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Author Topic: Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?  (Read 146 times)

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Offline Al Goodwin

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Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?
« on: September 16, 2020, 10:17:42 AM »
Melony and I take a long riding/camping vacation once a year.  Now we take several shorter 3-4 day trips, but 1 that's 10-12 days long.  The plan this year was Nova Scotia, but, since the borders are closed, we started looking at other options....Colorado, Ozarks, Key West and East coast, etc....  The final decision was made, West Virginia, Virginia, but not the Blue Ridge Parkway, we wanted to see a few places we had never been, along with some familiar places along the way.

Day #1....Vinemont, Al to Round Mountain Campground, Just South of Del Rio, Tn. https://goo.gl/maps/c3p4sb3URVq3M18m7

We had great weather for the ride up that morning, but rain was predicted to be moving in that afternoon/evening.  We ride up through Huntsville, Scottsboro, Kimball, hopping on the big road there just to get through Chattanooga.  This being our longest day of the trip, and the looming weather forecast, we skip some of the scenic roads along the way.  One we don't skip is 32 East out of Cosby, Tn, great road and never, NEVER any traffic, I think we've see 2 other bikes on this road the 4 times we've ridden it, and only a couple of 4 wheeled vehicles....smooth pavement, and the tightest curves I've ever ridden.  Here's the kicker as to why it's ridden so little, the last mile, when it crosses into North Carolina, is dirt road. 

We get to camp as clouds are building, I quickly set up the tent and we start unpacking.  Melony jumps in the tent as I start throwing stuff at her inside.  She's busy setting up inside the tent as I start cooking some dinner.  Then, as I have the soup on the camp stove, the rain comes down....I grad my rain jacket, Melony puts hers on and climbs out of the tent.  We stand in the rain, eating our dinner.

There's no type pavilion or cover of any type at Round Mountain, so we're out in the rain until it stops....an hour and a half later.

On this first day we had not come up with a name for this ride, and even after this downpour we had not decided, but it was just a taste of what was to come the next 9 days.

We get to sleep early that first night.....

Much more to come later, I need to download some pictures for this.

Thanks for taking time to look at this with us.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 10:29:53 AM by Al Goodwin »

Offline Al Goodwin

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Re: Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 02:11:21 PM »
Day #2:   Round Mountain Campground to Guyandotte Campground Simon, WV   https://goo.gl/maps/CMjJudmKNNdDHtym8

We woke up to clear skies and cool temps...GREAT morning.  Round Mountain Campground is at 3200ft elevation, so it's somewhat comfortable even in the summertime. 

After our morning coffee and relaxing time...we start packing up our wet tent.  Very little got wet inside the tent, just a few things from us climbing in and out in the rain the night before.

Tonights destination is a new for us, I found Guyandotte campground on www.freecampsites.com  It's not free during the summer, but does have free camping during the off season, between Labor day and Memorial day.

The ride today was OUTSTANDING.  Highway 16 up through West Virginia is one of the best I've ever ridden.  Winn Knudson told us about Hungry Mother State Park a few years ago, and that's how I knew about 16.  Also, I stayed in War, WV last year for a week of riding the Hatfiels-McCoy trails in the area.  EVERY road along todays route was a good ride, even the few miles on the big road, I-26, was very scenic, just beautiful up through the mountains.

I had never heard of the Guyandotte river, but it's great where the campground is.  Tall cliff as far as you can see across from the CG.

We get set up and here they come...the children of the CG.  These kids just help themselves into our site, saying "why are yall in a tent?, we're in a big camper...why aren't yall in a camper? why are yall on a motorcycle? what are yall eating for supper? she's my sister"...this is our clubhouse, those bushes over there,,,"....just on...and on....and on.  Then their mom comes bouncing over yelling at the kids that supper is ready, the kids run the other way and mom just comes right on through, no "excuse me', or "the kids aren't bothering yall? are they??"...nothing, just walks on through yelling at the kids.  She rounds them up and away they go...

This CG is $20/night, has hot showers, and is really clean, nicely kept.  We lay everything out to dry for a couple of hours, then get setup later on.  We walk down to the river for some pictures and videos.

Hungry Mother SP

Entering Guyandotte CG

Dinner time

Down by the river

Leaving Guyandotte on day #3.  Long tunnel leaving the CG, and drive through of area that's free in the off season.

More to come.....

« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 06:11:03 AM by Nice Goat »

Offline Al Goodwin

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Re: Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 06:08:25 AM »
Day #3:  Guyandotte Campground to Island Campground Bartow, WV, in the Monongahela National Forest.  https://goo.gl/maps/5LevYxdLrQsSf3W17

Ahh....day3, and, YEP, it rained again last night..SUCCESS

Today was a planned short day, after over 700 miles in the first 2 days, Melony and I both were ready for an EZ day. 

We hang out a bit to let the tent dry, and have our morning instant coffee, before packing it up, maybe it won't rain today....LMAO

Our exact routes weren't planned out this trip, we were just riding in the general direction of where we wanted to end up at the end of the day...so we roamed around a bit at times, taking our time.

We stopped for breakfast at a place called Tudor's Biscuit World, in Oceana, WV.  I had never heard of this place before, but, apparently they're everywhere in West Virginia, we saw them in several of the towns we rode through.  Good breakfast, BIG biscuits and all the typical breakfast stuff.

We passed a large mining operation, on Hwy 99, that had a BIG sign for the designated "AMBULANCE ENTRANCE".  Now, we have procedures in place for someone to meet an ambulance when they come on site, to escort them the quickest route to where they're needed....BUT, we don't have a giant sign for the ambulance exclusive entrance.  You know it's gotta be a good feeling when you go to work and drive past that sign. 

Dropping down into the New River Gorge area we pass by an Amtrak station, on Hwy 41.  I found it an odd place for one, since it's close to NOTHING....

I really need to rig up a mic so ya'll can hear both sides of Melony and I's conversations...LOL

We make a couple of out of the way turns here and there, but in my defense, we weren't on a time schedule.  We find the campground, finally, and it's a bit disappointing.  Big gravel on the spot you need to put your tent, no grass in sight, and it's a bit too close to the highway...as you can tell in the video.  We get all setup and a lady walks by and tells us they've been there a week and have seen a bear hanging around 3 times in the week...GREAT, now Melony won't sleep all night.

OH.....It rained on us AGAIN TODAY.

Setting up camp

Dinner time and campground discussion....

Bedtime discussion on bears, chiggers, and swollen feet.

Overall it was a good, fun day on the road...no pressure, no timetable.  Oh, the same lady that told us about the bear also told us it wasn't supposed to rain the next couple of days....we shall see.


Offline Al Goodwin

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Re: Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 07:30:54 AM »
Day 4:  Island Campground to McCoys Ferry Campground, Clear Spring, Maryland   .https://goo.gl/maps/97B17DXop17E58jT8

OF COURSE it rained on us this morning.

Every now and then Melony questions my navigation ability.

Another short day planned....sleep late, make our coffee, we don't get packed up and heading out until 10am or so.  We ride up 28, stopping for a breakfast/lunch at a local cafe called Gateway Restaurant. https://goo.gl/maps/YXYapcGqYF4XwDtZA

Then on up through Seneca Rocks, very nice ride up through the Northern West Virginia countryside.

We do have to get on a big road today, I-70 at Hancock, Maryland, just for a few miles.

We learned something....just because you ride North, doesn't mean it'll be cooler temps.  It's HOT up here, dropping down out of the mountains was a mistake...oh well, we make the best of it.

The campground has a very small tunnel under the old "Tow Path". https://www.nps.gov/pohe/planyourvisit/canal_towpath.htm

This is a bicycle stopping point while riding this trail, late afternoon the bicyclist start coming of the trail and setting up camp for the night, all of them muddy from the rain we brought in..LOL   Seems to be an unwritten rule that the boat ramp is used as a bath, they all were respectful of one another as we watched the ride back and forth down to the ramp to clean their bikes, and themselves.  There is no showers at this campsite, just a toilet.

Speaking of the campsite, it's a good one, no large RV's, they can't fit under the tunnel.  It's right on the Potomac river, very nice.  The one, and only issue, with this campground....TRAINS, there's one right along the tow path/bike trail, AND one on the other side of the river.  The one on our side came by about every 50 minutes, or so...the one on the other side of the river was a bit slower, an hour and 10 minutes, or so was it's schedule.  I can sleep through anything, but Melony said she was awaken by the trains at 11,midnight, 1, 2, 3, and 4am...LOL

Entering the CG for the first time.

We were under a sever thunderstorm warning while eating dinner...thankfully the storm missed us to the West by just a couple of miles.

Tomorrow, headed back South, back to the mountains and cooler weather.

Stay Tuned

Offline Gam

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Re: Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 03:13:08 PM »
Good stuff. I camped at Hungry Mother and the Tow Path doing the MABDR in July.

Offline Al Goodwin

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Re: Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 07:25:50 AM »
Day 5:  McCoys Ferry to Todd Lake near West Augusta, Virginia.     https://goo.gl/maps/tVxHNVVYDhnEK5tK8

Up and at'em to the sound of yet, ANOTHER train passing by.

The severe thunderstorm warning, we were under last night, missed us by about 2 miles...THANKFULLY.  We woke up to cooler temperatures and sunshine. 

Yet another short days ride today, we're in no rush...  We're headed to Todd Lake, in the George Washington National Forest, Virginia.  We have stayed there 2 other times, the first time was July 4th week a couple of years ago, and even it being a holiday, there were few folks there.  $18/night with hot showers, and a lake for swimming.  AND NEVER A CROWD....our kind of place.

Todays ride took us down through some absolutely beautiful country side.  Rolling hills and farm land, small towns and friendly folks....stay off the big roads and you'll see America for all is greatness.

Speaking of small towns out in the middle of nowhere....  we're riding through one and Melony yells "PUNCH BUG BUS....PUNCH BUG BUSS.....PUNCH BUG THING....PUNCH BUG 2-POINTER"......GEEZ LOUISE

Ya'll may not know the official rules of the "punch bug" game.....here's the point breakdown

Newer beetles.......1 point
old beetles............2 points
Bus/vans..............5 points
VW Things............15 points

So...Melony had a helluva lead after this...

Back in July we had camped out at Mount Mitchell, and when the ranger came by, checking reservations, Melony ask him "Do ya'll have any bear problems here?"

the ranger said," not until the blackberries are ripe"....he says this as we're sitting in our campsite surrounded by blackberry blooms, but no berries just yet.

Now, at Todd lake there's blackberries surrounding us, just scattered all throughout the woods around our campsite.  AND, YES, they're ripe.  Lots of discussion we she noticed this.

Dinner time and discussion of where to tomorrow night...Hotel room??

Melony took a couple of hundred pictures on this trip, I'll get them posted...eventually.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 07:45:08 AM by Al Goodwin »

Offline lazeebum

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Re: Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 06:33:49 AM »
I am enjoying y'alls videos.

Offline 2372ighost

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Re: Rain Maker Tour 2020....what else would we expect this year?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2020, 01:14:17 PM »
I am enjoying y'alls videos.

I agree! I feel like I’m there. Can’t taste the food though😩
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