Saturday 5/15/2010

My plan was as follows:

Steve and Dadoo decided to tag along, and so we were off... Didn't take long for the fun to start!  This section of 116 was just as good as parts of the Dragon

We pulled over after that squiggly section... like what the heck was that!... YEAH!!!

After that, don't ask me what happened... at one point we got to an intersection where the designated road seemed kind of knarly and gravely (is gravely a word?) and the other direction looked nice and curvy... so as the song say... I took a wrong turn and just kept going...  And Steve and Dadoo were just crazy enough to keep following me... After a while my GPS gave up telling me to "Make a U-Turn Please".... far as I can tell, we went further East and did a little backtracking South.  The roads were great.  At one point we were cruising along on 116 when we came up to that coal dust slurry mess on the road; about 1/8 of a mile of just crud.  Which was exactly our reaction... Crud.  So, we tiptoed across it and carried on... The road was sketchy in a few places and there were a few coal truck barreling along in the other direction but fun non the less.

We found one section of road that had some killer switchbacks.  Definitely steeper than some of the stuff on the Dragon.  Wish I knew exactly where that was... my guess is we were still on 116, but who knows... look at the maps now it could have been Walden Ridge Road.

I just kept going deeper into the rabbit hole.  We weren't making great progress on our planned route, but we were having fun.  About 12:20 we stopped to get our bearings cause the road was getting rougher and we were clearly in the middle of nowhere.  Here's a clue in the photo.. Duncan Branch Road comes off Buffalo Road just East of Oneida... so we weren't actually that far off.. just took a lot of detours getting there... :)

At one point we went down a steep, bumpy gravely road and we saw ATV's coming from and going in the direction we were going in, so had to get serious about finding our way back to some real asphalt... Steve plugged in "Closest" restaurant in his GPS and we followed that until we got out to 27...  That took us back on track... 

That road going north of 92 and especially the section of 478 going West were a major thumbs up.. We stopped at 27 and 478 and decided we wouldn't have enough time to do the Northwest loop of that route and instead just headed south on 27.  As we got closer to Harriman we jumped on 328, which is a fantastic little stretch of road and a great way to finish off the day.

The unfortunate event of the day was that Dadoo got his Harley dirty with that coal dust slime, and everywhere we stopped he could hardly contain himself looking at the dirt... In fact we just lost him coming back into Harriman... he pulled right off into a carwash and we didn't see him until a couple hours later... So, never got a shot of his dirty bike... But even after he came back it wasn't entirely clean... he said the stuff was a bear to get off... course mine is till in the garage... maybe some of it washed off when I was riding in the rain from work the other day...

So, then there was the Saturday night dinner and giving of the gifts... These photos are all plagiarized and if you've read the Harriman threads on, you've seen them already... If you haven't, here you go:

The drawing of the names back at the hotel after dinner.

So, the cool thing was that various people donated prizes and pretty much everyone walked away with something.  The most hilarious outcome was that Cousin Dadoo, who rides a Harley won some BMW valve stem caps, and he was enough of a sport to actually put them on the bike. 

Most people left early the next morning to head back to where ever home was.  It was a great trip.  But it doesn't end for me here.  I actually stayed to ride some more Sunday morning, and then trailer the bike to Asheville to visit with my daughter.  So, more to come.