|05-26-2011, 11:48 PM||#1|
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: NW Florida
My Tri-State DualSport Trip
For the last few years, I have been working on putting together a few long distance Dual Sport routes. I had 3 that I had not ridden yet & I needed to verify. I had not ridden the far western section of my Florida Panhandle route. It goes all the way across Northern Florida. I also had one that went from the end of it in Jay, FL that goes up the west side of Alabama. It ties into the Trans America Trail in Walnut MS. My last one goes up Southwest Georgia but then jumps over to the Alabama side & go up the eastern part of the state to Fort Payne, AL. I thought I would run it all in a big loop. I talked my buddy HTSRocker into going with me but he had something come up at the last minute & had to cancel. So I had to run it solo & like a true friend, I called him several times per day just to let him know what he was missing...LOL
Between work & getting all my last minutes things ready for my trip I got a late start. I almost waited until Friday morning to leave. To be able to fit my adventure into my time frame I needed to hit the road. I hated the thought of riding west into the sun but I knew it would be dark for much of my ride to Hurricane Lake. I have been on most of this before so I was not worried.
I made it to South Hurricane Lake campground about 11:00pm Thursday night.
I woke up early looking forward to the days ride. All of it would be new territory for me.
I had to work my way around my first bridge outage of the trip
which did not take too long
I stopped in Jay, FL to get gas then headed north into Alabama
Peterman, AL was a neat little railroad town
This abandoned trail tunnel is not far off the route
I wanted to see the the Haynes Island Ferry which is the area but time did not allow for it this time.
Closed for cars but no problem on a dualsport
Back to open road
Recent Alabama tornado damage
I had planned on camping at Payne Lake Rec Area south of Tuscaloosa because it was the closest to my route but their campground was closed. I had to ride a little further north to Moundville Park.
The campground was full of Americorp youth there to help with the tornado relief around Tuscaloosa.
Arnold was there for the same reason. He is from Destin, FL
He was trying to find a home for this homeless dog. I didn't have room...LOL
I hung out there Saturday morning long enough to do some bike maintenance. I had been hearing some ticking noises that I trying to diagnose the day before. I shimmed my cush drive, tightened & lubed my chain.
Back on the road
More tornado damage
I had some good home cooking
Another photo opp
A little warning
More open dirt
Cool old Chevy & a gas stop.
I met a couple of Goldwing riders here too. They had a ton of questions & seemed jealous....
Along the track in Sulligent, AL
Back to dirt
To be honest, I was disappointed in Northeast Mississippi. The roads were all pavement except maybe 3 or 4 miles. I missed the beautiful dirt roads that I left to go west. Don't get me wrong. Most of the MS section were really nice bike roads. They just had too much black stuff on them for me.
I finally made it to Walnut, MS. The only campground I had for there was further to the southwest. It was way after dark so I did what I had to do, I hoped on 72 & slabbed it back to Alabama. I passed a few state parks & other places to camp along the way but knew that they were in the middle of nowhere which is not a problem but I did not have any thing to cook for supper. I caught my second wind in there some where & just kept riding. I stopped at a Burger King at around 10:00pm for a late supper. As I was getting back on the bike & looking at my GPS, I noticed that I was only about 30 miles from Decatur, AL. I have a friend in that area that I have not seen in awhile. I am riding on his 6-man team that he put together for the Perry Mountain 24hr Challenge coming up in a few weeks. I ended up at Motel 6 that night.
He returned my call the next morning telling me that he was up in Murphy NC at Tour de Tellico DS Rally. I had forgotten that it was this weekend. Oh well, I'll see him at the race. I need to roll.....
I felt that I was running behind schedule but in reality, I just had underestimated the total miles of my planned ride. Another reason I rode so late the night before was it was putting closer to my desired southern route & home. I was still being haunted by excessive drive train noise & had not figured out the problem yet. I just knew that I was now leaking oil around the front sprocket.
Being tired of getting to camp so late in the day. I decided to skip going all the way to
Fort Payne to start my way south. I wanted to be to Pine Mountain before dark. I head toward Piedmont, AL. I knew most of the good riding would be south of there anyway. I grabbed some lunch before hitting the trail.
Randolph County Alabama had my favorite roads & cool things to see of my trip.
Chambers County was almost as good. Both counties had endless amounts of dirt intersections. I could have easily spent several days there exploring the two.
I finally figured out the source of the noise. My counter shaft nut was loose. Real loose! I tightened it by hand at least a full turn or two then snugged it up using a screwdriver & a rock. I know it was not torqued to spec but it would have to do. It was enough to stop the oil leak too.
I crossed over into Georgia & headed towards Pine Mountain via several miles of slab.
This is a store along the way.
I planned on camping at F.D. Roosevelt State Park. It was 7:30PM CST & I was tired from being on the bike all day. I rode back & forth across Pine Mountain twice but for the life of me, I could not find the campground. I called a privately owned campground back across the mountain but did not but just got an answering machine. I did not feel like risking going back. I just sucked it up & kept riding south. I knew that I was coming up on a series of small towns & should be able to find something fairly soon. I had plenty of gas but my biggest concern was my camelbak was almost empty.
Navigating some of these roads can be tough in the daytime, even worse after dark.
I had to work my way around a gated road but found a cool, unmaintained county road that went the right direction. It started out as a regular looking dirt road but kept getting smaller & smaller. Down to not much more than a 4-wheeler trail. I could see on my GPS that it tied in to my original route. I just prayed there was not a gate up ahead. Finally it dumped me out to a full sized dirt road but I was still not completely sure that I was not on private land because I was not seeing a road name on my GPS. After a couple of miles, a county road number showed up.
When I got to the little town of Talbotton, I saw a police officer that was outside a convenient that was trying to close for the night. I ask him if there was a place that I could camp or get a room. He pointed me just down the road to the Talbotton Motel. To be honest, I was a little uneasy when I first pulled up. I was the only customer. When I knocked on the office door, I heard the owners dog start barking from the other side. The owner promptly came to the door. I must have looked even worse than I thought. He said that I looked tired & gave me a little break on the price. While I was getting my stuff off the bike, Mr. Williams came out of the office with a Coke & a cup of ice for me. He quickly told me that my bike & stuff would be fine, Nobody would mess with it. We ended up talking while I drank my Coke & got out of most of my ride gear. He told me he had owned this place for 20 years. We talked bikes & about my trip for a while before we both called it a night. If you are ever in the area & need a place to stay, stop by.
Misc Georgia shots
See, Georgia has sand too
In this area, Georgia has more dirt roads than their counties can maintain
Bethel Church Road is another
This type stuff is what I always enjoy finding. This is on the same road by the way
I'm not sure that I would trust this sign though...LOL
I found it rather funny that I encountered the deepest sand of my trip in Georgia & not Florida
Some of the Georgia guys farm right up to the edge of the road.
This is Howards Mill. A good friend of mine's family use to own this place and is where the name comes from.
There was plenty of “South Georgia Rain” hitting the ground as I neared home
I made it home around 3:30 pm on Monday. I rode approximately 1378 miles on my adventure not including several wrong turns & dead ends.
I am in the process of cleaning up my GPS tracks from my trip. I will be posting them soon so keep checking back.
Quit typing & Ride!!!
2004 KLR650, 1985 KLR250
2001 KX 250 #762 B
SmugMug Discount Coupon d5HbqatMuaR3a
TreeManG23 screwed with this post 05-30-2011 at 04:18 PM
|05-27-2011, 03:42 AM||#2|
Joined: May 2003
It looks like your ride went through some real pretty country,Treeman.
Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.
|05-27-2011, 04:28 AM||#3|
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Cantonment Florida
Wish I could have went with you. For sure, share those tracks when you get them straightened out.
|05-27-2011, 04:30 AM||#4|
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Tallahassee, Florida -- home of good ideas
Splendid ride report, Treeman. Nice pictures too. Gonna put it on my bucket list with some modification to accomodate my camping-averse inclinations.
Very nice and thanks (in advance) for the .gpx
BMW R1200RT; KTM 300 XCW;KTM 400 EXC
* * *
Always forgive your enemies, but never forget their names -- JFK
halmc screwed with this post 05-27-2011 at 04:52 AM
|05-27-2011, 04:32 AM||#5|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Great report! I used to live in Tallahassee and loved the area. I agree about NE Miss too. I hated the TAT through there.
Endeavor to suck less--Gaspipe
I would rather be riding an imperfect bike than waiting around for perfection. --JDowns
|05-27-2011, 04:43 AM||#7|
6Sigma Knuckle Shflr
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Central FL
Nice RR Treeman!
|05-27-2011, 06:54 AM||#11|
X-Crazed Racing Fool
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Navarre, FL
Great report Mark! I can't wait to explore your route. I was hoping to ride up to WV with Brett but family got in the way.
Good luck with PM 24hr. I rode it twice and as you know, there is nothing like it anywhere.
2009 530 EXC - Dualsport Rocket Ship
2004 DL1000 VStrom - For the road
Only a motorcycle rider knows why a dog sticks his head out the window of a car!
|05-27-2011, 07:20 AM||#12|
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: N.W. Fla
Great job.Looks like I need to tag along next time.Just one thing.As a wise old man like me would advise .Try not to ride remote areas alone.A small incident can happen when alone and turn life threatening quickly without some help .Great job !
2007 DR650,2006 KLR650,2004 KLR 250,2004 KX250, 1991 Honda 750 Nighthawk FTR # 5
|05-27-2011, 09:24 AM||#15|
Briar Patch Navigator
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Almost Heaven
Momentum is your friend, and never trust a grapevine.
"For a boy,it was a kind of paradise.
I wasn't just playing Indian, I was living Indian."
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