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Old 04-15-2012, 09:56 AM   #31
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I can't decide what the highlight of that day was...breakfast was awesome. Roy mentioned to us that the food was great...BUT it depended on who was cooking. We lucked out!

The road that had the little sign "main road" on it, was great too. So was accidentally getting on that hunt club. And that route probably would have worked out except that the bridge we were supposed to cross had fallen apart seemingly decades ago.

The ferry was great too, except that because of a little rain scare, I'd put my rain suit on over my riding gear and was cooking hot! But what an experience. And to think those two guys are there day in and day out ferrying people across a river dividing a dirt road from nowhere to nowhere.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:00 AM   #32
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Day 3

I agree Trent and David. Day three was not as good as day 1 and 2 but I think because of the ride from Monroeville to Dothan sucked so bad that it overshadowed the fun in the beginning. loved the ride from Black Warrior State Park to Monroeville was pretty cool.

Highlights for me were the Breakfast, the river road, the long dirt road that looked like a powerline that stretched out forever. I also liked the Whitetail Widow Makers hunting club after we got out of there. The bushwhacking in there sucked and it was sad and funny when we found that bridge. Nothing but poles sticking out of the water.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:04 PM   #33
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Day 4, Blakely, GA to Ellijay, GA via West Point, GA. 383 Miles

Day 4, Wayne's final day.

We had to get him back to the truck in West Point so He could get back home. Trent and I had a decision to make;

Would we turn back south?


Or work our way Northeast?


(stupid me, the title kinda gives that away don't it...)

So where were we? That's right, we finally ended a frustrating afternoon/evening by hunkering down in a Comfort Inn for the night in Blakely, GA. As we were checking in last night, I asked the front desk girl where we could get a good breakfast in the morning. Without hesitation she replies with; "Go to Smitty's Grill, I used to work there and it's awesome!" Well, how can you turn that down?!? We plan on getting an early start so we can give ourselves plenty of breathing room for getting Wayne back. With trips like this, you never know what could jump up and slow you down can you...

So to Smitty's we go, and it was perfect.




You know it's gonna be good when you see Blakely's finest and fattest at the counter!


Cool stuff on the wall, everybody signs a napkin it looks like;


Mmmm








Jennifer was our waitress, very cool girl. We had a lot of fun and the food was fantastic!!!


Then onto to the road we go and to Treeman's tracks we follow!!


Five minutes in we hit this cool wooden bridge. It's the southernmost covered bridge in the USA.




















We push on.


The roads are in perfect shape from last nights storms.




See that telephone pole in the above picture? That's an intersection. A road goes off to the right here between these two fields on our right. Well, the road and the fields have a low spot where plenty of water gathered...


This is easily a football field long puddle!! You sure can't go around it, it's as wide as it is long!! Oh well, here we go!!






Bethel Church Road. Whoo boy, what a hoot!! Covered in greasy Georgia clay and we stop here, (look at those front tires)


And take a 180, here it comes, why we stopped;

WOOHOO!!!

Hmm, just checking for old boards...


And here I go!!






Trent


Then not 50 yards later, our next bridge;


Trent went first on this one,


Then Wayne


Then Me




Awesome!! Here some video;



So much fun, and on a county road??!! wow...

We continue




We stop here for a pee break and a creek crossing, lotsa fun; both were...






Trent going and coming, he likes the water...







Right after this crossing was a nasty hill climb! severely rutted out and greasy slick mud from the rain.


Wayne's bike decided it didn't like it's front tire in one rut and back tire in another!!


We make it up




Cool train we rode beside


We all remarked like this road had us feeling like we were in Kansas










It's pretty obvious what was going on here, the turtle and the copperhead were secretly lovers, hiding it from their families all these years, she sit's beside him, hoping someone will run her over too, life without her lover isn't a life worth living...








The route takes into FDR State Park and we see a sign for a scenic overlook, gotta check it out, we've made great time today and at this point, we're out of the woods, literally.


Looking back from where we've come


We stop for lunch in Pine Mountain, saw this sign and it was a no-brainer!


Food was great! Pulled pork, slaw, fried green tomatoes, fried corn, sweet tea. I'll road trip it to there right now if anyone wants to meet up!!


While we feasted we came to the realization that we've come to the end of Treeman's tracks. And after 20 more miles to West Point, we've come to the end of Wayne's trip. It's been awesome, the route was flawless, and we'd recommend it to anyone. That has a motorcycle with knobbies, that ain't to heavy that is...

Half hour later we are back at the storage unit in West Point. We load up Wayne's bike.


Trent and I start pulling stuff off. We decided to go ultra light for the next couple of days and hotel it from here on in. Trent suggested it and I didn't put up a fight at all.


Goodbye Wayne


From here Trent and I set our sights on Ellijay, GA. So we left West Point headed north, made it through LaGrange and then stopped at a little gast station in Corinth, GA to put our game plan together. Took this picture while sitting on the bench out front, I love old gas station signs;


And that's pretty much the last picture of the day. I changed the profile on my GPS and created a route to Ellijay through Dallas, Villa Rica and Cartersville. it was pretty, but I just wanted to get off that bike by that time. Man what a day, go look at a map and find Blakely and Ellijay. We did something today, whew!!

We made it to town, found a nice mexican restaurant and a hotel nearby. We hit the sack hard.


Tomorrow we have a blast enjoying the North GA Mountains!!

sdthorpe screwed with this post 04-16-2012 at 07:05 AM
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:46 PM   #34
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Awesome!

Funny thing is I recognize most of those pics from Treeman's route as I ran that loop about a month ago. (Hope you don't mind if I share a couple pics from that) We did a big bike scouting trip the first day and got over our heads with the mud on one road and threw in the towel. I then went back the next day with my Husky 610 and two other guys on Husky's and ran the entire loop and had a blast. Those two crossings back to back are interesting for sure and the roads around there a blast.

Sitting on my Husky waiting to cross the wood one


And then the next metal beam one which is harder to cross.


Looking down that deep rutted road. It was wet and muddy that day too.


You guys were brave and hit the deep side of that river crossing. Of course we were on big bikes (Vstrom and BMW GS) when we hit it. That deep rutted hill is tough in the wet also. We stayed on the shallow side!



That area next to to the tracks is awesome!


We got this shot from there.


And this little gas station in Corinth is literally 15 mins from my house!
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:30 AM   #35
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Good stuff! I'd like to do this at some point.

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:03 AM   #36
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Dan, you are right about the metal one being harder. It was funny to me b/c Trent was the first to go over that one, when he hesitated for a second or two I thought, "what's the big deal, go across!" but then it was my turn and there definitely was a pucker factor! You really don't have anywhere to put your foot down if you needed to and I think that's what makes it so mentally challenging! Trent called it a "Trip Ender if you're not careful" and I agree!

That's cool you recognized the gas station sign in Corinth, I almost left it out, glad I didn't...

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Old 04-16-2012, 12:22 PM   #37
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Day 5 - Ellijay, GA to Clayton, GA - 179 Miles

After a great night's sleep, Trent and I head down to the continental breakfast. Usually I steer clear of 'em, even though they are free; free and delicious don't always see eye to eye... But it was tasty, they even had biscuits and gravy! Plus, I knew that lunch and supper would be so good that I didn't mind Slumming it for breakfast.
During our meal we discussed today's strategy. We knew mileage-wise we didn't have near as far to go today, we wanted to focus today on "smelling the roses" if you will. If we saw a side road we wanted to check out, then we would. We had a fine route, but we talked about not feeling the need to stick to it if we just wanted to meander. Point being, Our main goal was to spend the night in Clayton, but we didn't care how we got there or how long it would take.

Before cranking them up, we gave the bikes a good once over.


Good thing we did, Trent's chain had about two inches of sag in it! We took care of that, lubed both chains and we were good.

Place was called Mountain View Inn, View would've been better if not for the Clouds...


Now, I need to tell you that while picture quality may be the same, picture quantity will diminish over the next two days. Our Moto Photog; Wayne has left us. For every time over the last four days that I stopped at an intersection and said; "Where in the world is he?!? He was just behind me a second ago I swear!" ...I take it all back!! And I thought I would too, Thanks Wayne for so many awesome pictures the last four days, just as the trip would have suffered without you, so would this Ride Report Buddy!!

So Trent and I take off, we head East on Stanley Creek Rd over towards Dial, but make a detour to Lake Blue Ridge first. I had come across a cool campsite some years back that I wanted to find again and waypoint.




Waters low in the wintertime, By choice I think. I know it's that way at other lakes like Lake Fontana... Still beautiful.






Then we head towards Dial. I've ridden in the North GA area for years; in jeeps before I got into DS'ing and I love this area so much! I was leaning towards taking the southern route home just because it would have been all new territory for me. But then while reading the DOG's thread a week or two before leaving, someone mentioned the VanZandt's Store had reopened!! That sealed the deal for me on taking the North Route. Unless Trent really wanted to do the South Route, I was decided.



Just a little store in the middle of nowhere on the Toccoa River. But I live for places like this, this is Southern Americana to Me. We go inside and you wont believe what I got, that's right; A Mountain Dew and a Lil' Pecan Pie!! We weren't even hungry or tired yet, but it just felt right to stop, sit on the front porch couch and quiet ourselves for a minute. We laughed about them having Tab and remarked about how long it had been since we've had one. So Trent had to give it a try; he hated it!!





What a cool spot, I'd love to retire up here and run something like this... It's a shame we weren't real hungry, I didn't know they serve breakfast! I knew the BBQ sandwiches were great but it was only 10:00, plus, I already had a pretty good idea of where I was going to go for lunch. As long as we could get there on time...

We finally pull ourselves off the couch and head on east. We work our way towards FS42 on to Suches, GA. I love that stretch of road!!

We get to Suches and see one of the saddest sites I've ever seen.


Freaking Ghost Town!! I've enjoyed staying at TWO and stopping through, what's a boy to do but sit on the steps and cry?


We gather our composure... I take a picture of the Red GA Mud on my engine because I know it's the last chance to do so; Flatland Creek Rd will wash it all off!!


FL Creek Rd is Awesome, most of you know that. LOVE IT!!




We stop to soak it in once we make it to the top


Found this at an intersection, Gotta be related to turkey hunting huh?


We head on out, on Cooper Creek Rd and then go up Helton Creek Falls Rd. After all this, it's 1:00 and we've worked up an appetite. I've got the place in mind to go to for lunch, I knew Trent had never been there and the burgers are awesome, any other criteria needed? nope!!

Batesville General Store










Check out this Burger Gentlemen;


Eat your heart out Wayne!!!

Next we work our way north up the west side of Lake Burton and head up Charlies Creek Rd. I love this road, been camping up here since my college days...








When going West to East on this road, the last obstacle is to drive through the Tallulah River. Always fun, especially on two wheels!! Here I go!!


Going


Going...


Gone!!


Here comes Trent


My Shutter is much slower, only got two shots of him;


But, He went twice, 'cause he loves water, remember?!? So I filmed him the next time, You're Welcome.


After making it out to Persimmon Hill Rd, we realized we were almost ot Clayton with plenty of Daylight left, what else could we find to do? Well, I've always wanted to make it to the top of Chestnut Knob and never had. I have seen it the North GA Tag game and knew where it was, but had never been. So we set off to find it. What an awesome road!! I heard the last section of it was kinda hairy, but wow!! What a blast that was to climb!!


We made it!!




So pretty




While up there, we marveled at two things. How beautiful the view was and how much we love our bikes. Lot's of forum folks knock on the XR's b/c they haven't been updated much over the years. Yeah, I'll give 'em that, but I know I have yet to max out what it can do, and everything I throw at it, it just performs perfectly. This piggy's a tractor man, you can't hurt 'em!!

Here's two more, because it's my report!!




Coming back down we saw this cool homestead;


Oh, and right across the street and in the trees was a stock XR sitting there! We stopped, honked, yelled, we wanted to chat but there was no one around. Weird... anybody know who that could be?!?

A couple more good shots on the way out


That's where we had just been up top there




We head into town and I find that the Old Filling Station had a new restaurant! They should have never moved, it had such a good vibe there, they lost it all when they moved up the street for more space I think... Anyways, new place is called Universal Joint and it was great! They've reworked the layout, made it better and the menu was incredible. Trent and I both were quite pleased with the food. You can tell it's an Atlanta place, this is their latest location. Kinda has a city feel to it, but I think Clayton can handle it just fine. We forgot to take pictures, if only Wayne had been there...

It was a great day

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Old 04-16-2012, 01:23 PM   #38
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Nice pictures, Dan!

Yep, I could of formed a diamond crossing that metal bridge. Had to sit there a moment before crossing. Did y'all think of a better way to cross it?

One of the best parts of exploring north Georgia with Thorpe is that he knew about all the good eating!
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #39
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:22 PM   #40
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Quote:
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Nice pictures, Dan!

Yep, I could of formed a diamond crossing that metal bridge. Had to sit there a moment before crossing. Did y'all think of a better way to cross it?

One of the best parts of exploring north Georgia with Thorpe is that he knew about all the good eating!
I think one of the guys I was with rode across it without putting his feet down. I just eased myself across very gently.

Man, I wasn't even aware of some of these places in N. GA. I've seen the pics plenty of times but haven't noticed where or what they were or ridden them. Gotta add them to the list.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:24 PM   #41
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I sort of wish I would have known about your ride and been able to join you guys instead of doing the tetS loop I was doing that same week you guys did this. I had fun, but I think I would have had a great time joining you guys.

Your starting point in West Point was less than an hour from my house. Definitely going to have to incorporate some of this when we do our TAT II trip in may for the ride home.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:08 PM   #42
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Day 6; Clayton, GA - Augusta, GA

It rained all night. Very happy to have been indoors! The front desk clerk last night had offered for us to leave our bikes under the breezeway for which we were very thankful.

We woke up to a deary, cold morning with a heavy mist; A Seattle kind of rain... We took our time getting ready, we were in no hurry to mount up. Plus, we didn't have far to go today so why rush it. We rode to downtown Clayton for breakfast at The Clayton Cafe. That ride alone gave us all the incentive we needed to sit there and drink coffee all morning...

Main Street


We tried parking the bikes on the sidewalk under the eave of a closed storefront, Some old guy started yelling at us so we quietly moved under this tree, which did little good.


The Clayton Cafe was just, Ok. It didn't blow me away by any means... But it served it's purpose, we ate warm food and drank hot coffee for about an hour. In hindsight, I wish we had gone to Miss Megs for breakfast, I just wanted to try something new.
When we parted ways with Wayne, we slimmed our luggage down to the bare essentials, which meant Trent had thrown his rainsuit in the truck; I never had one. We were both wanting one about now, not only for the moisture but for the warmth they would provide. So after breakfast we walked a block down to Reeves Hardware. Trust me, I knew they would have 'em. This place sells way more than nails; it takes up a whole city block! Sure 'nough, they directed us up the stairs for the rainsuits and various motorcycle accessories. I found the Frog Togs I was looking for; they had them in my size and everything. I just couldn't do it, they wanted $65 for them here and last week before we left, I almost bought the same ones at Walmart for $30!! I prefer supporting the little guy, and when it makes sense to do so, I do. This wasn't one of those cases. So we drove down to Walmart and walked out warmer, dryer and only $30 poorer.



I have to warn you, I have almost no pictures left. With the rain in the morning and the urge to get home in the afternoon, the camera didn't come out but for once today, sorry!!



We left Clayton in the rain but feeling good, we decided to get below Toccoa, closer to I-85 before hopping on our track home. We just wanted to outrun this weather for a bit. Just past I-85 we left the rain and hit dirt again; both felt good. Beautiful farm land and countryside reminded us of why we were out here;





These trips cleanse the soul for me. Left alone with my thoughts is good sometimes. I used the last 5 days to work out some things in my head, iron out some plans and goals for the future, and reflect on the wonderful life my Grandfather had. It takes getting yourself away and setting yourself apart from the things you hold dearest to truly cherish and appreciate them I think. And now, all I wanted to do was ride home to my Sweet Wife and My Lil' Boy.






Somewhere north of Elberton, GA we stop at a cool bridge.


With a good looking creek flowing underneath.




I look up the road and see a jeep parked in the middle of the road with no one in it. "Huh, that's weird" I think... As we walk across the bridge I see up the road a little further and way up the hill I see a lime green beetle bug upside down in a ditch and a girl laying in the road!! I yelled to Trent and we take off up the hill. About that time a young guy in his early twenties comes running back down the hill towards us. He tells us she's just fine, she's just resting. That her parents were on the way, the police were on the way, don't worry. He's got this wild look in his eyes; fear, adrenaline, probably a little shock... we ask him again, if he's sure she's ok. About that time a Chevy Suburban comes rushing up; the girl jumps and hugs her Momma. We walk back towards the bridge while wild eyed boy jumps in the jeep and drives it back up the hill towards the scene.

The way we see it, crazy girl driving the bug was chasing wild eyed boy in the jeep down this dirt road. She lost it in the curve farther up the hill, over corrected and flips in the ditch. Wild eyed boy sees this happening in his rearview mirror, stops and runs back up the hill praying his foolishness hasn't killed crazy girl. Trent and I are just happy we weren't two minutes better on time, they would have killed us...




We continue on through Elberton towards Lincolnton. Just beautiful roads and purty trees. However, at this point, these are roads we've all ridden on our daily rides; we're getting pretty close to home. We decide to follow the route into Lincolnton and then from that point on, slab it home. It's after one o'clock now and we're getting hungry. We set into town looking for some good grub. Lincolnton isn't known for their restaurants really, but there is a new BBQ place I've been wanting to try so to there we go.

... And that's there we hear the funniest question we got asked all trip. While inside eating, another guy walks out to his truck to get his wallet and comes back in. He asks us about our bikes, and then asks where we're from? "Augusta" we reply. Then his eyes got big and he says;

"Y'ALL ROAD THEM BIKES ALL THE WAY FROM AUGUSTA?!?!?!!!"

I just lost it laughing, not at him, but at the question! I couldn't wait to see how he'd react to our answer!! Here he is thinking we were crazy for riding bikes like that for 30 miles, imagine the look on his face when we told him; "No, we got thirty miles to go man! He had no words, just shook his head and kept saying "Wow."






My belly is full, but more importantly, My Heart and Soul are full and refreshed as well. What a great trip.

Thanks for reading. -David, Trent and Wayne.

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Old 04-18-2012, 10:34 PM   #43
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great trip guys...sorry to hear about your Grandad. Was nice you were able to make everything work out and have that time on the bike to take a step back and enjoy life for what it is. As I said earlier I am envious I was gone this year..hope you have idea for next year..if I am invited..never want to invite myself to somebody else's vacation. Again, thanks for putting the report together
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:04 PM   #44
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Good job on the report David. I enjoyed reliving the part when I was with yall and reading about what you and Trent did. Thanks for the accolades on the pictures. I am always torn as to stop and keep people waiting so I can take a picture to share with others and reflect on or to just make a mental picture and keep riding. I am glad you and Trent appreciated them. Sure wish I could of rode the last 3 days in the mountains. I may have to make a day to ride the route to Toccoa one day. Never rode that track.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:32 PM   #45
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.hope you have idea for next year..if I am invited..never want to invite myself...
Shutp Darren! You're always invited!! When do you get back? We're working on some ideas.. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the kind words.



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I am always torn as to stop and keep people waiting so I can take a picture to share with others and reflect on or to just make a mental picture and keep riding.
Well as one who defaults to taking mental pictures, I say please stop anytime you get the urge!
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