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Old 06-28-2011, 05:52 PM   #1
wrangler747 OP
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Southern DS Loop ADV Style

This ride report is going to detail the 6 days we spent covering the southern DS Loop found here, http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=646598



The route was made throughout the winter by sharing and combining different DS routes.. We were the first group to ride it all..and we all had a fantastic time. I would say it was 65% dirt/sand/gravel...so onto the ride report( this is my first one so comments are welcome but not always implemented)

We started out with 3-4 riders planning to attack the route in the spring..which ended up being 10 riders in the end. Meet the group...we are quite diverse:



from right to left:
RobertR650
JimR650
Bill:XR650(witha home made oil cooler)
Darin(me):an exclusive KLR650
David(helmet):XR650
Josh:XR650
Jonny(helmet):KTM640ADV
Wayne:Yamaha250
Trent:XR650
Ashley:Sweet WR250

most all of us had the route loaded into a GPS and we rode in groups 2-4 bikes in a row to keep the dust down and pace up. We headed south out of Augusta around noon on 26 May and made it back home on the evening of 31 May. We rode like hell the first 2-3 days to get the sand and heat behind us and but averaged rather long long days every day(300miles). Total millage was around 1850 for the trip.

Here is some of my favorite shots of the trip then I will start:

Ktm getting a bath


David focused:


The retired TAT veterans(Robert, Jim, and Bill..quite a lively and enjoyable trio)


snake coming to get us:


Trents self portrait of his dream mansion:


yes we are a classy group:


Top of the world(well our little world):


Freshening up for my KLR:


Somebody didn't make a turn......?


more to come of this tornado later:


And this sums the trip up for me....
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:48 PM   #2
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I am going to write this by each day of the ride. David, Bill, Wayne, Josh, Jonny, Ashley, and Trent....feel free to add your two cents as I go or after wards:


Day #1 The Shake Down: (250miles) Augusta to Jessup Ga.

So everyone except for Josh and I met up at high noon in N Augusta to start the attack but not without our first hiccup....Hmm Wayne did you pump your tire up?? ..so flat tire #1:


The crew sun bathing..waiting patiently I am sure:

bikes so nice and clean and man all those new tires look nice..not for long...

To be honest he was the one I worried the most about prior to the trip but after day one he was riding like an expert and he was an regular joker:



So tire fixed and down the road they head.. Josh and I worked till 4:00 then hauled a$$ out of town down the track and met up with them only a couple hours after they arrived in Jessup. So more about the ride down..We headed down river road...and the first dirt we hit was nice loamy sand..Josh and I hit it going about 75..slowed down to 45 which was too slow but found a sweet spot about 55-65 that you could just cruise on top of it..we were going to fast to get any pics the first day.. but here is a couple from the large(8) rider group:


church along stage coach rd (South Carolina)

and enjoying the heat:


now when josh and I came down this route right before or after the above location..I passed josh(had to show him the KLR was still better than an XR) trowing up a large cloud of dust..now anyone that know's Josh..that doesnt sit well.. so I heard him come flying up on the side of me as I was coming over a hill with a large logging trail under the hill..and all I see is Josh's bike going flying in the air over top(beside) me ..he is doing some evil canival crap as he lands and sticks go flying all around me...

Now to get this part out of the way at around 150 miles we are coming off a long friken sandy road and josh is slowing down (I thought to pass a truck but he was flagging him down to ask where the nearest gas was) anyhooo I sped up in a cloud of dust to go around the truck and the next thing I see is the back end of an XR 650 ..I think fast swerve between Bike and truck and come to a gracefull sideways stop in front of the truck..(yes on the side) bungee my ripped saddle bag and off we go no harm no foul except a charlie horse(I think from Josh's elbow) when I swerved(clipped past him)...

back to the trip..this is a forest service rd in FT Stewart:

..now this stuff was deep(it had no bottom so I was told)..anyhooo like I mentioned no one had followed route south of Savanna through Fort Stewart so our group was the guinee pigs....and from now on the route will not go off the main road in Fort Stewart due to what happened below:


I was not there but I hear this guy the DNR or whatever he was ended up being a real piece of work..ticketed some of our guys...enough about that and from now on the route wont follow any FS roads near Fort Stewart...

Everyone made it fine to Jessup except for David's front fender bag which was lost somewhere along in Fort Stewart.. am I sure some Tank driver from the 3rd ID will find use of an 18 inch tube and tire irons...hmmm "how are we going to fix a tank with this"

We all had a fabulous dinner although service was lacking..at the Oyster Shack in Jessup: "hey looks are not everything"



So 3-4 of us planned on camping the entire route and the others were hoteling it..long story short, due to the long days and heat we all hoteled it except for one night..which was actually very nice.

Bikes parked for the night:

and the kind lady at the Jameson Inn let us jump in the pool after hours and use their dryer..to dry our clothes...


I do need to set a few ground rules here for future reference.... Josh will now be known as "hotel with pool guy" I think I heard him utter those words a hundred times during the trip..if it did not have a pool he was not staying there... when asked where he came from and where he was headed his reply would be "I come from a hotel with a pool and I am heading to a hotel with a Pool". So it became ritual to jump in the pool every night with our dusty riding gear..and then throw it in the dryer for the next day..most riders caught on to this fast...

I did end up staying up to like 1:30AM sowing my friking saddle bag back together..

So Day #1 out of the way..mostly all sand..which prepared us for nothing but sand for all of Day#2 to come.....

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Old 06-29-2011, 06:39 AM   #3
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:31 PM   #4
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Cool2

Day #2 Jessup Ga to Porter Lake Fl. (370 miles)

after downing a nice continental breakfast we did the daily chain lube ritual..trent had a brilliant idea where he brought along 6 old t shirts(they looked rather new to me)..he would wear one a day and then use it the prior days shirt to clean his chain each morning and then into the trash it went....worked well and he got lighter as he travelled...

now Josh(pool guy)at the back of the picture had a different strategy..he packed the lightest of us all I think. prior to departure he purchased a brand new 5 pack of t shirts and socks and each night he would throw the shirt and socks in the garbage...


So moving on the whole group met up at ramada and we were kick stands up at 0830..one of the only group pics:

Out of Jessup we head off ready to take on the southern Ga sand pits...mind you this area had not seen a lick of rain in the past month and the sand was deep..but as I said earlier as long as you moved fast you stayed on top of it..just beware of corners...as David learned later.
Josh, Ashley and I were in the lead..and after hauling a$$ down the first sand section I look up and low and behold it is Wayne right behind me who from then on was known by me as Rajun Cajun(he is from those parts originally)

There was not a lot of pictures as were were moving so fast trying to make it to the Wakullah Springs area of Florida by nightfall. The first stop of the morning was about 10 miles from Fl border where we regrouped and chatted with the locals..then we pressed on. We saw a lot of these out on the sand warming up and I think we ran over our fair share:



I also seemed to of caught a bunny between my tires..and Josh spotted a black bear in the Okefenokee Swamp which claims was large in stature..not sure about that....


During the next section from what I heard David and his XR650 took a little excursion into the woods and as everybody pulled they were all saying "what the hay is David doing back there in the woods"..well I guess he did some superman flying..but he got right back on like a champ. Then somehow Rajun Cajun made a wrong turn and called us to let us know he was south of I-10 and we were about 10 miles north of it waiting:

you can see from our faces and necks it was a little dusty..by the time Wayne rolled up most of the group was looking for the nearest gas, lunch and refill of camel packs....hey those tires still look good!!


So we had lunch at Jasper Fl which was dead in the middle between Wakullah Springs and Jussup Ga...we thought we were making fantastic time....Oh Contrar Monfrar..however David did take a break to pop his collar bone or shoulder back into place..which had been killing him since his get off.


Riding looked like this:

Now here is where it got trickey..after Jasper the route led us into thousands of acres of hunting clubs..there was no way to tell untill we were pretty deep into it...all of us were getting concerned as it seemed were in a maze trying to get out while dodging logging trucks doing their summer harvest..tempers were starting flare a bit and all of us wanted to get out int he worst way..everybodys GPS was reading something different and we were split up in three different groups not knowing where any was... after 3-4 hours of this and chasing quite a few deer down the roads(which will be fixed on the new route for future riders) we emptied out into Riley Fl. Stopped and got gas there and low and behold as we are about to head up the last group Bill and his buddies come rolling in with smiles from ear to ear..glad to be out of that mess..they claimed they just followed our tracks out.


After this we headed back north and caught the route..by now the sand was getting a little bit harder.. and starting to look like this:


we were nearing Talahassee at around 5:30 and most of the group was ready for their Hotel room..this is where David Wayne(Rajun Cajun) and I split off to go find a campground..

We grabbed dinner in Wakullah springs then headed down some huge friken forest service rd toward our campgound..I mean you could do 200 mph along here..it was four lanes wide and a fire had come through killing all the under brush so you could see back into the trees a long ways:

David and Wayne hdg to campground...



Now if I was to do it again I would camp more often I remember that night at the campground better than any other night of the trip..and you really get to unwind....We stayed at Porter lake campground..nice little place right off an almost abandoned rd..We had the place to ourselves except for a local guy who lived there in the winters..more about him later...



The temp dropped down and Wayne and I stayed in Hammocks while David threw his tent up..I was enjoying the night..


When David woke up on the morning he claimed his camel back leaked all over his tent..not sure about that..it really wasn't that scary David..

The only traffic we saw was some good ole Florida boys pulling their big Mudder trucks to some event that must of been in the next town..

now we shared the camp with this character..Meet James(yes he signed a consent form saying I could use his photo):


He was a classic old feller who was born and raised around there but spends his summers near Helana Montana panning for gold..Just gets in his truck(in the background) and lives out of the back of it..real simple way of life. After talking him for a bit we turned in for bed and I did not see one Mesquito...

We were able to sleep in as the rest of the group was to meet us 0830 at our camp(it was along the route)..

Final take away for the day..I was beginning to love sand and north western Fl has some awesome riding..but stay away from the hunting clubs.

The next morning we would hit the TetS track heading north through Alabama...
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:59 PM   #5
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Great report

Keep it comming!!
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:11 PM   #6
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Darrin

Also lets mention the wildlife that was observed. Like the black bear and pack of wild hogs in the Florida, and the bear in NC.
Bill
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
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Day #3

Day #3 Porter Lake Fl to Opeleka Al (300miles)

I have to apoligize ahead of time..because I don't think I have hardly any pictures of Day 3...

David Wayne and I ate some tasty oatmeal for breakfast packed up, chatted with James for a bit who mentioned that the bears didn't come into camp over the night(good thing I was easy dinner sleeping in my hammock).

We got all packed up and were waiting on the road when the rest of the crew rolled up at about 0840..they sounded like a swarm of bees coming down the road...when they arrived we found there was a problem with Jonny's KTM..I guess the baffles in his SuperTrap muffler come come undone...he tried to wire them together but his bike vibrates like crazy and they all shook apart by the time they arrived...We rode on but you could hear his bike clattering away..sounded like a pissed off gremlin with a hundred hammers pounding away. here is the culprit:


The morning was awesome riding..a skif of rain had passed through to the north of su and the sand settled a little making for sweet riding..some of the track was two track trough cattle ranges..
and the rest of the roads looked like this:



here is Bill rolling up....he was often heard along the whole trip "Now that was a good road":


okay so fast forward two hours and we are searching for a hardware store as the KTM sounds like it is going to shake to pieces and Jonny was worried the baffles would get jammed and prevent exhaust flow...we find a little town(cant seem to find the name) near the FL/Al border with an hardware store. Ashley and I went to pulling the end of the muffler off while Jonny secured bolts to hold the baffles together and to the inside of the muffler. We had to drill out one of the stainless steel bolts using a borrowed drill from the hardware store.. 30 minutes later and the bike was quiet again..well as quite as a beastly KTM can be.

While we were burning our hands the rest of the crew fueled up and were snacking away here:
eating fresh donuts I suppose. But while waiting here they were approached by a fella who started to ask a lot of questions not jsut the usual where your from kinda questions....and I guess Josh said " you must be a cop asking all these questions"..which I guess the guy didn't favor to much.....as it seems he was some sort of undercover guy..
Out of town we head and into Alabama. I recall there being a lot of pavement the first couple hours in Bama mixed with the random dirt road then it turned to mostly dirt....this is where Ahsley and I swiched bikes for a bit...I rode his WR250 and he rode my KLR650...I am now looking to purchase a WR in the near future....such a fun bike. A totally different feel but I felt comfortable on it after only a few minutes..Now Ashley was not complaining either due to the seat comfort of the KLR compared to the skinny WR seat. After getting off he said that is "stable" bike not sure if that was compliment or.....not sure

We were covering a lot of ground and it was hot out..Josh, Ashley and I were in the front of the group and split of to get gas...unknown to the rest of the group.. we got back on the trail behind them and as we started to see their dust... right when Wayne(the only one with a stock tank) ran out of gas..so I sifened(sp) gas out of mine and we headed toward the closest gas on the GPS.....and it was closed..and then the next and it was closed as well. You can see in these rural areas where the downward economy has taken its toll. Wayne ran out again so I sifened again and then we ran into a town with gas and a subway(it was around 2:30 by now)..so it was subway for two lunches in a row(that is what we ate in Jasper Fl). By now the whole group was hot.....

We got back on the trail and headed north I would say 80% dirt..passed some nice horse ranches and parked it for the night in Opeleka AL.

As we got into town the hotels were getting full and we ended up at the 4th hotel we tried..as you remember it has to have a pool. Well the pool was pool structure was questionable but our good friend Ashley who is an engineer assured us it was worthy to swim in so in we went with all our dusty riding gear...most of us changed or cleaned our Air filters at this point in the route...
We ate at a nice Japanese or Chinese place near the hotel and turned in for the night.

again sorry for the lack of pictures but we were hauling but most of the day and it was hot and dusty...however it only gets better from here on out.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyrotax View Post
Also lets mention the wildlife that was observed. Like the black bear and pack of wild hogs in the Florida, and the bear in NC.
Bill
Howdy Bill,

Ahh yes the pack of wild hogs was cool..we saw the the morning of the third day while riding though nw Fl. in some of that two track stuff if I recall...
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:35 PM   #9
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Day #4

Day #4 Opelika Al to Calhoun Ga (325ish miles)

Well we woke up to some unexpected news..Josh(hotel with pool guy) had to head home early to tend to some things.....but he did find an interesting route home..if I could figure out how to upload videos I would add a video he made along a detour on his way home

Onto the Day #4 we all starting taking more pictures form here on out.
The crew took off as Ashley and I stayed behind to fix his turn signal switch..seems all the dust got inside and jammed it up...while fixing it I decided to spray some cleaner into my throttle as it was getting stiff..bad idea it got between my rubber grip and handle and now it just slid all over the place..couple zip ties and I was good to go until it all dried out.

We picked up the route and started off with some sweet dirt roads..it was still sort of misty and riding conditions were optimal.

We crossed some rivers like these:



The terrain was starting to get more hilly and we were going up and down and across wooden bridges..speaking of bridges...Ashley and I came flying across a bridge that was missing a few boards and around the corner to see this:



yep it seems the bridge gave Wayne a nice nail souvenir to remember....

Seems like I always have to get involved for some reason guess it was just good practice of what was to come the next day for me....


now looking at this picture it seems that Bill's friends(the TaT trio) Robert(left) and Jim(right) are paying real close attention to this..when I asked they said "ohh you see we pay real close attention so when(if) we ever get a flat tire we can tell Bill what he is doing wrong" ...Again a real fun group.

Now Bill had a fancy dancy electric air pump that we plugged in and before you know it we were back in business..Jonny also took the time to change his valve stem as it was leaking a bit. He and Ashley both were running the Tubless tires..seemed like a good gig.


finishing up, guess it was starting to get dusty again judging from Trent's nose.


The day only got better I could not stop laughing when I came around a corner and saw this:


another pic:

We were still south of the Talladega Natl Forest..and the country was beautiful..Ashley and I were in the lead again and split off for gas..Filled up south of I-20 and got some pizza for lunch from the gas station. As we are about to leave here comes Wayne rolling up, grateful he made it to gas again as he was on fumes. We waited for him to grab a bite then headed north where we met the rest of the group in the Natl park...

We passed multiple places like during the morning( or was this Tn maybe..not sure). Trent and Wayne:

another:


They had just poured gravel in the park(I hate that ball bearing crap) so the park was not the most pleasant for me..again I was trying to keep up with Ashley through this garbage..and every time we stopped Rajun Cajun was right behind me eating a lot of dust, but a good sport none the less. After the park the rest of the crew split off for some lunch and we kept heading north toward the GA border

Finally we hit the Ga border and I saw this old building at the crossroads:

Wayne and Ashley waiting for me to take my picture:

You notice wayne was testing out Ashley's WR here...he went slow for about a mile then he was gone... he took off like a kid on a Chistmas Day toy..

We rode a lot of windy pavement in NW Ga(west of 75 in the Rome Ga area) I was not complaining because the scenery was pleasant:




couple pics while heading down the road..it seems only 25% of these type of pics turn out:
hmm looks like Ashley was taping as well...



Now we get to a sad part of the story right before we entered Cave Springs Ga:


I should of took more pictures..this was one of two areas we saw hit by the tornadoes..the other was just south of Clayton Ga. We stopped in Cave Springs and talked to this elderly lady about the tornado..She was so grateful that nobody there had been killed and said the town was really pulling together to get things back in shape..to the left of this picture(you cant see it) but there used to be a large chicken house that was all pushed up in a pile...she mentioned that a 186,000 chickens went up from that one barn..they had to gather all the dead and injured and burn them all..Nice old lady, however she turned real sour when I mentioned FEMA..she said they had basically turned a blind eye to their little town..(I do understand that most of the large-scale damage was in Tuscalussa), however it did not sit well with these townsfolk...

North of Cage springs we ran across a couple awesome two/one track up and over a couple mountains: Wayne loving it:




By the time we got back close to I-75 it was getting late and we were ahead of the group quite a ways so I called back and left messages saying we would be at the Ramada in Calhoun Ga....yes our pool guy was gone but we carried on the tradition.

But wait before we get to the hotel we must travel one last fast dirt road...and yes Rajun Cajun was leading the way....he scared up a big turkey that was unloading some weight as it was taking of..so we were dodging that....next thing I know is we are clipping along pretty fast (Wayne still in lead) and I see a 90 degree turn coming up on the right ..and Wayne is still going straight at a fast past..well I guess just as the turn came into view he smacked a big bug the bloodied his visor..and he could not see the turn until the last second:
funny thing was is that there was a bunch of trash piled up at the beginning of the ditch and it was flying every which way as he blasted through it down into the muddy nasty ditch.

Another ironic thing was about 5 seconds afterward some crazy kid in a truck came barreling around the next corner sideways.....which very well could of been deadly for us if we not been stopped by Wayne's little ditch riding. Guess someone was looking out for us.

So onto the Ramada to retire..the other guys rolled in within the next half an hour..and most of us ate dinner at the Shoneys in town(must not of been that good, I do not remember what I ate.)

David rode his bike around a large empty lot next to hotel for about a half an hour trying to get a good reading on his oil level in his XR....

More to come of that open lot in the morning.......of Day #5

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Old 07-01-2011, 05:43 AM   #10
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Good job with the write-up, Wrangler.

Josh is working hard today, so here's some of his videos from the trip.

Here's a great one of some of the sandy roads in FL. I think this was going through one of the state parks. Huge fun.



This one was on the route he picked out heading back home.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:49 PM   #11
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Day #5 - Calhoun Ga to Byrson City NC via Tellico plains (280 miles) odometer reading 1520 at end of day

Otherwise known as "Patch Day" as you will soon see


We woke up early, took advantage of the Ramada Breakfast ..some waffles and cereal did our morning chain lube and oil check and packing and we were rearing to go :

So as I mentioned in earlier(day#4) David was riding his bike around this empty lot the previous night to get a good reading on his oil level(it is an XR thing)...so after I am all packed up I hope on my trusty steed and burn across the empty lot to the gas station..as I finish filling my Tank I notice my tire is almost flat....what a way to start the day...No fear I have packed an extra rear tube...Jonny finds the nail as I am pulling the tire off..and as the crew gets my tube it they tell me it is a 21 inch tube for the front...no worries I will do it the old fasion way. I had picked up a packet of "Slime" patches for the trip..after a couple seconds I had it patched and tube in ready to go andout of town we go:


first dirt road of the day although was a re-track of the last road we road the prior day..Ashley, Jonny, Wayne, and I were in a group together as we missed the first turn of the day and had to backtrack:


We travelled some nice twisty roads like this as neared the mountains....I think jonny has a picture of a fricken huge chicken farms house we passed..times must be good for them??? well that is if they don't get hit by tornadoes!


Last stop for Gas..before we hit Fort Mountain State Park:


I some how took the lead when we hit the park even though I did not have a GPS..I would speed ahead and then look for the others tracks at each corner..this one I was not sure so I waited folr the GPS riders to show up:


here they come to point me in the right direction:


and you have to have a couple self portraits in a ride report:



I loved the roads in Fort Mountain:




after this turn we started going up pretty steep to this beautiful overlook of northern Ga:


some of the rest of the group's pictures..of the same place..guess we all think alike:


David's bike..now as I might of mentioned..David was the one who originally got us all hyped up for this trip..and I could tell he was happy to be in the mountains..he and I share the same hatred for that real loose gravel crap..however he did not envy the sand like I did so he was in heaven on these roads .

Back to the overlook. as I waiting I got a shot of Jonny coming up the hill..but wait does his front tire look funny

You cant really tell and he had no idea..but as he stopped his tire was yes...very flat..so here we go 2nd tire change within the hour(maybe it was a couple hours but seemed like we had just left town):


Now that center side stand sure is nice when it comes to changing tires...however Jonny was lacking a side stand to go along with it..after the first day..every time he stopped somebody came running to help him pull that beast up onto that stand.

Jonny figured he pinched his tube coming up the hill..but as we got it off we found the smallest little hole in the world..and I think it was Ashley's wisdom or Jonny's that we pull off the tire and do an inspection(something I should of done to mine better in the morning..more to come on that later)..we found a the end of a little thorn barely poking through tire wall..It might of been in the rubber for hundreds of miles and finally wore througj..we meticulously pulled the thorn out, threw one of my tiny "Slime" patches on the hole..pumped it up with Ashley's bike pump..and off we went...down the mountain we come: Hey these patches are starting to come in handy eh!!!!





We started to see some fields as we got close tot he Tennessee border:


and here is the border..Jonny on top of bridgeeither in Ga or Tn:




heading north into Tn looking for a good lunch place:



here we go..we ate a tasty fat smoked burger:



cool old building as we neared the Ocoe river, there was tons of people out in the river which seemed to be theme throughout day..all the big river were full of people near the towns.




We crossed the river and kept heading toward Tellico Plains figuring that we would catch the rest of the group there..

They got caught here first but were gone before we arrived on the scene:



more of the group trying to figure if they should go above below or launch over it..hmmmm don't wait to long guys somebody is lurking....:



here comes company...


close up:



Well they decided to go the lower route so here is some pics of the route around:

Robert tackling it like a pro:



Trent..well his bike:



we rolled up and saw that they had all taken the lower route so that is the way we went as well..except for Jonny who went crashing through the trees like a moose:






Day #4 to be continued:
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:59 PM   #12
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Second part of Day #5 coming soon.......not too soon

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Old 07-02-2011, 04:37 AM   #13
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Looks like a fantastic ride I have to get out there soon for a multi day ride.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:35 PM   #14
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Location: Martinez Ga
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Originally Posted by dutch peter View Post
Looks like a fantastic ride I have to get out there soon for a multi day ride.
Glad you are enjoying it..the northern portion was awesome..but Alabama was probable between 70-80% dirt as well so I really loved it there as well
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:02 PM   #15
wrangler747 OP
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Martinez Ga
Oddometer: 540
Cry Day #5 Continued

So where were we..ooh yes we just finished routing around this tree:



Riding continued to be beautiful and we started to get to some water...now this I loved:

first one of the day..Here Bill tests the ground:



Robert eases up:


testing his sea legs:



And David making sure his group made it across fine:




Seems like I was always right in front of Jonny, so here is a picture of him coming across..we were a tad bit more aggressive..or maybe we were just trying to get wet:


There was 3-4 water crossings full of nice cool mountain stream water..after the first we blasted through each one seeing how wet we could get....and I mean WET!!!!

Front page material right here!!!!! and one of my favorite pics from the trip:



here is Wayne cleaning his bike off:



Here is the last one of the day:



Me:



notice Ashley is taking video..we have some good video of the trip but I am having trouble getting it loaded..maybe I will add some or have someone add them at the end..here I am coming out of the water...and boy did I feel refreshed:



Next stop where we would meet the rest of the group..that we had been behind all day.....any DS rider in the southeast knows this place....


The guys in front had a bang up lunch at a little place right in front of their bikes here..and they headed over to Tellico outfitters.....

Now here is David ..a man with a mission..he is gonna beat anyone to that door:



He needed a new helmet in the worst way.....hmm this should work:


well actually it was Ashley who bought the new helmet..His old one was starting to wear hole in his skin, I think he just tossed his old one in the trash beside the store...

We looked around for a half an hour or so..by the time we arrived the boys were all rested and ready to carry on toward Bryson City....

It was a beautiful day and like I said the rivers were full of people in them..as we headed out of town all the teenagers were jumping off the bridge into the river..reminded me of my younger days.

As headed out of town I could tell the Harley riders lurking around were super jealous of us:




Jonny was enjoying the day:



Here is the overlook right out of town, Man Ashley you sure look happy..ooooh yeah that is your new helmet your head must feel better...


Now somehow we missed a turn and the rest of the group got in front of us agian...not to be seen until dinner..

The day continued to be beautiful as we followed the river...I had to stop and get a picture of these guys:



There was couple of them floating down the river on air mattress's like this one..hey I thought it looked fun!

We hit some dirt passes(this pic might have been earlier in the day)



Looking out:


Travel Alert!! Travel Alert!! Travel Alert!! Travel Alert!! Travel Alert!! Travel Alert!! Travel Alert!! Travel Alert!! Travel Alert!!

Okay this is where my day turned upside down..rewind 7 or so hours..remember I picked up a nail in the empy lot..patched my tire and off I went..well heading up a trail I noticed my rear getting loose, I figured it was just the gravel and I would let off the throttle a bit..no my tire was almost flat..

So I found a branch propped my bike up and tore my tire off..had the tube just about pulled out when Ashley got back to me..I think Jonny was behind me so he was there as well...I found a pretty large slice(blowout) about the size of a dime in my tube... so I figured I would use the other tube I had which the guys thought was a front tube..well it was a 17" front tube but I had heard of guys using front tubes in rears and it was after all the same diameter. We threw it in pumped it up with Ashley's little bike pump and off we go....

but not far ...now Jon and Ashley were both in front of me heading down the mountain..I made it maybe 1/2 mile and flat again..I saying to myself ... "are you serious".. Now Jonny and Ashley were about 5 miles down the trail before the figured out I was gone..and they were sure my tire was not flat again so they creeped back up the steep goat trail looking over the sides for a crashed ADVer..By this time I had the tire off an found a hole in my new tube..so I patched it and took the whole tire off the rim to inspect it..I found another nail barely poking through....I suspect I picked it up that same morning but could be wrong. So I patched the small tiny front tube I was using and used Ahsley's pump(which was starting to fail a bit) again to fill it up...

I figured I was golden now..and headed down the road..we got to the bottom of the hill and onto some pavement..about a mile down the pavement as I was clipping along pretty fast my tire blew..I was trying to slow down as I was getting tossed side to side and finally stopped without crashing..

Pulled the tire off again..and found that the same tube had exploded and ripped in half..no fixing that tube. I am glad Jonny and Ashley were there because they kept commenting on how lucky I was to be able to change a tire in such a scenic location..we were right along a majestic stream in a little valley.

Now I was down to my original tube with the big hole in it and all I had was a small "Slime" patch that barely covered the hole..but I had no other choice..we were quite a ways from anywhere and it was getting later. So i threw the patch on that barely covered the dime size slice..and put it back in my tire....which was getting pretty loose it self from all these flats..I could basically walk it back on the rim without using my irons. Now we ran into a real problem..Ashley's pump gave out..but he had two little Co2 containers that came with something he bought..We used them and got about 7 lbs of pressure in my tire.

I really did not have high hopes of getting anywhere to far..with a tube that had two patches one of which was barely covering the hole and an optimistic 7lbs of pressure. We headed on deciding to stay off the trails and reroute toward Bryson City on pavement..I then learned that the closest air along the way was on the other side of the Cherohala Skyway at Robbinsville which meant I had to climb up 5000ft on this improvised tire..

That was the longest 40-50 miles of my life..I babied it but somehow I made it to a gas station with air in Robbinsville. I pumped my tire up which was pretty hot by now but the tube seemed to be holding. By this time the rest of the gang had been waiting for us in Bryson city for dinner for over an hour..so we mounted up and booked it the 30 miles...as fast as we could..

We met them at a cozy Italian restaurant in downtown Bryson City...Food was great and company was even better..I never thought I was going to make it there by nightfall or even that day for that matter.

Byson City is where David and Wayne spent a lot of their off time growing up and just so happened to be the place that David proposed to his now wife...so the dinner discussion seemed to revolve around him reminiscing of his escapades and Jim talking about FBI blunders.

Again the whole group was top notch guys and I enjoyed their company

After dinner we headed up to Cabin that..again David and Wayne's families frequent.. it was dark when we arrived but we did enjoy the hot tub.




Well all in all it was still one of the best days riding for me..The terrain was different throughout the day and very enjoyable.

Tomorrow we head for home...

wrangler747 screwed with this post 07-03-2011 at 07:23 AM
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