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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Captain's Log, Stardate... Yeoman Rand! Stop trying to pull down your miniskirt and tell me what freaking Stardate it is?!?!

9 day trip. My Bird, her America, 2500 miles or there about.

Left Rhode Island, stopped for coffee & egg sammich at Vanilla Bean in Pomfret CT. Great yuppie biker hangout. Yammy R1 & R3, a Bimmer Ducati Monster Wannabe, typical handbuilts and HDs.

More leg numbness with Mustang seat vs Longhaul. Love the Stang backrest, hate the leg thing.

Hot. 91 & sunny. Modular helmet, mesh Cycle Gear Sedici setup I got for Canada trip last year vs my leather jacket. Trying out UClear 200 Bluetooth helmet to helmet intercom. It's ok, range is a little lower than I would like. Answers call with "hello" - pretty slick. Got disconnected going over the CT/NY line.

Beautiful roads & scenery, northwest CT / NY over to 209.

Road Food. Gatorade and Hostess Orange Cupcakes. Except for when they closed down, I always try to have an orange cupcake on a road trip.

Man, I appreciate a clean bathroom more as I age.

Heavy thunderstorms south of NY / PA line - got dinner in Milford at the diner. Rained lightly after letting the radar's red cells pass by. Wet boots.

AC in room is loud & hairdryer to dry boots is busted. But the place is packed - not getting a different room.

Twizzlers!! The Mrs brought a gallon freezer ziploc bag full. She rocks.

300 miles, 11+ road hours.

Tomorrow: Hershey, then Skyline Drive.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Remember that loud AC?

"Because you used Booking.com there's not a lot we can do. If you booked it direct we would have given you the night free."

Awesome.

Hot this morning. Sweating before we left. She said screw Hershey so we just jetted down 78 / 81 toward VA. PA / MD / WV / VA over a few hours. Next stop, Front Royal VA.

Mandatory pic at the North Entrance of Shenandoah Park. Who knew it was $15 per bike though?

First half - hot & hazy, glad it was cooling off. Beautiful road, beautiful scenery. A must-ride.

Second half - hmm, this rain will probably just last a few minutes, I'll skip the rain gear... Mistake. Soaked & chilled by the time we got to Waynesboro.

Hibachi dinners, tea for me, Mai Tai for her.

Turns out for $97 I got a 2 person jacuzzi room. Cha-CHING!

Jeans drying in hotel laundry, snuck in before the 10 other bikers who arrived after us.

Blue Ridge tomorrow!
 
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$15 now? wow, I remember that being 5 bucks, Guess once the words out they raise the price huh? Travel safe & enjoy....!
 

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$15 now? wow, I remember that being 5 bucks, Guess once the words out they raise the price huh? Travel safe & enjoy....!
Well, Fred once you get to the BRP, it's free. Give me a holler when you get close to MM64. You'll pass within 6 miles of my house (as crow flies) when you pass by the radar dome near MM73+-.
 

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You're gonna love the BRP and beyond!
If you see America Rides Maps at one of your stops, grab them! They are put together by a rider out of Waynesville NC and are truly excellent. I never travel the Blue Ridge or the Smoky's without.
Have a wonderful ride, I'm off to Mountain City TN tomorrow to ride the "Snake" and other assorted reptiles
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Day 3 - BRP MP 0 to MP 334 / Switzerland Inn

Hit the Pkwy at 8am. Gorgeous views, low low low traffic southbound.
Had to stop pulling off for magnificent views to catch back up to the itinerary.

Deer. Yikes. Brakes, check. Vomit desire, check. Cleared without incident.

Nancy's candy. Yum. Now explain to the Mrs if she buys fudge on a hot day, umm, melt??

Lunch, Meadows of Dan. BBQ place listed there did not open this year. Oops. Jane's instead. Cheap lunch.

Everyone on the stops at overlooks discussed how they once had a Triumph, including a guy with an old Ural with sidecar.

Slow people... Grrr.

Switzerland Inn - amazing place. Old phone booth in the lodge. Friendly folks, overpriced wine list, but rainbow view over the mountains.

Sleep awaits.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One other thing - I clocked 28,000 miles today, and that means the Michelin Commander II tires have 10,000 miles on them. Knock on wood, no issues with them yet, and about 1,500 - 2,000 miles ago was told by dealer they looked to be about 50% worn out back. Fronts scalloped again - front brakes suspect on this. Not at the wear bars yet out back. Have another 1,500+ miles this trip, then Laconia, THEN I'll put new CMDRs on again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No service, no wifi at Tapoco Lodge.
 

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Your trip sounds nice. We've done similar a couple of times. I live in Front Royal but never ride on Skyline Drive. Too many tourists!

I'll second the "glad the Commander II are working well" comments!
 

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Sounds like a nice trip Wakinyan. Look forward to more, maybe with photos if you took any?

Heading down myself, with 3 other guys in 10 days. Have 1 week off work, and a place to stay in Waynesville, NC. Prob. only be there 2 nights, maybe 3, since don't want to ride interstates down and back. Hard to beat the 2 lanes, but not the fastest way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Atkins VA. Tomorrow: Back of the Dragon.

Yesterday: one loooong day. Got a slightly late start, gassed up. Wanted to do Diamondback / NC 226A off the Switzerland Inn property but wanted to try to stay close to itinerary. BRP to Cherokee. Will keep my thoughts about seemingly very rude / disgruntled Native Americans working the shops there to myself.

Arrived at Tapoco (or, "Tapioca" as the Mrs called it), dropped the luggage, and did the Tail about 5:30pm. We knew the turnouts were there & used them, but buttholes on crotch rockets didn't bother to wait for her to GET to one & passed her doing about 45 / braking hard on inside turns. Freaked her out.

She bottomed out once on the lowered 1.5" America & will need new board feelers. I scraped but not badly on the Bird.

Dinner, off to Cherohala. Late. Getting dark. I don't recommend this. Let me stress again, "never again" after dusk.

To the horde of black bear at the picnic turnout: ask Mr Ranger for a pic-a-nic basket, Yogi. About 6-8 of them. Speed dropped lower & lower as the light waned. Arrived back around 9:30pm.

Tapoco - AWESOME place. Covered bike corral, neat place, comfy cool cabins. Not cheap, but would stay again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wednesday

Late night exhausted us. Slept in. SO COMFY BED. We scrapped the backroads from Tapoco to Atkins VA. Well kind of.

129 to 28, back toward Cherokee. Hit the Smoky Mtns / 441 to Clingman's Dome. 5 for 5 - rained part of the day on the way through Smokys.

Clingman's - gorgeous. "Observation Tower 0.5 mi" - and it's ONLY about a 35 degree incline. Kill. Me. Now.

Made it, but it killed off more time. A lot more time. Like, 2:30pm when we left Clingman's.

441 toward 40/81. Oops, they're repaving. Delays.

Side note: Where the F*** are all these Polaris Slingshots coming from? Honestly, saw at least 100 of them the past 2 days. Don't get the appeal. Anyway.

Dollywood.

Me: (looking at Dolly on billboard) babe, want a selfie with t**s McGee?her: uh, no.

Finally hit the highway. Hot. Cue Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam.

Hardee's. Frisco Burger & chocolate malted. Nice.

Counting the miles.

Finally, Atkins. Ow, my butt.

Across the street at convenience: Bell's Two Hearted Ale. We can't get Bell's in New England. Good beer.

New Top Gear - pitiful.
 

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Fun stuff! Stay safe!
 

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I'm really enjoying following your trip. It's similar to a trip I've had planned (and cancelled twice) with a few friends....hopefully we'll get to do it soon. This thread is motivating me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Left Atkins on time (ducks, in case the Mrs reads this) - DOH!

Back of the Dragon - Marion VA to Tazewell VA - 200 turns, 32 miles. Love their slogan - "Eleven? Try Thirty-Two!" Did it between 8 & 9 ish this morning. This was a GREAT road. Except...

Stones kicked up from the apexes on inside turns (rights). About a dozen turns became downright scary.

GORGEOUS scenery - hilly pastures just amazing. Talking with the shopkeep at the bear check station / convenience / bait / official back of the dragon merchandise store, "they're working on fixin that - might even have the funds appropriated..."

No Men's BotD XL shirts, just the store's own unofficial ones, of course. And fake moonshine. And salmon eggs. "Might be a daddle of coffee left on the burner. Been awhile since I made it."

Sigh. Oh yeah pops, it's been awhile, but it's only 40 weight now. Let it set a bit to get some 50 weight...

Nice chat with Stop / Slow stick holder guy at one lane road construction.

Dry roads. Happy. Tazewell - Main Street shows BotD meet, June 11 I think. They're really trying to develop this.

Made our way northeast on the north side of the mountains. 460 I think. 219 / 92 / 39 / 220 / 250 - awesome roads. Rained near 220 & 250. Apparently it rained REALLY hard near 250 & 42 because 42 flash flooded - rode through water deeper than her floorboards at one point. All I know is "woosh", and my boots were soaked. Abandoned 42 for side roads that took us to 81, and rode 81 to 211 to Luray. Good news, stopped raining.

Dropped the luggage (or, tried to, but new innkeeper at the just-reopened under his ownership guy took us on a tour of every room. Pretty cool, we have the whole place to ourselves... Heh heh, honeymoon anyone? Heh heh!

Finally dropped the luggage & soaked rain gear and rushed off to Luray Caverns. Great caves. Horrible guide. Wicked pricey - $26 each to walk around the cave. Got out an hour later, raining. Of course.

Sat on the front porch, ordered pizza delivery. Gennaro's. Meatlover's Calzone. Fresh stuff. Except, 2nd bite of 2nd piece - *** is this? Ricotta. Awesome. If I eat ricotta, 20 minutes later, up it comes again.

More Sigh. But I have jerky and chocolate so...

Tomorrow, up at 5am, on the road by 6. Have to be at Gettysburg for guided tour by 10am. Forecast? Yup. Rain, all day. Riding through Seven Fountains. I think I remember my grandparents lived there for like 10 years... not a close family. Generational drama that screwed all the cousins in my gen... Anyway, later all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One from The Tail
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Day 7 - Gettysburg.

5am alarm, on the road at 6, trying not to wake the neighbors as we left Mayneview B&B down the street from Luray Caverns. Wet bikes, rain predicted between Luray & Gettysburg, so the Frogg Toggs were on from the get-go. Gloves still soaked so I grabbed for the backup pair - oops, one got wet in the saddlebag. Well, one's better than both...

Rode the backroads up 675 to 678 north through Seven Fountains. More twisty mountain roads as we approached the little village my grandparents may have lived in mom & dad still haven't bothered to confirm my request to clear that up. Must be an, "if I ignore it, maybe it'll go away" thing.

Fog. Thick Fog. Deer. Idiots driving 5-10 over without lights on. Pretty, serene pastures again. Quiet. Managed to sneak by the one schoolbus we saw as it was loading in a parking lot.

Love the old gas pumps. The kind without the overflow trip, with the nozzles on the ends that feed either side, and the turn-switch, and best, the analog dials / odometer style displays. Like being a kid again in the '70's.

Waffle House. Wife is no longer a WH virgin. Yet another guy who stopped to talk Triumphs, who had a Bon-E-Ville years ago. Seems like every stop we attract them.

Blast up 81 to 30 to Gettysburg. Pull into the well-disguised Inn at White Oak. Jacuzzi in every room, gorgeous Inn, grounds.

Arranged for tour guide (John Winklman) to take us on private tour of the battlegrounds. Awesome. Chills, moved to tears, it was incredible being on the fields, hills, etc, and the way he narrated & emoted the battle was just... Epic.

Rained. Hard. The 2nd half of the tour at the cyclorama postponed til tomorrow.

Snacks, Keurig, until...

4:30, couples massage at the Inn. They have their own private spa facility and have the girls come in from a local spa to service you on-site ("I bet they do, I bet the do - wink wink nudge nudge say no more" for all you Python fans). Seriously though, very convenient & relaxing.

A break in the weather - off for a quick bite.
 

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ole Gettysburg, have family out that way in York, we use to go to the battlefield all the time, that's when they had the tower you could go up & see everything, lots of museums with reenactment scenes & history. the town square is a circle...LOL

while at Luray caverns did you see the natural pipe organ? down the road there use to be an old car museum...still there? wow, its been a while since I was down there, but your trip is the reverse of what I did years ago, your making me want to take a trip!!!! have fun folks, keep an eye on the misses & enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Car museum is next to caverns entrance now.

Deliso Pizza on 34 - huge portions, and...

BACON.
CHEESE.
FRIES.

According to guide, Gettysburg has been radically changed from years ago as Park Service (?) is buying up private land and bringing it as close to 1863 as possible. It was amazing, like you're there...
 
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