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Old 07-06-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
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Long Way Down...

Greetings...
I just got home from a two week road trip. Will attempt to document it with this ride report. I'll be updating often till its complete...


Day 1
Finally i got some time off work for a two week road trip. This would be my longest ride to date. I owe lots of thanks to other ride reports, inmates & moto maps that i used to put together my route...
The ride would be done in 3 phases. The first phase would be riding through the mountains of Virgina, North Carolina & Tennessee and then making my way along the border of South Carolina & Georgia south east and follow the coast down to Florida at which point phase 2 of the ride would begin. I didn't want to strain my brain so the routing of phase 3 would be done after phase 1 & 2 were completed...

Some more trip planning was started here... RoadTrip

My lodging over the next two weeks would be camping, motels & kin. So after loading up my mule sunday morning 6/23 i set out for day 1 on the road from my HQ in Edgewater, NJ...


Figuring i can see NJ most any day of the week & wanting to make a quick get away, i slabbed most of the way out of Dodge. Didn't quite make it out though, the lure of a south jersey tag took me on a little detour. Turned out i wasn't the only one out for an early morning ride, i got double bruced...


Tagging always works up an appetite, so made a pit stop before moving on...


By afternoon, i'd reached the first waypoint on my route, the Shenandoah National Park to ride its Skyline Drive...


The scenery is breathtaking, my picture taking doesn't do the views justice but that doesn't deter me from taking lots of pics anyway, although i do try to balance out continually pulling over for photo ops with the need to cover miles, with views like these its not always easy...












Traffic on the skyline was great, there was none. Along the entire 105 miles of the road are lots of scenic pull offs, so its real easy for cages to get out of the way, which is what the few that i encountered did each time...

Before reaching the end of Skyline Drive, i found out the campground i'd planned to spend the night in at the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed. Instead of riding to the next BRP campground, i decided to conveniently camp on the Skyline Drive, only about 25 miles to the start of the BRP, the next waypoint on my route...

Here's the Loft Mountain Campground on the Skyline Drive...




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Old 07-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #2
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I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #3
half_price_beemer
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Love this region of the country keep posting, I'm loving the report already. good looking bike too
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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Day 2
When i broke camp i discovered the Loft showers are coin operated and the little camp store to make change wasn't open yet so i had to rough it...


While riding the last few remaining miles of the Skyline Drive, i see a bear on the side of the road eating its breakfast. I made a couple of passes and tried each time getting a photo but couldn't. The only clear vantage point was to stop directly in front of it. With one hand on my throttle and the other wrapped around my camera, i slowly came to a full stop. Soon as i raised my camera hand, the bear gave a little bluff charge and i did a real retreat. By the time i u-turned the bear was gone. If you have a good imagination maybe you can see the bear in this pic...


After a little more scenery i reached the end of the Skyline Drive...






And the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway...


Didn't take many pics the first day of riding the BRP, just enjoying all the sweeping curves, scenery and perfect weather. Absolutely no traffic, no cops, and lots of legal passing zones to get around the occasional sightseer...






Jumped off the BRP briefly at mile post 165 for the first & only time to get fuel. Tried here at Tuggles Gap but the pumps were down. Had to go down the road another several miles to fuel up in Woolwine, VA...


Back on the BRP, crossing state lines, VA into NC...


Doughton Park Campground, mile post 240, a little past the halfway point. This campgrounds got a nice post for me to hang my jacket, fancy...


Its monday night and the campground is near deserted. Decent amount of trash overflowing from the dumpsters left over from the weekend. I set up my tent well away from the dumpster and i'm pretty sure my snoring can scare away the baddest of bears but just in case...
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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Following! Looks great so far!
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:46 AM   #6
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nice Bob wish I could have joined you for the ride thru NC even though I am at the eastern 1/3rd of the state...the better part of a day's ride...anyway i'm glad you had good weather...enjoying the show...Thanks for sharing...hope the big beemer is built better than the 800 was....
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:13 AM   #7
kitesurfer
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I'm sure you were hating live having to ride down 8 from Tuggles Gap :) Nothing in Woolwine to see, but I thoroughly enjoy the road to get there :)
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:38 AM   #8
mikegc
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Long Way Down...



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Old 07-07-2013, 05:17 AM   #9
Oldone
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Great country....

That's some beautiful country for sure! Thanks for taking the time to give us a look. Very nice indeed!

Gary "Oldone"

Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
Grampa’s National Monument Ride

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Old 07-07-2013, 06:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitesurfer View Post
I'm sure you were hating live having to ride down 8 from Tuggles Gap :) Nothing in Woolwine to see, but I thoroughly enjoy the road to get there :)
I don't remember the name or route number of the road to woolwine and didn't see anywhere safe to pull off for pics, which is why i didn't initially comment on it but it made the tail of the dragon look like childs play, just not as long...
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:17 AM   #11
mikegc
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Long Way Down...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stbob View Post
I don't remember the name or route number of the road to woolwine and didn't see anywhere safe to pull off for pics, which is why i didn't initially comment on it but it made the tail of the dragon look like childs play, just not as long...
It's Route 8 and fun ride. I've ridden it more times than I can count on my way for a lunch stop at Tuggle's Gap. That whole area has great roads for scooter trash like us!

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Old 07-07-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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Day 3
Got an early start with more of the never ending fantastic views...






While camped the night before, i was checking out the BRP brochure and one of the attractions that stood out was this picture of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park...

Picture courtesy of the WWW

So when i saw this sign for Stack Rock, it conjured up the above image of Chimney Rock in my mind. Now had i actually been reading the BRP brochure instead of just looking at the pictures i'd have know it wasn't even remotely close...


I start hiking into the woods in search of this cool attraction. Thinking it wouldn't be very far, i don't take any water with me. After about an hour or so of hiking i'm starting to think there is no rock viewing platform to be found. My sense of direction tells me the trail is going to eventually lead me back to the BRP which it does. At this point my mc boots are killing my feet and dehydration is starting to set in. I return to the Stack Rock parking area via the road. What took me over an hour to hike in the woods, took only 15 minutes walking on the road. It was definitely cool though, just took a little longer than planned...










Back on the road, starting to hit some scattered showers. The brief duration of the rain & heat, doesn't make sense to waste time putting on rain gear. A few miles of dry weather is all that's needed to quickly dry out mesh gear...






Here we are at the highest point on the BRP, mile post 431, only 38 miles to go...




To be cont...
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:39 PM   #13
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Day 3 cont...

After spending two great days riding on the BRP i finally reached the Great Smoky Mountains National Park & Cherokee Indian Reservation...


One of the first things i see when i get off the BRP in Cherokee, NC is a traffic jam...
Then i see whats causing it and i quickly become part of the problem. There's a couple of elk crossing the road and everyone including myself is stopping for a photo op...






Its been a long day, time to find a camp site. Before leaving NJ, i checked the NC tag o rama game and as fate would have it, their current tag was a campground with excellent views & some dirt roads to get there...
Google shows the roads leading all the way from Big Cove Rd in Cherokee to the campground in Maggie Valley, my gps didn't make it so easy...
View Larger Map

After traversing a whole lot of steep, tight gravelly switchbacks my gps now wanted me to play eeny, meeny, miny, moe with a bunch of roads that all branched out in different directions for the last stretch to the campground...










Didn't find it on my first or second try, but being persistent paid off, finally found it. A big thanks to the NC tag o rama otherwise i'd never had even known it was there...


Then the icing on the cake, the tag was still open, my first north carolina tag...


Then i was to put to use a picture i'd taken earlier in the day for the new nc tag...


After setting up camp & claiming the tag it was time to kick back and enjoy the view with a couple cups of coffee...


A few sips later, i didn't hear a thing, i turned my head to see a big bull elk, thankfully i had my camera right in front of me...
Note the work gloves covering my cup & coffee press, i'm attempting to keep the gnatts from swimming in my coffee. By now i've become somewhat accustomed to the gnatts constantly swarming around head, but think its going to take a few more days before i get used to drinking them too...

There were three all together, the other two are somewhere in the brush. But this one appeared to be locked onto the aroma of my coffee...


The big guy is now approaching my bench. Despite its size, it looks pretty tame but i decide i don't want to be the next victim on the worlds stupidest people tv show for being too trusting of bambi on steroids that i move away from table but continue to take pictures...
On the table is the little blue cooler bag, its got my electronic gizmos, my wallet, mc keys and some packages of almonds inside it. So now i'm wandering if its possibly the almonds and not the coffee attracting the elk to come closer. I start picturing the elk picking up the bag and walking away with it. I had a big smile on my face thinking about it but at the same time that would have sort of thrown a wrench into the rest of my ride. Turned out the elk didn't want neither, turned tail to go and catch up with its buddies...




The camp host were very friendly. Directed me to an available site with the best view and invited me to watch the sunset from there site. The sunset was probably awesome, by the time i got there the deed had been already done. And there lurking in the shadows were the three elk again...


The place was loaded with elk. The next day after having a hot shower, there were several more of the monsters all along the trail. If & when i make it out this way again, this campground will definitely be on my route again...

Did get to see the sunrise to start my day 4...
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:54 PM   #14
Mudclod
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Man, you got some great shots.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:02 PM   #15
Oldone
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Great photos!

That's some nice photos that you have there.....Thanks for the time....

Gary "Oldone"

Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
Grampa’s National Monument Ride
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