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Overland Expo - Austin to Asheville

ThomasM

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We're off to Overland Expo East with a few days of riding and camping mixed in.

Towing the bikes to Chattanooga then meeting up again with our tow vehicle sans trailer in Fletcher, NC for Expo.

Tow vehicle is '95 Land Cruiser well equipped for overland travel and I'm on my new GSA and another buddy is on his new Super Tenere.

Planning Tail of the Dragon and Blue Ridge Parkway tomorrow. Will try to keep up posts and pictures but I don't have a good track record of that so far.

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M

mr-roboto

Howdy Thomas,

It looks like a great riding itinerary.

Have fun!

RB
 

cdc

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Thomas, please 'aim' the phone to get something...
 

Vinny

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Have a good trip. Great time of year to head over that way.
 
M

mr-roboto

Thomas...if you want to add more miles to the GS, may I suggest this device for your trailer.

:trust:

 

ThomasM

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Wednesday was just a long day in the car. 15 hours to Chattanooga. Checked into the hotel room at 0130.

Thursday, Up at 7, well, 8, but if we leave by 9 we should be there in plenty of time. So, at 9 we roll out. Of bed. Got the bikes unloaded, loaded the panniers, geared up and we're ready to leave at... 10:15. Hit the starter and...click. Great. Battery tender wasn't plugged in when I was futzing with the GPS for an hour or more the night before I loaded it, so dead battery. Had a booster pack in the truck though so got it started and we rolled out. At 10:40.

Bikes off the trailer in Chattanooga

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Chattanooga to the Dragon Pitt BBQ I didn't take any pics. It would have been 100 miles of flea markets. Apparently it's tradin' days or something here.

Finally onto a secondary road heading into the mountains.

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Got to the BBQ joint at the end of 129 and had a great lunch. Pulled pork sandwich with bacon, cheese, and grilled onions. Quite tasty. Hmmm, I know I took a picture of the bikes in front of this sign. I'll come back and replace this one later.

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Rode the famous stretch of 129 known as The Tail of the Dragon.

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A few pics of us on US129 (The Dragon) from the commercial photographers on the road:

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Then we rode up through Cherokee and picked up the southern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

From the GoPro:

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A couple shots from my iPhone.

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The Parkway was an incredible ride. 45 mph speed limit was a tad low but didn't take too much fun away. We had the thing practically to ourselves as the heavier traffic was heading the other direction. With one exception, when we came up behind someone, they took the next turnout to let us pass. It was 80 miles of curvy bliss with gorgeous mountain and valley views and a bunch of way cool tunnels thrown in. And no stop signs or traffic signals on the whole parkway.

We finally rolled into the Expo grounds about 6 and set up camp. Gates were closing at 7, so that was our time constraint and we made it despite the late start.

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With camp set up, we headed to town for dinner at Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack. We are way too much. And it was awesome.

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Back in camp we had a few more beers, set up the laptop to watch an episode of South Park on the tailgate and are heading to bed. Two days of very little sleep are taking their toll.

More tomorrow.


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Vinny

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Thanks for the update. Looks I've you'll get to use your rain gear tomorrow. Better fill the cooler, buy some cards and make your tent comfortable :storm:
 

ThomasM

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We really lucked out on the weather today. It rained pretty good for 3 or so hours but no torrential downpours and no thunderstorms. Started clearing up right after lunch and turned into a very nice day. Everything's a bit soggy but we had a great (somewhat expensive ) afternoon and good time around the campfire tonight.

We mostly wandered around looking at cool stuff and talking to people about their travels and equipment. Lots of interesting folks here doing multi-day to multi-year traveling in all kinds of different equipment from the most frugal to the most expensive stuff you can get. All of it is cool. I took a bunch of pictures of it and will post them when I have a solid wi-FI connection to upload them.

Tomorrow we'll do half a day here then roll into Asheville where we have a hotel room for the night and 14 breweries waiting to welcome us.


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ThomasM

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Thomas, that tall grass your tents are set up on, sure looks like good a good chigger area!



Steve

Surprisingly few bugs here but we coated ourselves in deet as a precaution as soon as we arrived.


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ThomasM

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Pics of the camping and travel/adventure vehicles please.... :photo:

I've got some to upload to photobucket and post here, but in the meantime you can see what my buddy is posting through my Facebook page.


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ThomasM

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Some shots of the venue.

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Last edited:

ThomasM

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Here's some of the equipment...

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More later...


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cdc

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As long as you do not come back with a Ural . . .
 

jhansen

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I want to see a picture of the pulled pork sammich with bacon....pork with more pork.
 

ThomasM

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Saturday was mostly attending talks and wandering about some more at the vendor booths. Then we packed up camp and headed into Asheville.

I stopped by the local BMW shop to check out what the new corporate ID stores look like. Pretty cool store and nice folks.

We checked into our hotel, got cleaned up and headed out to the bars.

Will come back and add pics and names of bars here later.

Met a young couple in line at the second bar and turns out he works at a fancy hotel in town and they get us a room there for nearly nothing for Sunday night so we decided to spend another day in Asheville and take her for a motorcycle ride Sunday afternoon.

I'll post up more tonight or tomorrow.


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ThomasM

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Sunday we got up and walked to a local hot spot for breakfast called the Over Easy Cafe to plan the day then back to the hotel to pick up our stuff and move over to the swanky Grand Bohemian.

Sans panniers and luggage, we rode out to Lake Lure via 74A and had lunch at the Tiki Bar and Grill and planned the rest of the afternoon ride.

It was really fun riding on lots of good twisty blacktop. I'll edit the tracks and post them here later. Plenty of places to explore on the area and recovered a nice little chunk of them today.

Back at the hotel we decided a trip to the gym was in order so got in a quick workout to pay for yesterday's trip to the bars. Got cleaned up and headed back out to the breweries and to get some tapas.


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