Category Archives: dual sport motorcycle

Out of Darkness and into The Dark

I really only had one thing to look forward to this summer.  The Eclipse.  It seemed that that would be an easy thing to pull off, as for the last 2 years I have been traveling the lower 48, at-will, whenever the mood struck I would move towards the next adventure.  So my intent was to move into N. Georgia in July, explore an area I was unfamiliar with, hang out with a BR member that invited me to his place, and maybe even get some of his TourGuidance.  All that changed when the rig broke down.  Oh well, shit happens…apparently a LOT?  So I had given up on my summer dreams of adventure, being penniless and defeated.  Until I started reading more about the eclipse.

As I realized I had two other running vehicles, I felt it was a no-brainer.  If I rode up on my bike I could have 3 full days of riding as consolation even if it rained all day Monday.  So I was off.

Saturday morning was simply a pinned throttle to Ellijay and on up into the Chattahoochee NF.  As I pulled thru the cool mountains I decided to do some exploring, to find nice curvy roads and a place to string my hammock.  As the sun started going down I found a nice mountaintop perch in Woody Gap – a trailhead for the AT.  Lots of cars and hikers out for the day.  Quite a few cyclists also, as this appears to be a mecca for downhill guys?

After a chilly evening swinging from my nylon cooling-sock, I gathered my senses and gear to ride north into NC state.  I was familiar with Andrews, and picked the town as my observation destination, and figured local camping and riding would be easy from my experience.  After a nice trip north on forest twisties, I arrived in Andrews and realized my Nav-maps were gone and stopped to re-download – to no-avail.  Oh well, time to explore some dirt.  I asked a local where the highest “bald” was in the area, and he pointed towards Snow Bird Mountain

After a day of exploring the dirt of The Nantahala, and an obligatory run on The Dragon, I headed south back to the isolation of Snow Bird.  I did find some outstanding camping behind a gate on Tatham Gap.  The cell towers and fire lookout made an obvious indicator of location, but it is really hard to see the ridge trail that I found myself camped on for the night.

I could not seem to capture any of the magnificence of spending the night on the ridge, but it was spectacular, as you can see from the smile on my face in the video below (please pardon my first attempt at a “musical score” – I have no talent at all)

The next morning I searched for the optimum observation point, and wanted to get closer to the known Max-Totality in Andrews – believe it or not it was at the Hardees?  So across the street the advertised free parking, while everyone else was charging $20 – the owner even came by and gave us all free bottled water, and mentioned something about Jesus, as his motivation.

After 2 hours, the event began, I hope you got a chance to see it, it was memorable.  Shortly after I packed up and headed south back into the woods in an attempt to avoid most of the Chaos – unsuccessfully.  Only 4 hours up, and 7 hours to get back home – how do explain that?

3 full days of awesome riding, with a free celestial show at the end – how can you beat it?

Running errands around The Ham

unnamedWhat a fantastic day,  I was so lucky to be able to run around finally on the bike.  I just fixed the oil leak the other day, after a few weeks of sitting (riding was low priority), and I discovered how tender my fanny had become from not riding – it happens quickly.  After only a few miles I realized what amazing weather it was, I think it was around 65 degrees at 10:30 this morning, and brisk and windy was the standard.  Homewood, downtown, then back down to Hoover, and a big backwoods loop to McCalla to pick up some steel…on the scoot.  Sure would have liked to spend more time riding but I had a couple projects I needed to finish up, so later in the week?

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A week in St. George Utah

img_20161120_141826Spent a week camping and riding just south  of St. George across the Arizona line. Weather has been great till this week, and it appears that freezing weather is on the way, so it looks like I am rolling further south into Arizona. It has been great hanging out with two desert-riding buddies, but looks like I am leaving one behind. Scott has settled in here, found a job, and a lady. Lee appears to be ready for the warmer temps, so maybe we can hang out till the end of January? I hope to see Scott sooner than later, as I forgot how awesome it is having folks to hang  and ride with in the desert.

Third Time is the charm

After getting the bike up and running, the White Rim was still bugging me.  Not just bugging me but I  freaking LOVE that canyon!!  So I decided that my favorite camp spot in Utah needed another visit, and I could make another attempt at the WRT before departing Moab.  It took me 6 hours to run the trail, even at a face pace, with very little dawdling (pics, video, gawking etc.)  Another 2 hours after that I got back to camp, and it was cold and dark, and I was whooped.  Lucky for me the beer in the fridge was ice-cold.  Another great day around Moab – my new home WOTR (west of the Rockies).

 

Shafer Trail

Went scouting cool spots to ride after moving into the canyon below.  All the maps and signs are a bit confusing in the area, so I don’t actually know if I was riding Potash Rd., Shafer Rd., or White Rim, but most likely I was riding all three.  This was simply a scouting run, to look for riding over the next week.  I found a unique arch, and fantasized about riding over it(and dying), and found the cliff-jumping set from Thelma and Louise.  It was a good day.

Moab Rim Trail, and Jug Handle Fail on a Dual Sport

This was a recovery-and-scouting day, so I took it easy on the bike and my body.  Nevertheless, I would like to see a moto of ANY sort get up these trails – I know they can be done, but I am afraid my marginal-trials-skills would lead me off a cliff, or to more injury. The 1st fail was on Moab Rim Trail – a breathtaking ledge right next to the river and the county road. Quick fail, and onto the next.  So I tried to get up the canyon I crashed in last year with the KLR, and decided it was not worth thrashing my bike or body this time. This was also the same canyon I came DOWN in 2011 on the V-Strom – disappointing how bad this road is falling apart.  My guess is many of the trails were reasonably passable a few years back, and now only passable by rock crawlers, or at least big-tired 4×4’s with locking hubs.  Pity, as I would like to get to the top of the rims and mesas to see what I am missing.  Maybe this week I can sneak in the back way?