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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

Al and Karen taking a break from a cold ride in Waynesville, NC. Somehow, we ended up taking the Blue Ridge Parkway on a day when the high ridges were coated in ice - damn, it was cold!
The statues are made from old machinery that was taken from local mills. Waynesville is one of the nicest towns in western NC and we have a bunch of nice little towns.

How cold was it?

Cold enough for Karen to hop off and put her hands on the engine in an attempt to warm back up once we dropped below the ice. Windy enough that a strong gust blew the bike over on her while she crouched beside it - luckily, she caught it before it hit the ground.


Ok, this one isn't actually bike related (even though you can pick out the reflection of my bike in the window if you look closely) but this poster was in the window of a shop in Chimney Rock and caught my eye on a recent ride. Go Barney!


Lake Keowee in South Carolina, a few miles south of my home. If it's cold up here in the mountains, I can drop down a couple of thousand feet and enjoy a lot warmer weather. Keowee is named for an old Cherokee town that was flooded by the lake - it's sort of a mixed honor, I suppose.


Here, the gang re-groups near Highlands, NC after descending the spectacular Buck Creek road that bypasses the town. That one was a great ride, starting out on Hwy. 11 down in South Carolina, looping up into the mountains through Franklin to the Wayah Road into the Nantahala Gorge. From there, we looped around to twisty Hwy. 28 into Franklin again, and then up Dicks Creek to the Blue Ridge Parkway and home. It was close to 200 miles of prime mountain riding on a beautiful spring day. It was also a very mixed crew - a Yamaha FJR, a big Beemer, a Harley fatbob (that thing could fly!), a VStrom 1000, a Yamaha 1000, a Yamaha 600 and my little Vee.


On Saturday, Jonathon met me for a long wet ride to the Great Smoky Mountains. Jon is a fellow Versys owner from Asheville and it was his first trip into that part of the Smokies. We got lucky and were able to see about 50 elk in the meadows down in Cataloochee Valley, before heading on across the mountains to Harmon Den and then Max Patch. We probably did about 50 miles of wet, muddy mountain roads, with the weather constantly deteriorating. Despite the mud, rain, and fog, we had a ball paddling up through the miles of slick red clay on the Max Patch road. The photo shows the point where we finally said to hell with it and decided to hit some pavement back down to the low country near Hot Springs to get some hot food. Under better circumstances, such as clear skies and merely damp, not muddy, roads, this could be one of my favorite loops in western NC. Oh, did I mention the snow drifts that we ran into as we crossed over to the north side of the Max Patch mountain? Didn't expect that, though it did snow a lot up there a few days ago. The weatherman lied - it was supposed to be "partly cloudy and warm."


So, to make up for the cold and wet ride on Saturday, I headed south again yesterday, looping down through Chimney Rock and into South Carolina, exploring the back roads along the way to Tryon and Elmos Pub for lunch. After lunch, I headed east again on Hwy. 108 to Rutherfordton, and then back over Hwy. 64 to Chimney Rock and the back roads to home.
I don't often give specific details about the routes that I take, though I'll be happy to do so if somebody needs it. I think that it's more fun just to take off and explore the little blue line roads off the main routes. Some of the most spectacular scenery that I've witnessed have been on seldom-traveled
back roads where I never see another motorcycle. The land in this photo is slated for some major development, so I'm glad that I got to see it before it disappears beneath the onslaught of mini-ranches and parking lots. It looked like several thousand acres of rolling open farmland was being marked off for a subdivision. For now, though, it's a great slice of rural country to ride through.

http://griztrax.net/backroads/SpringRides/Green.htm
 

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Nice pics! We should get some Vs together sometime soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are a lot us in the area

Nice pics! We should get some Vs together sometime soon!
Evidently, the Vee is selling well. We've got a bunch of Vee riders in the western Carolina region, and I hear that they're selling well down in Georgia too.
I wonder how many of the Vee riders will be at the ADV get-together near Rio, TN next month?
The weather is getting good - I'm up for planning a group ride some weekend if we could put it together. The hard part is fitting it in with multiple schedules. I ride just about every day that has fairly decent weather, if I'm not backpacking or kayaking.
 

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I like some sloppy cold mud! Looks like I missed out. Only difference was that I was making money washing condos on that 'partly cloudy and warm' Saturday:eek:

Let's plan something soon. I plan to be at the rendezvous. Tomorrow is the stated cutoff time for registration, so i best git on it.

I need to see those new bags up close, Vee.
 

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Great pictures, thanks for sharing.

I live across the line in Maryville, Tn and would like to meet up with you folks for a ride sometime. Keep me posted.

Thanks,
Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It was a nice one

I like some sloppy cold mud! Looks like I missed out. Only difference was that I was making money washing condos on that 'partly cloudy and warm' Saturday:eek:

Let's plan something soon. I plan to be at the rendezvous. Tomorrow is the stated cutoff time for registration, so i best git on it.

I need to see those new bags up close, Vee.
Yeah, I wish that you could have went. Despite the weather, it was really a fun ride. My only regret is that something happened to my camera and I lost about 50 shots from the middle of the ride - and that was the best part. Jon got some good shots though and maybe he will post some of those.
When I got the Happy Trails panniers, I was afraid that they'd be a drag when I rode. It took some getting used to when stretching to mount the bike - I put a few boot marks on them at first. Once under way, it's like they're not even there. I still haven't decided on what sort of top bag I'll get - I'm leaning towards a 'barrel-type' of duffle bag.
I've got to run down to Hilton Head sometime this weekend to see my daughter, but I'm hoping to have a day free to ride. I'll keep you posted.



"I live across the line in Maryville, Tn and would like to meet up with you folks for a ride sometime. Keep me posted.
Thanks,
Dan "

Dan, I'm over in the Maryville (Murrahville to the locals) area a lot. Some of my backpacking/hiking buddies live there, so I combine a ride across the Dragon with some hiking a couple of times a month. You've got some of the best roads in the south to ride - that's a beautiful region. We'll have to get together this season for a ride - I'm wanting to the ride from Tellico Plains down to Copper Hill sometime soon.
 

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It was a wet soggy day!

Here are some of the better pics in thumbnail preview: start of the ride, great smokey park entrance sign, pic op x2, sign pic I took after dropping the baby (stupid rain and kick stand), bikes on bridge x 2, where we turned about after the bad weather (hey its a day ride not an AVD), the cooler after a light mud day and stock fender coverage.
 
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