Sunday, October 13, 2013

In Search of Bourbon - Day 1

Just like we did in 2011, Chris and I decided to time our October motorcycle vacation with our friends Shane and Andrea to immediately follow my annual ERAPPA conference. This year, that meant I was home for a whopping 13 hours (and asleep for about 7.5 of those hours!). In fact, when I arrived home from Rochester at 6:15 Wednesday evening, Chris informed me that we would need to leave at 7:15 the following morning. At first I thought he was kidding...until he said, "Until today, it was going to be 6:15 tomorrow morning!" Yikes! Thankfully, Shane decided meeting at 10 AM was a better idea than meeting at 9 AM. Hooray for small victories. Thankfully, there wasn't much overlap between the clothing I'd taken to my conference and the clothing I'd need to pack for the trip, so just one load of laundry later, I was ready for bed and the beginning of our grand adventure the next morning.

My FitBit woke me up at 5:32 and after a brief snuggle session with Oscar, I was up and running - to shower, to pack, to write a note for Amber (who was staying with Oscar), and to gear up for the ride. We didn't get out of the garage until 7:37 AM, but apparently the 7:15 departure time was a bit "artificial" on Chris' part in the hopes of motivating me in the morning. It turns out that we didn't really need to be on the road until 7:30. Doh! That's OK...we'd just make up the seven minutes on the road somehow. At least that's what Chris said!

Chris is ready to go!

I am equal parts excited and exhausted!

Not long after we left the house, we hit this odometer gem! 44,444...yay!!!

We took the highway to meet Shane & Andrea where the "real riding" would start.
It was foggy to start.

But it cleared up by the time we got down to I-70 at Breezewood.

We pretty much had the interstate to ourselves, which was fine with me!

Crossing the Potomac River on US 522 near Hancock, MD.

We met Shane and Andrea at a Sheetz in Winchester, VA where I warmed up with a hot tea and Chris and I shared a bagel. Once I was properly caffeinated and both bikes refueled, it was time to tackle some of the best roads that Virginia and West Virginia had to offer.

Backing out of our parking space while Shane and Andrea wait to pull out.

Thursday was an absolutely gorgeous day!

I spotted this payphone during our lunch stop. Do you think it's out of order?

We weren't really expecting temperatures in the mid-80s in the first week of October, but we didn't really mind (as long as we were moving!). 

Lots of farms and fields in West Virginia.

Our route from Winchester took us along US 48/WV 55 to Moorefield, WV, where we connected with WV 28/55. We were on WV 28/55 briefly until we reached Smoke Hole Road, which we took over to US 220. I shot some video along Smoke Hole Road before switching back to taking pictures. 

From Smoke Hole Road, we rode down US 220 to US 33, which we took back over to WV 28 and eventually to US 250 west and through the Monongahela National Forest. We picked up US 219 south (which we could have run all the way down to Lewisburg - our destination for the evening) but then we juked east on WV 66 back to WV 28 (again!). We took WV 28 south to WV 39 which we rode into Marlinton, WV where we picked up US 219 south again. This time we did take US 219 all the way into Lewisburg, WV where we ended our day with 425 miles on the trip odometer.

Looking ahead...

...and looking back.

Cabooses outside of Cass, WV.

Some farm scenery.

Cass Railroad "company houses" - now available for lodging!

Did I mention it was a beautiful day?


Just enough clouds in the sky to make for pretty pictures.

Following Shane and Andrea.

I wish the pictures I take on the bike could truly show you what I see while we're riding!

One final ride pic from Thursday.

We checked into the Quality Inn where, unbeknownst to us, the MSTA (Motorcycle Sport Touring Association) was having their "Fall Colors" ride. While I got ready for dinner, Chris and Shane chatted with "Doc" who is a member of both MSTA and ST.N. Once we were all cleaned up, we walked to Applebee's for dinner in the shopping center down the street. After dinner, we stopped in the Walmart nearby so Andrea and I could pick up some travel-sized hairspray and so we could get drinks to take back to our hotel rooms. We decided on breakfast at 7 AM the next morning and retired for the evening. 

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