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Thread: On the Road Again

  1. #1
    criminaldesign
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    On the Road Again

    Finally...

    I've done a number of rides during the winter in WV but I'm finally on the road headed to Atlanta, Georgia to hang with my friend Emily.

    I'm not due in Atlanta till Monday evening and I'm going to stop and see a cousin in Rock Hill SC. I decided to leave early and give myself 2 days to hit Rock Hill by Sunday which is normally a 5 hour ride tops on interstate 77. I'm really going out of the way to Rock Hill, but being cooped up does that to you. Got on the road just after 8 this morning.

    Currently stopped at a BK on Rt 119S to do a meeting over the laptop and they got some Bowie playing on the PA.

    I'll keep up with the trip here. Something interesting is bound to happen.

    Later, H

  2. #2
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    Have a great ride Houston.



    looking forward to the posts!

  3. #3
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Rain rain rain.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  4. #4
    criminaldesign
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    Thanks Jon, and Osbornk I kept out of the rain till Knoxville then things started falling out of the sky.

    Ride was very nice regardless. Started this morning with a clear sky and nice mild temp. Meeting went well but waited around for an hour and a half in Logan, WV for the call. Supposed to be at 10, didn't happen till 11:30. Whatever, no complaints from me.

    Took I77 to Charleston WV, jumped on RT119 to Pikeville KY, RT 23 to Kingsport, TN and I81 to Knoxville. Pulled over at Ronald's place in Knoxville for a buck burger and that's when the rain started and boy did it start pissing. Threw on the rain gear and stayed steady in the left lane and went with it.

    Hit Rt129 (Dragons Tail) outside of Knoxville with the sign Switchbacks next 25 miles, I'm committed. Last time I did 129 it was nice and sunny, this time it was wet, foggy and dark. It was me and 2 other cars, they split and it was just me on the mountain. I roll into Robbinsville around 8, find the San Ran Motel and get a room for the night.

    Boy was I looking forward to drinking a 6 pack.

    Dry county. Bam.

    So tomorrow my plan is to bebop around NC and backroad it towards Rock Hill, SC which is pretty much a suburb of Charlotte. I have all day tomorrow and plan on Rock Hill Sunday morning. I believe I'll head to Asheville NC. Pretty cool college town. Get a Guinness and maybe check out the Biltmore Estate. I hear it's like 50 bux to go on the grounds. Pay the filthy rich to see their house. haha. I hear it's cool. What's 50 bux in the grand scheme of things. Hell I'm wasting fuel just bebopping around, so I believe I just talked myself into it. Pix of the Biltmore could be useful design inspiration. Who knows? Later. h

    My route and the only decent pic I got today on 129.
    From Pt. Pleasant


    From Pt. Pleasant

  5. #5
    criminaldesign
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    what a day

    This time I have more pix. After the tale tell.

    good times today. took 19 to Asheville from Robbinsville, NC, not far and stayed the day. Checked out the Biltmore Estates which actually was worth the buck and found a hostel in West Ashville to crash at for 24 bucks for a bunkbed.

    I took advantage of the 10am curfew of the San Ran Motel in Robbinsville and headed out 129 and 19N to Asheville. 19 was nice, took me through the Nantahala SF which was a nice stretch of switchbacks. From there it was whatever and starting to rain.

    I get into Asheville looking for an Irish pub I've been to before for a freaking Guinness. No luck, college town is in full swing and no parking. I circle the downtown area like 5 times and ditch it for the Biltmore Estates.

    This place was mad cash, 50 bux, I spent an extra 10 for the audio tour which lent an extra hand into telling you what you were looking at. What blew my mind was the hand tooled leather wallpaper. Ever room was different and I guess the tour is only a sliver of the whole thing. No pictures inside, I really thought of cheating but I didn't want any bad vibes and controversy in case. Hung around for like 4 hours wandering around. I do dig history and art in any form, this case brilliant architecture and land.

    I did take advantage of the wine tasting, what's with the puddle? I can't tell the difference between a 10 buck gallon of wine and a 10 glass of wine. I did buy some bubbly and red for Emily's new apartment warming gift.

    The grounds were wonderful. I could live there in a heartbeat and just wonder around in the woods and fields. I'd rather do that than trek city blocks. Concrete is concrete and man made spectaculars blow my mind but mother nature is something else.

    It was 630, getting dark and I needed a place to crash. I was talking to my sis and asked her to see if Asheland had a hostel from the world wide web. Good luck, 24 bux for a bunkbed in a house in West Asheville. I pay the crash, keep the luggage on the bike and throw the cover on the bike and let her be.

    I head down to Tooley's an Irish thingy. Get some fishnchips and before I know it 6 Guinness. I strike a conversation with a dude in trouble with the law and he's a fellow Scotsmen (we're all mutts, Scot by name we are). We shoot the breeze for a while, him telling me of his last run in with the law.

    Head back to the hostel and strike up a conversation with Rick from Boston whos driving towards Cali but hiking along the way. He's a fellow 30 something and we share a good bit of ideas on life. We share smokes and a 40oz. He tells me of his travels and I tell him of mine. There's something really cool about meeting people on the road. No preconceived ideas or notions, just telling yer story to each other. He was talking of his travels in India. It was pretty funny. I asked him of the communication barrier. He said everyone spoke English cos their trying to get money out of you, be it hash or electronics. We share tales of Rosebud Sioux experience and other routes we both traveled. He's camping in a tent outside for 10 bux. I didn't even think of bring a tent this travel. Too early in the year, I don't feel like being cold and wet. Camping like that it not fun. I did bring a bag incase it got warm and I found a gazebo or something to sleep under, but doesn't look like it. Maybe on the return trip to Pittsburgh.

    Tomorrow is Rock Hill for a visit with a cousin. From there Atlanta either Monday evening or Tuesday morning. Depends on Emily's schedule. If Tuesday, maybe there's a trip to the coast. I doubt it but you never know. I guess I got to be up in a couple of hours. Later guys, h

    Map today. Rt129S, Rt19N, I40E
    From Pt. Pleasant


    How I dried out the gloves
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Nantahala SF, whatever river, standing on a rock
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Some nice falls, trail was cool
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Yers truely
    From Pt. Pleasant


    A wet Biltmore, This place was worth the 50 bucks. Pretty impressive and mindblowing. I guess what old England lord pads would resemble
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Simply cool
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Acorn, may be my next tattoo. Nice, Clash's Street Parade just came on. Sandanista is their best uncommercial record. Too good.
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Hmmmm....
    From Pt. Pleasant


    I thought it was Zamfir but I noticed it wasn't a pan flute
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Even cooler
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Smokey Mountains. I wish you could see the clouds. Being rainy and wet, the clouds were something else
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Pattern
    From Pt. Pleasant


    King Leo
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Trash bags save the day
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Hostel bedroom basement
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Other end...
    From Pt. Pleasant


    Route for tomorrow
    From Pt. Pleasant

  6. #6
    JAMESDUNN
    Guest
    Hey Criminal! Great tales and great photos! What I like about your postings whether on this thread or another is they always involve some adventure and are not over planned. Plus, you keep it "on the cheap" by staying in hostels and that also adds to the sense of adventure. I always found them cool places to meet people, often from other parts of the world. Moreover, you really use that ol' RS. It seems to be your main mode of transpo! I'll follow this thread so keep us "posted"!
    JD

  7. #7
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    Hey Houston! What James said Enjoy the rest of the trip down to Atlanta!

  8. #8
    criminaldesign
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    Yesterday was fabulous. Part 1 of 2

    James, what's up my man? Dudes, I'm having a great time out here.

    So my route changed yesterday on the fly. Reasons of just going with the flow of the road and missing turn offs. So what, not like I'm riding with anyone and that's how you stumble across serendipities. What is supposed a 2 hour ride from Asheville, NC to Rock Hill, SC took me 7 hours. At times, I found myself stopping every hundred yards.

    Here's what's close to my actual route, a bit different that what I had in the last post, more south.
    From 031410


    I kept to 74-A and took 221 into SC, 176, 9, 321, and 322 into the Rock Hill Newport area. Currently I'm at a cousins house who thought I was worth feeding and offering place to sleep and shower. I believe I'm getting ready to throw my first pair of sox away. I usually do that on the road. Easy way to make a bit more room and sox are expendable.

    Met a cool lady about my mothers age at Lake Lure, she was on a Road King and we talked probably a good 30 minutes. I saw a couple of bikes out but not many, all Harley's. I like to see people goofing off on bikes while there's probably stuff they need to do, makes me smile.

    74-A was something else, great set of twisties, good road condition and light traffic. I kept it to 2 lanes all the way.

    Here's some pix...
    THe first couple are walking around West Asheville Sunday morning, looking for breakfast and documentation. BTW, Asheville is cool and the few times I've been there I felt at home. I could live amongst old-hippies and the granola kids. Chill and come as you are.

    Got a buzz on Guinness here Saturday night and met crazy JC, the guy in trouble with the law. In West Asheville.
    From 031410


    I dig the crest. Church sign
    From 031410


    Here's where I found breakfast. They were really cool with me. I don't know if it's my good looks or dimples but they had a small buffet, they weight your plate and charge by the pound a $6 per. They let me eat for a flat 3 bux.
    From 031410


    The hostel I stayed at
    From 031410


    Backyard
    From 031410


    On the back porch
    From 031410


    The Helen Keller quote is dead on (plus Irving's), plus the Stone's 'Before They Make Me Run' was playing at the same time, one of their best songs and Keith sings it. The quote is exactly why I left Pittsburgh in '08...
    From 031410


    Pulled off 74 and hiked up a hill...
    From 031410


    From 031410


    If you look close enough you can see the road (74) wrapping three times
    From 031410


    At the Divide
    From 031410


    THis distracted me. Saw the bridge from the road so I had to park and investigate
    From 031410


    On the bridge. I could live out here so easy
    From 031410


    I marked the occasion
    From 031410


    And this is all the space I would need to live. I wonder if it's up for sale?
    From 031410

  9. #9
    criminaldesign
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    Continuation. Part 2 of 2

    Around Bat Cave NC. Walked around the property
    From 031410


    From 031410


    From 031410


    From 031410


    From 031410


    Behind the Old Mill. I'm jealous
    From 031410


    From 031410


    From 031410


    From 031410


    I chilled at a rock on the Broad River and caught the Rafters
    From 031410


    From 031410


    Some dam
    From 031410


    Other side. I was told the road off the dam is a great road for bikes, but it shoots you back north, too out of the way
    From 031410


    Some actual Old Mill
    From 031410


    Down the road on 9 in SC
    From 031410


    So today after yet another meeting and work, I plan on heading towards Atlanta by route 11. It shoots me west following the northern line of SC and drops me on I85 at the GA/SC state line.

    More to follow...

  10. #10
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    As always, Houston, your travels and observations are what I feel real adventure riding is about.

    Wandering highways and byways. Meeting real people in real places. Stopping to photograph abandoned corners, forgotten places, monumental palaces or rafters coursing down rapids. Stopping because a wooden footbridge attracted your attention. Enjoying, with abandon, pints of your favorite Irish beverage after the day's ride is done.

    On an Airhead. Without corporate sponsorship.

    So long as you're *going*, I'm following. And when you get up here to the Northeast, possibly joining (at least for a little part of the journey!).


  11. #11
    JAMESDUNN
    Guest
    On the road again and truly some cool photos! And tales...J.C.? But not "the" biblical J.C.? Perhaps he dropped in for a visit and a brew.? Oh, and how 'bout that mature Harley ridin' lady? Good gal I would wager. Breakfast by the pound? Who would have guessed? I stopped once in Ashville and bought a baby blue 10 speed Schwinn. Long time back when I was a sailor boy! Nice town, and as I recall a college town. Beautiful country. And as Tessler noted "Adventure Riding" is what you do! Great stuff! Hey, and have a beer for me. Were I around I'd buy you one...or three! Ride safe.

  12. #12
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting; great stuff.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  13. #13
    criminaldesign
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    Right on guys, it's been good. You know James, I thought the same thing about ol JC. There he is in human form just hanging out and being human, sharing a beer with me.

    So here I am in Atlanta, have the headfone in, laying on the couch, Minor Threats Good Guys Don't Wear White is playing and I got a smile on my face.

    I have to admit, I wish I did this years ago in regards to motorcycle. I've traveled my whole life, but motorbike is something that I took up in June of '08 on a whim and 40,000 miles later, I can't stay off the thing. I've done a lot of thinking, seen alot of useless but unimaginable 'stuff', met good people...
    It's especially fun by yourself and do whatever, wherever.

    Anyways, enough sappy sloppy stuff. I sat through a 2 1/2 hr fone meeting first thing this morning.... exactly. Cousin Tiff and I ate leftover lunch and shot the breeze, laughing about all that back good stuff. Around 2:30, hit the road. Rob (cousin in law?) gave me heads up on SC 11S heading to Atlanta. 11S runs the SC north and west state line.

    Good stuff, Bouncing Souls, Kate Is Great, 'no i'll never be the same...'

    Mapped route
    From 031410


    11S was great, 2 lane, good roads and parks all over the place when you got farther west. I love the mountains and I think belong in them. Any of them are good, from the Tetons to the Appalachians.
    From 031410


    Started with a stop at the Cow Pens, Revolutionary Battle Field. The Revolution and the Civil are my favorites if you can say such a thing?
    From 031410


    Which by wonderful incident occurred on my birthday (not year). Old Benny Franklin too...
    From 031410


    Killing distance, I'll have to remember that.
    From 031410


    Battlefield and Old something or another road
    From 031410


    The first monument set up in late 1800's. Yah got me, looks like a fence around a post. Maybe they got a student to do it. bad joke.
    From 031410


    On down the road
    From 031410


    Table Rock at the State Park. All the SC parks required $2. It's pretty much the 'honor system'.
    From 031410


    Evening...
    From 031410


    Devil Fork SP. What a cool lake, man it felt like Superior or the U.P.
    From 031410


    Cool little shack
    From 031410


    From 031410


    From 031410


    It's currently 1:30 am, pulled into Emily's at 10. She had pix from the ATL aquarium, ice cream, and a couple of Iron City's to wet the whistle. It cool to be with a good friend and you can just hang and not feel the whole entertaining thing. I'm lower than low maintenance anyways.

    Green Queens And Jeans by the Pogues, one of my fav songs and record (Hell's Ditch).

    Atlanta's fun, I spent all together 3 weeks in ATL last spring and had a really good time. It's bigger than I expected. I plan on staying here Thursday or Friday and start riding back North to Pittsburgh for a week and talk shop.

    h
    Last edited by criminaldesign; 03-16-2010 at 06:00 AM.

  14. #14
    Rally Rat empeg9000's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Awesome ride report. I am jealous. I have been jonsing for some camping. Still a little too chilly up here in NY but at least I got to commute in on the RT this am! :

    How did you locate the hostels? Did you just come across them? Pre-plan those stays?

  15. #15
    criminaldesign
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by empeg9000 View Post
    Awesome ride report. I am jealous. I have been jonsing for some camping. Still a little too chilly up here in NY but at least I got to commute in on the RT this am! :

    How did you locate the hostels? Did you just come across them? Pre-plan those stays?
    hey man. I was in the only one left in the Biltmore grounds, it was raining and I was weighing my options on what to do for the evening. i asked my sis to look online and see if there was a hostel in Asheville. College town, hippie-ish, I figured there may be one there. She found me a number, gave them a call and asked if there was a bed available. On the fly.

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