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Old 05-26-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
Skyclad OP
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The Mountains are Calling, and I Must Go...1200 miles on the Trans-eastern Trail

So, I had the time available, I have a wife that understands my need to ride, and I have a bike well suited for the task. What better time to take a couple of weeks and ride a bit of the Trans-eastern Trail on the way to Rick’s Rendezvous?

Ah, the Trans-eastern Trail? If you don’t know about it, and are in the eastern US, you have got to check it out. Chip has put together an amazing connection of roads, both paved and unpaved, to get up and down the Appalachian Mountains. I plotted out a route from Pennsylvania to Georgia using the TeT that took me through farmland, across mountain tops, and secluded woodland valleys. The roads varied from fun, sweeping twisties to tight switchbacks on pavement, and gravel to Jeep trails when the pavement ended.
After playing on the TeT, I headed north to Rick’s Rendezvous. Great time, and a wonderful way to remember the Party Boss. Then it was the Blue Ridge Parkway home. Yep, not a bad way to spend a couple of weeks.

Come one, let’s go for a ride…

Day 1 – York, PA to Brandywine, WV (289 miles)

Stopped at the local Rutter’s to get a quick breakfast before hitting the road.

Wrightsville, PA

Since I got a later start than I was planning, I took the fast way to where I was picking up the TeT. Went through Gettysburg to get there. At one point, I looked over at the sidewalk and saw this ugly dude on a beautiful bike.


I picked up the TeT at Blue Ridge Summit. From here to Georgia, some 1200 miles away, I am in the hands of Chip and the rest of the crew that put together the routes I am following. It did not take long to hit the first unpaved road in northern Maryland.




Very shortly after I hit the gravel, I had my first detour. There were several times throughout the trip that I had to find my way around road closures. Some were due to road work, some were due to bridges out, some were due to the rain, like on Hwy 622 in Virginia.


BTW, just because Virginia calls it a “highway”, that does not mean that it is much of a road…or paved…or even open for public use, as I discovered last year.


This is what I think of when I think of a highway, and this is the best way to view a highway, in my opinion. I much prefer riding on Virginia’s version.

(Interstate 81, just south of Stephen’s City, VA)

Remember what I said about the rain closing roads? Well, here is Moore’s Ford. I did this crossing last year, when it looked like this.


I decided not to try it this year. But I did see some butterflies, and had planned on this possibility. I took the bypass and continued merrily on.




Now, folks that know West Virginia know that there are two things you are going to experience when you visit the Mountain State. First, you WILL see deer. That took all of five minutes after I crossed the border this time. Second, you WILL get rained on. That took ten minutes. I do love West Virginia. The riding is pretty good, and the scenery doesn’t suck.













The first somewhat challenging road I hit was NF-344. It is somewhat washed and rocky, but no big deal on a 990, even when fully loaded. There are also a few water crossings to deal with.


I think the last road of the day may have been the best. Good surface, good scenery and more water crossings. It is just a state forest road, I am not sure of its name.








The forest road dumped me out on US-33 and I headed into Brandywine for the night. Found a hotel at Fox’s Pizza. Nothing special, but it was a place to lay my head at the end of a long dry.

Great day of riding. A few real gems like the state forest road and Camp Run Road stick in my mind. Bike is running great and I am finding the riding challenging enough to keep me on my toes. Throughout this ride, I really learned a lot about what the big KTM is capable of doing. The only limits I have come close to are my own.
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Skyclad's Wanderings - Bald Eagle Bastards - The Mountains are Calling, and I Must Go

Skyclad screwed with this post 09-24-2013 at 04:45 PM
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:44 PM   #2
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waiting on the mud-pit pics....
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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That would be Day 5. Have patience, grasshopper.
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Skyclad's Wanderings - Bald Eagle Bastards - The Mountains are Calling, and I Must Go
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:19 PM   #4
Aarrff
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Hey! Nice to meet you at Hampton. mtngal and I enjoyed your music too! Following along on your report on the TET. I am starting a project on building up a midsized adventure bike and hope to ride this group of roads one day with it as well as more sections of the TAT that I have not been on. Take care and thanks for posting this up! Ed
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:40 PM   #5
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It was great meeting you at RDV and passing the Jameson's around. I'm looking forward to more pics of your trip, thanks for taking the time to do this.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:29 AM   #6
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IN! Great to tilt a few with ya at the RDV.

Hopefully we'll get to ride together this summer.

Aarrff, I saw your bike, but if we met, I didn't know you were you.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:11 AM   #7
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Looking forward to more photos from the trip.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:38 AM   #8
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OK, this is the fiasco I've been waiting for it was good to see ya again at the RDV!

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Looking forward to more photos from the trip.


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Old 05-27-2013, 08:33 AM   #9
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Big bike be bumping
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:38 AM   #10
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in ... let's see how that big bike does in the rough ...
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:41 AM   #11
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #12
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Been waiting for this one........................I'm IN.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:50 PM   #13
Skyclad OP
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Day 2

Day 2 – Brandywine, WV to Marion, VA (285 miles/574 miles total)

I woke up to a beautiful morning in Brandywine, got the bike packed up and hit the road. Well, stopped to grab a quick bite to eat first, but was heading south by 8am. Life is good and I am looking forward to another good day. Hell, any day spent on a motorcycle is a good day, though some are admittedly better than others. This was one of those better ones.

As usual, the West Virginia scenery was pleasant.


First unpaved road this morning came quickly. CR-24 started with a little bit of water…well, actually, it was the deepest water crossing that I did this ride. I would guess that it was a little more than two feet, as my front tire was completely underwater at some point.


The riding just got better from there, with great dirt and gravel roads and several more streams to cross along the way.












I love oddly shaped tress.





The day continued on like this. It would almost be boring, if the riding wasn’t so good. I was loving it, just riding and getting into that motorcycle space where you no longer care what day it is; you aren’t certain what state you are in. Just riding and dealing with what the road has to offer around the next corner. I was happy to find myself there so quickly.
















The TeT at this time is a fun mix of paved and unpaved roads. The most frequent signs of civilization are the old buildings scattered about the landscape.








Oh, yeah, let’s not forget the little waterfalls. To be honest, I like the little falls as much as the big, famous waterfalls. I like the more private, intimate feel; being the only person there. Knowing that I am seeing things that most don’t know about and overlook as they rush through life.






I did notice a “For Sale” sign on this place. I wonder what the asking price is?


The clouds were starting to look somewhat ominous, but no rain yet, so I wasn’t too worried. The riding was still good, the bike was running great, and I was just loving life.






I am not sure when this area was on fire, but I could still smell the burnt wood. This is also when the clouds opened up. I got a few pictures before it turned into a deluge. Traction also went to shit, so keeping both hands on the bars seemed like a rather good idea.




Still, I couldn’t resist the little falls.


Not quite as much fun now.


But it was still beautiful.


By this time, the rain was still coming down hard, and didn’t look like it was going to let up anytime soon. I didn’t feel like fighting the bike in slick conditions anymore, so I rerouted the rest of the way into Marion on paved roads. I gave up a ride through Burke’s Garden, but I have been there before, and know that I will be back again. I figured I could afford to miss it this time.

Two days into the ride, and I am having a great time. The concerns of regular life are of little consequence to me right now. Me, the bike and the trail. That is my world, and it is indeed a beautiful world to be in. Folks talk about thinking deep thoughts while riding. For me, it is a chance to empty the mind. Kinetic meditation on motorcycle, and when I am on the bike, the only thing in my mind is the present. What is behind me is behind me, and what road ahead brings will be dealt with when I get there. I am here and now, and the rest of the world will be waiting for me when I get back.
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Skyclad's Wanderings - Bald Eagle Bastards - The Mountains are Calling, and I Must Go

Skyclad screwed with this post 05-29-2013 at 08:22 PM
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:38 PM   #14
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Very nice.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:37 AM   #15
intothenew
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In, and looking forward to more.
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