The idea for this meeting was born over breakfast back in October during the Region 6 Fall Camping Trip. We (Chris, Sara, Jeremy, Rachel, and I) had passed Boyer Station going to and from the Greenbank Radio Telescope on Saturday.
During breakfast Sunday morning, we chatted about how great it would be to have a meet at a place that had both motel and camping accommodations like Boyer. Sara offered to ride down to chat with the owners on her way home that day. Unfortunately, the place was packed when she went by, so she bypassed it.
Fast forward to January and the Region 6 Winter Meet when the idea came up again. I made a phone call and chatted with Barbara, one of the owners. We made arrangements for the first weekend of May for both the motel rooms and the campground. Motel rooms were around $50/night (depending on occupancy) and camping was $5/night. That can't be beat!
The idea for the meet was VERY well-received; we sold out the motel and had more than a dozen campers. We even had some folks stay down the road at the "Company Houses" at Cass. And so our story begins...
Friday - It's nothing a little Febreeze can't fix!
Friday morning, Chris and I, along with fellow ST.Ner John, left just after 7:30 AM headed for the Gateway in Breezewood to meet our friends Jerry and Leisa, David, Jeff, and Eric and Diana. But we couldn't hit the road without Smooches the Adventure Moose secured to the bike!
We headed down Marengo Road to PA 45 to PA 453 to US 22 to PA 26 to PA 915 to get to the Gateway. It was a great ride and pace to kick off the weekend. When we arrived, we gassed up the bikes and parked to wait for Jerry and Leisa, et al. Chris called them to see what their ETA would be and Jerry said they'd hit some construction traffic on the turnpike that would delay them about 30 minutes. Once they arrived and the hello-hugs and handshakes were out of the way, everyone hit the restrooms and the guys paired up their Senas for helmet-to-helmet communication. The Senas are great; they really make group riding much more manageable when riders spaced throughout the group can talk to each other.
We left the Gateway and headed south for the Old Town Bridge connecting Maryland to West Virginia. Just before crossing the bridge, we stopped at the C&O Canal Park for a stretch and cookie break.
We crossed the Old Town Bridge (after yielding to a much bigger FedEx truck) and picked up Patterson Creek Road to make our way to Smoke Hole Road. Along with pictures, I decided to try shooting some video along Smoke Hole Road this time!
Once we'd completed our run along Smoke Hole Road, we continued south on US 220 to WV 33 over to Judy Gap where we picked up WV 28 to Boyer Station.
We pulled into Boyer Station at 3:30 PM and began the check-in process. (I finally got to meet Barbara in person after countless phone calls and e-mails!) While we were checking in, Barbara explained that there was a restaurant about 100 yards down the road. We got our room keys and headed to our respective rooms to get settled in.
The rooms were a little...musty. I suspect we were probably the first occupants for the 2012 season. We decided we needed to seek out some air fresheners for our rooms. But first? We needed to eat! Some of us hadn't eaten since breakfast, while others hadn't eaten all day.
We changed out of our riding gear and walked down to Ryder's for dinner. There were eight of us at our table (Chris, me, Jerry, Leisa, Diana, Eric, Matt, and David) and three at a table behind us (Jeff, Scott, and Frank). For being a gas station restaurant, Ryder's served up a delicious dinner. Everyone at our table got the honey-dipped fried chicken dinner, except me; I ordered the sugar-cured ham dinner. Everyone was pleasantly pleased.
After dinner, Jerry & Leisa and Eric & Diana went in search of odor-busting products to be shared among the motel-dwellers. They returned with candles, a can of Lysol, and a can of Febreeze. A few spritzes later and the rooms were starting to smell a bit "fresher."
While they were gone, Chris chatted with some of the other folks who'd arrived and I walked over to the campground to meet and chat with the campers. It was great to finally put faces to the names of the folks I'd been coordinating with over the last four months of planning (and waiting!). There were some familiar faces (Robert A. and his son Alex, Chris J., Robert T., Bill, Dan, Jay, and of course, Sara!) as well as some new ones (Jim, Matt, Joe, Mark, Eric, Bill and Kim, Scott, and Gary).
Jerry performed an "unofficial opening ceremony" for the Spring Meet by firing off his cannon to the delight of everyone gathered. The cannon fire drew the attention of the area's finest, but not so much that they actually stopped at Boyer Station...they simply drove by twice, no doubt looking for something on fire! Ha-ha-ha!
That evening, we socialized around the campfire with snacks; ride plans/groups were formed for the following morning. Sam brought a Chinese lantern, which Jerry helped light and launch. Everyone was enthralled with the lantern, watching it climb higher and higher until it reached the clouds and disappeared.
Chris and I headed back to our room just after 10 PM with a planned wake-up time of 6:30 AM and an 8 AM departure with Jerry's group. Day One of the Spring Meet was in the books!
Stay tuned for Part Two (Saturday and Sunday)!