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swampy

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Reply with quote  #1 
Let's set the stage... turn it up, feel the vibe... sing along...





[IMG_0268]


[IMG_0266]


[IMG_0357]


[IMG_0290]


Hang on for the Ride.....

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The Honorable Mayor of Swampyville '10 Triumph Tiger 1050 '09 KTM690R '07 Kawasaki KLX250 (Mrs Swampy's bike) '03 Triumph Speed Triple '02 Honda CR250R tagged
DangerousDad47

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Looks like back where I'm from. I was born in Harlan, Ky. That mine looks like one I remember up near Corbin.


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EbarDP48

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Reply with quote  #3 

Here we go....Wonder who went over the edge?


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Bert   09 KTM 530 07 Triumph Tiger 1050  06 Kawasaki KLR650 07 Yamaha YZ 250 1976 Husky WR250 1978 Suzuki RM250 1981 Honda CM 400 W/Velorex Sidecar Because the ride shouldn't end just because the pavement does! May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Harold McAlindon
swampy

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HM6N2: Prolouge

As with all great adventures, we must begin somewhere. Let us begin on the travl to our jump-off point.

We travel up I-77 and over Fancy Gap...


Only to meet resistance with a standstill of traffic on I-77 outside of Wytheville, VA.

About this time I noticed an exit not to far up. John was looking at his GPS and said we could do a loop and come back to 77 farther up... so of course, you know what way we headed....



We drive along slowly moving rivers...



...along scenic country roads...



...we cross 7 single lane bridges over 7 babbling creeks...



...the locals only stop and stare at the strangers driving through....






...the asphalt continues to narrow as the road rises and falls, twisting and turning through the valley....


... the serene sights and smells of rural Virginia... Western North Carolina wishes it was this perfect....



...family homesteads that have been here since before the Civil War... where one once held their head up and proudly proclaimed: "Yes, sir. I AM a Virginian."



...life is slower in these parts... but that is good...



...the road bends back upon itself over and over as we climb and then decend...



... the day is growing long as we continue our bypass to adventure...



We return to I-77 and continue our way. Traffic is sparse and moving steadily...


..engineering marvels are always waiting to be happened upon...


...we realize that this is tunnel number 2, and that our bypass brought us back to I-75 between two tunnels...





...and yes, as seen here there is photographic evidence that there is indeed, light at the end of the tunnel...



...the sun begins to dip in the sky casting shadows, and in turn, creating mountain scenes so unique, that no two are alike...


...we arrive at the Country Inn and Suites and meet up with Rick and Mike... unload and lock up...


For now it's off to dinner, reaquainting with old friends, welcoming in a new one, and anticipating the events of the days to come.

We retire for the night. The anticipation makes for restless sleep. For tomorrow we begin our next journey...



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The Honorable Mayor of Swampyville '10 Triumph Tiger 1050 '09 KTM690R '07 Kawasaki KLX250 (Mrs Swampy's bike) '03 Triumph Speed Triple '02 Honda CR250R tagged
EbarDP48

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Bert   09 KTM 530 07 Triumph Tiger 1050  06 Kawasaki KLR650 07 Yamaha YZ 250 1976 Husky WR250 1978 Suzuki RM250 1981 Honda CM 400 W/Velorex Sidecar Because the ride shouldn't end just because the pavement does! May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Harold McAlindon
stubbjr

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Reply with quote  #6 
  One little side note: If you're in the Princeton area visit Pipestem State Park. It's a beautiful park with lots to do. I was very impressed. Also the Country Inns & Suites in Princeton is new and highly recommended. Very accommodating staff. Srenduro and I arrived a day early and had time to sight see for a few hours before our tour guide and John showed up.
  Rick


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swampy

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Before we begin, let me explain to you about the ride.

My preference is in point-to-point rides. Touring. Carrying what you need on your back (or your bike) and riding from one point to another. Staying different places each night, many miles from your truck and/or support.

Reason being, I feel it's more sporting. More challenging. You must be prepared for anything. Be self-sufficient. Be able to adapt and adjust on the fly. Be able to have the where-with-all to know that tomorrow is another day, the truck is a long way away, so I need to plan on a style of riding to survive the trip as a whole.

It's just my preference.

It also helps create a challenge. Something to accomplish. Hang your hat on. Say "I did it".

And that's what we have.

I researched on our plan. To ride all 6 trail systems in one loop. Riding through each one to another destination only to begin again the next morning. No trailering or trucking to each trail head and system. RIDING to them. One after another.

Putting the "dual" into dual sport. Road and trail. And secondary, dirt, and mining roads at that!

Nowhere did I find any record of anyone doing this. No websites, no forums, no magazine articles.

There were articles and threads about dual sporting the trails. One or two systems here and there. But nothing of this scope. All six, in one ride, different destinations.

This was confirmed at each trail head, the trail headquarters at Little Coal River, and the Administrative offices. Each time, the question was: "You're doing what?" with the explanation... followed by, "You must be riding the green trails", followed by our recounting of exploits, which was followed by, "Wow."

The plan was simple. Sample all six trails systems in the shortest amount of time possible. Two days. Six systems. One day left over as a "relief" day to use if adjustments are necessary, but three days max to ride all six.

Let me define "riding all six". By riding all six I mean we arrive at a trail head and ride the system. Not just show up take a picture and move on.

Ride the trails.

For every hour of transfer sections (between systems) we'd spend twice that time on the next trail system itself.

Not just on the green "easy" trails ( some don't qualify as green!), but also include the blue (more challenging) and black (most challenging). The only ones we did not ride were the single track and the extreme orange.


Now that you know the scope and the reasoning and the warped mind behind it.... let's get to it!

So ladies and gents, let's get on with the:

6-in-2: Conquering the Hatfield-McCoy 2010







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The Honorable Mayor of Swampyville '10 Triumph Tiger 1050 '09 KTM690R '07 Kawasaki KLX250 (Mrs Swampy's bike) '03 Triumph Speed Triple '02 Honda CR250R tagged
rjohnson

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Reply with quote  #9 

Bring it on!


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swampy

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HM6N2: Part 1

The first mission was to recruit some buddies who were up to the challenge and were compatible riding partners!

Some had to drop out for various reasons, and we were down to 4: Rick (stubbjr) aka Stubb; Mike (srenduro) aka Manimal; John (jwciv) aka Junior a name coined by Mike;  and of course me.

So off to West Virginia we came!

Let me tell you about the Hatfield McCoy Trails:

From Wikipedia:


Quote:

The Hatfield–McCoy Trails, located in West Virginia, is a nationally known trail system most popular for its off-highway vehicle trails. The trail system is a multi-county project, including West Virginia counties Logan, Kanawha, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer, Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo, and Boone. The trails are managed by the Hatfield–McCoy Regional Recreation Authority, a legislatively created quasi-state agency and its paid staff, which is governed by a multi-county board of directors.

The name of the trail system is derived from the names of two families, the Hatfields and McCoys, who famously feuded near the West Virginia and Kentucky border after the Civil War.


The trail system opened in October 2000 with 300 miles (480 km) of trail operations. In 2002, the trail system added an additional 100 miles (160 km) of trails in Boone County, West Virginia. In 2004, the trail system again added 100 miles (160 km) of trail, to bring the trail system to 500 miles (800 km), making it the second largest off-highway vehicle trail in the world, second only to the Paiute ATV Trail.

Current trail system names (trailhead facility names in parentheses) include Browning Fork (Rockhouse), Dingess-Rum (Bearwallow), Pinnacle Creek (Castlerock), Little Coal River (Water Ways), and Buffalo Mountain (Delbarton).

The trail system caters to ATV, UTV, and motorbikes (dirt bikes), but hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders can also use the trails.

The trail system staff not only markets the trail system globally (the trails now receive visitors from all 50 states and nine countries), but also builds, maps, and maintains the trail system. Law enforcement officers patrol the trail to assure compliance with safety regulations. Motorized users of the trail system must wear a DOT-approved helmet and are prohibited from "doubling" (having a passenger), unless their vehicle is designed for two people. These rules, and a host of others, have allowed the trail system to enjoy a quality safety record, despite an increase in ATV-related injuries around the country.



We begin our ride in Princeton, WV.

Why Princeton? It's the closest place we could drive to, stay in a hotel, and leave our vehicle without getting onto the winding mountain roads late at night after driving 13 hours!

Plus, the roads in this area are just plain awesome! (Right Stubb?)

So we start on Sunday morning....

Here's a quick shot of the amigos and the motorcycles. Please notice how fresh and clean they look. Yes the guys too!



John not knowing what in store for him the next three days!



...and Stubb.... has one of those Ogio flight vests on... personally.... kinda looks like he's got that whole "Taliban suicide bomber" thing going on...






... and Mike's KLR.... not any KLR... and not any rider. Do not attempt this ride on a KLR if you can not: repair it yourself, change tires, haul it up a mountain, or win your class for a year-end trophy in any enduro or hare scrambles series... seriously... I also remember when this bike was shiney and new in salt lake City last year.... hehehehehe..



So we motor on out and through Princeton... didn't take long to see we weren't in Florida anymore. Empty stores fronts, old buildings. Shops closed. This was the beginning of a 3 day lesson in real economic distress...



This is the land where people proudly cling to their guns and their religion.


We thread our way out of town and onto the side roads less travelled... after all. What fun would it be if we hung on Harley-Approved styles of pavement!



We prefer the supermoto style roads! Narrow and tight,  Best ridden on a lightweight dual sport with sticky tires! Our 606's hooked up sweetly!


... can't help but say it... "Take me Home, Country Roads...."


It's gettin' good now!


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The Honorable Mayor of Swampyville '10 Triumph Tiger 1050 '09 KTM690R '07 Kawasaki KLX250 (Mrs Swampy's bike) '03 Triumph Speed Triple '02 Honda CR250R tagged
jwciv

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If you look closely in this pic you can see my flip flops. If you happen to be up in WV on these trails,....look for them. I miss those shoes. (They're on the back of my DRZ)


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swampy

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HM6N2: Part 2

Like I had said earlier, it's the small roads that really count!

Manimal didn't get his permit in the mail in time and made arrangement to pick one up in Ashland... which was where we were heading to pick up our first sysmte Indian Ridge.

Let's continue the ride through the Flat Top - Pocahantas coal field to Ashland...




We rounded a corner, the were smacked with a steep downhill leading to this hard right... just beautiful country. As we were to find out in the hours and days to come, West Virginia is a contrast of the best, and worst, of man and nature...



Quote:
In 1742, John Peter Salley took an exploratory trip across the Allegheny Mountains and reported an outcropping of coal along a tributary of the Kanawha River. He and his companions named this tributary the Coal River, and his report became the first reference to coal in what is today West Virginia.






On another sharp turn then steep decent we run under this trestle while a coal train is rumbling overhead... check that one under interesting unique experiences never had! You can see the last of the coal cars passing below...



...Almost Heaven....the morning sun reflecting off the tree and few fields of coal country...



... an abandoned railway bridge from a long gone mine tipple... how many tons of coal have crossed this bridge and where did it go...


Quote:
West Virginia's southern coal fields were not opened until about 1870, though they were known to exist much earlier. One of the major southern coal fields was the Flat Top-Pocahontas Field, located primarily in Mercer and McDowell counties. The Flat Top Field first shipped coal in 1883 and grew quickly from that time. Operations were consolidated into large companies, and Pocahontas Fuel Company, organized in 1907, soon dominated the other companies in McDowell County.






The road wanders along ridges and through valleys, usually bordered by railroad track or a meandering creek...



The Presbyterian church in McComas WV. Long ago abandoned and neglected. Another ruin in a long string of ghost towns...



This photo from http://mccomaswv.com/




We climb the ridge and over the pass, continuing to thread our way over country roads to the Ashland community...


As these roads prove, mining towns were isolated, far from civilization, and difficult to get to in even the best of times before pavement....our paved travels total 35 miles to Ashland...yet they were 35 of the nicest paved roads I have ever been on.


Quote:
A coal company provided not only a job but a unique way of life for West Virginia miners and their families. Since most of the mines were located too far from established towns, the coal companies built their own towns and provided inexpensive homes, a company store, a church, and often recreation facilities for the miners and their families. Because of the need for daily supplies from the company store, a simplified method of bookkeeping was established, using coal scrip. The earliest coal scrip (tokens) dates back to about 1883. Miners could get advanced credit on their earned wages (in scrip) to pay for daily necessities at the company store. This use of coal company scrip eliminated the need for the coal company to keep a large amount of U. S. currency on hand. Each mine had its own scrip symbols on the tokens, and these tokens could only be used at the local company store.










--> ____________________ -->


Quotes on this page courtesy of WVGES

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The Honorable Mayor of Swampyville '10 Triumph Tiger 1050 '09 KTM690R '07 Kawasaki KLX250 (Mrs Swampy's bike) '03 Triumph Speed Triple '02 Honda CR250R tagged
jakbrand

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Reply with quote  #13 
Dual sporting WVA in the summer is hard to beat.  So lush and green.



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Reply with quote  #14 
Awesome ride report fellas.  Make me feel like I was there.  Thanks.

Nate




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EbarDP48

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Reply with quote  #15 
Ol Tennessee Ernie Ford sang it best...I owe my soul to the company store!

Send “Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford” Ringtone to Cell PhoneDownload Ringtone

Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin', it was drizzlin' rain
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol' mama lion
Cain't no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin', better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't a-get you
Then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

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Bert   09 KTM 530 07 Triumph Tiger 1050  06 Kawasaki KLR650 07 Yamaha YZ 250 1976 Husky WR250 1978 Suzuki RM250 1981 Honda CM 400 W/Velorex Sidecar Because the ride shouldn't end just because the pavement does! May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Harold McAlindon
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