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Old 09-26-2012, 02:49 PM   #166
jdrocks OP
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Standing there, toes hanging over the precipice, the decision would be easy if I wasn’t alone, solo changes everything.



The water was gin clear, good because I can at least see the bottom half way across, bad because 100% of the time the water looks shallower than the true depth. Scouting a way across, I can see some big rocks I need to avoid, roll the dice, let’s jump this SOB.

Been Baptised, don’t need another, fired the rat, and I was into the water. First 8”, then 12”, then 18”, still doing ok at the half way point, but then I dropped into a channel with over 24” of faster water, was pushed downstream off my line, and ran into a deadhead buried in the bottom that I hadn’t seen from the other side, WTF now.

The front wheel was up against the log, bike still running, on the gas as the rear wheel broke loose in a violent lurch and swung around downstream right giving me a better upstream angle, and in an explosive cascade of flying water and gravel, I was able to power up and out of the creek. Hot damn, I lead a dull life. I’m not a believer in hanging around when stuff like this happens, lingering visions of bad outcomes aren’t productive for solo travel, and I was gone down the road, I’ll empty out the boots somewhere else.

This was Cedar Creek, the same one I crossed earlier, but the road on the other side was MountainFalls, and the country opened to pasture in the valley as I rode northwest.



Some late blooming flowers adding color to September.



I had just turned southwest on Wardensville Grade when I found a horsedrawn wagon coming towards me on the gravel, a pair of big draft horses already skittish at a distance, heck, this was only a one lane road, how was this going to work? I pulled off on the right close to the ditch, motioned the teamster forward, and sat there idling, so far so good, but both horses spooked when they passed the bike, reared, the teamster hanging onto the reins, cussing a streak, half at the horses, the other half at me. Geez, plenty of entertainment in this neighborhood, times up, got to go.



Wardensville Grade takes me down to 55 and west, civilization, then north on Capon Springs, and I was climbing another mountain on macadam, then gravel. This road twists and turns in typical fashion before connecting to FR502, and I was riding south again.



These roads are all in good shape and show a lot of use, but I was alone out here today.



There was active clear cutting on this road, along with old cuts and controlled burns, some early fall color here and there.



FR502 intersects 55, aka Wardensville Pike, another small jog west, then southwest on North Mountain or CR5, the back way into town. This country road is macadam, homes and small farms, with at least one farmer not favoring Barack Hussein, so ol’ Barack best list him in the “doubtful” column for the November festivities.



North Mountain intersects 55/259 in Wardensville, pleasant main street area, bright sun, people enjoying the fall day, couple strolling metrosexual dudes with their man purse satchel thingies…shopping, or something, smoke trailing from thin cigars. I was tempted to stop at the Mercantile until I glanced at my watch, oops, no way, not with all the gravel road ahead of me.

I had been off and on gravel all morning, but the big gravel roads and more water were on the route, can’t linger. Checked the fuel, fixed the boots, tightened some straps, wiped dust off the visor, good to go, and I did, rockin’ through the gears, yowls, howls, snarls, and buzzy burrs snaking out of the exhaust, and I earned some looks reserved for the uncouth. Yep, that would be me, and I made the turn, gone south at full whoop, a murky promise of adventure ahead.

(to be continued…)
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:41 PM   #167
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Great story. Dull life indeed!!


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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
The front wheel was up against the log, bike still running, on the gas as the rear wheel broke loose in a violent lurch and swung around downstream right giving me a better upstream angle, and in an explosive cascade of flying water and gravel, I was able to power up and out of the creek. Hot damn, I lead a dull life. I’m not a believer in hanging around when stuff like this happens, lingering visions of bad outcomes aren’t productive for solo travel, and I was gone down the road, I’ll empty out the boots somewhere else.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:51 PM   #168
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Great to hear that the Rat bike handles the 2 foot waters. If only your boots got soaked, that's a check in the win column. Save the 2nd baptism for another day...
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:52 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by JaxObsessed View Post
Great story. Dull life indeed!!
very deceptive crossing. besides the depth, there's more water moving than you expect. you can see the riffle behind the bike in the photo.

yup, dull life. that was a close call, jack.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:58 PM   #170
jdrocks OP
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Great to hear that the Rat bike handles the 2 foot waters. If only your boots got soaked, that's a check in the win column. Save the 2nd baptism for another day...
the boots weren't the only things wet, but it was a warm day and i dried out.

that's a big chunk of iron to wrestle in the middle of a creek, any deeper, game over.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:23 PM   #171
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jdrocks, dull life? Ha! Not in this life! Great write up.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:22 PM   #172
jdrocks OP
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jdrocks, dull life? Ha! Not in this life! Great write up.
thanks. ya ride around, crazy stuff happens.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:36 PM   #173
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Great report JD, got some pretty good chuckles from it. Some day when you have more time you'll have to tell us what you really think of the Starbucks clientele.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:26 AM   #174
jdrocks OP
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Great report JD, got some pretty good chuckles from it. Some day when you have more time you'll have to tell us what you really think of the Starbucks clientele.
ok, i found a new app called...

"BIGASS ADJECTIVES FOR USE IN PSYCHOMETRIC EVALUATIONS", so as soon as i figure out how to use all those descriptive words, i'll write up a proper Starbuckistan review.

i'll loan ya a few words so you can talk about the refs in your recent Packers game. i wouldn't use too many words in one sitting, otherwise you grow a beard, part your hair in the middle, start smelling like patchouli, and use your welding skills to construct "free form garden sculpture" instead of rat bikes.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:36 AM   #175
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i wouldn't use too many words in one sitting, otherwise you grow a beard, part your hair in the middle, start smelling like patchouli, and use your welding skills to construct "free form garden sculpture" instead of rat bikes.
Classic! I'll have to try to get some shots of the folks in my neighborhood - Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is hipster central, the type of place that won't allow a Starbucks, because the mom-n-pop coffee shops reign supreme...

"Why weld when you can buy a $20k bike that's been welded for you?"

JD, your rides and photos are great, but you seem to be a character magnet, and your ability to reflect and report what you see is genius!
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #176
jdrocks OP
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Classic! I'll have to try to get some shots of the folks in my neighborhood - Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is hipster central, the type of place that won't allow a Starbucks, because the mom-n-pop coffee shops reign supreme...
well, i think you hit on it, and with some care in the name of generalizations, you have the real deal, the other place has the fey counterfeits. i did find out while waiting in line at the Starbuckistan consulate, that it is possible for an adult male to know way way too much about wine.


the jabber with ktmklx was because he lives on the doorstep to the shrine at Green Bay, has the international capitol of aging hippydom to his south, and is a high level fabricator/welder/bike builder...only a few unpronounceable words away from garden sculpture.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:33 PM   #177
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Departing Wardensville west on 259, this new section of highway doesn’t match the GPS, but FR344 isn’t hard to find, and I was riding southwest on a long run of gravel. The roads had been in the George Dubya since Capon Springs, and this one was part of the National Forest too. I hadn’t seen any vehicles on other gravel sections, but passed two coming north within half a mile, then a third where I found a guy cutting some deadfall firewood out of the road, friendly smile, two teeth, and a chaw as big as a baseball.

This road was well maintained, although it wears many faces, and runs from smooth two track to freshly placed and graded marbles.



Openings in the tree cover are few, so it’s not always possible to get a look at the surrounding terrain.



The rat was running fine despite that near catastrophe, no CPR required.



A little color over here too, must be specie related, not elevation.





This particular park road had undergone extensive recent maintenance, new 5/7 stone everywhere, maybe in preparation for hunting season traffic. Go ahead and rip if ya want, but those deep marbles can be treacherous.



As if another reminder is needed, I only saw the three vehicles near the very top of this long road, so if ya get all racy and come to an abrupt stop with the wheels pointed up in the air, you’re on your own, ain’t no help available.

Civilization, so to speak, and I transitioned back to macadam at Mill Gap, then down to the just-out-of-church-get-me-home-to-the-ball- game crowd of speeding vehicles on 259. I’m thinking of writing a short note to the local preachers, propose a sermon that starts “Thou shall not tailgate the Lord’s children that are encountered on only two wheels, there could be Biblical consequences sayeth the Lord…”, ya know, plant the seed, let them take it from there. If one of their parishioners, confiscate the car keys from that blue haired lady I saw run smack into a dead deer, then a possum, then a hound, a trifecta of roadkill encounters, no swerve, no drive around, must be blind as a freakin’ bat, puzzled by those new bumps in the road.

Southwest on 259, then braking hard for the easy to miss turn west on the Howard’s Lick/Lost River road, a short jog, and I was riding southwest on CR12-2, and out of the traffic. This series of back roads, some macadam, some gravel, would take me down to Bergton without staying on 259, much more interesting, and I rode southeast on Cullers Run, southwest on CR18/Crab Run, and finally southeast again on a combination of Arbuckle, Crab Run, and Bergton. Here I was, downtown metro Bergton, food and fuel, oh yeah.



I had been here a little over a week earlier with a group of ten riders on smaller bikes routed over another road network, sometimes more challenging than I was crossing today. This country store was a well known backroads stop, one of the few left in the area, and a must stop for the smaller bikes with two gallon tankage, it’s easy to run out of fuel around here. Straight gas, no blended fuel, and they sell a lot of it.

There’s always a group of codgers hanging out at the store, unfailingly cordial to strangers who share a few words, but I did more by sharing some recent adventure, and then we were all laughing. The back of the store has a grill, two 14y/o girl cooks today, and I had them make me a big breakfast, yeah, I know, but who cares.

There was a boy there too, the girls’ contemporary, fumbling around, getting in the way, so we all ganged up on him, barbs flying, none serious enough to cause mortal wounds, and he was enjoying the attention. He wasn’t specific about his duties around the kitchen, so I said “You must be these young ladies slave”, and he shook his head no, the girls shook their heads yes. Kids are surprised when adult strangers talk to them, but then again, I’m surprised when I find quick witted kids, no slackers in the give and take here.

Outside to sit in the church pew and eat my late lunch, I needed fortification for the final push south. Smokey Bear across the road, a timely reminder, it’s been dry all across the area.



Gotta go, rough roads ahead, yikes, more water, and I was gearing back up when two 4x4 pickups pulling big horse trailers turned left onto my next road. Hmmmm, what are the odds…?

(to be continued…)
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:05 AM   #178
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:52 PM   #179
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charging south, more report soon.
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:41 AM   #180
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Glad you made it through Moore's ford. We did it back in May and two of us almost drowned our bikes. How did you like that crazy crown on 344?
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