Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Mississippi and Alabama Trip (from last year)  (Read 2206 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Vulcanbill

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: it's a secret, WV
  • Posts: 2923
  • no thank you ... still
  • Motorcycles: XT250
Mississippi and Alabama Trip (from last year)
« on: November 13, 2013, 09:58:01 PM »
This board needs love...

A couple weeks ago, we picked up a couple Yamaha XT 250s.  His and hers models.  :)  They've been a hoot and we pretty much got them because we're tired of going to these cool places in the truck pulling the trailer and wishing we had our bikes with us.  We picked the features that were important to us and that led to the XT.  Small dual sports so they'd fit in the back of the truck and not tax the suspension too much.  That, and they're really easy to deal with and we want the option of exploring where street bikes would be very hard to manage.  They'll never look like this again...

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


So we loaded up and headed out and found ourselves in Mississippi on the Natchez Trace Parkway in some horrible (for campers) state park where we used the bikes to explore the parkway some.  That parkway is very boring compared to the Blue Ridge Parkway so we lost interest in that pretty quickly other than our visit to the coondog cemetery.  Look it up.  :)

Thanks to the advice and recommendations of several members here, we found and made our way to Trace State Park which has a very nice trail system.  This would be our first foray into the woods other than rented KTMs in Moab a couple years ago.  We were looking forward to it but a little nervous. 

It was a BLAST.  Kim had a really good time even though there were a few sections that were way harder than either of us anticipated.  But we continued on and popped out in this big dirt area where people obviously play.  Good times.  I worked on some sliding and berm management that I hadn't done since...middle school or so. 

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


After doing a fair amount of research and with additional recommendations from members here (so thankful), we decided to move over to Bankhead National Forest and play on the trail system there.  Keep in mind that a hurricane had just rolled through so our introduction to this area was a bit of a soggy one when we got into the woods.  Also, we were doing this essentially Sun - Fri after the holiday so kids were in school and there was nobody on the trails.  Very very cool.  We camped at an amazing spot in the Corinth Rec area in a site that could house 4 rigs so we had plenty of room to load and unload, park bikes etc.  Good stuff.  We tooled around in the campground to get the lay of the land then the next day, we headed for the trails.  At this point, I'm not even sure which pics were which days cuz they're all kinda pictures of bikes in the woods...

visitors can't see pics , please register or login



visitors can't see pics , please register or login



visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We did both loops with a few minor gravitational challenges but still had a blast.  Note:  It was HOT down there so a couple hours off roading in even mesh gear was still exhausting.  I think both loops were under 20 miles total...maybe 25.  Hungry on the way home, we tried to find an Amish run joint but it was closed so we hit this one... We were a little terrified at first especially after having to move out of the smoking section...  WHAT???  But the food turned out to be great even if the overall presence of the joint was a little... harsh.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


After having our fill of Bankhead, we headed through Birmingham, past Barbers and on toward Talladega National Forest to another somewhat disappointing state park.  It was at the highest point in AL and the video presented something very different from what we found.  But, we've been to some pretty amazing state parks across the country and our bar has been set very very high.  Main complaint was the condition of the campsites from a trailer perspective.  I actually had to back the trailer out of our pull through because the exit was too gnarly and I'd have dragged all over the place. 

Anyway, what DID rock about this place was the proximity to the best trail system we found and the most fun we've had in a long time.  These bikes being street legal is just the best because we just hop on, ride to the trailhead and pop into the woods.  And if you come out on a road somewhere and you're done w/ the trails, no matter.  Just take the road.  We headed over there the first day we arrived as it was a very short drive day.  We did the white trail and were again surprised at how challenging some of the challenging sections were given all the mud and puddles that were everywhere.  Of course, that's what one should expect but again, we're novices at this.  Not a single other person on the trails that afternoon.  Good times were had...mostly.  There were some more gravitational challenges as Kim continues to learn the ropes of riding steep hills, ice like mud,  rocks and roots, and other things that conspire to toss one to the ground whenever possible.  Truthfully, she did amazingly well given the fact that she has ZERO dirt experience in her background.  She had a 10 speed as a kid and has been riding street for 18 years.  In her world, when you ask a motorcycle to do something, you get a precise and predictable outcome.  This was her first time asking for something and getting something COMPLETELY different.  "I would like your front wheel to enter that puddle and trek straight through it followed by your rear wheel without any drama".  What she got was a front tire that fell into a deep part of the water and went sideways and a back tire that spun up and went the other direction throwing her to the ground (remember, mud puddle) in spectacular fashion.  Not what she asked for.  This is a learning curve.  :)  She adapted quickly and we both learned very quickly how to navigate these little bikes.  Good times.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The next day was a very very happy day.  We went to the museum.  I was expecting that I'd be dragged out of there in an hour or so by my tolerant, but still very female wife.  I was mistaken.  We got there about 30 minutes after it opened and after about 3 hours, I was so hungry we had to go over to the bass pro shop (also huge and pretty fascinating in itself) and get some food.  Then we went back to the museum and finished up the floor we didn't get to in the morning.  Kim took hundreds of pictures.  Here's the one I like...

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


If you've never been and are anywhere near, I can't recommend it enough. 

The real reason for her instant giddiness...

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


And I got to ride Captain America:     :lol:

visitors can't see pics , please register or login




Having spent so much time in the museum, we didn't think we'd be able to ride since we didn't get back to the camper till like 5:30.  Meh, lets go anyway.  We had plenty of trail left to explore.  What we weren't counting on is how quickly it got dark.  So, playtime becomes adventure time as we're now riding trails in pitch black.  Interesting.  I was actually kinda having a good time.  Amazing how many spider webs are in the trails and what they look like when you come uphill at them with high beams on.  Kim was slightly less amused but a total trooper about it.  This was the trail with the tree down that we had to bushwhack around.  Way fun in the dark.   :rolleyes:  We got back to the trailer about 9:30 and took the boys for a nice long dog guilt walk. 

The next day, we finished up the trails we hadn't done and ran a particularly fun loop or two a second time.  LOVE this...

Trailside lunch:

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Knocking the mud off to let the motor cool:

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Here's a little video of me chasing Kim on the Orange Trail.  We had a very good time.  We were on a mission to kill as few frogs as possible which is why we try ever so hard to avoid the puddles when we can.  There were dozens of frogs that would jump into the water as we approached.  Eventually, our froglove waned and we just rode on...

As you can see, Kim is working on the whole "leg out" thing even though it goes against every single thing she's ever learned about motorcycling.  A couple more trips out like this and I'm fairly certain she'll be faster than I am.  Not a lofty goal mind you but you can see her potential as this is about the 4th day she's ever been off road. 

Obviously, the wide go pro totally skews all depth, steepness and speed but it's the only camera I have. 

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/50373200" width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p>
Chasing Kim somewhere in Alabama
from Bill O'Hara on Vimeo.</p>
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Offline Meemuh

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: 49426
  • Posts: 901
  • Motorcycles: Projects, parts, and a cheap Nighthawk.
Re: Mississippi and Alabama Trip (from last year)
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 01:12:21 PM »
Looks like fun...even though I can't get the video on the iPad...I'll have to see if I have better luck with the laptop.

Offline Black Hills

  • Member
  • Location: Rapid CIty, SD
  • Posts: 3101
  • Motorcycles: KTM 1190 Adventure R, KTM300xcw, 1290 SuperDuke
Re: Mississippi and Alabama Trip (from last year)
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2013, 01:22:22 PM »
Looks like a blast! Dual sporting to me is the purest form of riding there is, a do it all bike and endless possibilities.  Good luck on your future adventures.
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Offline Vulcanbill

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: it's a secret, WV
  • Posts: 2923
  • no thank you ... still
  • Motorcycles: XT250
Re: Mississippi and Alabama Trip (from last year)
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2013, 01:52:27 PM »
Looks like fun...even though I can't get the video on the iPad...I'll have to see if I have better luck with the laptop.

It was kind of amazing. 

I copied the embed code over from .net and it didn't take here.  If you mouse over the title of the video at the end of the post, there's a direct link I think.  Can't do anything w/ streaming media at work so no help there.  Future vacations will revolve around ORV trails or the availability of off road riding opportunities.  And the ability to share this with the wife is almost as good as street riding with her.
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Offline huron52

  • Member
  • Location: West Coast of Ontario
  • Posts: 13
  • Motorcycles: FJR1300, WR250R
Re: Mississippi and Alabama Trip (from last year)
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 05:11:55 PM »
Good dirt bike report!