CampStoc 2013

It was that time again. Campstoc 2013 was held at Willville Motorcycle Campground, Meadows of Dan, VA. Left early in the morning on my BMW F800GS. The Honda ST1300 was in need of tires at the time, and besides I wanted to do some dirt roads.

Headed up through US 220 in NC and continued on US 52 to Mt. Airy, when I left major highways behind, and continued up on Squirrel Spur road, a maze of nice twisties and turns. I eventually hit The Blueridge Parkway. By that time, the temperature had dropped to about 60 degrees. I took my sweet time on the Parkway, hit US58 and pulled in to the campground. It looked like I was one of the first to arrive. It was very quiet. Mule was unloaded, and I set up camp as close to the river as I could.

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A group of us decided to ride over to Burke's Garden, VA for the day on Friday. Very nice area, and the roads were built for serious riding. Had no trouble at all keeping up with the St13's on my oversized dirt bike :-).

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Eating hot dogs and hamburgers, finishing up with cobbler made on the fire.

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Dutch Oven containing the Cobbler Dessert. Yummm.

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On Saturday I decided to just ride the Blueridge Parkway and relax, stopping here and there for photos.

Somewhere south of Meadows of Dan on the Parkway.

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Mabry Mill.

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The rest of the gang discusssing where to ride off to.

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Still deciding:-)

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Tunes…

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Will the camp host. You just can't have a better camp host than Will. Making camp fires for us every night, and joining us telling tales from his younger days of motorcycle adventures.

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Had fun, as always. Looking forward to the Blueridge Gathering in the fall.

Natchez Trace 2012

We had planned to ride the Trace a while back, but didn't get to it until now.

 

Day 1 – 9/22/12

 

Home to Oxford, AL. Around 400 miles for the day. No pictures. Just riding interstate. Plan on getting to Natchez,MS tomorrow, Sunday. Bikes running good as always. Topped off the clutch reservoir in Oxford. Somehow I overlooked this when I prepped the bikes before leaving. Ended up at 84 degrees and clear skies. Looks like the forecast is good for the days to come, with a cold front dipping into the south, cooling the air down to camping-level.

 

Day 2 – 9/23/12

 

Oxford, AL to Natchez, MS. 411 miles for the day. Interstate riding 2.nd day. Nice weather, but the temperature is too high. Ended up at Natchez State Park, where we camped. Sleeping in a tent in 85 degrees is not my cup of tea. Anyway, we ate supper at the camp site, and crashed after that.

 

Day 3 – 9/24/12

 

Broke camp, and rode across Mississippi river to Louisiana. Ate breakfast and returned to Natchez, where we stopped at St. Mary Basilica. This is a gorgeous place. Was able to take some shots inside, including a few HDR shots.

 

What a beautiful and peaceful place.

 

St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS

 

 

St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS

 

 

St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS

 

We then proceeded to Natchez Historical Park. Nothing much to see there, so we decided to start up The Trace. Went across to Vicksburg to visit the Military Park. However, it just got too hot, and we opted for a hotel room for the night. Going to the Military park tomorrow.

 

Day 4 – 9/25/12

 

Up bright eyed and bushy-tailed, packed up, and headed to the military park. The park is MUCH bigger than expected, and took us around 3 hours to go though, including stops.

 

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USS Cairo

 

USS Cairo

 

Steam chambers (I guess) driving the huge wheel that propels the boat forward.

 

USS Cairo

 

Part of the bow

 

USS Cairo

 

 

Vicksburg National Military Park

 

17000 + civil war soldiers buried here, many unnamed.

 

Vicksburg, MS National Military Park

 

 

Vicksburg, MS National Military Park

 

Early morning light

 

Vicksburg, MS National Military Park

 

 

 

After getting done there, we headed up I20 into Jackson in order to save some time. The goal was to get to Tupelo, MS. Followed The Trace for the rest the way to Tupelo. The Trace matches the BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway) in pure beauty, but lacks the twisties of the BRP.

Overall a very good day, although it was on the hot side in the afternoon.

 

Day 5 – 9/26/12

 

Up early to visit Elvis Presley's birth place in Tupelo, MS after eating bfast at Waffle House. Spent a good deal of time at the birth place. Actually a very nice place, and I'm not an Elvis fan (Lois is).

 

The King's Plymouth

 

Elvis's car

 

 

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He was born and grew up in this little shotgun house

 

 

Elvis at 13 years old with a Ladybug in his hair

 

Elvis at 13 years old

 

Fountain outside the Elvis museum (10 sec exposure)

 

 

 

Continued up The Trace. Weather was beautiful, but still hot in the afternoon. Made stops here and there.

 

Natchez Trace bridge just south of Nashville, TN

 

Natchez Trace

 

We finally ended up in Nashville, where we had supper at Loveless cafe.

 

Loveless Cafe, Nashville

 

 

Loveless cafe, Nashville

 

This cafe is a very famous place to eat, according to all the pictures. Nice people, and the food was very good too.

 

Loveless Cafe, Nashville

 

Super 8 was next stop for the night.

 

Day 6 – 9/27/12

 

After a good breakfast, we headed along I40, and headed through Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg, then Blueridge Parkway. Had time to drop by Clingmans Dome (highest point in the Smokies).

 

Clingmans Dome

 

 

Clingmans Dome

 

 

Fall is here

 

 

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Stop at Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Supper was had at Clyde's in Waynesville, and pitched the tent at Moonshine Campground for the night.

 

Moonshine

 

 

Day 7 – 9/28/2012

 

Departed the campground, and couldn't resist going back to Clyde's for breakfast. Fuel up the bikes, and headed towards home via he Blue Ridge Parkway, through Rosman, and down US 128 to SC scenic hwy 11, and Hwy 9 home.

 

About 2000 miles for the trip. A little warmer than we would like for riding temperature. The weather was very nice otherwise.