Come along on a ride with me!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Three day couples trip.

Well our three day trip with another couple is finally here. Jenni and I are meeting Alan and Kim to head to West Virginia for three days and two nights of great riding and great company! We are going to meet at the oh so familiar Marathon in Strasburg about 9am. I just have to wait for Jenni to get off work. Yes she is working all night and then going riding all day, crazy! But she'd have to be to be around me. Lol
            The weather the first day is supposed to be hit and miss showers with more hit than miss. The weather guessers are saying 60 percent chance of rain everywhere we are going. Looking at the radar this morning the line of rain is coming. It’s tilted from Northeast to Southwest so hopefully we can stay ahead of it. If only!

                We meet up just after nine and we all introduce ourselves to Kim since we have never met or gotten to ride with her.  We saddle up and hit the interstate with the idea of beating the rain.
                We get almost an hour under a nice sunny sky when we hit our first brief shower.  We pull off on the next off ramp and look at the radar; yes I have radar on the Garmin.  We decide its best we put on our rain gear.  We don’t have much further to go until we hit our first gas stop before we cross the state line.

                Back on the road we are wondering if we should don the gear.  Then not much later the sky’s open up!  Good thing we did
                Here are a couple shots from the gas station.

                We stop for gas and it’s just a light rain at this point.  But right before we saddle up to get back on the road it just dumps for about 10 minutes.  Oh boy so much for beating the rain!  Well it’s a good baptism under fire for the girls who really haven’t been in weather like this before.

                As we continue down 77 south we keep going from rain to dry to rain to dry.  But when the trucks pass it’s all I can do to see through my windshield.  That is the one big down side to this bike.  The shield is so big I can’t see over it when I need to.
                As we come into Charleston West Virginia it’s getting pretty warm and sunny!  There’s hope yet.  So we make a stop for a short break and water trying to decide if we keep the rain gear on or put it away.  There is more rain west of us but we are trying to run away east.  Alan and Kim ditch the jackets but I wuss out and keep mine on.     

                Back on the road we hit construction and have to stop for a while.  This doomed us, but made my wuss job look like genius because as we sat the rain caught back up and would not leave us the rest of the day.
                Once going again we made our way in light rain down to Kanawha Fall just outside Gauley Bridge West Virginia and took some pictures.

                We stopped for lunch and gas in Gauley Bridge.  As we sat there the rain just kept coming, which really sucks because the road to Cathedral Falls and Hawks Nest is really a great motorcycle road.  So we just had to tip toe through all those great twisty roads.      
                We stop for pictures at the falls and then again at Hawks Nest.  At hawks nest we finally decide to head for the hotel in Summersville and get out of the rain.  At this point the rain gear is starting to fail.  I guess there is just so much it can take.
                As we guessed about a half hour after getting checked in and changed into dry cloths the rain stops and the sun comes out.  That’s ok its 6:30pm as we walk across the street for dinner.  The next two days are supposed to be awesome weather wise so let’s hope it was worth it!

               Day two starts out warm in the upper sixties and very foggy!  We meet at 6am for breakfast and are out on the road by 6:30am.  We are on our way to the bottom of the New River Gorge.
                As with everything on this trip it will be the first time the girls get to see such great sites!  We were supposed to do this yesterday but the weather changed our minds.       
                We get to the road to take us to the bottom and the fog is so low its makes for some incredible views.  As we descend down deeper into the gorge the massive bridge over head becomes harder and harder to see.  It’s pretty cool actually!
                Snapping pictures all the way to the bottom we get there and see we’re not alone.  I was surprised anyone else was up and in the area because of how early we got there.  We met another pair of couples sightseeing.  They were from Louisiana but the odd thing is their accent sounded Brooklyn.

                Then while there they locked their keys in their rental van, oh how that would suck!  We chatted and helped with phone numbers until we were sure they had someone on the way to help.        
                Meanwhile we had taken pictures and the fog was burning off fast!  When we first reached the bottom you could barely see the bridge and now it was fully visible.

                We make our way out of the gorge and get back on 19 north and head to the Summersville Lake and Dam.  Hoping they have the spill gates open and we can ride to the bottom and get some shots of it.  We get there and to our demise there is no opening of the flood gates. Bummer! 

               We head back to Summersville to fuel up and head out to Falls of Hill Creek a place I stumbled on last year while riding in the area.  They have nice paths taking you down to see the three different falls.  Last time I was there the walk way had been destroyed to the lower falls so I never got to see them.
                We head out of Summersville and turn east on 41.  This like most roads in West Virginal was very scenic!  We followed this until we got to 55.  55 and 39 come together and are one in the same for a while.  This takes you into Monongahela State Forrest which is beyond huge!  There are so many cool places to see that I know I have yet to scratch the surface!

                Heading east on 39 we miss the turn for the falls so we have to do a nice u turn in the road.  That is hard to do on this beast of a bike with a passenger.  I really need to get out and practice that!
                In the park we meet an older couple on their wing.  They only go to the upper falls and are gone before we make our way back out.

                Here are some shots of the three falls.

                Back on the road Alan takes us on 150 a road I have never been on and man was it great!  It gets you up on top of the local mountains!  There is even a sign saying they don’t plow this road in the winter.  It’s not a big deal because there are no houses on this road but the sites are incredible! 
                Here are a few.

Now we are heading over toward the Green Bank Radio Telescope where they are using this receiver and one in South America to map the stars. 
                The down side is that we got there too late to get one of the tours that go out to the dish and you can’t get very good pictures from the visitor center.  I got one the best I could through the glass plus a picture of the mini version.

                Now on to Spruce Knob the highest point in West Virginia.  I never get tired of going there!  The access road just getting to it is a fun road of twisties then you get the beauty of winding your way up the mountain to the top.  But man did the temperature drop today on the way to the top!  It got a little chilly up there.  Still the sites are incredible!
                Look and see for yourself!

                Now onto Seneca Rocks which are only a few miles away.  We stop at the visitor center, my first time, but its closed.  We go across the street to the store and do some souvenir shopping.  There we decide just to take the big roads up to Bridgeport to our hotel and call it a night.  By the time we get there is going to be close to 9pm.

                Day three the final day is here and its going to be another beautiful day!  Again we meet for breakfast to get an early start.  We still have some beautiful things to see.  First place we are going to go is Tygart Dam. 
                We make our way to the Dam and as we are getting off the bikes I hear what sounds like an Ultra Light.  We it sort of was.  Here comes a guy in a paraglider.  I would have loved to be up there too!

                Pictures taken and now it’s onto Blackwater Falls where we meant to be yesterday but we ran out of time as the sun was going down.
                We head out 50 to 24 and get to see all the wonderful eye sores of giant windmills along the way but the girls were impressed by them, as I was the first time I had seen them.

                Once in the park it was fairly empty being a weekday.  There were only a few cars in the lot and one big ole RV.           

                We walked down to the lower observation point and took pictures of the area.  Went back up and did some more shopping in the gift shop.

                Heading back up 24 to Swallow Falls State Park in Maryland I see a buck that was on his back and legs still kicking where some unlucky driver had just hit him.  Not sure if he made it or not.
                This time going to Swallow Falls we are determined to stay off the dirt roads unlike last time Alan and I went there.  Stupid GPS!

                We get to the falls about noon and there is this massive bus there but luckily they were loading the noisy kids up and were leaving.  We have to go to the guard shack and pay our 5 bucks to get it.  It’s the honor system now unlike last time where there was a person in the booth.
                We walked to the first set of falls and walk out onto the rocks to get some good shots looking over the falls then walk to the bottom to look back up at them.

                We continued to follow the river to see all the sights and take more pictures.  But after this it’s time to head home.
                We leave the park and start our journey home, the sucky part of any trip. LOL.  We make our way back to Ohio and into Lisbon where we make our final gas stop and say our good byes and head home.

                It was a great trip with great people.  We did a little over 1000 miles in those 3 days and we decided to do this again this fall when the leaves have turned!

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