 1960 plane wreck of a C-45 up the trail

Hiking in a stich is both comfortable and armored. Rocks and prickers be damned!

We built a few carins at the spot where the trail turns off...hopefully it will helpe future visitors. Disregard him taking a wiz.

Returning to camp we made a Kielbasa on the fire with fresh batard and a can of beans...washed down with beer and whisky. Life was good.

It rained off and on but both of us retired relatively early. Long day and plenty of fun and riding ahead tomorrow.

Temps were in the 50's when we woke and everything was wet and moist (except any of my gear and posessions)

Misty Morning Sunrise

This valley always takes my breath away. It may be my favorite spot in WV.

Big smile on his face after negotiating the tight hairpin.

Sheep out to pasture underneath Yokum's Knob.

Went for a short walk down to the sinks. The sun really warmed things up quickly.

Water level was quite low compared to my last visit.

Birds flew in and out of small nests built into the rock. It was a bright and promising morning.

Water break...then WE RIDE!

How's this for catching sunbeams!?

Spruce Knob Lake was quiet - not a soul around.

Unless you count her.

Spruce Knob was clear and quiet. The temps were comfortable and the view unobstructed.

We rode down to 33 and up toward Seneca Rocks for gas and some coffee.

Little did we know the coffee shop temporarily at the climbing center was no longer in operation. Darn.

So we scooted up to Dolly Sods to make our own damn coffee!

Guatemalan fresh brewed in my Aeropress and a windy and cumulus kinda day.

Thanks Mother Nature! Don't mind if I do

Picked a bowl full of berries then headed down off the plateau and north on Jordan's Run Rd. Mt Storm Lake hiding beyond the ridge.

We rode north toward Williamsport then meandered back around 220 dropping into Moorefield where we split off and took our own paces back. I did see this unique road sign. I imagine that was his wife's doing.

I got home and decided to clean the house then go for a ride on my new Ruckus.

37mph and GETTING IT!


Old rail bridge on Beulah Rd. Many fatalities here on account of the center support before they closed the road.

Now were having some fun!!!

She climbs!!!

and climbs

and high centers herself

Shortly after my illegal escapades in the construction site, I get a temperature warning light and the ECU kicks her into "Limp Home Mode - 10mph". I pull over, shut her off for 5 min - start her and set off. My coolant overflow tank is full so it should theoretically be filling the radiator when low.

I go about three more cycles like this until I decide to avoid any damage I should call in the cavalry in the form of Dr. Beard to rescue me. He is very very accustomed to this now.

Bike broke down but I KCCO'd

Turns out the radiator level was low and with air in the system it wasn't cooling properly so threw the code to shut it down. I refilled it, burped it and put about 40 mi on it since then with no issue. She is getting 70mpg though which is 30 fewer than it should. Gotta tear into her next week after I have some time.

Going riding to points north this weekend. Expect a sweet RR sometime soon
Lost with Mike
Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:20 AM   #419
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Riding PA for a Day or HOW TO HIT A TREE

A DC friend on a Triumph Scrambler wanted to go riding one Sunday morning so I obliged. We met around Georgetown then shot up River Rd and through some twisties to the good stuff.

Scenic Monocacy River Bridge

In Frederick.

Cruising up through Catoctin Mtn Park

Just getting lost in WV. My GPS unit was kaputt.

Caledonia State Park, PA and the beautiful lakes

And thebeautiful rules. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign!?!?!

Buggy Parking...wherever the hell you please.

Cheerio good chap. I'll take the fish and chips.

Any road with grass in the center is good for me! This is riding up to Bear Valley outside Shippensburg, PA.

Doing his best snowmachine pose.

We have a leisurely ride back, albeit hot, from PA and are cruising along Mt. Nebo Rd when we come to a rise. He is leading quite a ways ahead of me, we are both going about the speed limit (I know I was because I wasn't leading ).

This looks like any hill. Very low visibility over the rise so I hug to the right side of the road in case an oncomming trailer or truck is in the center.


This tree had fallen across the road and taken out the telephone lines.

I braked hard nad swerved to miss the tree. My ABS kicked in but the debris and sticks in the road caused the wheels to lock. Either that or these are HIS skid marks before me. I'll never know for sure.

I narrowly missed the tree with my kneecap and my cylinder but caught the edge of the trunk with my right side Jesse pannier which was bent and ripped clean off the bike. I was able to maintain control and pull over. All of my case belongings lay scattered on the road and through the ditch.

The homeowner out front saw the commotion and came out to help. I had already called 911 to report the incident and the tree in the road, was on the phone with my insurance company and had gone back over the hill and moved some brush into the road on the approach to force any oncoming vehicle to slow down before hitting the blind tree (as I did).

He kindly offered to help beat my case back into submission so I could strap her to the bike.

Good old BFH

He was very proud of his Harley. Adrenaline was wearing off and I was very sweaty.

All strapped.

And a final visit to pick up my chatterbox lost in the ditch.

I then proceeded to take the broken and bashed case on a tour through our nation's crapital.

Where, true to form, everything is broken.

Had some delicious Indian food with my buddy from a local carry-out place then beat feet home on 295.

Progressive Insurance wound up agreeing I was not at fault and covered the purchase of brand new Jesse cases and racks. I took up a claim with Montgomery County, MD for the deductible and progressive will attempt to get their expenses covered as this was a county maintained and owned roadway with an unsafe hazard.

I got the new Jesse cases installed last night and head out on my first adventure with them tomorrow afternoon
Lost with Mike
Only those that go would know. - WayneJ
12' Ruckus, 01' R1150GS, 75' XL250
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #420
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I'm always amazed at how much you squeeze into a ride. Glad that a bent case was all that resulted from hitting that tree. Might be a good thing you were not leading.
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