Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trip Stats

Here are some of the stats from the trip:

Trip Mileage:

Day Total

day 1: 222.0 - 222.0

day 2: 404.1 - 626.1

day 3: 193.5 - 819.6

day 4: 244.9 - 1064.5

day 5: 301.5 - 1366.0

day 6 - 10: Stuck in Florida waiting for launch.

day 11: 234.0 - 1600.0

day 12: 319.0 - 1919.0

day 13: 384.3 - 2303.3

MPG recorded:
Gal. Mi.

5.408 233.1

7.712 307.4

5.486 244.4

2.326 96

5.568 267.8

2.264 115.9

3.356 144.6

4.068 175.1

3.425 148.5

3.323 164.6


42.936 1897.4

Average MPG: 44.19

Days on the road: 8
Days waiting for the shuttle: 5
Failure to launch due to hydrogen leaks (the shuttle not us): 2
Mechanical Faults: 1 (brake light)
Presidential Statues: 1
Nights camping: 1
Hotels: 4
Nights put up by cool people: 7
Bad milkshakes: 1
People that suck in Central Florida: lots

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 13: Cherohala Skyway

After a night in a good hotel, with good showers and clean rooms, I felt ready to go. After that 5 day break at my Aunt's house in Florida waiting for the shuttle to not launch we had been itching to get some miles down. Here was the payoff for our hard miles, some of the most beautiful motorcycling roads in the country.

The first part of our route took us from Anderson, SC to Franklin, NC up Highway 28.

This road was awesome, but both Nate and I were surprised on how technical the stretch around Sumter National Forest was. I wish that I had realized how that road was going to be so I could have been in the right frame of mind ahead of time. I was still in "Sightseeing" mode when the had stuff started up. I quickly gathered my focus though after the first couple of tight corners. Although I had about 2000 miles on the bike, I hadn't really taken it though anything tight and winding as that stretch of highway. Lots of down hill switch backs and blind corners made it a thrilling ride to say the least. There were a couple that really had me breathing hard. I just had to keep telling myself that "the bike can handle it", I just have to commit and lean in to it. My biggest fear on roads like that is not really the road, its the idiots in cars and trucks that are coming the other way. All it takes is some A-hole in an SUV to drift over the line to end your good time (right Nate).

We made it though and stopped at an information point when we entered the Nantahala National Forest. That's when I had my first mechanical issue on the trip.

I got a little yellow exclamation point light on my dash and a "LAMPR" warning. I whipped out the owners manual and discovered that LAMPR means your tail light is out. I had Nate look and sure enough the brake light wasn't working. I did a quick search for an auto parts store and found one about 4 miles ahead in Franklin, NC. If your going to have an issue this wasn't a bad place to have one.

It took longer to get the redneck behind the counter to help me find the bulb then it did to replace it.
Redneck: "We don't carry motorcycle parts",
Me: "Its a standard bulb brake light bulb, Its even a Sylvania."
Redneck: "Well I don't think we have that"
Me: "Can you just cross reference the number its right on the bulb P5/21 7258"
Redneck: "Nope not in the computer"
Nate from the light bulb section: "Oh look its right here on your shelf"

After that we continued along highway 28 to Robbinsville, NC.

Robbinville, NC is the start of the Cherohala Skyway.
Its the highway 143/165 that connects Robbinsville, NC to Tellico Plains, TN that goes through Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests. This is a magnificent piece of road that just begs to be ridden. Its at about 4500 ft and peaks at 5300. It has an 45 MPH speed limit, but really don't want to just blow through this place, you just want to cruse and enjoy it.

It was a clear day and we could just see miles and miles of gorgeous mountain forest. We stopped at on of the highest point and did a little adventure hiking about a mile out to a beautiful meadow. Wild flowers and tall grass every where. Both of us having dual sport bikes, we had wished that the road to the meadow had not been locked by a gate, or we would have driven up the car path.

the problem with places like this is that pictures just don't do them justice, its just something you have to experience.

After we cleared the forest and reached Tellico Plains it was time for us to part. Nate is going on to Knoxville, and I'm heading for home, Spring Hill, TN. The Cherohala Skyway was not a bad way to end a trip.

For the trip home I was excited to see my family and I just took the most direct route via Interstate (this time the destination was more important then the journey). I arrived safely a thome at about 10PM. It had been almost 2 weeks and I was glad to see my family and my bed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 12: Making some miles.

After a long night at Nate's pick, the Sleazy 8, we hit the road. I didn't even wait to take a shower, since the water smelled like it came straight from a swamp.

We finished our slog up the interstate and stopped for lunch at a little place offering soul food. Gwen and Franny's Fried Chicken. It was good stuff.
We finally made it off of the Interstate and started the good part of the drive, through the beautiful scenic roads through South Carolina.
The roads were just awesome. I have to say if your trip is not all about the destination, its so worth taking the smaller state and US highways. So much less traffic. Its just a much more enjoyable experience. Plus my experience so far with the local road food has been great.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hitting the road.

Well after our failure to launch, we were anxious to hit the road. Actually we have bin chomping at the bit for a few days now, but while we still had a chance we were going to stay.

After saying good by to my Aunt Pat, we put some miles down. We came up a little short of hitting our goal of Savannah, GA because we hit rain. We stopped a crappy motel and will head out early in the morning.

Not meant to be.

Well I guess it just wasn't meant to be. They scrubbed the launch again due to a leak in the same hydrogen system. After the drama with the weather not allowing them to fuel, I just am very frustrated.

I guess its home for me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pins and Needles

A storm has been blowing through here and delaying the fueling procedure. They haven't called it yet, but I'm not sure how long this can be delayed.

The storm is almost through, I have my fingers crossed. The wait is killing us.


Since the original date was a scrub and this launch is at 5:40AM, Nathan has managed to get us VIP access to the launch. I believe that we will be in the bleachers near the Apollo/Saturn V Center. That's even closer then the causeway viewing!

I sure hope every thing goes this time!