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post #1 of 38 Old 04-08-2007, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Longwood, Fl./ Seminole Co.
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Orlando to D.C

After reading all of Brendan's posts and adventures in his Atlanta to Key West and Final Four Weekend threads, I got inspired. ( Maybe it's just a wild hair! LOL )

I was planning on flying up to my brother’s house in Maryland just outside of D.C. for Memorial Day so I could ride in the gigantic Rolling Thunder event. But after seeing Brendan could make it from Atlanta to Key West and back while on a time constraint, and while on a wee, I decided to make the trip on my wee!

This will be BY FAR the longest motorcycle ride I have ever done. But I'm planning on making it an adventure and having some fun. I also decided that since I'm going to pass the same geographical area, I might as well dog leg over to Deals Gap so I can finally say I made it there! I haven't decided if I'm going to go there on my way up or my way back.

Does anyone have any input on cool or neat places I might want to stop by?

Like I said this is going to be a tiny bit scary for me to be making such a big ride but it IS an adventure bike right!

Thanks for wild hair Brendan!!

Jim M

There's a reason Helmets aren't made of bone !

2006 DL 650
1996 DR200
2008 WR250R

Last edited by Oldschooler; 04-10-2007 at 09:22 PM.
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post #2 of 38 Old 04-08-2007, 09:28 PM
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If it ends up fitting how you're leaving Fl, I recommend route 28 all the way from Walhalla S.C. right to Deals Gap. A lot of people enjoy 28 more than the gap.
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post #3 of 38 Old 04-08-2007, 09:52 PM
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*Terrific* route to Columbia SC


I have driven north and south by van so often that I know the route well.

US 441 to Gainesville FL. This is the only tiresome part of the voyage.

FL 121 to MacClenny FL and north into GA. Get food in MacClenny, because it's a distance to the next place where you have any choice of restaurants.

GA 121 (is that a coincidence?) to Folkston GA and north. In Folkston, GA 121 joins up with US 1, US 301, US 23, GA 23, GA 15, and GA 4. BUT YOU STAY ON GA 121 REGARDLESS.

Watch closely for GA 121 and others to veer left off US 301, just north of Folkston.

Watch closely for GA 121 and GA 15 to veer to the right, off US 1 (this is quite sneaky). This is about 12 miles from the previous split.

North of Bristol GA, GA 121 veers right from GA 15. At last you are back on GA 121 only.

But not for long. GA 144 joins from the left and GA 169 joins from the right, so you are on three highways at once. From this point, you want 169, so you wave bye-bye to 144 as it goes off to your right and to 121 as it goes off to your left. (144 has a very strange configuration there; it seems as if 144 goes two ways at once!)

GA 169 ends at US 301, so you turn left and go north on US 301. You stay on 301 for about 62 miles.

There is a bypass around Statesboro. Forget it; barge through the metropolis.

If you need rest before SC, stop in Statesboro, not Sylvania. Most of the maps do not show how bad Sylvania smells.

North of Sylvania is the Georgia Welcome Center, open only 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and after that even the washrooms are locked. Drop in for a free soda if it's open.

Stay on US 301 to Ulmer SC. Veer left onto US 321, and take US 321 due north through the Scandinavian section of South Carolina. Honest, you go though towns named Denmark and North and Olar, and eventually get to Columbia SC.

From there, you are on your own, but I am sure you will enjoy the trip from Gainesville to Columbia, because I always do. I have taken this route over a dozen times each way.

I will be on this road, in a van, pulling the V-Strom, on May 1.


P.S. Hmmm, I see this sends you a long way from Walhalla SC. How about you suggest a route from Orlando to Walhalla, and I will let you know what I know about that route and any suggestions I have.

Meanwhile, gather your courage. I am much older than you, and in 1965 I made my second longest trip, almost 2000 miles. In 2006, aboard my new V-Strom, I made my longest trip, 6561 miles. Go for it!

While you are on that voyage, I will be training for a 5000-mile trip to Newfoundland.

K. <-- SOF, in the opinion of PonchoV (and he's right)

Last edited by Keith Falkner; 04-08-2007 at 10:04 PM. Reason: revelation of irrelevance (that's easy for me to say)
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post #4 of 38 Old 04-09-2007, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Jim, Sounds like a good idea. I'm planning a trek this summer as well. Tampa to Penn. on my 650.

When I used to ride up to New England I always rode the Blue Ridge and Skyline from Cherokee to Front Royal up and back. If you leave a few days early you'll beat the Memorial Day grid lock. Of course do the gap. The rest, well that's up to you.

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post #5 of 38 Old 04-09-2007, 08:05 AM
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Jim and everyone!

Rick and I will be in Burnsville NC ( East of Asheville by about 50 miles) from May 19 – May 26. We plan on returning to Gainesville sometime over the Memorial Day weekend. This gives us a day to get unpacked and things in order before the dreaded “Back-to-Work” day on Tuesday. It also worked well for traffic to return on Sat or Sunday of the holiday weekend. Friday and Monday of that Holiday are very heavy travel days.

We are staying in a lovely house just 3 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are tons of lovely riding roads and we are within striking distance of Deal’s Gap. In our experience there are better roads to ride. Especially on a weekend (and especially a Holiday Weekend) it will be a death trap for foolish “rice rocket” riders. I would not attempt that run on a holiday weekend. The Cherohola, Skyline and even the Blue Ridge Parkway are good but often the smaller roads are the best, least crowded and more scenic.

Like I said we will be there all week and have room for company. The house is fully furnished and very comfortable. The drive up and down from the house is a bit of a challenge. It’s pretty steep gravel and my first trip down is always interesting. After the first day I get the feel of gravel and we are in business. So if you want some nice roads please come join us. I can provide your phone #’s and directions to the house if you are interested. If anyone else is interested just let us know.

09 Orange DL650 ABS
Gainesville FL
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post #6 of 38 Old 04-09-2007, 09:46 AM
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Made the trip many times. The Gap in on US129, which starts in Chiefland Florida. Take 441 to 41 and than over to 129. 129 is a great ride and will take you directly over Deals Gap. Ofcourse as flrdr says, 28 into Franklin NC is a great road that MUST be riden if you are in that area. If time permits check out the following roads; Foothills Parkway, just north of the Gap, SR1310 also leading into Franklin NC from US19. US19 from Crystal River (where I live) also takes you right to the foot of Deals gap. 276 out of Waynesville is also a great road with a few beatiful water falls to see right on the road it's self. I don't have enough space to tell about all the great roads. Maybe that's a new thread we could start, "Roads of the mountains"
If you would like e-mail me and I can lay out a trip hitting the "Most Fun" roads along your way. But I am sure many riders from Florida can do the same. When are you going? Have fun. Maybe I don't have ant softball tournaments around that time. A ride to the mountains, I am always ready to go.

"Enjoy life now, tomorrow may be to late"

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post #7 of 38 Old 04-09-2007, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by flrdr View Post
If it ends up fitting how you're leaving Fl, I recommend route 28 all the way from Walhalla S.C. right to Deals Gap. A lot of people enjoy 28 more than the gap.

+1 on that.
28 from Walhalla on up is AWESOME and awesome for MILES. Watch the first few turns as you climb the mountain's near Mountain rest, SC. There's a tough curve there that can get ya. I had a buddy go down there on my last trip.

Oldschooler, the toughest part of your trip vs brendans is he went from great roads, south. This makes time constraints easier. Once your north of Atlanta its MUCH harder to make time if your on the "good/great" roads.

I can make good time on secondary roads in FL, South GA & South AL. Not so much once up north a bit.

Not saying you should not try, you should. Just be realistic on your time frames.
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post #8 of 38 Old 04-09-2007, 12:12 PM
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Jim, from one Jim to another, just do it. You will never be sorry no matter what route you take. Backroads, superslab, either will provide you with an adventure you will always remember. Ride safe and ATGATT!!!

2010 FJR1300 Silver
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post #9 of 38 Old 04-09-2007, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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This is great ! Just the kind of information I need. Of course it gives me much more to think about but the info is great!

I was planning on leaving about May 25th. Making the Rolling Thunder rider on the 28th in Maryland, staying another day to ride Skyline Drive with my brother and his riding buddies and making it back home by the 31st. I'm still undecided, if I should stop at Deals Gap on the way up or back, but now I'm thinking of leaving somewhere around the 21st. That would give me more time to relax, drive slower thru the mountains with the visual wow factor.
Like I said so much to process but valuable info to think about.

Think, think.... Think, think,


Jim M

There's a reason Helmets aren't made of bone !

2006 DL 650
1996 DR200
2008 WR250R
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post #10 of 38 Old 04-09-2007, 06:27 PM
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Now you have time to 28 it over to deals gap, do the loop on this map over and back the cherohalla, hop the blue ridge from its start near Cherokee and ride it up toward washington dc.

I rode it to its end, then the skyline, then headed for the Adirondacks. It takes a day to get from the gap to the northern end of blue ridge but it's great (you might be tired of up and down while going right and left but it's a ball.) Have fun.

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