Blue Ridge Trail – Damascus to 460 (Day 3 and Home)

Day three was Sunday morning, and we awoke to yet another beautiful day. Showers had come through overnight, but packing up camp was more pleasant than usual due to some free bacon from our new friends. We hit the pavement around 9am for our last section of BRT.

At this point, we only had about 40 miles of trail to go before we started overlapping with previously ridden sections, and we had to leave enough time in the day to ride the 100 miles of pavement back home.

The last day of moto trips is always a little strange for me. Its harder to look forward to the day, because I know its almost over, and my mind inevitably starts turning towards “real life,” and all the things I will be doing once I get back home.

After a bit of pavement, the trail heads back into the national forest following Dismal Creek. There was a sign posted just after the Ranger’s home saying the road was closed due to a washout, but we forged ahead anyway. We followed tracked vehicle tracks (obviously construction equipment) along the trail, and it wasn’t long until we came to a recently repaired washout in the road. Sweet, the sign just hadn’t been taken down yet.

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Dismal Creek just might be my favorite section of the trail so far. Its a gorgeous road through the woods, somewhere between a 2 and 3 level of difficulty. I try to reserve the 2 rating for very smooth gravel roads, and this trail was a little rough, and had the occasional easy wash to negotiate (I expect a wet trail would be a different story). However, mostly, this is a very easy and pleasant run with beautiful scenery.

Fast moving clouds played with the light coming through the trees as we rode along, creating ever changing light conditions. At the spot where we stopped for a break in the pics above and below, the sky looked overcast through the trees, and then the sun would suddenly pop out form behind the clouds and come on like a light switch.

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From Dismal Creek, the trail continues on paved roads towards the New River, eventually crossing on Eggleston Rd/730.  By the time we reached 460, our destination for the trip, it was just after lunch (do not go into Pearisburg, by the way, its completely depressing and there is no where to eat unless you like Hardees, DQ, or terrible pizza).

We decided there was still time for a little more dirt. On our last trip, we learned that we’d missed a neat lookout over Pearisburg from butt mountain (yes, that’s what its called.) Given that we didn’t have ride all of Bailey Gap again to get there, we decided to ride up the easier way, and check out the lookout before heading home.

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Doe Creek Rd is paved, and then the BRT continues on fairly nice gravel road. After the turn to go up the mountain, the trail gets more challenging, but I’d call it a 3 or maybe 3.5 if you’ve got decent tires. No problem compared to some more difficult previous sections, and the effort is easily worth it for the reward.

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The lookout area itself is in dis-repair, has been stripped of its copper, and seems to only be used for drinking, smoking, and graffiti.

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This microwave tower certainly isn’t functional any longer, however the electrical meter on the other building was still there.

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It was mid to late afternoon by the time we descended the mountain and stopped for gas before starting the ride home.

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A few back roads later, and we were dragging dried muddy gear into the garage and house.

This was a fantastic trip, and we really can’t wait to tackle more of the trail. Many thanks to those who put in so much effort to piece this route together.

8/4/2013 – 184 mi. About 40 miles of the BRT.

This entry was posted in 2009 Honda CRF230L, 2013 Blue Ridge Trail, Blue Ridge Trail, Dualsport - Off Pavement, Motorcycles +. Bookmark the permalink.

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