19 May 2010

Trip Report: wheatonFJR's Appalachian Camping Meet: Arrival Day

13 May 2010:  Aprrox. 184 Miles

A few months ago, Bobby told me about the camp meet and suggested I should come.  At the time, I didn't really consider it.  I knew I wanted to go to the FZ1 rally and was concentrating on it and the trip with Dad.  But as the event drew closer, the more appealing it became.  On a whim, I posted in the thread on the FJR Riders Forum that I wanted to come and asked if it was okay for an FZ1 to ride with FJRs.  I was welcomed and tentatively set about getting ready to go.

After the speeding ticket and buying the new to me muffler, I thought I shouldn't go but never posted anything about not going on the forum.  The event was getting close and I still wasn't certain I would go.  After a conversation with Mom, I decided I would go since she was going to spend some time with her sister.

Of course, it wouldn't be that easy.  She had a doctor's appointment that she wanted to go to before going to Auntie's.  I thought that appointment was the same week as the Camping Meet but I was wrong.  On Mother's Day, I'd all but changed my mind about going.  Then things just fell into place.  Mom decided she'd go visit Auntie for the weekend so I was free to go.

I needed a new front tire and ordered one a week before the Meet.  I planned to put it on the Wednesday before then leave Thursday with Bobby and Teresa.  Plan changed when Mom decided she wanted to drive herself.  She hadn't driven since last summer and I wasn't comfortable with her driving by herself for that distance.  I decided to trailer the bike and ride with Mom to Auntie's then leave from there.  I didn't get to put the tire on as I planned and ended up doing it Thursday morning and then going Auntie's.

We didn't leave the house as early as I wanted so we didn't get to Auntie's as early as I liked.  We got there around 5:30 p.m. and I still had at least a 4 hour ride to the camp ground ahead of me.  It took me an hour and a half to get the bike off the trailer and loaded.  I checked my routes and decided to take the planned scenic route since the time difference was minor vs. slabbing the whole way.

I would have a picture of the bike loaded in Auntie's driveway but I somehow managed to delete all of the pictures off of my camera!  Good thing most of them are already on the computer.

Coming from Augusta riding north across South Carolina is mostly flat and straight.  A quick hop on I-20 to 104 to 28.  The first part of my route was along the Savannah Scenic Highway.  I managed to finish nearly 100 miles in about an hour and a half before I gassed up.  I didn't linger long as daylight was fading.  A quick change of face shields and I was back on the road.

I took 28 through Anderson, SC then 178.  After hours of riding on straight roads, as the night was at it's darkest, I was on a twisty one.  Too bad I didn't get to do it during the daylight, I'm sure it was a great road.  I was happy to see the North Carolina border and I knew I had about an hour or so left to ride.  I had to use the gps screen to preview the curves because it was so dark.

I took a quick break once I reached 64 just outside Brevard, NC around 11 p.m. and tried to call Bobby so they would know I was about a half an hour away.  I had no cell service, as I'd expected, but a gas station patron was kind enough to lend me his phone then give me directions that matched what the gps advised.  There was nothing left to do but press on though the idea of a campground closer was very tempting.

I pulled into the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground around 11:30 p.m. and parked just outside the bridge.  I wanted to walk the ground to see where the road went before I rode over it.  I saw people at the fire and tried to find Bobby and Teresa with no luck.  Once I knew how the road went, I got back on the bike and crossed the wooden bridge into the campground.

About the time I got into the camp, I heard my name and saw Bobby and Teresa waving like mad.  I'd made it.  With a little help, I got my new tent set up and was in bed by 1:00 a.m.  Kick Stands up at 9 a.m.  I wondered how I'd feel in the morning after such a long day.


  1. You must be a Rejek to ride those roads at o-dark-thirty like that.


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