Sunday, June 29, 2008

Long six day ride to skyline drive and blue ridge parkway



So about eleven years ago I went out to Deals Gap with my then boss and on my 1995 ZX-9R. I had no clue what the mountains and blind turns were or how to deal with them. I also thought Illinois had lots of turns. Pretty funny!! Since that first trip I want to go back every year.
This trip was different in many ways, BAD weather, very different bikes, and the same people but with there own issues. The picture below is day one at the Lincoln oasis off of I-294/I-80.
First stop was a bike dealer off of Rt.30 in Indiana. Very nice dealer, clean, had plenty of gear for a state that doesn't require helmets. It put lots of Chicago land dealers to shame.


We hit a ton of rain about forty miles east of the bike dealer. lots of hail and very low visibility. cars were pulling over on the highway, it was that rough. we did pull over when the hail was coming down. The rain clouds were chasing us all day and made it very annoying. I hate wet underwear and boots. I blame most of the problem on the rain suit being a one piece, it lets water in at the zipper and goes right to your underwear. It's funny but I think a two piece suit layered over the waist line would prevent this. Next road trip new suit!!
Below is the first hotel in Zanesville Ohio. We were going to hit RT.555 which is a technical road, so doing it after a long wet day was a bad idea.

The storm catching up with us again.
Cool looking barn on RT.555. BTW chew is nasty crap. The tipple nickel was a very fun road and would be a blast after learning all the curves. some of the hill crests were very quick and if going any fast the KLR would of gotten off the ground.
Took a picture of this building because of the curiosity of what they would lift all the way to the top floor.
Rt.555 was great but as a group we were making NO time so we got off and shot east on Rt.550.
The plan was to hit Front Royal at the end of day two, so any farther south would be wasting daylight.
lunch stop!!!
More really bad weather for day two.
We stopped at this BP to find out they had no gas as most of the gas stations on US-50. The guy inside said the gas was separating!? My guess was diesel was mixed in by accident.
We waited here for a half hour and about five miles down the road all hell broke loose with LARGE hail and big winds. We found shelter at a garden shop with a big over hang to hide under.
This is the visitor center parking lot of the skyline drive. The man in the jump suit walked over and was waiting for his KLR to show up at the local Kawi dealer.
One of the many pull offs on the Skyline. The weather was AWSOME up here.
Looks like a road in the sky!!. Here we pulled off since we were being followed by the park ranger. We did go past him at about 50mph, the limit is 35mph. He pulled over with us and was super nice by reminding us of the speed limit. No blue lights or anything like that.
The funny part was after getting back on the road we came up behind him and a car in front of him doing 20-25mph. which he pulled him over I think for going too slow.

At this point we were on the blue ridge parkway and finding a place to eat is a little journy in it self. we found this place http://www.montebellova.com/country_store.htm They had some home made chili and soup.


The butterfly's were having a feast on these plants.

Jim at a pull off on RT-23 wishing tom on the KLR didn't leave us!!


Peak after peak on the blue ridge parkway.I love this!! Didn't it take more effort to make this sign than to just replace the real one??


The end of the blue ridge ends in Cherokee NC. I have to say it seemed cleaner this time to a few years ago.
Check out the jesus cylinderhead!! Didn't know Jc Whitney sold those badges!! LOL!
I like the dog on her lap, if he jumps off at speed would she hold onto the leash??
VIVE UT VIVAS!!

Spending a night at Fontana Village. They have made this place so nice. very clean and all new.
Dinner was expensive but the filet mignon I had was the best I've eaten. It's a must hit for dinner next time out there..
The top of Fontana Dam. I've been out here about seven time and this is the first time I went to the top. The guys were getting sick looking down!! :)
Deals gap now a days!! Used to be a little gas station with a old man and woman running it. Was very simple and now a Wisconsin dells for motorcycles. It's definitely lost some charm.
Dave and Jim going by to Wheelers store.
Would I do this trip again with the KLR's??? Yes for sure but not with the bigger multi-cylinder guys along. We were working are ass off on the little bikes on the highway so the big bike guys didn't get annoyed. I knew it would be this way, so no big surprise. The other issue was how far people wanted to ride in a days time. That became the over the top issue and one guy really blowing his stack. It's not the first ride this has happened and I'm done being around him for a while. :(
Anyways next year I'm gonna drag the KLR out there in the truck and do some fire roads and camping.

2 comments:

Peter Birkeland said...

Do you have a map of your route, including how many miles you went each day, what you would change if doing it again?

It looks like a fantastic trip!

Peter Birkeland

FATTKAW said...

hello Peter, if you have a garmin gps I'd love to send you the route. it's the only way I have it stored.
How would I change it would be to have seven to eight days to do it. also earlier to head down, say mid-may. You can do it later in the year, but the heat will wear on you quick. September is nice just look out for hurricanes, the debris clouds will mess up all the southeastern states.