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Day 181 – 7th June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 7, 2009

Sunday – Clinton, South Carolina

I was heading east, then I found myself going back up north west, but worth it apparently

I had been getting some info from Johnofchar about some oil for my chain oiler, he had said he would buy some and I could pick it up on the way past. Well, my geography and eyesight must be real bad, I thought he was from Charlotte, North Carolina, but no, he is from Charleston, South Carolina, sorry m8 🙂

Anyway, I made a phone call last night and he had invited me for lunch or dinner, whatever it turned out to be, maybe a place to camp etc. Well, this morning I had no end of trouble after once again waking up early. I could not upload photos very well, it was a real pain. In the end it all worked out well enough, but it was frustrating.

I eventually got on the road about 10.30, I took a chance with the weather, but no luck, after about 15 minutes I had to pull over on the freeway and get my gear on again.

I took a tricky little way to go over the border, off the interstate, so I could grab a photo 🙂

Then it was back to the swimming pool, I mean slab!

The showers were heavy but do not last long, but do you take the gear off or not?

Now that is an oversized load, a nice centre console though, but I wonder where the fuel tanker is?

Fireworks are big business over here, I had seen heaps of small shops over on the west coast, but here they have mega stores. I am going to go have a look in one of them one day. This is only a small one, there are huge shops around here, but this is where I divested myself of the rain gear, I was sweltering now and I had seen no rain for about 15 minutes.

I got off the interstate at Walterboro and was amongst some nice country lane way type roads. I have seen heaps of this stuff around recently too, sort of like the stuff we have back home, it is brown and dry, but when it rains it soaks up the water and turns green. It hangs from everywhere including power lines, I forget what we call it back home, angels hair or something like that, my mum will know, she has some.

Back on with the wet gear, one of them days I guess but at least I had a nice little picnic area that just happened to be there when it started, because the road was quite narrow with soft edges.

Of course it stopped soon after, hmph. But the scenery was nice, apparently I was riding through some of the first plantations in the US, the ones where they imported the slaves to.

I got to Johns place, well I thought so anyway as a chap was in the driveway and waved me in. Hi, my name is Bruce he says wtf?? After a few minutes of me thinking his forum name is just a cover, he says, oh John, you mean the old guy two doors up, I just saw your bike and waved, haha, confusion over. I donned my gear and moved up two doors where I met John and we had a bit of a chat etc. John bought one of the first ever Vstroms back in 02 and has in that time, probably experienced all the faults over the years, plus done his own modifications. He is the owner of the VSRI forum and while I am a late comer, with my registration number being VSRI 5145, Johns is VSRI 001. This is his latest DL650, getting seriously modified, with still a bit of work to do 🙂

This is his original 02 DL1000, seriously modified with a lot of goodies. The motor has been replaced with an SV1000 motor, that took some wiring harness modifications, so not for the faint hearted. But, as John documents everything so well, anyone can do it afterwards 🙂

That is a huge Happy Trails top box, something like that is what I want, but the price is beyond me at this moment. Note the membership sticker 🙂

While I was looking over the 650, I happened to notice the Kisan Charge Guard shunt was warm to the touch, that is the small black thing with the two copper lugs coming out of it, also it has 4 wires, the white one goes to the positive of the battery. But, as nothing on the bike was connected or even live, there should be no current flow at all, so this was a bit of a concern, there must be a short somewhere!

Well, John mentioned the battery being flat the other day, so he charged it up again, but after a bit of testing, we decided the shunt was shorting out slightly internally. Now, I just happened to have a spare one under my seat, so we tried that and yes, his was faulty. I gave him mine, he will get a new one under warranty and give me mine back at Rapid City, lucky break.

The heart and brain of the VSRI forum headquarters, there is a lot of effort in this and a very useful tool for any Vstrom owner, especially with the detailed knowledge database.

We looked at some oils for my chain oiler, but in the end I did not want to try a mix of oil, unless I could find out what specific gravity it had. The electronic unit I have is too expensive to shove any old stuff in it. I am not sure if I mentioned it, but I had filled the bottle before leaving Oz and blocked off the hose outlets, but the unpressurised cargo bay, blew the connector off and I had oil everywhere, even wrapped in two plastic bags!

We had some lunch, a great prawn/shrimp chowder and we discussed some rides. Basically, SC has no roads that are worthwhile to ride, when I mentioned riding up the east coast, he informed me that the only place that had a scenic ride was between sand dunes and I would have to climb them to see the sea.

Oh well, 2nd plan, or is it the 10th? After a bit more looking at the atlas and some suggestions from a local I decided to go back up towards Deals Gap way, specifically to Cherokee in North Carolina and do the full length of the Blue Ridge parkway. Unlike the Natchez trace parkway, this is a full on road through some very nice mountains and follows a lot of ridge lines, which will mean twisty bits, yay!

John gave me a couple of maps and an old but functioning multimeter and off I head, back northwest on the slab. Thanks for the lunch and everything John, but most of all it was great to meet you, you have been a lot of help while I have been on the road in your country, and of course the forum had been invaluable over the years while getting my bike ready for this trip, so see you in Rapid City. 🙂

Well, it was 3pm and I probably needed to get beyond Columbia if I wanted to get a cheapish room, but I did not get far did I, only about 40 miles, huh, I am getting used to it by now, but on the side of the interstate with 70+mph traffic, not a nice place to get dressed.

Then half an hour later, I was getting hot again, off with the gear.

And about an hour later, I decided to put it back on again, it looked like it was on its way, so while I had the opportunity while it was dry why not, it was getting late by now, after 5pm so I checked the map and the town I was aiming for was Newberry.

It did rain for a bit, but when it stopped I left the gear on as it was chilling down for a change. So, about 5.30 I got to Newberry and found a motel and paid for the room, I was not happy with it though, a bit daggy looking and to top it off, when I turned the bathroom light on, the attached extractor fan screamed into life with dodgy bearings, well no way Jose, I went and got my money back and headed up the road to Clinton, about 20 miles or so.

Here I found a Days Inn and talked them down to $42, this includes breakfast and all the other bits, the other one was $45 with nothing included, go figure 🙂 Anyway, I was pleased with the room, very clean, well it was until I dumped all my wet gear all over the joint anyway.

I had some more noodles for dinner, then spent a fair bit of time on a spreadsheet I had been wanting to make up for ages. Basically somewhere I can record all my fuel costs, mileage and then have it automatically convert it to km, plus do the economy calculations. I had been thinking of a way to do this properly, and now I think I have a working model 🙂 Of course this meant a late night, but when things are working, stick with it eh!

I had some contacts from up north a bit, in Virginia, one is DS from my internet/Hub/Server days, hopefully I can hook up with him while I am in the area, so I sent a few pm’s to people to wake him up 🙂 Another was someone who contacted me via my website, I shall have to see about timing, but it may be possible, but I have no idea where he lives. Anyway, to bed.

Day – 298 miles and 480 km
Trip – 16,934 miles and 27,253 km


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8 Responses to “Day 181 – 7th June 09”

  1. cablebandit said

    I believe the hanging stuff you saw was Spanish Moss

  2. dbrooks8 said

    Dave on RideOhio posted this up:

    “That fern like stuff hanging from the trees is called Spanish Moss. Don’t collect any as it has small mites in it at certain times of the year.”

    • travellingstrom said

      Thanks Tank and pass that on to Dave as well. I was told that by Johnofchar, but I forgot, I still want to know what we call it back home. Cheers TS

  3. Becsta said

    Well I finally caught up with my reading. I got way behind when I went to Coffin Bay. I am really enjoying my arm chair journey around the US. Keep up the good work. And we will get you in game 2, as long as your lot hasnt infected us all with swine flu.


    • travellingstrom said

      Becsta, great to have you on my side of the armchair reading, what a shame you barrack for a crap team 🙂 Game on sucker 🙂 Go Queensland. Mind you I have no idea exactly when the next game is, nor what happened last game, I hope someone taped it for me. Cheers TS

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