2475.3 miles in 8 days! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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2475.3 miles in 8 days!

Decided this year to take my trip to somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. I’m a huge Blues fan and never been through the Mississippi delta. Always wanted to go and see where all the greats (Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, BB King, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Son House, etc…and, of course, my favorite, John Lee Hooker) were raised and where they once played and walked the land.

I started from Tampa and rode up to Columbus, GA where I had to visit FD Roosevelt State Park. I was there 2 years ago and simply fell in love with that place. If you’ve never been…GO! It’s so quiet and peaceful. I know why FDR chose to vacation and reflect there, besides just the Warm Spring’s waters. Here’s a pic of Dowdell Point where FDR would go to grill. This is the grill that he actually used. He would have his secret service men pull out the car bench so he could sit on it while meditating.






I visited the “Little White House” where FDR would stay and host guests. This is where he would eventually succumb to a stroke. Below is the Little White House, then the chair he was in while getting his portrait painted when he had his stroke, and then the bed they placed him in where he passed away.









Then off towards Mississippi! Since I don’t use a GPS, other than my phone’s Google maps – which sucks! – I took a wrong turn but thought this church to be cool. I have no idea where this is!





Now, mind you, I’ve only been “through” Mississippi once. That was last year when I was on my way out of Florida during Hurricane Irma and I only crossed the southern half. What I didn’t realize is how LONG AND FLAT the delta is! Man, it felt like I was riding for-ev-er!!! But I finally made it to my mecca…Clarksdale, MS!





I have to say, the Delta Blues museum was neat…but it was nothing to write home about. And, they don’t allow any pictures or video, which to me is wrong. It was worth it but it just wasn’t “amazing”, IMO.


Then I rode around the town and saw John Lee Hooker Lane! (My man!)




Once I found a hotel I set off for some live blues, food and a cold one at the Ground Zero, which is owned by Morgan Freeman. As soon as I entered I was in my heaven! There was a jam going on that blew my socks off! Turns out, it was “mix and match” night where there were musicians from 4th grade age to seniors. What they did was mix them up, tell them a song to play and they just all busted out! They were great! Then they would exchange musicians and do it all over.




Had a great night with an awesome atmosphere and rockin’ blues! I could have stayed there forever! But, I had to go to Georgia to meet up with a friend. Before I left I stopped at the crossroads. (Truth be told, there is no “official” crossroads. Historians say it could be a reference or there could be other areas that the legend refers to. Either way, it was still great to be “here”!!!)

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Then on to Georgia. But before I got there I had to stop at my all-time favorite battle sites, Pittsburg Landing (The Hornet’s Nest) in Shiloh, TN. Below is a pic of where Buell’s troops landed and supported Grant’s troops who just took an ass-whipping. The next day, with an overwhelming force, Grant was able to drive the Confederates back.







Here’s the church that was used to house the wounded. It still stands today!






And here’s the Federal line. This is the center of the line that was attacked by the Confederates. They came up from the trees in the 2nd pic. The fighting was so intense that, between the smoke from the muskets/cannon and the “zipping” of Minnie balls, the soldiers said it was like they were in a “Hornet’s Nest”.




(What looks like just trees is where the fighting occurred!)




Then over to Tennessee where I met up with my friend at Ruby Falls. Here we were on Lookout Mountain. Amazing view! We also decided to go down into the cave to see the waterfall. The story…Leo Lambert decided to crawl for 17 hours through the side of the mountain. He eventually found a waterfall and named it after his wife, Ruby. What would compel anyone to crawl on their stomach for 17 hours is beyond me! But glad “he” did, it’s gorgeous!






The next day we headed towards Cherohala Parkway. Rode the Dragon and the Moonshiner. It was Monday and pretty quiet. I rode through there 2 years ago on my CTX and, let me tell you, then it seemed so long. On the Versys, I remember going into the Dragon and before I knew it, we were done! The Versys handles so well. I remember on the CTX those downward curves being very intimidating. On the Versys, I just zipped through them!







Then to the Foothills Parkway where we stopped at the Fontana Dam. You take this road around towards the bottom. When you come around this curve…BAM!!!...this giant dam comes out of nowhere!









We then rode through this giant forest. It was great riding but, man, that thing never ends! We wound up in Cherokee for the night. While leaving the forest we turned around as there were some elk grazing.




The next morning we headed towards Georgia. (My buddy had to go to work) but we came across the Sac-O-Suds, the actual store that the movie, “My Cousin Vinny” was filmed in. Had to stop for a pic!






Then, because I just love that FD Roosevelt State Park, I decided to head that way before riding home to Florida. I stayed in Warm Springs and the next morning I visited the pool house where FDR would go to swim. The warm waters were thought to help polio victims. FDR would swim here and, although it’s no longer operable (once Salk discovered the vaccine the pool just shut down) it was still neat to walk through there. I bought a little bottle to fill up with the spring water. It’s just neat standing where FDR used to swim.



Then, one more time sitting up on Dowdell Point. I could sit there forever watching the hawks fly. It’s just so peaceful up there.




After a while “relaxing” I went to the restaurant at the foot of the park, got some great food and strawberry shortcake, then got on the Versys for a 500 mile ride home.

Overall a great trip! As always, I hated coming home but I missed my babies (a beagle and chihuahua). My butt was numb by the time I pulled in, but totally worth the experiences! And the Versys did everything it was supposed to!

What was funny is that, my buddy who just bought a 2008 Harley, wouldn’t get a look. People at the hotels were coming out to inspect my Versys all the time. My friend can ride like a bat out of hell and he has 100K on his Suzuki LC. He bought his Harley for something different but refuses to own anything HD! I busted his chops all weekend!

Last edited by Devilsfan; 06-22-2018 at 08:27 PM.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 11:39 AM
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Wow, that's quite a trip with some excellent stops. Great story telling too, thanks for sharing your adventure. It was interesting to see the places FDR had resided, relaxed and recuperated. I don't get tons of ooohs and aaaahs about my Versys but I get more folks interested in it than any other bike I've owned. I was also wondering how comfortable you were during and at the end of the trip, you said you were numb, anything else good or bad?


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 11:40 AM
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Every fan of the Blues yearns to stand at the mythical crossroads, real or not.Ive got it on my bucket list.It is the Mecca. The early 1900s Mississipi delta with all its hardships made for that hard boiled simple music that pretty well led to New Orleans jazz, country blues, rockabilly and probably was Americas greatest contribution to popular music..Kinda like when they tore down Muddy Waters house where he was born,Billy Gibbons got some timbers from the house and had some guitars made from them! So I heard anyways,powerful stuff. Love the stop at Ground Zero! John Lee Hooker was the last of the original mold,when I hear him sing it goes straight to my soul. Nothin fancy, a personal taste that cant be explained to someone whos not inclined.Love the theme of your trip,as a fellow blues fan I congratulate you!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 12:35 PM
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2475.3 miles in 8 days!

Awesome, thanks for sharing.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 02:46 PM
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I moved the thread from the "OFF TOPIC DISCUSSIONS" to the "MEMBERS RIDES", which SOMEHOW seems more where it belongs!

Enjoyed your story and pics!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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I was also wondering how comfortable you were during and at the end of the trip, you said you were numb, anything else good or bad?

The biggest problem I had was the seat. After a few hours I was getting a pinching just under my butt where the back of the thigh starts. I think it could be a combination of the heat/sweating and the seat itself almost being too wide maybe? I did stop at Walmart and got two different pairs of briefs. Probably too much information here but it felt like the thick hem around the bottom of my shorts were adding to the pinching. I found a pair of moisture-wicking briefs that had a very thin hem and they DID help a lot.

I also got the usual shoulder blade pain but I've always gotten that after many hours of constant riding. Every time I've used risers it's made the handling different so I tend to keep the stock ones on. I may try to adjust the handle bars a little up or down to see if that helps.

As for functionality, the bike was awesome! I did stop in Tennessee to get a new rear tire before that Dragon. My stock at 4900 miles had an OK amount of tread but it was noticeably starting to cup. I picked up a Continental Motion for $109 + $40 to mount from an awesome Yamaha dealer! I was literally going through the mountains on a brand new tire. What a difference that makes!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 04:41 PM
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Awesome! I'm curious, what kind of mpg's where you getting and where you running interstates at all?
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 04:48 PM
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Great ride and pics!

I'm a fan of Moto-Skiveez underwear. They're similar to bicycle shorts but cut for motorcycling. Basically stretch underwear with a nice padded seat to simplify it. No seams in unfortunate locations. They also make fantastic riding socks. For long rides I always wear my Moto-Skiveez!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 06:23 PM
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It looks like you had a great time...I did a a few of those roads 2 weeks ago.....we were lucky enough to be at the Fontana dam during a planned release... which according to the locals is a very rare event


forgive me for the 2nd video,,I tried to ride through the "rain storm" while holding my cell phone..didn't work to well..


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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 06:44 PM
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Now thats some great areas to ride through....
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome! I'm curious, what kind of mpg's where you getting and where you running interstates at all?

Hey Reb...according to the gauge I was getting about 52 mpg. I tried to avoid the interstates as much as possible but the "back roads" I took wound up being "rural highways" so there was some long roads that went on forever! I was hitting those between 60-70 mph. (They would come into small towns so I'd drop down to 35mph at some points.)

Also, apologies for not giving you a shout out. I was on the move constantly (I even had to cut out a scheduled visit to Vicksburg battle site ). I'm sure we can meet up again one of these days! But I did get that tire you suggested. Again, great call!
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like you had a great time...I did a a few of those roads 2 weeks ago.....we were lucky enough to be at the Fontana dam during a planned release... which according to the locals is a very rare event


crosshairs...thanks for posting that! Kind of funny as when we got there I was trying to bribe the working crew to let me hit the button so we could witness the water release! Unfortunately, they said they had no control over that. But I would have loved to see that both from the top of the dam as well as the bottom.
Glad you got to see it
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 08:35 PM
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Hey Reb...according to the gauge I was getting about 52 mpg. I tried to avoid the interstates as much as possible but the "back roads" I took wound up being "rural highways" so there was some long roads that went on forever! I was hitting those between 60-70 mph. (They would come into small towns so I'd drop down to 35mph at some points.)

Also, apologies for not giving you a shout out. I was on the move constantly (I even had to cut out a scheduled visit to Vicksburg battle site ). I'm sure we can meet up again one of these days! But I did get that tire you suggested. Again, great call!
No problem, good deal! 52 is good for stock. I only ask about the interstate cause many do not like it or avoid it. Personally I think it is a bit senseless as a bike is a vehicle like the rest and it is an access road like the rest, but to each their own fear or what have you. Funny thing is I'm planning to go back to the FDR/Columbus area myself next weekend on the SV, you'll see of course.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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No problem, good deal! 52 is good for stock. I only ask about the interstate cause many do not like it or avoid it. Personally I think it is a bit senseless as a bike is a vehicle like the rest and it is an access road like the rest, but to each their own fear or what have you. Funny thing is I'm planning to go back to the FDR/Columbus area myself next weekend on the SV, you'll see of course.
I prefer the back roads, especially in places I've never been to before. That way I get to see things off the beaten path that a lot of people are unaware of. Makes for some great pics, too!

When I was on those back roads there was hardly a car around. There were some points where I must have ridden 25 miles before another car would drive by on the opposite side.

When you're there try to stop in at the Little White House if you've never been!
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 09:09 PM
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I prefer the back roads, especially in places I've never been to before. That way I get to see things off the beaten path that a lot of people are unaware of. Makes for some great pics, too!

When I was on those back roads there was hardly a car around. There were some points where I must have ridden 25 miles before another car would drive by on the opposite side.

When you're there try to stop in at the Little White House if you've never been!
That's true for adventure riding, but to actual long distance traveling, it is illogical.

Been there, they have a native/engraved rock/boulder from every state that was neat..., been to the Rehabilitation pools too. Summer Solstice 2014



On top of the ridge.


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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 10:42 PM
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2400 miles in 8 days...just reading that makes my arse sore...Lol.

That's some serious seat time.

Beautiful pics and nice narration.

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 06:09 AM
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2400 miles in 8 days...just reading that makes my arse sore...Lol.

That's some serious seat time.
300 miles a day...
What'd you do after lunch?

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 01:03 PM
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[QUOTE=hawkerjet;1575479]2400 miles in 8 days...just reading that makes my arse sore...Lol.

That's some serious seat time.

I did a lot of mods to alleviate sore arse syndrome for long day riding.Im 5 foot 9 and don't do offroad other than FSR so I did lowering kit with riser bars,as upright as I could make my posture.Moto skiveez but I found something better for me,hernia compression shorts,holds it all in including the back.Then Sargent seat,costly but nice.But the best mod I did was highway pegs,should have done that first.You get some variety in your position,like stopping for a break!
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 07:43 PM
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Looks like a great trip!
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