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Free Beer Tommorrow!
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #1 
The Land Between The Lakes is not your average run of the mill Dual Sport Ride. I always say "this is a must ride event."  Every aspect of this ride is stellar.  170,000 acres if National Recreation Area, 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline, 500 miles of trails, and historic sites everywhere you look. Entry includes a T shirt, lunch both days, and supper on Saturday night.  Jesse Thomas, his sons, and their wives do a bang up job of putting this event on. And let's not forget the Forestry Dept.  Somehow, they are able to use common sense, and see the value of running 250 motorcycles through their trails for two days at the end of the summer season.  Their view is that we are trail maintenance  volunteers.  At the end of two days, their trails will be an average of 18 inches wider, free of weeds, and smooth.  Our job was to make that happen and have fun doing it!  We were up to that task!

Sign in and inspection was available Friday night, or if you prefer, Saturday morning.


I don't want a pickle. Just want to ride my motor-cicle.

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Free Beer Tommorrow!
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Reply with quote  #2 
So now Jesse gives us the standard speech. Don't do anything stupid......... it's not a race.......... the wooden bridges are slick when wet.........don't wind up in the hospital, yada, yada, yada.  
By the way...........the bridges are unbelievable slick.


Everybody gets geared up.

Team Smartass is ready to hit the trail! Guy in the helmet on the left (somebody help me,I forgot his name). to his left Steve. Both from Georgia.  next is Firing Line Rob, then me, Dan, and far right Jeff.

Six miles of paved road and then we duck into the woods for 16 miles of beautiful single track trails.
Down by the lake we hit some trails that are kinda cut into the side of the hill. Beautiful view of the lake, but if you take your eye off the trail, and drop a wheel off the edge.................. your gone.  The next thing you will hear is a splash. 
Rob was enjoying the view and found that out.  The bike fell over and he went tumbling down the hill.  Stopped just short of the water.  Gotta get his GoPro video of that one.
Some of the Locals you get to enjoy along the way.
Day two brings a little bad luck to me. 6 miles out and hit the first trail section.  Twisted the throttle, and klunk, the bike stops dead.  Broken master link in the chain!  I have always carried a spare master link.  Unfortunately, I lost my tool bag at Devils Creek, and replaced most of my stuff, but not the master link.  Steve, and Jeff dont have one.  Rob didn't see me stop and thought I was ahead of him, so he is blasting on trying to catch me for 16 miles.  Can't figure out why he cant catch up!  That's funny right there, I don't care who you are. I managed to bum a master link and get the bike going again.  Jumped to the end of the section, but missed them.  Managed to stay behind them all day, but still got a full day of riding in.
Found some other guys to take pictures of.
Great day of riding! With a nice big lunch at the end of day two.
Tomorrow the wife and I check out the rest of the area.

I don't want a pickle. Just want to ride my motor-cicle.

Hey! It's My Birthday!
Posts: 1,378
Reply with quote  #3 
 I'm sorry I missed that this year.[aaarg]Those are some premium, I say premium trails boy. Maybe next year. Love riging up there. Nice RR Dan![beer]
Rick 13 KTM 500 XC-W 

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Free Beer Tommorrow!
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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks Stubb, we missed ya.  There were lots of quarters around those bridges for you to pick up!
I don't want a pickle. Just want to ride my motor-cicle.

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Free Beer Tommorrow!
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #5 
Sunday afternoon after a fine lunch, just about everybody cleared out.  Only a few of us that didn't have jobs to rush back to remained.  The wife and I set out to explore the rest of what Land Between the Lakes had to offer.  In addition to 170,000 acres of woodlands, and 300 miles of shoreline around the Cumberland, and Tennessee rivers, there are 500 miles of hiking, bike, ATV, horse, and wagon trails, a Planetarium, a working, living history farm, a Bison and Elk prairie, and a wildlife center, as well as several camping and RV areas.  First stop was The Homeplace, a living history farm from the 1800"s. It's a cleaning day, so the mattresses and quilts are sunning on the roof and porch rail.  On the front porch a young lady sits at a spinning wheel, spinning wool from sheep living on the farm into yarn.
In the kitchen, there is a fire in the stove, and a stew pot simmers on the stove top.  The smell of food and herbs drift through the house. You can sit at the table, or lie on the overstuffed feather beds if you like, although they did ask me to put my pants back on a couple of times.  Guess they didn't really mean it when they said make yourself comfortable.
Out back there is a tobacco barn, chickens, a pig sty, barns, and three big ass Oxen used to pull a sled to haul logs.
Out in the wood shop some sheep hang out in the shade.  You have to step over them because when they sit down, they are down.  The guy in the picture showed us the wood shop complete with foot powered lathe, and all the hand tools.  They make tables and chairs mostly.
From there we headed to the Bison prairie.  You drive through a loop road about 3 miles long.  About 3/4 of the way through I said "there are no dang Bison here! What a rip off."  Then around the bend....................... oh, I think I see one!
Once you find them, you'll be there for a while.
And they do get up close and personal. This one came up and started bumping the front bumper with his horns.  Easy on the radiator big guy!
My wife is singing "like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!"

I don't want a pickle. Just want to ride my motor-cicle.

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Victoria Secret Model
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Reply with quote  #6 
Good stuff Dan [thumb]

1973 Husqvarna 250WR
1978 Husqvarna 390OR
2005 Triumph Tiger 955i
2012 KTM 500 EXC


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Free Beer Tommorrow!
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #7 
By the time we got to the Nature Center it was just about closing time, so we decided to come back the next morning on our way North to the Shawnee National Forest.
Tuesday morning we pack up and drive North on the Trace up the length of LBL.  Something else was on my mind this morning.  Cannonball.
Before I left on this trip, Tom Kidd had emailed me to see if I wanted to go with him to Daytona Beach to see the start of Cannonball II.  The endurance run for vintage motorcycles built prior to 1937.  96 Riders from all over the US and other parts of the world started their 4000 mile trek to Tacoma WA. I said no I was going out of town. Tom sent me a schedule of their route, and guess what, the route came right through Land Between the Lakes on this day.  We started seeing people on the side of the road waiting, so we pulled off, pulled out some lawn chairs, and waited a little while.
Wasn't long before they started coming through.
Down at the Nature Center some of the riders were taking a break.
4 Hendersons in a row! What a sweet sound when they left.
Their destination for the day was Cape Girardeau MO. That wasn't much out of the way from where we were going.  Couldn't resist. Late afternoon, the historic downtown area of Cape Girardeau.  The streest are blocked off, and all these antique motorcycles are lined up.  Oil leaking everywhere.  Wrenches flying.  Repairs being made.  Some serious, most minor.  A lot of oil going back in to the sump.  Really cool walking the street, looking at the machines and talking to the riders and backup crews.
Note the very expensive luggage and decorative rust on most.
For the most part, these were not show pieces, they were original and well experienced machines.
Being a sucker for the underdog, this one stole my heart.  A 1915 Indian.  All original, including the petrified leather seat about the width of the frame it was bolted to.  Makes your prostate hurt just to look at it! The rider's name is Shinya Kimura, a Japanese American from California.  His back up guy flew in from Japan for the ride.  They came from California to Daytona with the bike on a trailer, and ride to Tacoma.  I said "that seat has to be painful riding 4000 miles".  He laughed and said "yeah and this is the third time I have done this........too many, too many times".  The only thing not original was the door knob on the shift lever!
If that didn't paint a picture for you, maybe this will.
Note the pair of Vice Grips on the cylinder head bolt.  The long  head bolts go through the head, all the way down the cylinder and into the block.  The bolt broke off in the block, but by clamping it below the cooling fins, he was able to keep the head bolted on with all four bolts. The cylinder base can leak a little.  Who cares.  Gotta keep the high compression in.  [LandBetweentheLakestrip2014064_zps194e6028] 
Some of them didn't make it in on there on, and had to go onto the trailer.
Trailer?!?!?! I don't need no stinkin trailer! 
Some folks are just wired differently.

I don't want a pickle. Just want to ride my motor-cicle.

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Free Beer Tommorrow!
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #8 
When we left there, we didn't really know where we were, but we needed a place to camp for the night.  The map said there was a State Forest down the road, so we turned off the main road and drove by farms, and woods, and more woods, and finally found a sign about 15 miles out in the middle of nowhere with a tent carved on it and an arrow pointing up a steep road. A few miles up a tree tunnel road we finally see a pull off for camping.  It must be a hunt camp, and it's out of season, so we are the only ones around. 
Next morning we head into Shawnee National Forest. to a place called Cave In The Rock on the Ohio river. A huge limestone  cliff overlooks the river with a huge cave in it.  This was part of the Underground Railroad.  The caves around this area served as shelter for escaped slaves.
Inside the cave, and back in about 75 yards, a large crack in the ceiling produces a spectacular ray of sunlight. Were I'm waiting for the tablets of stone to descend. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh
From there to Garden of the Gods. An area of sandstone formations like you don't usually see in this part of the country.  A trail leads you to the formations, and you are free to climb around wherever you can.  Some really beautiful views.
For our return trip we decide to take Natchez Trace.  Nashville to Natchez MS. Two lane blacktop, 50 mph. speed limit, no traffic lights, no trucks.  Lots of historic markers.  One picture pretty much tells it all.  It's all like this.
With our camper, we eat meals at roadside parks, and stay at really nice free campgrounds along the way. The only time we leave the Trace is for gas.
When we stop for the night I unload my bike and find my own back roads and abandon homesteads.
Occasionally there are portions of the original Trace to hike on, and some to drive.
The older I get the more determined I am to take a little more time to see what's around me.
Dual Sport riding offers us a unique opportunity to go to a new and unfamiliar area, and just by following a simple roll chart, we get to sample the region.  Ride the back roads and experience the history and people without having to study a map or the fear of getting lost.  Yeah, most of the time we are chasing our buddies down a trail, but from time to time we stop for a drink of water, look around and say, wow........look at that!
Branch out, go to some of the out of the way Dual Sport Events.  Go a little further, drive a little longer.  Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina. LBL is a great place to start. It's all worth it.  Then when somebody says ...Illinois?!?! what the hell is in Illinois? You can say, "have you ever been to Garden of the Gods? or Cave In The Rock?  OK, well bad example, but you know what I mean.

I don't want a pickle. Just want to ride my motor-cicle.

Hey! It's My Birthday!
Posts: 1,378
Reply with quote  #9 
 Just one word..........WOW! Good find Dan.[bowdown][clap] Now I'm really kicking my arse.[banginghead][aaarg]
Rick 13 KTM 500 XC-W 

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You've Been Busted!
Posts: 2,475
Reply with quote  #10 
GREAT Report DAN!!!!!

Thanks for taking the time to share your adventure.

“There is only one reason for pavement and that is to get to dirt.” - “King” Richard Burleson

-- If you argue with a Fool you are a FOOL! --

ELO Kiddies
Posts: 322
Reply with quote  #11 
Wow, a great event turned into an even greater adventure!

Swampy said it's okay.
How deep can it really be?
Posts: 124
Reply with quote  #12 
Ditto on the slick bridges.  Those are some of the sweetest trails you can ever ride, but you better believe them when they tell you to watch out for the bridges.  Not that I would have wiped out on them or anything like that...Uhhh did I already say the trails are sweeeet?  I hope to make it out there for another some time.


FLyNW '06 200XCW, '09 530
I like it when my vision vibrates
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