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Old 08-02-2010, 06:34 PM   #1
Laura0107 OP
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Weekend near Suches, GA - DR & XRL

My husband and I escaped from the blast furnace of SC for the North GA mountains last weekend, where it was a bit more pleasant. The old saying is true, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Even though it was pretty hot at times that weekend, the lower humidity made it more bearable. We stayed in Dahlonega. Dahlonega made the news last week when a donkey and zebra mated and produced an offspring that basically looks like a donkey except it has striped legs. We were planning on visiting "Pippi" but got sidetracked, as you'll see later.



Friday night, we found a restaurant near Dahlonega on the Chestatee river called The Oar House by looking at food choices in my Nuvi GPS. That name sounded good, so off we went. It turned out to be an old river house converted to a restaurant. They have decks on multiple levels out back next to the river, or you can choose to eat inside. After being in 100* heat earlier that day, we sure didn't plan on eating outside, but it was quite pleasant.



The red spot below is Speedy's T-shirt.



They have an excellent chef, and make their own salad dressings and bread. I can recommend the basil vinaigrette.



We both opted for the Triple Tail with crab imperial sauce, cranberry wild rice and sauteed veggies. Yum.



The next morning we rode Forest Service roads in the Chattahoochee National Forest from Dahlonega to Suches. The forest in the misty morning was absolutely gorgeous.



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Old 08-02-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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We visited the Swinging Bridge over the Toccoa river, which is the longest one (265') east of the Mississippi. It was completed in 1977 by the Forest Service and the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club.







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Old 08-02-2010, 07:24 PM   #3
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We ate a great lunch at TWO in Suches and headed out for some terrain that was supposedly more challenging than the graded FS roads we'd been on all morning. Well, that it was. I ate it on the big DR near the top of a steep, rocky hill that I was way too cautious in approaching. My rear spun as I was puttering up this hill. I gave it some more gas, but it was either too much or too late. I was on the left side of the road and started sliding backwards and then the rear turned in towards the center of the road. I think I put my left foot down and found air due to the slope, and next thing was a body slam. The bike ended up sideways in the road. My left foot evidently got caught between the bike and a rock(s), for the outside top of it was smarting pretty good, and then an area about 6" above that outer ankle was hurting pretty good too. The back left of my head took a strong lick according to the dings on my helmet, but I felt it on the right side. I've got to stop buying helmets slightly big. Here's the hill from the bottom looking up. The pix don't do it justice.



Speedy was ahead of me when I crashed, and I just lay there wondering what might be broken until he came back to check on me. It wasn't until later in the day that I told him if he wanted to continue to be in my ride reports, he's supposed to take pictures of the crash before rendering aid, heh heh. He took these shots after moving my bike. Here's one looking down the hill.



This is looking ahead to the next section, beyond where I crashed.



I could put weight on the foot, and walked up the next two steep rocky sections while Speedy rode both bikes up them. At that point I was ready to try it again, with some momentum and steady throttle this time. There were a few more gnarly sections, and the steady throttle worked like a charm. I just have to learn things the hard way sometimes.

After reaching some milder FS roads, we rode for another hour or so and then returned to Suches for some lemonade. It was starting to rain a little, so we sat on the porch for a while and talked with other riders there. When the rain tapered off, we rode FS roads back to Dahlonega, on a different route than the morning one.

Back at the hotel, I worked up enough nerve to take my left boot off and was greeted with this:



Hmmmm. I thought that red area with a whitish point might be one of the small bones in the top of my foot, so I got to visit the nice people here:





Luckily, they couldn't find anything broken and said it and the large lump higher up on my leg were just contusions. I think my lowest boot buckle was pressed into the top of my foot by a rock, causing the weird area in the above pic. I did score an Ultram scrip for our pain management inventory, so all is good.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:51 PM   #4
Laura0107 OP
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We had planned to ride Whissenhunt OHV park early Sunday morning and also go find Pippi Longstocking, the zebronkey or donkebra or whatever, but ended up just heading for home. A few sights along the way:

Georgia Power in Athens, GA:



A couple of neat houses in Washington, GA:





The only damage to my DR was a broken rear turn signal. We had just put some Cycra Pro Bend handguards on it the day before leaving for this trip, thank goodness. My top case saved the bike's side plastic and engine case. It's a Givi monolock one (more flexible than the monokey line), and takes abuse well. At first I thought my boots (Vendramini Marathon Steel) didn't do a good job, but the more I think about it, I think they did OK. Nothing's broken or sprained, and I know I don't want full-on MX boots. I'm so thankful I had my other gear on, too, for most of it shows marks from the crash: helmet, chest/back protector, elbow & knee guards. My favorite summer gloves evah, N2's from Motoliberty, don't show any damage at all. Kangaroo hide is tough.

















I can't wait to go back to Suches and do some more exploring, hopefully with less drama next time. I've actually printed out 17 different Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM's) of nat'l forests in GA, NC and TN which should keep us busy for years!
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:00 PM   #5
mpowers
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Great report! And a popular spot to be in this past weekend!
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:58 PM   #6
Al Tuna
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Wow! Ya'll were having a great time, until the trail lashed out, and smacked you.
ATGATT works!!
Heal up, and get ready for cooler weather.

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Old 08-03-2010, 04:44 AM   #7
Draechon
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Looks like some fun riding Laura, glad things worked out. From what I've seen in ride photos, it's always hard to gauge the depth of slopes, and so we, the readers, can't appreciate the grade of hills are. Darn third dimension.

Looks like you and Speedy had a nice weekend, thanks for the write-up.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:49 AM   #8
ricepaddy
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Wow Laura!
Great coverage of your eventful trip. I'm glad to see you came through it in pretty good shape. All that gear realy did the trick.
Many years ago, I did the same basic thing on a Goldwing of all things. I was riding up a steep hill on a rutted dirt road when I lost engine power and the bike began to slide backwards and sideways into the ditch. There is just no stopping 800 pounds. My crash bars saved me that day, but I never again took the Goldwing off road.

Rice--
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:37 PM   #9
Gumbeaux
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Glad to here you had a nice ride in our neck of the woods...sorry about the crash. Gear works!

I have been to that hospital in motorcycle gear too...

So...was that Canada Creek? Old Bucktown Road area? Heal soon.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:42 PM   #10
Laura0107 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumbeaux
Glad to here you had a nice ride in our neck of the woods...sorry about the crash. Gear works!

I have been to that hospital in motorcycle gear too...

So...was that Canada Creek? Old Bucktown Road area? Heal soon.
It was on Flatland Rd.

I had on shorts & flip flops by the time I went to the ER for my "hiking accident". I don't like the "m" word mentioned in my medical records whenever I can help it. I know they thought I was spastic because I kept moving around trying to hide the bruises on my other ankle from a foot stomp save while riding in a rutted field near my house about 3 weeks ago. Gotta be tough if you're gonna be stupid...
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:54 PM   #11
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Ya did good! Nice ride, beautiful scenery, nice wipeout AND ya got back on the horse! Definitely shows spunk.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:45 AM   #12
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Hi Laura, I was really hoping you would take better care of my old DR. Now this. Just kidding. So glad you came out of it in good shape. You are truly a spunky little lady.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:54 AM   #13
Laura0107 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpblade
Hi Laura, I was really hoping you would take better care of my old DR. Now this. Just kidding. So glad you came out of it in good shape. You are truly a spunky little lady.
I've been caught!

I promise I do usually take good care of it; I was just in a little over my head on that stretch of "road".
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:48 PM   #14
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Nice pics and glad you're ok. Hope to see y'all this fall at the Beaver.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:17 AM   #15
06Klr650
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Great report

Great report :)
I saw you at the suspension bridge, I was there camping with my family;). That's a beautiful area!
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