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Topic: Memorable Drives

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medinabuckeye1

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2020, 03:15:04 PM »
So I drove up to San Francisco, didn't really do much [didn't have time and had no clue where I was], then drove PCH south and saw on a map a road called Highway 84 which connects the coast back to Redwood City, which would get me back to San Jose and my hotel. I didn't recognize that I'd be crossing the Santa Cruz Mountains, which although they're more like foothills, are a lot bigger than anything in the Midwest.

It was getting dark. It started raining. I'd never even SEEN a twisty mountain road like this before in my life, much less driven one. I was freaking terrified pretty much the entire way, just hoping I'd make it in one piece. I didn't have a cellphone, didn't have anything other than a super-basic rental car map.
LoL, I did almost the exact same thing a few years earlier.  When Ohio State went to the 1997 Rose Bowl (1996 season) my parents and brother and I drove to California for the game.  One evening we were going somewhere and got onto one of those in a minivan, I was a NERVOUS driver.  

While we were there we killed a day driving up the 101 from LA to Monterrey.  That was a beautiful drive.  The highlights were Hearst Castle and the Elephant Seals.  

medinabuckeye1

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2020, 03:27:18 PM »
Somehow I managed to find the pep rally, and after calling from another pay phone managed to find my buddies among the few thousand people at the rally. It's not like they could say "we're the ones in black and gold" lol... I guess it helps being tall to survey the crowd!

I look back on it, when we all have smartphones, text messages, Google maps, etc, and I wonder how in the hell we pulled that off. We could do things like that back in those days, because we had to. But today I feel like some of those skills have just atrophied from society and I don't know if it could ever happen again...
This never ceases to amaze me.  How often do you go to the grocery store then text your wife to ask if we are out of ___ or whatever.  My wife and I end up texting each other at stores all the time, "where are you?".  

Remember when we were kids and you would go to a movie or the mall or whatever and your parents would tell you to meet at the fountain at 4pm or whatever?  

Cincydawg

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2020, 03:36:56 PM »
I have driven in 48 states, did not drive in Alaska.  The old Saddle Road in Hawaii was something, but it is new now.

I have been driving over here and often I am hoping the road is one way ... And it isn't.  And scooters go flying by at irregular intervals, and getting into one of the large traffic circles is entertaining.  The Peripherique is flat dangerous, lanes just disappear at times.  The left lane on a freeway can disappear also but they do post one sign.

We took Uber in Marseille fortunately, this place is insane also.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a nice drive if not crowded.  Boston was very confusing for me, old roads etc.


Drew4UTk

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2020, 03:43:47 PM »
the most memorable was a 'ride', not a drive... four of us recently back in the states made good on a plan to ride our entire ten day's off... it was two adjoining 96 hour passes, over a weekend... 'they' can't get by with that anymore but at the time it was common in our unit. 

we left Virginia Beach and rode interstate to Manassas Va, and picked up the Skyline Drive and headed south... it turns into the Blueridge Parkway and runs all the way into Western NC... there, we jumped across the two lanes into Tennessee (Tennessee Byway) through beautiful geography of Natahala... from just south and east of Chattanooga into northern Ga... then... we reversed course until Andrews NC and took straight shot to Charlotte- along a road known for many many waterfalls (region where "Last of Mahicans" was filmed, the part with water falls and lakes, and several 'battles').  By the time we intersected I85 we were toast- and headed straight back to Va Beach via interstate... 

i don't know if it's the same anymore, but at the time it was legal and encouraged to camp out anywhere along the road on the Blueridge Parkway.. which was pretty cool... and though the miles weren't that great, it took several days to pull this off.  Of course we jumped down and road "the tail of the dragon" in Deal's gap.. https://tailofthedragon.com/ for y'all not familiar- a lot of commercials for cars are filmed in that area, and people come from across the globe to ride it... it is...... challenging.  I've ridden it on a cruiser (HD Road King), a crotch rocket (CBR900RR), and a VTwin Drag bike (totally custom VTX1800 well over the 1800 advertised cc's and QUICK in an 1/8th mile).... the sport bike was the only 'comfortable' tool to ride that with; i was worn out after each of them, though.  It is a workout. 

Riding solo was my usual gig, but... a group no larger than six is a LOT of fun in the right place.  There was a pass nearing Mt Mitchell in NC that is breathtaking.  the road empties you from a short tunnel to a stretch built atop a stone abutment hanging on the side of a mountain, turns into a bridge and picks up the ridge line of the next mountain, and for a while there it seems you're riding into a cloud- or certainly heading that direction- then the bridge makes it seem that is exactly what you're doing- riding in the clouds... I don't know for certain, but i was told that stretch of road was lost in a mudslide the area is known for and reconstructed... it's remade, according to this source (a buddy who lives in the region- who is police in Ashe County NC) but with less fanfare and flare for dramatics the original had. 

the american road seems more like a task, now.  bridging point A with point B with logistical stations in between.  

Drew4UTk

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2020, 03:49:06 PM »
i didn't particularly care for Boston, but north of there is really nice.. I drove into NH and over to Stowe Vermont, and then up to Maine to Bar Harbor and west into a small town my GF at the time had a friend getting married (hence the reason we were there).  The wedding was in a barn- it was dreary and raining, and... it was a BLAST.  one of the funner weddings i've attended.  

this was a week or so before Halloween- we must have driven past a dozen corn mazes and hayrides done by families or civic groups.. we stopped at two of them for the hell of it... 

that was a nice drive.  that is really pretty country, and it's well taken care of.... something i wish the south would do better. 

bwarbiany

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2020, 03:51:15 PM »
While we were there we killed a day driving up the 101 from LA to Monterrey.  That was a beautiful drive.  The highlights were Hearst Castle and the Elephant Seals. 
My wife and I did a tour at Hearst Castle early last year. I wasn't that familiar with Hearst (beyond knowing the name being associated with "yellow journalism" of that era). But it spurred me to read his biography, "The Chief", after that trip. 

If you're interested in biographies and in Hearst, I recommend it. He had a truly interesting "larger than life" experience on this rock. 

bwarbiany

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2020, 04:11:46 PM »
i don't know if it's the same anymore, but at the time it was legal and encouraged to camp out anywhere along the road on the Blueridge Parkway.. which was pretty cool... and though the miles weren't that great, it took several days to pull this off.  Of course we jumped down and road "the tail of the dragon" in Deal's gap.. https://tailofthedragon.com/ for y'all not familiar- a lot of commercials for cars are filmed in that area, and people come from across the globe to ride it... it is...... challenging.  I've ridden it on a cruiser (HD Road King), a crotch rocket (CBR900RR), and a VTwin Drag bike (totally custom VTX1800 well over the 1800 advertised cc's and QUICK in an 1/8th mile).... the sport bike was the only 'comfortable' tool to ride that with; i was worn out after each of them, though.  It is a workout.

Riding solo was my usual gig, but... a group no larger than six is a LOT of fun in the right place.  There was a pass nearing Mt Mitchell in NC that is breathtaking.  the road empties you from a short tunnel to a stretch built atop a stone abutment hanging on the side of a mountain, turns into a bridge and picks up the ridge line of the next mountain, and for a while there it seems you're riding into a cloud- or certainly heading that direction- then the bridge makes it seem that is exactly what you're doing- riding in the clouds... I don't know for certain, but i was told that stretch of road was lost in a mudslide the area is known for and reconstructed... it's remade, according to this source (a buddy who lives in the region- who is police in Ashe County NC) but with less fanfare and flare for dramatics the original had.
I used to a fair number of group rides. In both NorCal and then SoCal I had found an owner's club for the specific motorcycle I had (Suzuki SV650S, a 650-cc V-twin sportbike), and we did a lot of them.

One epic day I left my house in San Jose, met the guys up in Napa, we rode all over Napa, Clear, Lake, and Sonoma counties for the entire day. I got back to my apartment in San Jose, and then rode from there up to my girlfriend's place in Burlingame. All told it was a 450 mile day, which is NOT comfortable when you're 6'5" on a sportbike lol. But it was an awesome day of riding.

We did a lot of group rides, and that could be a lot of fun because you basically had guides for the roads you'd never experienced. And generally it was done in a way to have one experienced rider riding "sweep" at the back of the pack to make sure everyone was accounted for. 

I will say that I've ridden the Angeles Crest Highway, which is kinda the West Coast's equivalent of Deal's Gap. But I suspect that both it, and Deal's Gap, are victims of their own popularity. Traffic on Angeles Crest is too heavy. And although the route is one of the most scenic drives/rides you'll ever have, I found for motorcycling the road was too "wide open" for spirited riding on a sportbike without significantly exceeding the speed limit, which is dangerous both for all the traffic and for all the police presence a road like that will attract on a summer weekday.

I much preferred tighter roads. The sort of roads where you could feel like you were "pushing it" a little without exceeding 60-70 mph. 

I do remember one day, on Glendora Mountain Road. It was a really fun road, really tight and technical so you could have a lot of fun without having to ride at crazy speeds. The road is basically all uphill, get to the top, and ride it right back down. One day I was there and found a pack of "gravity bikes"
"gravity bikes".

When I got to the top and took a break, I saw them all take off down the hill. I ended up getting back on the bike for my descent shortly thereafter, and started to catch up to them. I recall I went around one of them in a corner, and then in the very next corner, the dude took me on the outside! I'm sitting there thinking "I've got horsepower, shouldn't I be winning?" All told it took 1-2 miles to actually make may way through the pack, and then once we hit a slightly flatter portion of the road, I left them behind. 

But the whole "gravity bike" think looked like a lot of fun from that experience. 

fezzador

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2020, 04:19:01 PM »
I-40 between Knoxville TN and Asheville NC - not for the faint of heart.  I think the speed limit is like 40 for some stretches.

I'm sure there are twistier/scarier stretches of road out there, but it is definitely not something I'd want to drive on at night.

Drew4UTk

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2020, 05:02:48 PM »
Ive logged at least 100 passes through there and half at night... Once with significant ice on road and during snow storm. 

A buddy of mine is a VW nut.. He jist sold an all wheel drive 650hp car je drove through there, and cited that drive as the reason to get rid of it.  It was equipped with driver assist which he said was unpredictable... In one corner it was all driver, and in the next he had to fight the car.  It was brand new off showroom, taken to a place in Wilmington renown for the upgrades (he doesnt turn his own wrenches!!!) And driven home.  The drivers assist was not accounted for in the tuning/flash and supposedly was a feature the programmers hadnt "hacked" yet... He went back to his '16 model and all ots 425hp glory, and said it would turn circles around the newer. 

Deals gap be damned, the toughest most technical ride I know of is a pass adjacent i75 between KY, VA, and TN called Tin Can Hollow... And for the really brave, run that road at speed when the coal trucks are loading out.... Spooky and NOT in a good way. 

OrangeAfroMan

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2020, 07:00:16 PM »
My favorite drives have been...
going into Aspen from Leadville - I'm really glad I did that trip around CO.  Didn't come across one interstate, but spent 3 days driving/camping.  It was exactly what I'd hoped it would be.
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driving out west for the first time - west TX/NM, with the elevation changes and mountains bigger than anything I'd ever seen in person, but probably so miniscule out west that they didn't even have names.  That first exposure was special.
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That drive from east TN into western NC is amazing. 
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driving along the gulf through Appalachicola up in the panhandle of FL....gorgeous during the day and also at sunset. 
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US 1 down to Key West....it's so far......you're an hour south of the Miami area and not even to Key Largo yet....Islamorada......the 7-mile bridge after Marathon....the lower keys...once you get to KW, you really come to see it's closer to Havana than to Miami.  And you can't be in a hurry...it doesn't allow it.
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Drew4UTk

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2020, 07:43:09 PM »
Key West feels like another country more than almost any other place I've been in the continental US.  Arlington and Washington have a international feel at times, but KW feels like you're in a Caribbean port. ..... Well... Uh... You know what I mean. 

MarqHusker

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2020, 08:40:50 PM »
Beartooth Highway, between the NE gate of Yellowstone NP over to Red Lodge, MT.  That's a great test of driving and spectacular.    

I once hit about a dozen golf balls off of one of the vistas w a friend about 20 years ago, ball just sails and floats off into the abyss, just an amazing area to fish, hike and camp.  My parents are so spoiled to have so many great day trips. 

huskerdinie

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2020, 08:54:30 PM »
The drive from Lincoln to Gillette, WY can be beautiful if you go through Custer State Park and the Black Hills in SD.  But noooo, we had to take the interstate all the way to WY border and go north from there.  The last 100 miles from Douglas to Gillette was a two lane road with exactly one stop on the way, if you want to call the post office / village of Bill, WY a stop, lol.  My husband doesn't like to make stops anyway, so he was ahead of me in the pickup and I was following behind in the car.  I almost fell asleep two times and he ignored my flashing of lights because he just wanted to get to Gillette and wasn't really looking behind him.  Smacked him upside the head when we pulled in to the gas station on the south side of Gillette.  Those roads are brutal in the winter and he traveled them all the time going back and forth to the rigs or when he worked at a coal mine.  There is just nothing there except pumping units and deer or elk bounding onto the road.  

These days we go up through SD and make a stop in Pierre to see his folks and spend the night, then go the rest of the way the next day. Getting way too old to drive 12 hours or more in one shot.  At least SD has towns every 10-20 miles or so and more to see than just flat land or the Sandhills.  
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MarqHusker

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2020, 09:58:19 PM »
The stretch west of Casper towards Shoshoni on State 26 is what I imagine driving on the Moon to be like.   Wild horses,  and cattle fence is all you see, rarely if ever another car.  Some open range roads also in Sunlight Basin too.  WY and Nevada are mostly the two most incredibly isolated states in this country with few rivals.  I love those drives.   They almost make NM, MT, and portions of west Texas and AZ seem crowded.  I keep threatening to drive my kids all over the west this summer.

This makes me think of Neil Peart's books on traveling on his motorcycle all over the backroads of North America.   

 

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