Monday, October 14, 2013

In Search of Bourbon - Day 2

With breakfast planned for 7 AM Friday morning, our alarm went off at 6:15 AM. Still a wee bit tired from a week-long conference and 425 miles of riding the previous day, I graciously offered Chris the chance to get up first while I snagged a few extra minutes of shut-eye. All too soon, it was my turn to get cleaned up and geared up for the day's sojourn. We met Shane and Andrea in the breakfast room of the hotel, where approximately a dozen MSTA riders were also enjoying breakfast. In true motorcyclist fashion, someone had changed the channel in the breakfast room to The Weather Channel. 

After breakfast, we returned to our rooms to load up the bikes before checking out and returning our room keys. Thankfully, the boys had gassed up the bikes the night before (they'd dropped Andrea and I off at the front office to get checked in), so we were able to get right on the road that morning. I'm convinced it is always foggy in the morning in Lewisburg, WV. At least, it always has been when we've left Lewisburg...all two times! About an hour into our ride, we stopped at Hawk's Nest State Park to do a site visit. I've been in contact with the group sales coordinator there; I've been looking at the property as the site for the Spring 2014 ST.N Meet for Regions 4, 5, and 6...well, for anyone who makes the trip, really...but it's best suited for 4/5/6. We met with Renee, who gave us a tour of the lodge, dining room, conference space, and showed me a typical guest room. I think HNSP will be a great location for a motorcycle meet!

Getting ready to head out Friday morning.

The morning's fog is burning off.

Except...there's more fog ahead!

Yay...finally some clear skies, sunshine, and oh look...our shadow!

We must be in the south...there's a Piggly Wiggly!

Conducting our site visit at HNSP.

Two flying pigs in the Hawk's Nest.

A look at some of the lodge rooms - most of which have this view...

THIS VIEW! Pretty nice, eh?

Part of what really solidified HNSP as a good location for a motorcycle meet was the fact that as soon as we made the left turn out of the parking lot of the park, US 60 got "crazy good" immediately as it wound its way down the mountain to meet up with the New and Kanawha Rivers.

Check out the "spray" from the waterfalls, which were very difficult to photograph.
You can just barely make out some of them in the middle.

When we got to Chelyan, WV, we hopped onto I-64/77 briefly to get to WV 94, which put us smack-dab in the middle of coal country.

A coal plant...

...and it's product.

From the Dukes of Hazzard, y'all...sheesh!

Slight problem with the whole "ride straight" motto...not many roads in WV actually are!

Spooky tunnel ahead!

We took US 119 south toward Verdunville where we picked up Mud Fork Road (which subsequently had several names) to head west through the Cabwaylingo State Forest to US 52, where we stopped in Kermit, WV for lunch at Giovanni's.

Lunch time!

Of the four of us, I was the only one to get pizza AT the pizzeria...and I shared with Chris.

Disney Jr. was on the TV; Chris was enthralled.
(I swear he'd watch TV like this at home if I let him!)

After lunch, we crossed the Tug Fork (a tributary of the Big Sandy River) which forms the border between West Virginia and Kentucky. We'd finally reached Kentucky...yay! We had a glorious afternoon of riding along KY 40, KY 3, and ESPECIALLY KY 32 - 32 was absolutely stupendous!!!

Friday was another gorgeous day!

We largely had the roads to ourselves.

Yay...a painted tobacco barn!
(We'll see the REAL thing tomorrow!)

'Twas a beautiful Friday afternoon in Kentucky!

Leaning into a downhill, left-hander.

There's Shane and Andrea!

Trying to get artsy with a look in the side mirror.

We hopped back on I-64 very briefly to get to US 460, which we took to Georgetown, KY - our destination for the evening where we stayed at a Microtel. Everyone got cleaned up and we walked across the street for some honest-to-goodness homestyle cookin' at Cracker Barrel. With bourbon touring on the agenda for the next day, we agreed on breakfast at 7:30 AM with an 8:15 departure for our first distillery. Day Two = done! Mileage for the day = 373 miles; total mileage through Day Two = 798 miles.

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