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Old 06-16-2013, 08:54 PM   #391
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Fathers day surprise !!!

Sometime around 6 o' clock I rolled into Surry, Virginia and surprised my Dad on Fathers day !!!

I never let him know I was coming down.

He has been down here working in the shipyard in Newport News for about 10 years now.
After the Tool and Die trade dried up in the Automotive field,15 or 20 years ago,he started working in the Defense side of the trade. (First the Planes and now the ships.)




The Norfolk Naval base is the largest in the USA.(probably in the world) and Virginia is a center of Shipbuilding.




He lives just off Rolfe Hwy (31) a mile or two from the Jamestown Scotland Ferry.

His place is down a little dirt driveway set back in the woods.It is pretty much a cobbled up shack with a leaky tin roof and unfinished walls and such.
It is an unfinished addition on an existing house,that he rents from the eccentric owner, who lives in the front section.
My Dad has about 6 cats,so it was one of the few places he could find that did not mind all the cats.






BABY - The Detroit Feral cat

A couple of years ago while staying (in an efficiency Motel) and visiting for the summer (Detroit suburbs) my Dad befriended this wild feral female cat.
It took him months of leaving out cans of Tuna and Sardines and talking to her to finally coax her into the Motel.
She was just skin and bones.
He became very attached to her and decided to keep her and named her Baby.
Shortly before he was getting ready to leave and go back to Virginia he had a dilema.
He normally takes the Amtrak train back and forth but could not take a cat with him.
To make matters worse the cat was pregnant.He could not bear to leave her behind.
So he paid a friend to drive him and the cat all the way to Virginia.
Baby is doing great now.
Baby had 5 kittens and he named and kept them all.
Its funny,even the kittens(even full grown and raised with love) are kind of wild and skittish to strangers.
But Baby seemed to remember me.



This is one of BABY's baby's named WOLFY.
He is huge.He is a beautifull cat.




DAY 3 ROUTE MAP

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Old 06-16-2013, 09:41 PM   #392
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Don't tell the guys in GSpot but I recently got me a WRR and...and...I am actually loving it more than the GS. The WR is SOOO MUCH FUN. Light. It allows me to explore more areas than the GS. Only slight downside is that I peg the throttle on the highway to stay in the high 60s.
Lol same here except I just got a DRZ400SM and am in love. My GS is awesome, but always felt like such a pig in the corners - if I can't do corners comfortably, I'd hate to see it offroad! But the DRZ is truly flickable, easy to pick up, and more than enough for me.

Gotta say, after my whole riding "career" being heavy bikes, thumpers are REALLY starting to grow on me!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:25 AM   #393
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Jamestown Ferry

DAY 4 - MONDAY - 17 JUNE 2013

This morning I woke to rain and clouds.

I took the Jamestown Ferry across the river and rode through Williamsburg and then took Colonial Parkway to Yorktown and am currently having breakfast at the Duke of York Hotel Restaurant.


The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry fleet is made up of four ferries:
Vessel Year Built Capacity
Pocahontas199570 cars
Surry197950 cars
Williamsburg198350 cars
Virginia193628 cars









While sitting on the Jamestown side River bank I shot this picture of two of the Ferries passing each other.
They are running all the time and you do not have to wait very long to board and be under way.





After boarding,you can leave your bike and walk around freely.

Out towards the middle of the River we passed some large pillars with Osprey nesting on them.
The Osprey is a large Raptor or Sea Hawk and nest near bodies of water.




You can walk up stairs and hang out on the upper deck also.

It was very humid in this Coastal part of Virginia(as it always is this time of year) and the cool breeze coming off the River and flowing over your body while catching the view from the upper deck was refreshing !!!





COLONIAL NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARKWAY

I highlighted the route.I highly recommend this ride if you are ever in the area.It is very relaxing and scenic and follows the James river for a while after leaving the Jamestown area and the York river shortly before entering Yorktown.
It is a 23 mile long byway that connects Jamestown to Yorktown and runs through Williamsburg on the way.

After arriving in Yorktown I realized my Tankbag rain cover had blown off and was gone.
After breakfast I backtracked down the Parkway and miraculously found it.


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Old 06-17-2013, 12:18 PM   #394
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Bamboo

As I was leaving Yorktown I came across this large growth of Bamboo.




Now I am exploring the Historic Jamestown Settlement, with alot of interesting history.

They have some pretty good eats at the Dale House Cafe also.I had the Tuna salad & tomato in a sun dried tomato tortilla wrap with a side of marinated carrot salad and a King James Blend coffee.


After taking the Ferry back to the South side of the James River, I rode over to the SMITH'S FORT PLANTATION, which is only a couple of miles down the road from my Dad's house.



Smith's Fort

Smith's Fort is the site of the original fort built by Captain John Smith in 1609 to help defend Jamestown.
It was a second line of defense against the Indians and Spanish.

Located south of the James River, this area was part of the land given by the Indian Chief Powhatan to John Rolfe on his marriage to Pocahontas.
On the land now is an 18th-century brick house typical of small Virginia plantations built during that period.



The house was closed for the day, so I jumped back on the bike and rode down a dirt lane that takes you to Greys Creek, which is back behind the house.

This monument was back there near the Creek bank and was some sort of tactical position.
According to the Monument the Fort was back here.






I placed a X on the map showing the location of the Fort Site along the banks of Grey's Creek.
You can see the dirt lane that I mentioned leading back to it.

There was not a soul around and it was a unique place to relax a bit and take a break.
You could sit there and imagine standing guard in the woodline along the steep Creek Bank waiting for a canoe of Indians to come floating up.
There is alot of History in this part of the Country !!!

Enough for today.It is time to head back to Dad's for Dinner.
He should be home from the Shipyard by now, and his girlfriend has had a Roast in the crock pot all day.

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Old 06-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #395
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Colonial Jamestown

On May 13, 1607, 104 men and boys landed at Jamestown to establish the first English colony in America.

The settlers were seeking gold,but their leader,John Smith,convinced them that surviving was more valuable than hunting for gold.





Fifth Church -- In 1907, the National Society of Colonial Dames of America erected a reconstruction church next to the original tower. This is the structure which visitors to Jamestown view today. The cobblestone foundations of the 1617 church, together with the brick foundations of the 1639 church, may be viewed under glass within the walls of the present church



JAMESTOWN COLONIAL NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK





CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH

John Smith's name is everywhere down here.

He must have been the man !







The Ambler House Ruins

The Ambler House at Jamestown has had a long and difficult history. Built in 1750(?) along Back Street, 350 yards east of the church, the Amblers preferred to call their homestead a mansion, a slight elaboration. The brick house was typical of early Georgian architecture. It had two stories, a central hall and two rooms on each side. The yard consisted of elaborate garden walkways. Unfortunately, the home burned during the Revolution and was restored by Colonel John Ambler. The house burned again during the Civil War and was restored a second time. When the house burned for a third time in 1895 it was not rebuilt. At that time, the property belonged to David Bullock who bought the Ambler and Travis holdings on the island in 1831. Today, the National Park Service administers the remains of the former Ambler estate.

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Old 06-18-2013, 05:23 AM   #396
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That was cool meeting you.If we had time we could have talked bikes all day.
Hey, what is the name of the place in Surry that has the great Shecrab soup ??
If you let me know I will go try it.
It was just called the "Surry House". Sorry for the late response. The soup is worth the trip ;) We are planning on finding it again this weekend.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #397
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It was just called the "Surry House". Sorry for the late response. The soup is worth the trip ;) We are planning on finding it again this weekend.
I thought that was it.We went there this morning but they were not opened yet so we just went into Smithfield and ate.

Its going to have to wait till next year for me to try the She crab soup cause I'm heading north.

The weather is not looking good here.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:09 PM   #398
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Small world

DAY 5 - TUESDAY - 18 JUNE 2013

While I was down in the Virginia Coastal area I was planning on taking a sidetrip down to Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

The weather was not cooperating though.
It was the second day of rain and the forecast was not looking promising down here, and from what I could tell if I headed North I may be able to run out of it.


So I packed up ,gave my Dad a hug goodbye and rode off.

As I was sitting on the bike at the Ferry waiting to board,I heard my name being called. WHAT ??
I turned around and saw my Dad walking up with my phone and charger that I had left charging on his countertop as I was packing the bike.
Wow,that saved me from having to backtrack from who knows where.

I am hard on myself when I do stupid things like that.I am usually very thorough on keeping everthing in order while travelling,especially critical things. Oh Well,move on and put it behind you.






These were all really friendly and pleasant guys and it definately made my day to run into them and share dinner and conversation with them.




So I head out of the Jamestown area and ride through the rain for most of the afternoon heading north and pull in to get a room at the SUPER 8 in Winchester, Va. and there are 2 DR 650's , a BMW 650 , and a KTM 950 and 4 inmates that just pulled in.

They invite me to dinner across the road at the Hibachi grill.

Two of them are from Northern California and shipped their bikes to the other 2 guys house in Pittsburgh, Pa and then flew in.

They all road to the east coast and are now heading to the start of the TAT in Tennessee.

Then the Cali guys are riding the TAT to the west coast.

Well, over dinner I tell one of the Cali guys a friend of mine from Michigan just moved up there,Daniel (Xdbx From Advrider)
Guess what, he knows Daniel and has been riding with him recently !!!
So we called Daniel on my cell phone and we all couldn't believe it.

Man, its a small world !!!

DAY 5 ROUTE MAP

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Old 06-19-2013, 09:28 AM   #399
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DAY 6 - WEDNESDAY - 19 JUNE 2013

The weather is nice this morning and after saying goodbye to the other Advriders I head out North and ride up through West Virginia and Maryland and into Pennsylvania.


I will keep an eye on those other riders progress on their thread in regional West section, I'm sure it will be interesting.


Mootsuno and Leadman's TAT adventure, plus a little more.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=906800




Tunnel under the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:45 PM   #400
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Hyner view state park, Pennsylvania

This is the amazing view from Hyner State Park overlooking the Susquehanna River.



The first time I had ever heard of this spot was in an article I read in RIDER magazine.I made a mental note to visit this place someday and now had my chance.

It is well worth the side trip.The ride up the switchbacks to the Observation area is nice also.

There is also a park like setting here with some tables and monuments as well.






You can see the clearing on the top of the hill,which is the observation area,as viewed from a pullout on the switchback road leading up to.





North Western view




Southern view
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:44 AM   #401
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Elk

After leaving Hyner View Overlook ,I headed for Cross Fork.



Cross Fork is a cool little town, if you can even call it that.It is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
It consists of a tiny little Motel, General store with a Bar attached, and a Saloon/Restaurant.(Deb's Cross Fork Inn) That's it !!!

Last year a friend and I stopped here while passing through.While talking to a local who wandered out of the bar for a smoke, we were informed that Black Bears come down from the hills at dusk and eat out of the dumpster at Deb's Inn almost every night.
Well, we had to stick around for that.
So we rode up into the hills and found a stealthy place to camp down a Gas line trail.We set up camp and rode back down to Deb's for dinner and sure enough, here come the Bears.
We sat on the porch (20 feet away) and watched them climb in and out of the dumpster for an hour !!! Awsome !!!

Anyway, I figured I would try to get a room at that little Motel and hang out and see if the Bears showed up.
No such luck.No vacancies due to something going on in the area or Trout Fisherman, which are big in this area.
No problem, as I was in the mood to ride some more anyway.
So I saddled up and rode on, maybe I will catch the Bears next time.

I rode towards Elk country hoping to make some Elk sightings and catch the Elk Country visitor center before they closed.






This whole area is very good riding.There are also endless fantastic Gravel and Forest roads in the hills here.

After leaving Cross Fork, I rode past Kettle Creek State Park and the campsites along the river.
The campsites were beautiful and simple.I almost turned back to camp there but already had it in my mind to hit Elk Country before dark, so made a mental note to return in the future.


On the map below,notice just North East of Cross Fork is The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.
If you are ever in the area this is a very nice sidetrip.




GRAND CANYON OF PENNSYLVANIA

Here are a few pictures I took last year.











Benezette, Pennsylvania has an excellent Elk visitor center and the Elk roam this whole area known as Elk Country.

As I was enroute to the visitor center a huge Bull Elk with a rack came out into the middle of the road and stopped and stared at me for a couple seconds before bolting into the woods followed by a smaller female.

What an impressive sight !!!

It is times like these when I wish I had a GOPRO mounted and recording.

It was a couple hours before dusk and a great day for Elk Viewing.They were in groups everywhere around the fields that surround the visitor center.
The visitor center is worth spending some time in also.It is like a small museum with some interactive displays and gift shop.







After leaving here I headed for I80 and a Western direction until darkness set in and I found a room for the night.

Clarion, Pennsylvania was home for the night at a Budget inn, and the attached Cozumels Mexican restaurant had to do for dinner.


DAY 6 ROUTE MAP

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Old 06-20-2013, 12:45 PM   #402
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Bellevue, Ohio

DAY 7 - THURSDAY - 20 JUNE 2013



Well, I am heading for the house.I stopped in Bellevue,Ohio for a coffee break.
That complimentary motel coffee just don't cut it !! Lol.

Just as it is exciting the first day as I leave off on a journey,it is also just as exciting for me the last day as I approach home.
The emotions that are involved,knowing that soon I will be reunited with my Wife ,Kids and Dogs after multiple days or a week on the road are very strong.

Life is all about balance.

And balance can be very elusive !!!!

DAY 7 ROUTE MAP

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Old 06-22-2013, 07:39 PM   #403
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First road trip on the KLR is in the books.

After leaving Clarion, Pennsylvania I pretty much rode Interstate and Highway all the way home.

It was a good test and the longest stretch at one time, as I usually mix it up with 2 lane.

It was 325 miles in 7 hours and the KLR did fine.

On one straightaway I opened it up and touched triple digits.


All together I traveled 1,800 miles and averaged 50 MPG fully loaded with side cases and I weigh 230 pounds.

I did ride mostly 2 lane roads though and I'm sure the mileage will drop with extended freeway riding.

The short windshield probably helps mileage also.

So, fuel costs were approximately $112.00.
Motels were in the neighborhood of $230.00
I don't count food since it doesn't really cost anymore than when I am home.

$342.00 for the Trip is not too bad.($57.00 day )

Normally I camp alot,so in the future these numbers will come down.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:09 PM   #404
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On one straightaway I opened it up and touched triple digits.

79.9 is not triple digits. Decimals don't count!
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #405
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A few words on my KLIM gear.

For the past 12 years I have been riding with mediocre gear and carrying rain gear.

Last fall I finally spent the money and bought KLIM Gore-Tex Traverse jacket and pants, and I wear a Rev-it Hi viz vest over it.

KLIM TRAVERSE



I'm a believer now, as long as I can afford KLIM or Aerostitch Gore Tex I will buy it.

For one thing, it is very comfortable.Even with full D30 armor and on a hot day I don't mind wearing it.
I chose the Traverse since I am a big guy and it is cut a little looser for enduro.There is plenty of room in the neck area where as the Olympia AST I wore last year would choke me out.

Having rode in a few down pours I can say it keeps me dry enough that I don't hassle with rain gear anymore.
Wednesday I rode all day in the rain from Jamestown to Winchester, sometimes a downpour, and stayed pretty much dry.I was a bit damp from the neck opening but after a short stop was dry again.

I knew I really wanted Gore Tex after the last Smoky Mountain ride when it would down pour 5 times a day and then the sun would come out along with the humidity and cook you and after taking the rain gear on and off 5 times I said to my buddy I have to get Gore Tex.
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