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swampy

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Reply with quote  #16 
HM6N2: Part 4












Since Manimal was inside getting his permit, Stubb and I decided to have a seat  outside the store and talk about the day so far. We'd travelled 35 miles and entered a world we only read about when we were younger...



...some things just piq the curiosity, and it's also a testament to how far we have come in 100 years...



Having your life dictated by "the company"... indentured servitude more than free will... paid in script that could only be spent at their own store. Enslaving free men by creating dependency.



The history of the area is all about mines. The good and the bad, the prosperous and the troubled. Today it's about a new type of mine. While the mining companies still own the land, mining operations have been scaled back in many areas, jobs have been lost and never to return. Now tourism is the new mine. Not any kind of tourism, but motorized recreation! 500 miles of trails to explore.....



Let's get to mining the trails, boys!


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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
swampy

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Reply with quote  #17 
HM6N2: Part 5




The Indian Ridge Trail System is the newest addition to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails and is located near Ashland, WV. Indian Ridge consists of approximately 63 miles of trail.  The Indian Ridge Trail System has one trailhead with a two-acre parking area and restrooms.  This trail offers a nice variety of trails for all difficulty levels.

The breakdown in trail percentage for this trail system is as follows:
18 miles or 30% are green trails (easiest),
25.5 miles 41% blue (more difficult),
12.7 miles or 20% black (most difficult),
.5 miles or 1% red/black (extremely difficult)
5.6 miles or 8% are orange trails (single track)  
http://www.trailsheaven.com/planyourtrip/chooseatrail/indianridge/directions.aspx

So we begin by attacking some trails that lead over to the campground where gas is available....


Regular unleaded is the only choice here. Bikes run fine on 87 octane every once in a while. No damage is caused. It's all we have so it's all we get!




The trail goes down the driveway and across the road...



Just a shot of the paved road we came in on. It's just soooooooooo sweet!



So anyway, we're minding our own business, motoring our way through the woods...



... and next thing you know, here's Stubb wallowing in th mud picking up his bike. Waa Waa Waa. "Oh the mud is slippery" Oh I had no traction" Whatta whiner.



I've ridden with Stubb before and I know he doesn't whine... so there must have been another explanation.... yes mus is slick.... yes a thin layer of mud on wet granite can eliminate traction.... but this was different... like something eerily familair... so we investigated....




...and wouldn't you know it, Stubb slipped on a banana peel! Now who goes around throwing a banana peel in the trail? That's dangerous! I've seen what a banana peel can do. It's not pretty.



...and how'd John's bike get turned around facing the way we came?


Coming out of the slippery banana section after a few miles and many mud hole we came upon the clearing and the scenic overlook as pointed out on the map.... no, no. Not Stubb and Mike... they clutter the scenery....



... but something more like this. Orange things always enhance the scenic experience, making everything around them look better!



Here's Stubb again muscling in on a picture just because he rides an orange bike....




...and we eventually exit the system just outside of Northfork to continue our journey...


Ranking the Indian Ridge system?  Green is supposed to be easy trails, but about half of them are narrow and rocky. Mrs Swampy would not have fun on the green trails. It's also not that scenic, not too many overlooks or scenic areas. Just trails and trails.

So I rate this one as interesting, but let's see what the other 5 have to offer! We still have 2 more to do today!

We're burning daylight! Let's 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
EbarDP48

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Reply with quote  #18 
ATV and Resort...Now there's two words you don't see together everyday.
Bert



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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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Reply with quote  #19 
It's good to see Manimal back in the ride reports.   How did the PDB (wrist and hand) feel riding off-road after recovering from surgery?



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swampy

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Reply with quote  #20 
HM6N2: Part 6

Transfer Stage

So the transfer stage is in effect....

We motor out to Hwy52 and head through Northfork towards Keystone looking for our R on CR6..... and find it just in town. Gas is available in Keystone...

CR 6 is over thetracks and hang a R go down and make a L at the church and follow it up hill to a big intersection on top...

This wasn't in the maps or the directions... so luckily there were a couple of cars and i went over for directions.... go that way then turn left on the dirt road.... ????

We're ON a dirt road... shoulda known at that point, huh?

So we go and we ride off the ridge and back down. This can't be right. So we turned around and went back to the only turn and took it... hummm... could work.... and we followed it straight down to a mine. Yup. we were in a mine! one of those mountain top removal mines... Asked directions there and a guy pointed us to a trail and said that goes to Ashland.... nope... we're going the other way...

The whole ride from trail head to trailhead thing is new to these folks. I'm thinking, like TODAY new!

So another guy gives us direction where we have to go BACK to that intersection and hang a right and follow it in....



Easy enough.... as John would say over and over on this trip.... folks here have no idea where they are or how to get anywhere...

But anyway... we motor down the road and we pass the mine again... but on the road and on the west side of the mine...

Which, all this talk about mines has me humming another mining song....



So we rode on down to the "T" where we once again thought we were in the wrong place... but guess not! There's real traffic!  Okay, it was a jeep and they were out for a ride as well!


Old rails for the mancars....



The tracks haven't been used in some time but the stories these mines could tell...


Mining life... must have been terrible!






From those holes, cars would carry coal down into the tipples just down the road a piece...


We continue down the road on our way to the Pinnacle System....


The tipples that process the coal from the mines where we came through... a West Virginia contrast. Beautiful country, history, and destruction.


Let's get to the Pinnacle Trail System!


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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
jemride

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Reply with quote  #21 
Cool ride... I may have run across some of those mines while riding my FJR in WV a few years back. 
Maybe is time to go back and explore with the DS...

So what happened next ... 

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swampy

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Reply with quote  #22 
HM6N2: Part 7




The Pinnacle Creek Trail System located near the town of Pineville consists of approximately 71.6 total miles of trail. The Pinnacle Creek Trail system has one Trailhead with a two-acre parking area and restrooms. This trail system is known for its breathtaking scenic views and is located less than one hour from world class whitewater rafting and a snow skiing resort.

The breakdown in trail percentages for the Pinnacle Creek Trail System is as follows:

29 miles or 41% are green trails (easiest),
30.2 miles or 42% blue trails (more difficult),
7.3 miles or 10% black trails (most difficult),
5.1 or 7% black/red trails (extreme difficult).
http://www.trailsheaven.com/trailsystems/detail/Pinnacle,3.aspx

Ah, Pinnacle Creek. The one I was looking for, the one I had heard somuch about, the one I was looking forward to hitting twice!



But alas.... there was logging going on on the back side, plus they're building a connector to Indian Ridge (Whoo-Hoo!) so the entire back side was closed.... the parts with the really scenic stuff that I was told about... bummer... but No Worries! We were in West Virginia on our motorcycles at our second trail system today! Let's get riding!




Here in Pinnacle.... we had decided to take as many blue trails as possible... it's already midday and let's get rockin'!


John...


What you can't really tell from these pictures is how rocky the sections really are. Some are like sadistic cobblestone, some have sharp edges, some have those flat edges that cause pinch-flats. There's rises and lip[s, and place to grab air or fall off!


Manimal...



Up on the ridge a beautiful field... underneath... mines! It's just an awesome place above and below ground! At this spot, high upon the ridge, Stubb pulled out his I-phone and called home... then John did.... then Manimal did... as this was the only spot since we left Princeton where there was a signal!



So while Stubb and I parked in the shade... manimal and Junior left their bikes in the midday sun... and ya'll know how comfy THAT makes a seat!




As I said before, it's hard to tell from pictures... but this is a sharp drop off just after a sweeping highspeed right hander... awesome... it's got that instant "whoo-hoo" factor! Here you see Stubb coming down and Manimal cresting the top...



Junior gettin on the gas on an uphill... he had his feet down all day! That's one habit we'd be breaking him of this week! Manimal was a great riding coach and his skills increased every mile!



You can kinda see the rocks here as Stubb waits.... we turn to Stubb's left and go steeply downhill into a rock wash.... then across the ridge in a rock wash... then stop and look at a black trail that goes almost straight up in a rock wash... you get the picture....



So we climb another ridge.. and another.. and go down another and so on and so forth...

Here were on a ridge and there's only one way to go..... down! This is actually so steep if your rear wheel deflected or you rebounded to fast, it the backend would be around in front of you as you tumbled the rest of the way down. This went on for about 1/2 mile....




Our time was up in Pinnacle... and we had to move on. Sure woulda liked to have gon on the back side and played in the creek... but... trailwork must happen to keep the HM a world class ride!

Daylight was burning and we had more trails to get to... so far... the timing has been really close! Let's ride on out to our next adventure... the trail exiting Pinnacle...



We bear right to the stop sign, then left... here's Pinnacle Creek.....


...and here's fuel. John's getting a little hungry. He's not used to trailside dining on granola bars and fruit!


Daylight's burning..... Let's 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
RichardD

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Reply with quote  #23 

Rick, do you wish you took your KLR ?

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Reply with quote  #24 
  Richard, I was thinking before the ride that the KLR would be a good choice but after the first section I was glad to be on the EXC. The Kawa is what it is----- an adventure bike that begs for abuse.
  Rick
  05EXC400
  05KLR650


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swampy

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Reply with quote  #25 
It's kind of funny. Looking back at the week in review and seeing the pictures...

The green trails start out easy and get tough (interesting is more like it) ... the blue trails start off easy and get tougher (really interesting)... the black trails start off tough and keep going (pucker factors)!

There's a misunderstanding out in the moto world about the Hatfield-McCoy.... and that's that it's one trail system. That's wrong. It is 6 individual systems in different counties. Over 500 miles of trails. 500 miles. All different stuff. Located throughout southern West Virginia.

Do not be fooled by the pictures... there's some awesome stuff.... and the next two sections are the toughest in the system!

Just wish there was some way to capture the hill climbs and decents and nasty trails on camera... just doesn't work...

Not to mention, I wasn't taking pictures in the "hold on for dear life" sections...

Let's get this rockin' The RockHouse!





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swampy

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Reply with quote  #26 
HM6N2: Part 8

Pinnacle to Rock House. Pretty direct ride... though paved. So it's up into Pineville, make a left at the stop sign, then make a right at the stop sign and follow it straight into Man, WV...

The problem being, we need to be in Matewan by 6pm... so far we're running about 30 minutes behind schedule. It's a little after 3:30pm, we've been riding for over 7 hours already. We still have at least another 3 hours in front of us... The street to dirt time ratio has been close... We should make it by 6:30....

We cross Pinnacle Creek again...



Make a right here and follow SR10...


It's 30 odd miles from Pineville to Man... two lane, center line... it runs through the valleys, over to Oceana and then Man....

Oceana. Large town. And home to the next trail system that is scheduled to open next year! Yes you can see where this is heading...

So anyway... the ride is broken up in the middle by a run up and down the pass... this stuff makes North Georgia a beginners ride...




I picked these up back in Pinnacle... got that whole VW thing going on!



It's one of those wonderful things about dual sporting. Being able to split road riding and trail riding. Some folks like to be so far to one end or the other, it's difficult to make the transitions out of the specialty areas. But if you can tolerate the essence of dual sport, light weight street bikes and being able to be busting it up on rocky trails.... you're living the dream....

There is no perfect bike for this... but there are wonderful rides to be had... if you have an open mind for adventure!


So 30-odd miles fly by, West Virginia's rural way of life, the houses, a few fields, riversides, the greenery, the twisties... we breeze through Man and onto the trail head...


A little past 4pm...Rock House. Wonder where it got THAT name?


Let's go Rock the House!



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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
kawazukimaha

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Reply with quote  #27 
???
Awesome!!!

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Reply with quote  #28 

You guys are KILLING ME. Great report so far. Keep it coming.


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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy
... but something more like this. Orange things always enhance the scenic experience, making everything around them look better!



For a moment you lost me.  I'm was thinking "That can't be Swampy's bike without the ever present rock beneath the side stand" but then I remembered ... it's the new 690 !!!   Does this mean KTM spent some dollars and hired somebody from Japan to help them produce / design a functional side-stand?  (Maybe next year they'll hire a seat guy.) 

Keep the reports coming ... I'm so jealous.      



Mike
swampy

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Reply with quote  #30 
HM6N2: Part 9

Rockin' The House!




The Rockhouse Trail System is located between the towns of Man and Gilbert, consists of 89.3 miles of trail. Rockhouse has one trailhead located just outside the town of Man, WV with a two-acre parking area and restrooms. Rockhouse has the largest total mileage of any of the six Hatfield-McCoy Trail Systems and offers a wide variety of trails for all difficulty levels.

The breakdown in trail percentages for this trail system is as follows:

47.3 miles or 53% are green trails (easiest),
19.7 miles or 22% blue (more difficult),
10.9 miles or 12% black (most difficult),
4.3 miles or 5% red/black trails (extremely difficult), and
7.1 or 8% orange (single track only).


Gettin' Ready to Rock da House!



It's been a fabulous day.... how can it get any better? ROCK HOUSE!



The edges of the trails go down, steeply down...near verticle kind of steep.... but they create fabulous scenes like this throughout the ride...


... almost heaven... West Virginia....



Stubb needs to adjust his chain.... running too tight... notice the coal seam running along the cliff face behind Stubb...just above the lower plants....



All of a sudden Stubb gets camera shy! Go ahead and hide Rick, go ahead and hide....



around the corner and down a little ways were some auger holes in the cliff wall.... they don't look very big here...



But you could climb in if you wanted to! John and Manimal peer into the darkness, wondering what type of beast may be living in these holes...



Johns picture of the inside of the hole...



We round a corner and a single track trail appears... and as usual.... it heads ... up! We woulda taken it but matewan was waiting... so far we've been on the system for over an hour. This tral system has been going on and on and on and on and on and on...



...and out of the blue....


We begin our decent into Gilbert... well just west outside of Gilbert... We'd been on Rockhouse for over 2 hours.

We turn on SR52 and head towards Matewan... the roads here still make me smile just thinking about them. No tourist traffic, just locals. Tight winding scenic roads through the mountains...



Approaching Matewan we must pass through the flood wall... (more on that coming up)



Hang two lefts and head down the street...



The Historic Matewan House is our destination...



Beautifully restored house from Matewan's heyday...



Doc and Violet had our dinner waiting on us... t-bones, potatoes, veggies, salads... too much food! Eat poppa eat. No one likes a skinny Santa!



Just a shot of our rooms out back in the "cabins". Oh yes... and violet warned us about the trains running all night....


It was a long day. A long ride, mentally and physically. We left at 0800 and arrived at 1900. 11 hrs. We only stopped for gas, Stubbs crash, a few breathers and snacks. We rode three trail systems, sampled a variety of trails from easy to oh-my-gawd, and ridden through a lot of history and beautiful landscapes.

I can check off "ride through coal mine" off my list now!

We sit around, almost numb. We're bushed. Tired. Last time I was this tired was Day 2 in Idaho last year.

When we wake up, I'll take you on a tour of Matewan...



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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
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