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Old 04-18-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
ride4321 OP
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Head Trippin' South

It' time to hit the road again...finally. This year it's a two week trip and I'll be hitting the southern states. Here's the basic plan...



The forecast is calling for rain the first two days. I was planning on meandering through WV on back roads getting a good taste of the local flavor. If it's raining I might end up flying down 81 to the Blue Ridge Pkwy. All routes are subject to change but I do have a few places that are scheduled in and prearranged. Not the way I'd normally do things but I think it's going to be fun.

Destination 1: Deals Gap. Meeting an old buddy there on Monday. He's coming over from Nashville and we'll ride together for a few days doing the Gap and then heading over to Alabama to spend Tuesday night at his inlaws river house.

Destination 2: Ozark Rat Raid. Meeting up with some inmates from Triumphrat in Memphis for lunch next Thursday and then riding to the Ozarks for a day or two of riding with a bunch of Triumphrat members. Never been to the Ozarks and I'm really looking forward to this section of the trip.

The rest is subject to change as I get distracted easily. New Orleans? Maybe. Eastern coastline? Maybe. I'll tell you when I get there.

My trusty steed...



I'd been planning on riding the DR650 on this trip, exploring the dirt roads of the Smokies, Ozarks and the deep south. Got it all set up with HT panniers and a 5 gal tank even but a few weeks ago riding the Tiger I decided it was too nice a bike to not take on this trip. There's some really fantastic twisties in the first week of the trip and this is the bike for that stuff. So the DR is staying in the garage. Besides, I'm heading to a Triumph event and they won't let me put the DR in the group photo.



Here's a linky to last years trip west if you're interested...

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=701959

Currently on another trip to the Smokies. I'll post pics with this report. Link to Sept. Smoky trip here...

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...=782923&page=7

And a link to my 2013 trip south...again.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...&postcount=119
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:58 AM   #2
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My plan for the beginning of this trip was to have a closeup look at rural WV on my first day out. The weather is looking pretty wet for the weekend so I'll have to play it by ear on how to approach things. Looks like if I get an early start Sat. I can get into WV around noonish. I'll probably just take 81 down to Winchester, VA since I know what rural PA looks like already, and then head west on Rt. 50. I rode that last summer heading west for my trip and loved the road. From there I can head south on 250 towards the gorge. If things work out I'll get the majority of the heavy rain while I'm sleeping Saturday night.
Water proofed the boots and tent seams last night. Did my riding gear a few weeks ago. I really hate to pack my rain gear but I'm not sure about the waterproofing on my gear so I'll probably throw it in just to be on the safe side.
Last years trip was extremely hot (July heatwave for all 3 weeks). I did way more interstate riding than planned in order to keep a steady 80mph breeze and prevent melting. This year I'm going early in the season to beat the heat. I want to stay off the slab as much as possible. I'll take rain over heat any day of the week.

Pile O Stuff on the kitchen table...



Camping gear is piled in the spare room.



Bikes in good shape and ready to go. New chain and sprockets, air filter, plugs, oil and plenty of miles left on the tires to cover this trip. Wish I'd gotten around to doing the TB's and latest tune but I'm taking my TuneECU cable with me. Maybe I can get one of the Triumph inmates to help me out with that in the Ozarks. Bike sounds good though and I doubt there's any adjustment needed.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:55 AM   #3
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Looks like the beginning of a great trip! Have fun and ride safe.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:24 AM   #4
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Thanks Poolman. Just had a quick look at your Sacred Valley report. Man, that looks like a great trip. Hopefully, once I get this country covered I can start dipping further south. It'll be a few years but a trip like that is way up there on my must do list.
There are so many great ride reports here that a simple loop like mine seems uneventful. I think it's worth posting if only for my own referral down the road and it's nice to be able to share the trip with friends and relatives. This site has really opened my mind up as to what can and should be done on two wheels.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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Moved the departure up a day and I'll be heading out after work tomorrow, trying to beat out the rain and I should be able to hang out near the New Gorge bridge while the weather passes over. I just want to be in WV and spend some time getting to know it better.
Went out for a few beers tonight and on the way home I had thoughts I have to put this down before I finish packing.
I'm 57, have 3 sons, 23, 12 and 10...yep, two still in elementary school. It made me realize how lucky I am to be able to do even a two week trip...last years 3 week trip was unfathomable to me just a few years ago. My ex and her husband do a great job raising my younger two (thanks to both of you), I could be raising them on my own. If she was a BSC (Bat Shit Crazy for those that don't know and haven't read that thread) woman little trips like this would be impossible. I raised my oldest, I know about this stuff. Knowing they're cared for is a great thing.
So I'll finish packing shortly and have a few more beers, then head to work in the morning. When all's clear at work I'm gone and can be myself. This is a short trip and pales to the others here but for me it's a release I need and can't wait to experience. I'm writing this report to the people that are thinking about a 1K trip, not for those world travelers. There are so many of us that are just finding the joy that comes from wandering. I can't wait to find little southern towns time has forgotten. I knew I should wander when I was younger and did to some extent but now as I get older I know just how important it is. I know these smaller trips will just lead to bigger ones. I can't wait to see where I end up.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:42 PM   #6
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All who wander...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ride4321 View Post
Moved the departure up a day and I'll be heading out after work tomorrow, trying to beat out the rain and I should be able to hang out near the New Gorge bridge while the weather passes over. I just want to be in WV and spend some time getting to know it better.
Went out for a few beers tonight and on the way home I had thoughts I have to put this down before I finish packing.
I'm 57, have 3 sons, 23, 12 and 10...yep, two still in elementary school. It made me realize how lucky I am to be able to do even a two week trip...last years 3 week trip was unfathomable to me just a few years ago. My ex and her husband do a great job raising my younger two (thanks to both of you), I could be raising them on my own. If she was a BSC (Bat Shit Crazy for those that don't know and haven't read that thread) woman little trips like this would be impossible. I raised my oldest, I know about this stuff. Knowing they're cared for is a great thing.
So I'll finish packing shortly and have a few more beers, then head to work in the morning. When all's clear at work I'm gone and can be myself. This is a short trip and pales to the others here but for me it's a release I need and can't wait to experience. I'm writing this report to the people that are thinking about a 1K trip, not for those world travelers. There are so many of us that are just finding the joy that comes from wandering. I can't wait to find little southern towns time has forgotten. I knew I should wander when I was younger and did to some extent but now as I get older I know just how important it is. I know these smaller trips will just lead to bigger ones. I can't wait to see where I end up.

What a classy note....I wish you all good things in your travels! I'll be checking back for your ride report.

Ride safe,

Jill
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
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Thanks Jill. Somewhere along the way I have to learn to travel lighter. I don't carry a heavy load in my soul but the bike is packed to the gills. That extra pair of jeans shouldn't have been packed
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:17 PM   #8
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Send a PM a couple of days ahead of your Alabama/Florida panhandle stage and I'll round up some guys to say hello and buy you lunch...........
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:22 PM   #9
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Sounds like a plan AST. I'm really looking forward to that leg of the trip. In all honesty I'd love to spend more time in that area. It looks like a beautiful area, and fairly rural. The places I'm looking most forward to are the most remote.

For the life of me I can't find the manual for the camera. I really want to make this a better pictorial since I know the south has so much to offer in that respect. I'll have to find a PDF manual before I leave work tomorrow.
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ride4321 screwed with this post 04-19-2012 at 07:47 PM
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:10 PM   #10
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Sounds like a plan AST. I'm really looking forward to that leg of the trip. In all honesty I'd love to spend more time in that area. It looks like a beautiful area, and fairly rural. The places I'm looking most forward to are the most remote.

For the life of me I can't find the manual for the camera. I really want to make this a better pictorial since I know the south has so much to offer in that respect. I'll have to find a PDF manual before I leave work tomorrow.
We have a pretty active group near the Gulf Coast, so let me know a day or two ahead and I'll see who can get away and show you around. Plus, you have to sample our fresh seafood......
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:13 PM   #11
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I'm thinking shrimp, right? And definitely catfish, cajun style and all.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:32 PM   #12
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I'm thinking shrimp, right? And definitely catfish, cajun style and all.


Shrimp? Check
Catfish? Check
Cajun style? Slightly better in New Orleans but we do a passable imitation.....
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #13
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I'm in.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:47 PM   #14
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Hey ride! Good RR going here. Looks like you are getting your ducks in a row. Good plan to take off tomorrow. Sooner is always better than later to start a trip. I rode over The Gorge on a trip in 2010. WV is a great place to ride. I gotta get back there again. Looking forward to meeting you next Thursday in Memphis. I'll be heading out from south Fla on Tuesday.
Oh and when you are in the Fla panhandle near the Gulf you might want to try a fried oyster sammich. Yummm! See you next week.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:54 PM   #15
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There's something about WV that I can't shake. Maybe it's the women I met there back in the 70's
But seriously, it's the roads and the relaxed attitude. No one is on the road. Cops don't seem to care. The pavement is out of this world. There's something I want to know more about there. There is a scary side, think Meth in the hills. But in all reality, it's upstate NY with maybe a more relaxed attitude.
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