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Old 08-08-2012, 10:36 AM   #76
Aarrff OP
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Originally Posted by KingJarhead View Post
I love ready your ride reports and love seeing your travels. I need to make a trip to the western part of the state soon.
I really like that tent. How well do you think it would stand up in a windy/thunderstorm? Do you think it would be good for backpacking? Is the pump part of the tent or purchase separately? I am looking at getting a new backpacking tent. Thanks
The tent is available from aerostitch or directly from the manufacturer (Nemo). It is intended for back packers to the best of my knowledge. It has some rope and plenty of loops sewn it for additional guying both at the steaks and sides and top. I'd say this thing should be better in wind than something with poles. Go to www.nemoequipment.com I think it is and look up the Morpho 2-P. I also have a pad for the floor which folds up very small and a pad lock system which is just some straps that go inside and connect to hold your mattress pads (like thermorest) in place. I use a cheap throw away ground cloth but they make that accessory too and all kinds of cool stuff.

The pump comes with it as well as a nice waterproof stuff sack and little bags for rope and steaks. Packed up, it is as small as my thermorest pad which is smaller than the typical hiking bedroll. I set it up the first time in maybe 10 minutes but now I can do it in 5 or less! Here is the neat thing....you can air it up ( or deflate) from inside or outside so if its raining, you can get inside it as soon as its unrolled and air it up and then it won't blow away ( I would hope) with you in it...steak it after the rain stops.

Thanks for following my posts! See ya soon
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:56 PM   #77
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Me and mtngal took off on a 2-up ride on Friday, September 21, 2012. I had just returned from an 11 day ride to and back from New Brunswick Canada and enjoyed the seafood on the northern coast so much that I decided I might as well finish eating my way down the east coast but I wanted my favorite partner in crime and Sweetheart along with me so we were gone for about 8 days. It was a blast and she did most of the photography. We were in NC, TN, VA, back in NC, and ended up in Charleston SC before we got back. Following is from day one:

Ready to roll about 9:30 am from mtngals place.






A familiar site for us about 10 minutes down the road: I can remember when those tags looked a lot newer







Fog rises off Spring Creek below:







Rolling straight on through a familiar town:







The French Broad reminds me of the Chocolate River in New Brunswick today. Guess we had a good rain south of here.







We will cross these mountains on our way up to Tennessee. In fact, I think we crossed the Appalachian Trail about 7 times today. Several times around Hot Springs, again at the top of the Mountain on 25-70 and soon again on 212 going into TN.







On the way toward TN:







We always try to travel back roads and farmlands on our rides and this trip is no exception. We noticed a real variety of farmlands, crops, and livestock over the next week. Here we see a mature tomato crop and tobacco that looks about ready to hang for curing:







Not far down the road is another tomato field and the farmers are busy picking their harvest.








Here the AT crosses again on 212 at the TN Line:







Now this is mtngal and our big GS bike ready to keep rolling:







Before pulling out, we find a "Lucky Dime" which rode with us in the tank bag map viewer to remainder of the journey:







We took a brief detour and restroom break on Clear Branch Road to see Tennessee's Welcome Center voted best in the state. This photo from their parking looking back in the direction from whence we came.






A shot taken on the move toward the AT crossing on 91/133 on the way to Shady Valley above Elizabethton, TN.







Map and info at the AT crossing in the Gap entering Shady Valley. Nice spot for a stop and we saw some neat finches feeding on thistle seed and a good job by mtngal to capture one in her camera:











Ok, taking a break from this post of day one, back later...
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:48 PM   #78
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Continuing on day one:

Shady Valley is a nice looking farming community with big level fields and the mountains rising up abruptly in the background. Good area to go ride and like I mentioned in earlier posts, this is OK for you to ride since it's in TN but avoid the awful stuff in NC





Hay is being harvested for cattle:







On beyond Shady Valley on 133, and prior to Damascus VA, we come across "Backbone" Rock. This is a curious rock formation that the road goes through. It appears to be 60-70 feet high but very narrow as the tunnel is not more than 20 feet long I guess. Here is a sampling of shots taken by mtngal:










We arrive in Damascus VA and this little town is famous fro all it's trail crossing's here like the Virginia Creeper and yes...the AT and others. The Creeper and the train on it was a rail section from I think Abingdon to Whitetop Mountain. It is a popular bicycle and hike now. The trestles are still in place and provide trail users some really awesome views. Here are a few shots from town:






We were ready for food:







I am a lucky guy! Oh, and these breakfast wraps hit the spot!







Rolling east out of Damascus on 58, which we followed a lot for several days, we see samples of VA farmland:







We make a few detours on our way east toward Whitetop Mountain and the Whitetop Community. Since I have bicycled the Creeper several times, I decided to show mtngal some of the train stations along the trail. Here is Green Cove Station, now a gift shop and store for the bicyclists:







Inside:















Another detour off 58 up Whitetop Road just to see the sights:











Ye ole' buckeye. Keep one in your pocket for good luck but very poisonous to any type of cattle and hoofed stock:






Back on 58 and east bound:







The Grayson Highlands are beautiful any time of year:







mtngal ws wonderin' about how these folks did with their spelling "B's". Nottoo good I guess







About this time, we start passin' all these Mazda Miata's....we must have passed dozen's of them...dozens and dozens! We passed more of them than you'd see Harley's going to a hog rally







Sheep and cattle farming:







How about Alpaca farming!







Maybe something different like Christmas Tree farming!







How about Miata Farming??











More Christmas Trees: Peaceful looking farm....






Ok, need a break from this........
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:21 PM   #79
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Ok I think this will be the final segment of day one:

mtngal wondered if Pearls of Wisdom came from the Mouth of Wilson???











58 is known as the "Crooked Road" and for it's mountain music heritage:







They must have burned the house down with all the flues:






58 is gettin' to be a big road now as we approach Hillville. Guess it's getting late so maybe we should stop for the night:






Sun sets behind an ominous cloud:











Well, all in a cozy room for the night and we'll see ya on Saturday morning 9/22/12 for the run down to Franklin and Suffolk, VA.





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Old 10-16-2012, 05:20 AM   #80
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To cute! Looks like shes saying "Will you just eat your breakfast".

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Great report so far, looking forward to more!
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:03 AM   #81
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To cute! Looks like shes saying "Will you just eat your breakfast".




Great report so far, looking forward to more!
Ha! Thanks! I will be posting day two soon as mtngal gives me that installment We were gone 8 days so a lot of material to go through and we had a great vacation, met some neat people as you'll see later. Good to see you at Notta.


OOPs ...guess I was foolin' with my photo bucket and messed up the photo in _anatics quote...oh well...sorry..I put the original back in but can't fix the quote.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:03 PM   #82
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Saturday 9/22/12 was a big day with lots of miles to cover. We also had several attractions in mind to see along the way. I had previously been to a "Shot Tower" about 20 minutes north of Hillville and wanted to show this to mtngal. You can google this and find it easy and it is located very near a VA state park on the New River and the New River Trail runs right by it. It is a 75 foot high tower used in the Civil War to make lead bullets. An exact measure of molten lead can be dropped from a height of 150 feet into a vat of water and you have a perfect cooled sphere. Why a 75 foot tower? It's too much to build a stone enclosed tower that high so they built it on a rock cliff top and drilled another 75 feet under it and the bottom of the whole thing is on the trail which at that time was the railroad where they loaded the shot onto a car headed south to the Confederate Army....












View I-77 from the back of the tower:







We took back roads up there on something like Poplar Camp Road which is off Main street in Hillville. Then I took some dirt roads east which were a hoot and very scenic. I do not remember the numbers but you can find your way if you study google maps and we then worked out way back down to 58. This series of dirt roads began very near and just prior to the entrance to the New River State Park there:



















On the way we found a neat store and the old timer running it told us that it was started by his grandfather who ran a lead mine there and the employees got there wares and food from the Company Store. Remember Ernie Ford's song " I Owe My Soul To the Company Store"? Well...here it is. The old timer running it now was so nice and just welcomed us like we were his long lost kids. What an awesome nice man to meet and he told us the store history, and memorabilia from the mine era...even one of the old ledgers showing purchases and total owed by the employees.







This is exactly what my adventures are about, meeting great people and hearing their history!







Look at the neat old store! Even got fresh pickled aggs!








Had to put his dog to sleep due to old age and the old dog knew all his customers by name...he misses his dog!






See the date on this old ledger....1913!!!







He came outside with us to see my "fancy" bike. He was really interested in us. Told us about a Civil War lead furnace about 3 miles away across some dirt roads and farms so.....we are off to see the furnace!














Want some Klews?






this is what we love, just ride and find out where the road leads and no real plans other than generally east so we head back down toward 58 to continue eastward and its getting near lunchtime now....so lets get on 58 east and go find a good winery for lunch! Here are a few sights back down to 58....and a detour on a short but fun Greenbrier...














I bet some hard times happened on this road....







Ever wonder what's at a dead end? I am always finding them.......







Oh yeah,I bet many of you recognize this...nice camp!















Next up is Lunch at Chateau Morrisette...



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Aarrff screwed with this post 10-18-2012 at 06:09 PM
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:25 PM   #83
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Love reading your adventures! Now if I can grab the SouthEast tag tomorrow I know where it is going. Thanks.
Some of the photos are just up the road from me.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #84
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We did a little wine tasting inside and then decided on what to purchase and take with us. There is room in the top case for a nice bottle. We then enjoyed the balcony while we waited to be seated outside for lunch. What a nice day with my Sweetheart! The manager enjoyed taking our photo together...






After a few drinks, mtngal kept pointing at this little white square that was floating over her glass




KIDDING!!! we did some tasting but I do not drink then pilot a two wheel machine...same with her as the pillion...50 years of motorcycling has been survived by me with this rule. it was a fun lunch and nice break from riding. Here is a happy gal...






Bon Apetit!






Note the coffee and ice tea but we will enjoy our wine at night....





Haulin butt for Franklin down near Suffolk, VA where we got a room reserved and it's lookin' stormy behind us..







We made our leap already...









Storm clouds gather behind us...






Still looks good to the south.






Hmmm...could be a message in this cloud....I'll let the reader decide on this one...






A blue bird house or Bluebird house or....






These folks had a wishing well. Maybe they should wish for some paint?





I think that cloud earlier was giving us the finger....













And I did not bring rain gear so that's why it's raining. Our weather person told us it was going to be perfect weather all week, actually it was except this one incredible cloud burst and my suit is not water proof at all but a good thing for hot days...oh well...it will dry in the wind and not stink too bad if I dodge the possum grease. They smell like fresh bacon to me anyway after a hot day in th' sun

My helmet was getting a bit foggy and we needed fuel so I pulled in a little station to gas up and wait out the rest of this down pour. It was raining so hard that cars had pulled over but me and mtngal just kept going...better than be a sittin' duck in the rain! I clean my helmet lens every night with a product that sheds most of the water anyway. Now here is another person we met....this old fellow was standing in the pouring rain, totally drenched, freezing, and could not apparently walk away from his mower. While I was gassing up, my sweet lady goes over to him, in the pouring rain, to see if he was OK. He could not walk at all but was trying to get under that awning.....






We did not have a camera out in this rain but he was holding onto that mower! I went over there realizing that mtngal could not get him to move....he needed assistance on both sides. I got a chair that was near the door, helped her get him over to it and sat him down. Poor guy! I went inside to see if anyone knew him as we were afraid to leave him freezing like this. He told us that he had nerve problems in his feet. I believe him, but he also had been having a good day too That still does not mean he did not need help. The store lady said "oh yeah...that's old ........., I'll call his wife to come get him Oh-Kay....guess he'll get a whoopin' fer supper. After we left, I realized that he drove that darn lawnmower up the road in that rain! Wonder if he was weaving any.....dang, how dangerous is that?

He waved bye and thanked us as we rode off in the slacking rain.







.....so I don't know if we helped him or just got him in trouble

My wonderful buddy in the mirror recording our trip.






....looking a little better now as the day gets late and we approach Franklin, VA.










haulin' arse...







As the sun sets behind us, we'll enjoy some good wine tonight and have a laugh or two about our lawn mower buddy...hope he is OK






Til the next installment in a couple days....
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:47 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by KingJarhead View Post
Love reading your adventures! Now if I can grab the SouthEast tag tomorrow I know where it is going. Thanks.
Some of the photos are just up the road from me.

Thanks Buddy! I keep a check yor taggin too. Looks like a lot of fun has been had on the NCTOR. I just been into traveling this summer and will probably get back to playing some tag after we get firewood ready for winter...take care!
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:38 PM   #86
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Bon Apetit!






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Old 10-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #87
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Thanks fer following us along red bud! Hope to see you soon. Missed you at the Notta!
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:15 AM   #88
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It looks like you and mtngal had a great time. Thanks for sharing with us. NW NC and SW Va is riding heaven for me.

It is a good thing you didn't throw a top water plug in the water at Mouth of Wilson. It seems that Va lets these pesky things do their best to steal them from you.

<>< Fish



Quote:
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Ok I think this will be the final segment of day one:

mtngal wondered if Pearls of Wisdom came from the Mouth of Wilson???










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Old 10-19-2012, 07:34 AM   #89
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It looks like you and mtngal had a great time. Thanks for sharing with us. NW NC and SW Va is riding heaven for me.

It is a good thing you didn't throw a top water plug in the water at Mouth of Wilson. It seems that Va lets these pesky things do their best to steal them from you.

<>< Fish


Nice catch Travis!!! Good to see you in here! That is a wonderful area to explore. Give a holler if you come this way riding and we'll meet up fer sure! Take Care! Ed
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:24 AM   #90
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Cool Trip Lots of great riding in that area. I wish I had more time to explore it.
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