Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gas Station Chicken - ST.N Region 6 Spring Meet Day 2

Chris and I woke up at 6:30 AM Saturday morning and got dressed to meet everyone for breakfast at 7:30. We met Jeff outside of our lodge room and walked over to the Hickory Dining Room with him. Originally, we were seated at a table for four, but when David arrived with John, we moved to a larger table so we could all sit together. Eventually, Frank and Scott joined us while we plotted and planned our day. 

Actually, there wasn't too much plotting and planning to be done - we already had our route for the day. It was just a matter of who would be joining us. David was having quite a bit of neck/shoulder pain, so he opted to stay at the lodge for the day and planned to hit the hot tub for a relaxing soak. Frank and Beans were leaning toward a ride that would land them in Staunton, VA for lunch. John wasn't sure what he and his son - also named John - would do, since JT was sleeping through breakfast. 

Scott and Frank

Jeff and Chris

My blue eyes, John, David, and Scott
We returned to our rooms to suit up for our day ride. When we emerged from our room, John and JT had decided to ride with us. While folks were still getting geared up, I took a few more pictures of all of the motorcycles outside of our lodge - Beaver Lodge. While we were still in the parking lot, Frank and Scott's group departed; they took our local riding friends Bill, Jay, and Denny with them.

A few folks got very early starts as evidenced by the empty spaces.

Mike's Harley and trailer.

Jeff, Bill, and John

JT gets suited up.

Our Concours is so pretty!

There goes BEANS (Scott)!



Once we departed, our first order of business was - not surprisingly - to get gas. Tanks filled, we headed south on WV 32 to US 33/WV 55 to Seneca Rocks. We made a left at Seneca Rocks and headed up WV 28 to hit one of my favorite roads - Smoke Hole Road!

Petrol time!

JT was behind us; Jeff was behind him.

JT, Jeff, and John

Seneca Rocks

Saturday was an absolutely spectacular day for riding!

Oh, HELLO Smoke Hole Road!

JT, Jeff, and John following us on Smoke Hole Road.

Another shot looking back at our group on Smoke Hole Road.

Smoke Hole Road runs along the South Branch of the Potomac River.

Can you spot the fisherman?

Stay where you are, Mr. Groundhog.

I didn't snag a pic of the Smoke Hole Road sign when we turned onto it, so I snagged a pic of it as we turned off of it.
We stopped at the Exxon in Franklin, WV for a washroom, stretch, and snack break. As soon as we pulled in, I spotted a farm stand in the parking lot. My first thought was, "Oooo, I could get a piece of fruit!" So, after hitting the washroom and buying a bottle of water, I strolled over to the farm stand and purchased a Pink Lady apple for a whopping $0.50. JT spied my apple and headed over to snag one for himself. All the while, our peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, cashews, and pretzels were snacked upon as well. 

First break of the morning.

My fruit source!
We left the Exxon in Franklin and headed south on US 220 and picked up US 33 east. We took US 33 to Brandywine. When we passed the gas station in Brandywine, we saw several folks from the Spring Meet stopped, presumably taking a break before tackling "the fun part" of US 33 (although, honestly, there are several "fun parts"). We beeped as we went by and started our run up US 33. I'd never been on this part of US 33, but it became obvious very quickly that this would be added to my list of favorite roads! We ran the road east into Virginia until it straightened out; we turned around and ran it west back into West Virginia. 

The views on US 33 were incredible!

JT, Jeff, and John in a right-hand sweeper on US 33.

Welcome to Virginia...oh, and um...motorcyclists? It's a "high crash area" the next 4 miles.
With our run up and back on US 33 complete, we stopped at the gas station in Brandywine to fill up again. We didn't need gas, but we would. Our route was about to take us on a 100 mile stretch without any gas stations, so it was best to top off our tanks. While we were stopped, we noticed a girl on a BMW F800 stopped at the gas station. She came over and asked if we were with ST.N. When we said yes, she introduced herself as "FireRunner" (real name Martinique). She explained that her husband Larkin ("Hotbrakes") was part of the group we'd passed on US 33 doing a spirited run of the road. She opted to stay behind and wait for them. We chatted for a while until her group returned. 

It seems that a lot of the gas stations in West Virginia sell fried chicken. While we were stopped at this station in Brandywine, JT overheard the station attendant mention a "livers and gizzards" meal. When Chris indicated to JT, John, and Jeff that we weren't really stopping for lunch and that this gas station was probably our best bet for something resembling lunch, I thought for sure that JT was going to go back in for a gizzards and livers meal! 

While we were all standing around contemplating eating something (for the record, I never contemplated livers and gizzards!) - as if on cue - a woman pulled up at the gas station and declared, "Lunch is here! BBQ chicken halves, $3.50. I've got them here in my trunk!" We all looked at each other like, "What the hell?!?" And she was serious! She had foil-wrapped BBQ chicken halves for sale outside of the gas station that was selling fried chicken! So weird...

After our fuel and snack break at the gas station in Brandywine, we headed out Sugar Grove Road, which we followed until we reached US 250. We headed up US 250 to the Confederate Breast Works. At the Breast Works, Chris paid homage to the site's history by firing off the cannon!

Lovely ride through the valley on Sugar Grove Road.

Lots of small creeks run along the roads in the valley.

Checking on those behind us.

Jeff shuffled into the #2 spot for a little while.

Stopping at the Confederate Breast Works.

Gotta take a pic of the sign!

Lots of daffodils.

Jeff and JT "cop a feel" at the Breast Works.

From the Breast Works, we headed back down US 250 to Indian Draft Road to VA 39 to VA 600 to VA 84 to US 220 to Monterey, VA and "the Chicken Gas Station." I've already noted that many stations seem to sell fried chicken. Well, "the Chicken Gas Station" in Monterey just might be the mecca of gas station chicken. You may remember from prior ride reports that the smell of fried chicken at this gas station is intoxicating. And the siren call (smell) of said chicken proved irresistible to JT and Jeff when we stopped for gas and a stretch/snack break. 

What a quaint little church!

Even when some clouds rolled in, it was still a beautiful day!

This section of road reminded me of riding through Cook Forest in PA.

We stopped briefly at the Dan Ingalls Overlook.

Enjoying the view at the Bill Engvall (ha!) Overlook.

JT tears into some gas station fried chicken.

Jeff was quick to follow!

John's bike is a BMW K1300GT - the bike that started it all for Chris and me in 2010.
We left the Chicken Gas Station in Monterey heading west on US 250. We crossed back into West Virginia and picked up WV 28 north back up to Seneca Rocks and returned to Canaan Valley via WV 55/US 33 and WV 32.

WV 28 has lots of great right-hand sweepers so I could get a few shots of the guys behind us.

Another look backwards.

Oooo...the Gateway in Riverton...maybe we'll hit that for breakfast Sunday morning!
(Hint: We do!)

Of course the one shot I take looking backwards when JT waves, I managed to not get the guys centered!

Yokum's at Seneca Rocks.
Once we got back, we decided to meet back outside in 30 minutes to head to dinner. David met up with us in the parking lot and the six of us grabbed a table for dinner. Like the night before, the guys decided that small dessert plates where inadequate.

Why have one dessert on a small plate when you can have three on a big one?!?
Following dinner, we made our way to the Laurel Lounge where many of the ST.Ners had gathered for beverages, tales of the day's rides, and motocross on TV.

Lots of folks chatting in the lounge.

Everyone you see in this pic is an ST.Ner.

Lots of sitting, chatting, and beverages!
We left the lounge at 11 PM with plans to meet at 8 AM in the parking lot to head to breakfast at the Gateway before we started to make our way home.

Stay tuned for Day 3... 


  1. I love the documentation of your adventures, Beth!

    1. And I love when you comment on my blog, Katie!

  2. Nice write up Beth!

    John (JT, not Jr. - my Dad is Jr!)

    1. I guess I have some editing to do, then! I changed you to JT on Day 3. I'll edit this post tonight when we get back from dinner. I'll have to tell the rest of the guys. We were calling you "Junior" and "Senior" all weekend on the John Cena "You Can't See Me" helmet comms!