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Author Topic: The Tail of the Dragon Tour June 2013  (Read 1030 times)
andy750
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« on: June 23, 2013, 06:55:19 PM »

For all who couldnt make it...a little journal and photo summary

Got home at 6pm Saturday after a Loooong Ride up the highway - 575 miles in 10 hrs  Tongue No one likes riding on the highway but its got to be done sometimes.

Here is the route from the last two days since leaving Maggie Valley -1033 miles in two days
https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Maggie+Valley,+NC&daddr=35.4023861,-82.7565582+to:35.5438595,-82.4992695+to:35.743115,-82.328954+to:Sampson+Road,+Boone,+NC+to:36.1386051,-81.5687494+to:Ferguson,+NC+to:36.2927129,-81.3373483+to:36.4327581,-81.057751+to:36.6525402,-80.518834+to:37.024727,-80.112752+to:37.1968292,-80.0083727+to:Harrisonburg,+VA+to:41.1084724,-74.1650918+to:Boston,+MA&hl=en&ll=38.32442,-78.75&spn=8.891346,21.643066&sll=37.149371,-80.06218&sspn=0.282407,0.676346&geocode=Fc72HQId1gcM-ymb0ayyP3RZiDHoNC4Z9RaV_A%3BFZIyHAIdMjwR-ymdqK2TtplZiDFB9IatlNG6lA%3BFTNbHgIdOykV-ynFp04SRvJZiDEzfQuoJW7qMQ%3BFYtlIQIdhsIX-ylzyslz3gNaiDGkKDuywF3J-Q%3BFc60JwIdFK4i-ymVX1rEW_tQiDFd8TbRoeWeEg%3BFW1uJwIdE1wj-ylRJrDS0vxQiDHCa-mKC6YhCg%3BFbafJgIdlmom-ylFq4I-8RpRiDELrHoJmp4-7g%3BFWjIKQId_OMm-yk9Ta0cBAhRiDGvf54uoP1POw%3BFXbrKwIdKSgr-yl9TUl_EZpRiDFJKNnCVieJKQ%3BFfxFLwIdTmEz-ymvSPpYEhRSiDEEiHMF3G544g%3BFdfzNAIdkJM5-ymbmHrukYJNiDH-3_nOMLzxXA%3BFR2UNwIdTCs7-yl9xs6LoXRNiDHEdkYCyRspUw%3BFaGxSgIdTI5M-ylVcQc_w5K0iTFfe73auWVOCA%3BFfhDcwIdnVSU-ylJTL-x-eDCiTEqIcEPz2FBuA%3BFZ9WhgIdw7bD-ykbMT0NLWXjiTGg6GIBJL98eA&oq=Sampson&mra=dpe&mrsp=11&sz=11&via=1,2,3,5,7,8,9,10,11,13&t=m&z=6

And here is the mountain section that we ended up taking by mistake when we decided to leave the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) to go see the Honda Chopper crowd at Ferguson, NC who were having their annual meet up...the road barely marked on the map!

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Maggie+Valley,+NC&daddr=35.4023861,-82.7565582+to:35.5438595,-82.4992695+to:35.743115,-82.328954+to:Sampson+Road,+Boone,+NC+to:36.1386051,-81.5687494+to:Ferguson,+NC+to:36.2927129,-81.3373483+to:36.4327581,-81.057751+to:36.6525402,-80.518834+to:37.024727,-80.112752+to:37.1968292,-80.0083727+to:Harrisonburg,+VA+to:41.1084724,-74.1650918+to:Boston,+MA&hl=en&ll=36.138429,-81.564732&spn=0.071535,0.169086&sll=37.149371,-80.06218&sspn=0.282407,0.676346&geocode=Fc72HQId1gcM-ymb0ayyP3RZiDHoNC4Z9RaV_A%3BFZIyHAIdMjwR-ymdqK2TtplZiDFB9IatlNG6lA%3BFTNbHgIdOykV-ynFp04SRvJZiDEzfQuoJW7qMQ%3BFYtlIQIdhsIX-ylzyslz3gNaiDGkKDuywF3J-Q%3BFc60JwIdFK4i-ymVX1rEW_tQiDFd8TbRoeWeEg%3BFW1uJwIdE1wj-ylRJrDS0vxQiDHCa-mKC6YhCg%3BFbafJgIdlmom-ylFq4I-8RpRiDELrHoJmp4-7g%3BFWjIKQId_OMm-yk9Ta0cBAhRiDGvf54uoP1POw%3BFXbrKwIdKSgr-yl9TUl_EZpRiDFJKNnCVieJKQ%3BFfxFLwIdTmEz-ymvSPpYEhRSiDEEiHMF3G544g%3BFdfzNAIdkJM5-ymbmHrukYJNiDH-3_nOMLzxXA%3BFR2UNwIdTCs7-yl9xs6LoXRNiDHEdkYCyRspUw%3BFaGxSgIdTI5M-ylVcQc_w5K0iTFfe73auWVOCA%3BFfhDcwIdnVSU-ylJTL-x-eDCiTEqIcEPz2FBuA%3BFZ9WhgIdw7bD-ykbMT0NLWXjiTGg6GIBJL98eA&oq=Sampson&mra=dpe&mrsp=11&sz=11&via=1,2,3,5,7,8,9,10,11,13&t=m&z=13

We came off the BRP and after a few wrong turns we ended up on some very minor roads that were very steep and twisty as they crossed the mountain. Eventually we came round a corner in the mountains and came upon what looked like an open junkyard...tires, wrecked cars, trucks all over the place...and the road ran out turning into dirt...what to do? We had spent so long getting to this point on these tight twisty roads..surely the dirt road would be short?!

So I took the lead and went for it...as it seemed to be all down hill...

The road (Sampson road) was dirt/gravel mix with some size able stones thrown in for good measure...and rutted in places. The road down was steep with hairpin turns making it interesting. We reached the point of no return as going back up was not an option. We continued down and it was hairy. The GPS showed 10 min to the next turn...then 6 min etc etc...it just kept going on and on with no pavement in sight Sad Eventually we came to a crossroads...up the hill or down the hill. Both our GPS said up but it looked like even more gravel and even more rutted. I always go down in these choices but Anders sped off up the hill...I followed but soon regretted it as it was bike jarring and loose gravel. I honked the horn for him to turn round..nothing...I honked and honked as I followed slowly...nothing. By the time I got up to a two-way junction Anders was nowhere to be seen...which way did he go?

I couldn't tell and both options went up! I turned round and went back down thinking I'd see him at the bottom. The downward way wasn't great but I eventually made it to the paved road (Rt268 I think) and this was the road the Honda chopper meet was on so I sped along this thinking I'd rendezvous with Anders there.

The road was great. Smooth, sweeping turns, tight hills, a joy after the dirt horror! I soon arrived at the Chopper meet and met some of the guys.

Saturday was long and for the last part hot  Tongue

Bike ran great up until the end...the rider not so much...using a stock K2 seat was not my best idea.

The K4 fully loaded...tank bag (sunglasses, Iphone, water, suntan lotion, battery charger, wallet), small ortilieb bag with one spare summer jacket, Ortilieb bag full of t-shirts, pair of jeans, shoes, toiletries etc. Pelican case topbox (waterproof) holds the rain gear, clear visor, quart of oil, tools.



And after the trip this is how the bike looks...a bit dusty after the mountain road



IRC tire after 1000 miles on the highway at 75 mph



unlike the Dunlop K70 after 2000 miles



So it got changed out for the 1000 mile ride home



and the stock seat that ended up being a killer - I took the seat strap off as thats where i usually sit and the sides were digging into my leg...note the split seams either side...after 40 yrs not too bad...



The Rolling Brook Motel, Maggie Valley, NC



and the relaxing rolling brook



Fading light on the Blue Ridge Parkway





And location on BRP



Morning glory



Its going to be another great day for a ride



Cold morning ride on the BRP



Riders fuelling up at breakfast at the Smoky Mountain Roasters, Waynesville, NC



...before the excellent ride to the waterfall



A blurry yours truly



K4s and the waterfall



From the inside out Wink



Anders takes a shower



Top of the World!



You cant beat an evening ride on the BRP...its the Sunrise Orange SOHC Motorcycle Club  Cool



Chicks love sunrise orange SOHCs  Cool









Its tiring work being a groupie



Ok time for a bath



Its Hula time



Yours truly



Where are we?



Somewhere beautiful









Look at that road...



Road or rail?



The view everyday as you approach Maggie Valley after a good days riding



I rolled over 80,000 miles on this trip



CBX waiting at the Dragon







Part of an interesting ensemble





We made it out alive!

'

Looking ominous





On the road



Rays of sunshine





The road beckons



Dinosaur Land! Not sure Anders shared my enthusiasm for this classic piece of Americana we just happened to stumble across...the nice family (out of camera shot) seemed a little scared by our presence  Wink



Anders has traveled many times to the Dragon before...who would have thought to bring a banana holder!?  Cool



The famed Tail of the Dragon (there were better roads around the same area but it was pretty good)



The Tree of Shame



I made it back just seconds before the massive downpour






The Honda Chopper meet in Ferguson, NC - nice guys!





''

The only room they had left for my last night of the trip...the Jacuzzi suite  Cool (I was solo at this point having lost track of Anders after the mountain road detour - found out later he had crashed after meeting a UPS truck - some bike damage and some Anders damage - he did ride home on Saturday however the same as me - not sure where he started from due to limited contact on the road)



cheers
Andy






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andy750
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 06:57:23 PM »

And final trip summary

Mileage covered: 2988 miles

No. of days: 7

Great roads found: Blue Ridge Parkway is really worth doing. Rt 194, Rt221, Rt64, Rt215, Rt279, Rt28S to Franklin, Elk Creek Road to Ferguson (so much fun!), anything going through Pisgah National Forest.

Motels to recommend: Hidden Valley Motel 7 miles or so from Boon, NC. Rolling Brook Motel, Maggie Valley (quiet, cheap and away from the road - and sleep to the sound of the brook), Pioneer Motel Front Royal, VA - at the start of Skyline Drive.

Restaurants: nothing in Maggie Valley (especially Frankies the Italian place!) Bourbon Barrel Beef & Ale in Waynesville, NC is good for a meal and a beer. Smoky Mountain Roasters is next door and is good for coffee and croissants for breakfast.

SOHC members met: 70CB750 (Prokop)
 
Things taken and not used: my hot weather air mesh jacket. Temps were cool in the mountains especially on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Everything else was used.

Things to remember: always take ALL your own tools in case you get separated Wink. I left behind a Philips #2 screwdriver and wish I hadnt. Had everything else more or less.  If you get separated rendezvous at the next meeting point - easy enough.Chain lube.  Carry a spare inner tube (I have done in the past and never used it but on this trip it would have been reassuring). Make sure you have good tires that wont wear out before you start Wink. Get some paper maps in case there is no Wifi or cell reception.

Impressive things to note: riding a CB750 for hours and hours and hours on the highway at 70-75 mph all the time is good for the bike! Just check the oil now and again. The CB750 can handle mountain roads just great (paved as well as dirt Wink). No fuses blew, no mechanical breakdowns, no "old-bike" drama - the K4 was in tip top condition before leaving and returned the same way.

Quirky things to note: every biker waves in North Carolina and Virginia. No one waves once north of New Jersey. Most common question asked - "what year is that". Second most common question "are you guys in a club?".

Big thanks to Anders for coming along on this trip and for showing me some great roads. I hope your K8 isnt too damaged after the meeting with the UPS truck on the mountain road. And big thanks to Jim (the Painter) the other K4 rider who came across from Chattanooga to ride with us for a day!

Thats it till next time!

cheers
Andy
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celeryjelly
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 07:59:33 PM »

Great photos and story Andy!  It brings back many memories of the time I spent there ages ago.
Dinosaur Land?! YES!! 
And that's a darling duckling sequence, especially the tuckered bunch.
Did you have any black bear encounters??

Paper maps!!!  Cheesy  Wink   always!! 

such a beautiful land!  Thanks for sharing your adventure!



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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 10:14:41 PM »

I had no black bear encounters but as Anders about his....

From the Tail of the Dragon photographers...I would have leaned more but it was damp/beginning to rain Wink





cheers
Andy
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 09:47:46 AM »

Nice reminder of how great the BRP is!  I was tooling around sunday on the 400, marveling that I had taken it on such a long trip, both because it now seems so puny and being freshly aware of it's dependence on my dubious mechanical skills and awareness. Also remembered my big black bear, sitting in the middle of the road first thing in the  morning as I came around the curve. He dodged left, I dodged right, relief on both sides.

And your bike looks great, and it's nice that you all matched...very stylish!

-other peter
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 11:23:43 AM »

Thanks Peter and glad to hear you have the 400 operational again! Just in time for July beer night! I believe Anders has a similar bear story that occurred on this trip but since I didnt see it I can bear-ly believe it Wink
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 12:25:20 PM »

Nice write up and photos as usual Andy.  Glad you guys had a good time.  Hopefully Anders and his bike aren't any worse for wear. 
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 03:19:54 PM »

Cool, man! Sounds like you had fun! Anders not so much though... How is he? Have you talked to him?
Thanks for sharing your story and pictures, Andy! Those three orange bikes - priceless! And the pictures you got from the Tail of Dragon - awesome!

Cheers,
Peter
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 07:27:00 PM »

I have spoken with Anders, and he is OK, no serious damage to bike or rider.

Sh*& happens, but I am sure we are all glad, Anders did not end up getting too much on him. Grin
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2013, 10:31:51 PM »

Few more shots from KillBoy -Tail of the Dragon photographer







Andy
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 09:26:37 AM »

Nice form Andy, way to "look through" the turn  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2013, 10:31:49 AM »

Nice form Andy, way to "look through" the turn  Wink

I was trying to practice that the whole time.
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2013, 12:52:55 PM »

Nice form Andy, way to "look through" the turn  Wink

I was trying to practice that the whole time.

Damn good place to practice. Pictures look awesome, Andy. Looking forward to a few beers and some stories.
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