Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

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Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby shaggydoink » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:15 pm

"Planning on heading out to the Georgia Overland Trail in a couple weeks, leave Friday morning return Sunday. Interested?"

It's not every day that you receive an email like this, but a few weeks ago it’s exactly the email I received from my good friend Izzy, a man whose sense of adventure is beyond description. While I had concern that my now almost 27 year old truck could even make a trip of such distance, the desire to challenge myself prevailed, so I ultimately accepted the invitation... go big or go home, right?

My schedule at work combined with preparation for the trip and other family obligations had me scrambling until the last minute, 9pm on Thursday I finally got everything packed up and ready to go:

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It was an early start the next morning:

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I connected with Izzy about three hours later and we continued the route west together to our starting point near Lake Jocassee at the northwest border of South Carolina and Georgia which we reached around 1:30pm:

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The afternoon led to a number of interesting roads:

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Sights:

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And situations:

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We tracked 30 miles until it got dark, then settled in for the night at a wonderfully remote campsite that Izzy had plotted:

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We broke camp and got a fairly early start the next morning, following fairly smooth service roads and a few paved connectors which were equally as enjoyable thanks to the brilliant scenery:

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The route led us to a spot where we could top off our tanks and grab an extra cup of coffee:

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Tanks filled, we continued on our route through lunch, with several instances where the radio exchange went something like:

"The road on the left isn’t on the map, wanna check it out?"
"Absolutely."


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Mid-afternoon we encountered our first road block… quite literally. Wild fires had been roaring throughout the area, so the original route Izzy had mapped out was closed:

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Quick on his feet, Izzy came up with an alternate route on the fly, a route which was filled all sorts of spectacular surprises along the way:

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We eventually ended reconnecting with the originally planned route, and at the start of a road where the signs painted a good picture of what was to come:

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The road had a fairly easy start, but got progressively more rough and difficult as it wound its way along, culminating in a section which ranks up as one of the more demanding bit of driving I’ve personally ever done:

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As the sun began to set we had a brief, friendly encounter with a group of locals who were just gearing up for a night of excess, while they extended a kind offer to stay and get #%%@-ed up (which I may have misheard as "stay and we’ll #^$%% you up") we chose to politely pass and find our way to an epic site where we settled in again for the night:

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Day three got off to a more leisurely start. While we got our coffee brewed and ate breakfast, I took the opportunity to really soak in what an incredible spot we had landed in for our brief stay:

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With a long return trip home inevitably waiting for us we considered some different routes for the morning which ultimately took us back down the same challenging road that we had driven the day before which also allowed us to witness the aftermath of the locals’ night out:

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The trip down felt almost more challenging than the trip up, with stellar moments like this that Izzy managed to capture of me as I teetered on three wheels wondering why on Earth I hadn’t lobbied for taking the "just dirt road" option a half hour before:

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The morning led us through some new experiences:

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And ultimately to what would be the end of our off-road journey for the trip:

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After stopping for gas and airing our tires back up, we stayed paired up for a few hours heading back east:

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Shortly after parting ways, and dreading the final few hours of my journey alone I was blessed by nature with one last surprise:

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A wondrous sight which fueled my spirit for the last hundred miles home.

"Planning on heading out to the Georgia Overland Trail in a couple weeks, leave Friday morning return Sunday. Interested?"

Next time, Izzy, you don’t even need to ask, the answer is already "yes".

I wish everyone the very best on whatever adventures present themselves to you!! :thumbup:

Jonathan
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby SAS » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:21 am

Awesome story and great photos! Thanks for sharing, Shaggy.
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby Hack » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:24 pm

Cool Shaggy. Maybe once I get my Amigo back? :lol:
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby gruff54 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:04 pm

Great trip report with fantastic pics! Were you very close to any of the wildfires?

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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby shaggydoink » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:22 pm

gruff54 wrote:Great trip report with fantastic pics! Were you very close to any of the wildfires?


Yes, a smoke haze and smell lingered throughout most of the trip, and we had to change course part way though the day on Saturday due to fire closures.

It took me a while to comb through three days of video, but here's a short video that captures the trip. Enjoy!!

Watch on youtube.com


Jonathan
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby egagnon086 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:21 pm

That looks awesome, I'm actually planning on going on many of those same roads the first weekend in dec. I'm in North GA anyway so it wont be too long a trek for me. I hope to do your photos justice. Looks like a great adventure.
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby Chris-6mgte » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:09 pm

Looks like y'all had a ton of fun, thanks for sharing the pics and videos.
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby paulevans76 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:00 am

Very cool.
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby N law » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:13 pm

Looks like a fun time! Was this the route you all followed? www.georgiaoverland.com
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby BigSwede » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:57 pm

Looks like a great trip. Minnesota is working on a trail like that across the northern part of the state.
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby shaggydoink » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:25 pm

N law wrote:Looks like a fun time! Was this the route you all followed? http://www.georgiaoverland.com


We didn't follow the exact same route, but it was definitely the basis for the trip and were on it for at least parts of the way. I'll see if I can do an overlay of the two trip tracks (original and ours).

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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby N law » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:39 pm

Looks like it could be a fun trip to go across the state in a long weekend!
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby superman27344 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:18 pm

Been following your posts about this trip on facebook, really looks like it was an awesome adventure. Thank you for sharing all the pics here too.


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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby MarcusInMD » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:59 am

Wow! I want to do this!
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby poprivetj1 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:30 pm

Excellent adventure Shaggie!
Thanks for sharing
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby shaggydoink » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:44 am

Our average moving speed for the three days was 10 MPH, so doing the entire ~400 mile route itself seems feasible within the context of a long weekend, although might end up being at a fairly manic pace. For me personally it would be pretty much out of the question considering the 13-14 hours of travel to/from the start and end points and home. :(

I must admit that this trip had an added element of adventure compared to the local trail rides which really appeals to me, last night I started scouting out a route that would run through multiple national forests in the area where NC, VA and TN meet... fun stuff!!

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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby Hack » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:40 am

I know GWNF goes for a couple of hundred miles in VA along I81.
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Daily Driver: 1995 Trooper Limited, Auto, 3.2L DOHC, Rear LSD, HD Torsion Bars, Moog Cc812s, Cooper Discoverer A/T3 245/70-16
Trail Truck: 2001 Amigo, Auto, 3.2L, Rear LSD, Front Aussie Locker, DOR Drop Dif, HD Torsion Bars, OME 912s, BFG M/T KA2 33x10.5R15
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RIP: 1998 4WD Rodeo, Auto, 3.2L -- Ruined by Daughter #1 with Russian assistance. Parted out. Sent to crusher.
RIP: 1989 Troop 2.6L 5spd --- Stripped of all good parts. Body and rotted frame sent to the crusher.
RIP: 1999 2WD Amigo, Auto, 3.2L -- Engine blown and body damaged by Daughter #2. Parted out. Sent to crusher.
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby shaggydoink » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:48 am

Hack wrote:I know GWNF goes for a couple of hundred miles in VA along I81.


I'm hoping to include something on the southern end for the trip I'm currently scouting out, a trip all the way up (or down) would be fun too... you usually make a GWNF trip in the spring right?
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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby Hack » Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:43 pm

We make several trips to GWNF. The next is planned for Jan. However, we usually stay by Switzer Lake (off of Rt33 by Harisonburg; see Map 7). We have only discussed an expedition style run trying to maximize the time on dirt while not backtracking. Here is a link to the maps.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/maps- ... ev3_000547
Mario

Daily Driver: 1995 Trooper Limited, Auto, 3.2L DOHC, Rear LSD, HD Torsion Bars, Moog Cc812s, Cooper Discoverer A/T3 245/70-16
Trail Truck: 2001 Amigo, Auto, 3.2L, Rear LSD, Front Aussie Locker, DOR Drop Dif, HD Torsion Bars, OME 912s, BFG M/T KA2 33x10.5R15
RIP: 1988 Troop 2.6L 5spd. Burnt valve(s). Damaged frame. Parted out. Sent to crusher.
RIP: 1998 4WD Rodeo, Auto, 3.2L -- Ruined by Daughter #1 with Russian assistance. Parted out. Sent to crusher.
RIP: 1989 Troop 2.6L 5spd --- Stripped of all good parts. Body and rotted frame sent to the crusher.
RIP: 1999 2WD Amigo, Auto, 3.2L -- Engine blown and body damaged by Daughter #2. Parted out. Sent to crusher.

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Re: Georgia Overland Adventure (Picture Heavy)

Postby slainer » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:05 pm

Neat!

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