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Old 03-22-2015, 07:05 PM   #1
StriderJim OP
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Riding Metaphor

First of all, so nobody's head explodes, this is Metaphor:


Why did I name my bike 'Metaphor'? If you're really curious, go to my blog at: ridingmetaphor.com and look around. Maybe read the first post, called "A Run to the Sea." It will become clearer.

Anyway, hello folks. I've been mostly lurking here for a couple of years---but now I'd like to get started with a thread that will hopefully be continuous—for all my riding.

I'm in N.C., near the Appalachian-Blue Ridge, and ride a lot in the N.C.--Tennessee--Virginia mountains, but I also take longer trips. I'm retired, which makes that possible.



This year my plans are to head to the Texas Hill Country in about a month, for an 8-10 day ride. Later in the summer I want to get to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I've been to the Wash. State line, but never made it to the coast on a bike. That trip will probably be about 3 weeks long, unless I get lost, or tired.

I'm not an really an adventure rider. You saw the bike I ride. But we Harley Road Glide owners have a secret and …...............….................oh, I can't tell you what it is. It's a secret. But it's a good one. Maybe you'll figure it out if you follow along and listen carefully enough.

Anyway, I took a ride yesterday on a standard loop up to the BRP...........getting back into shooting pics from the bike. I use a P &S for that, hung on a string around my neck. I also carry a DSLR, which I use when I'm not moving.

Here's the route I took yesterday. I-40 from Hickory to Morganton—up NC 181 to Jonas Ridge, to the BRP, and north to US 421 to North Wilkesboro—to NC 16 south and back home. It's about 160 miles.

The County Courthouse in Morganton.


The high point of the route is Hwy 181—which has a stretch of 14 miles or so that is filled with mostly sweepers, great pavement, wide lanes with shoulders, passing lanes in places, and a 55mph speed limit. It's my favorite road in the area, and I ride it a lot.

Here's a few shots on 181, before the curves start.
This place has one of everything for sale----or maybe they just
have one of everything.

Almost missed this little log house. My timing was a bit off with the P&S.


Nice homestead.


Here's the start of the good part on 181. A few years ago, a crotch rocket
managed to miss this first curve and go straight into the guard rail on the right. Guess he was just excited.

Up the mountain:


And onto the Parkway:



Spooky Brown Mtn. Not really. There are supposedly unexplained lights visible on certain nights on the mountain. Don't know about that, but somebody made some money off a song about it--long time ago.


Pointy Mountain. No lights:


I take lots of pictures of roads:


Not so many of Metaphor:




Interesting little building. This place has miniature horses, so it may have to do with them. They weren't visible when I went by. This was on 181.


Grandfather Mtn in the background. Guess I do take a lot of bike pics.


Here's Price Lake, near Blowing Rock:


And, last but not least, overlooking the Yadkin River Valley.


Thanks for stopping in. This was just a trial run for me. Getting used to posting, and Smugmug.

I'll be posting frequently between long rides. If it doesn't rain too much I'll be taking a several day ride into East Tennessee in about a week. I'll be visiting historic sites important in the settling of the area. I have an ancestor who made the history books in a minor way that I've learned a bit about. Descendants of my family on my maternal grandfather's side have been there since 1771, and I was born there.

So I hope some of you will hang around. I'll try to keep you fed with photos.



ridingmetaphor.com
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:17 AM   #2
Fast Ferris
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Jim, great thread, thanks for sharing! I was born and raised in western Washington; let me know if I can provide any help or suggestions for your upcoming journey.

Sounds like I need to add 181 to my bucket list... :)

Keep up the good work!

Ferris
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:09 AM   #3
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Jim, Great thread! I checked your website and hit a chord right away with Gillian Welch. Some days her music fits so well I can't get enough. Have you heard of Malcolm Holcombe? Carolina Chocolate Drops?

Great photos as well.

Ferris, we did 181 on the first BRATPAC but I remember that you guys didn't catch up to us until Mt. Pisgah. Yeah, 181 fairly rocks. It has Ferris written all over it.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB2 View Post
Jim, Great thread! I checked your website and hit a chord right away with Gillian Welch. Some days her music fits so well I can't get enough. Have you heard of Malcolm Holcombe? Carolina Chocolate Drops?

Great photos as well.

Ferris, we did 181 on the first BRATPAC but I remember that you guys didn't catch up to us until Mt. Pisgah. Yeah, 181 fairly rocks. It has Ferris written all over it.
Almost like I've known Holcombe, or run into him somewhere. Never heard of the Chocolate Drops.

Gillian's music has really grown on me in the last month or two. And she looks like redheads on both sides of my family. Pretty sure her mom was from the mountains around here. And Rawlings' guitar work is something like I've never seen. Phenomenal!

Hope to catch up with you guys this summer. I've really enjoyed Ferris's thread in the past couple of years.

Riding Metaphor
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Ferris View Post
Jim, great thread, thanks for sharing! I was born and raised in western Washington; let me know if I can provide any help or suggestions for your upcoming journey.

Sounds like I need to add 181 to my bucket list... :)

Keep up the good work!

Ferris
Meant to follow up on this, Ferris. My plan is to go to the Olympic Peninsula. I've seen so many beautiful pics of it, seems the thing to do.

Hopefully, just find a place to camp and stay around there for a few days. Any thoughts on that?

Don't know how I'm going out or back yet, but I'll figure that out..
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Old Yesterday, 12:44 PM   #6
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Nice Write UP

I'm going to put my feet up and stick around a while. Try to learn some more about your area. Been through there once, but didn't wander far enough off the BRP. Great start. Please keep it coming. Thanks!
Dave
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Old Yesterday, 06:39 PM   #7
Fast Ferris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StriderJim View Post
Meant to follow up on this, Ferris. My plan is to go to the Olympic Peninsula. I've seen so many beautiful pics of it, seems the thing to do.

Hopefully, just find a place to camp and stay around there for a few days. Any thoughts on that?
Strider, a few days ain't gonna be enough.
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Old Yesterday, 06:46 PM   #8
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Almost like I've known Holcombe, or run into him somewhere.
Quite likely - Malcolm's from your neck of the woods. Here's a listen:

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Old Yesterday, 07:43 PM   #9
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Strider, a few days ain't gonna be enough.
Well, I'm giving myself 24 days for the trip, and the backup plan is 38 days, so something will work out.

Last time out, I rode from Coeur d'Alene to home in 5 days without a strain. Another day will get me across Washington. Not to worry.
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Old Today, 05:49 AM   #10
Fast Ferris
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Originally Posted by StriderJim View Post
Well, I'm giving myself 24 days for the trip, and the backup plan is 38 days, so something will work out.

Last time out, I rode from Coeur d'Alene to home in 5 days without a strain. Another day will get me across Washington. Not to worry.
Strider, sorry for my poor attempt at humor; I meant a few days won't be enough to do Washington State any true justice. :)

I've been fortunate enough in my riding career to knock out a couple of month-long tours; there's nothing finer than being on the road day after day after day after day. Color me just a little bit envious!

So: There are lots of riding trophies up in that part of the world, but I'll start with a couple of chunks I'd avoid at all costs:

- Hwy 101 up or down the Washington Coast; with few exceptions you'll never see the Pacific Ocean, and your constant companion will be logging trucks. And if it happens to be raining (which is likely - it rains 364.97 days a year up there), the thick, brown slurry coming off the trucks will coat everything you own, including the both sides of your windshield, at least one side of your faceshield, and likely at least one side of your glasses. Oh, and the logging trucks don't pay much heed to the speed limit, which is problematic if you're dogging along at 30 mph trying vainly to see through three or four or five layers of muck and a cold, driving rain - you'll be nothing but a pesky backmarker to them. Sport, if you will.

- Hwy 101 up or down the northern Oregon coast. Decent enough road, much better views of the ocean than 101 in WA, but just about the time you notch Metaphor up into high gear you'll have to start downshifting again for the next tourist town, each with a plethora of maddening traffic lights that are measured in hours, and each one perfectly timed to turn red just before you get to it. Trust me on this.

- Interstate 5 anywhere from Olympia, WA north to the border at Blaine, particularly the stretch from Tacoma to Everett. If you want traffic, lots and lots of traffic, this is your dream come true, particularly during rush hours.

- Interstate 5 in the Portland, OR - Vancouver, WA area. See above. Also note that the Washington State Patrol works I-5 with an absolute vengeance, particularly in Vancouver. Same with I-90, particularly at the border with Idaho. Feel free to ask me how I know...

OK, back with some good stuff in a bit. :)
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Old Today, 07:02 AM   #11
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Here are some trophies/crown jewels up that way, in no particular order. Some of these you may already be familiar with:

CALIFORNIA
- Hwy 1
- The California Redwoods
- Monterey
- Sequioa/Kings Canyon NP
- Yosemite NP
- Death Valley/Panamint Valley
- Scottys Castle
- Mammoth Lakes
- Lassen NP
- Lake Tahoe
- 108/Sonora Pass Hwy
- 120/Tioga Rd-Big Oak Flat Rd
- Hwy 395 (great way to move up or down much of the west coast)

OREGON
- Crater Lake
- Diamond Lake Hwy (138/4)
- The Aufderheide (NF-19)
- Willamette Nat'l Forest
- Detroit, OR
- NF 46/Breitenbush Rd-Clackamas River Rd and 224/Clackamas Hwy from Detroit to Estacada
- Hwy 101 in southern OR from the CA border north to Reedsport, OR
- Mount Hood and Hwy 35
- Interstate 84 along the Columbia River

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, and I haven't even got to Washington yet.

Do you subscribe to RoadRunner Magazine? They did a Shamrock Tour in Oregon (using Salem as their base) in their Feb '14 issue. http://www.roadrunner.travel/find/to...america/usa/or
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Old Today, 12:03 PM   #12
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Gillian Welch-"Orphan Girl"

This is a seriously beautiful song, not to mention that it can rip your heart right out of your chest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7wTLQdT5NU
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Old Today, 12:29 PM   #13
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Jim,

You know you prompted me to blow the dust off of my Gillian Welch collection. I fed "Time(The Revelator)" into the CD player on the way to work this morning. I think it is almost uncanny how well David's guitar sounds like Gillian's voice. Perfect harmony between instrument and voice. The title track gives me pause...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdYG-Nh_AxU

Someday we ride, eh?

JB2
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Old Today, 02:04 PM   #14
StriderJim OP
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Originally Posted by JB2 View Post
Jim,

You know you prompted me to blow the dust off of my Gillian Welch collection. I fed "Time(The Revelator)" into the CD player on the way to work this morning. I think it is almost uncanny how well David's guitar sounds like Gillian's voice. Perfect harmony between instrument and voice. The title track gives me pause...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdYG-Nh_AxU

Someday we ride, eh?


JB2
Good one. I've been listening a lot to "I Dream a Highway". It reminds me of a lot of Dylan's early stuf (and some later, too). A lot of 'stand-alone' stanzas.

"What will sustain us through the winter?
Where did last years lessons go?"


Someday we ride.
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Old Today, 02:10 PM   #15
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New Post on Blog

New post on blog for anyone that's interested.

www.ridingmetaphor.com
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