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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trip from hell, not on the bikes

Now that we are all home from our weekend trip to Snowshoe, I feel like I can safely say all the things that went wrong without jinxing myself. But first, I'll mention the good things. Skiing was good, it was nice having Taylor with us from college, the boys all had fun.

Now, the bad:

1. Taylor missed his train from Fairfax to Charlottesville because the Amtrak guy left him waiting for an answer to a question and in the meantime, he missed his train.

2. The train Taylor got on was supposed to arrive in Charlottesville at 8:47 p.m., I was to pick him up and continue on to Snowshoe. (I was going up separately with Hays, his friend Trey and Taylor; Steve and Calhoun and were to come up after Calhoun's track meet.) The freight train before Taylor's train hit a person right in front of the Amtrak station. 4 1/2 hours later, Taylor finally got off the train. I was not about to continue on to Charlottesville at 1:30 in the morning in the snow, so we got a hotel.  So, Friday night, I paid for lodging in two different cities. (Oh, and if you're thinking "well your day has not been worse than the guy who got hit by the train," stop right there. It was a suicide. The guy laid in front of the track.)

3. Made it to Snowshoe at 9 a.m. Saturday. Got the boys off skiing. At about 2 p.m., I was finally ready to get out skiing myself. Drove over to the little ski area where they have night skiing and got the truck stuck in the snow. Our huge F-350 Super Duty, 4x4 off road truck got stuck in the snow. WTH? Another F-350 pulled me out. Finally got to ski at about 3 p.m.

4. Steve went down Sunday morning to get the truck warmed up. It wouldn't start. The truck is only 2 1/2 years old and even though it is a diesel, it has special capabilities that are supposed to allow it to start in sub-zero temperatures. These engine coil glow plugs (or whatever) failed. I called Ford roadside service and they couldn't get a tow truck until Monday.

5. Luckily, the Ford started on Monday. It was a bit warmer, so it started, but still had a warning light of reduced engine power. We decided to chance driving it rather than towing it.

6. Truck and Subaru driving home Monday night. Subaru gets a flat tire. (brand new car, not even 3000 miles yet). Luckily, there was a Walmart fairly close that could fix the tire since the spare was the wrong size for the all-wheel drive car. Tire needed to be replaced.

7. Taylor drove the Subaru with a new tire back to Fairfax (we planned on switching cars this week). On the way back, he called and said the back passenger tire was now loosing air. He texted this morning and said tire is now flat. I must have hit something in the road that caused both tires on the passenger side to go flat, though I don't recall hitting anything. Steve will have to buy another tire when he goes up to Fairfax to visit his mother who broke her wrist this weekend and pick up the Subaru.

Here are the happy photos:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Back home, still riding

I wanted to post these pictures of our ride out of West Virginia yesterday. No words are necessary to describe the beauty of these mountains.

This is the Western Territory of Snowshoe. This is the slope I hurt my knee on last year.

 We got home last night and Steve had to work today. But his work means he gets to keep riding a motorcycle, albeit a Harley. Oh, and he gets to go to the State Fair.
At least Steve tried to make his trip to the State Fair seem like part of our trip by making the normal stop.

I, on the hand, get to go to our BMW Motorcycle Club of Hampton Roads annual rally. I'm not camping this year since Steve can't be there, but I rode down and will be back there tomorrow. Strange that the only pictures I took this evening were non-BMWs. I'll take more photos tomorrow that resemble the club a little better, though we do accept ALL bikes (obviously).

I did take the following picture because this is just too awesome. The next dog I get will be small enough for me to take everywhere I go. 

This is Greg Cutter's bike... and dog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Feeling invigorated

Or motivated. Like I'll be able to tackle the mountain of boxes that still need to be unpacked at the new house. These West Virginia mountains are so amazing to ride motorcycles through, especially in the Fall.

I forgot to mention in my previous post where we ended up staying last night. As we were leaving Elkins and for one of the few times that our communication system worked, Steve suggested we stay at Snowshoe. We had just seen a sign for Snowshoe. We've been there many times for skiing, of course, but didn't know how it would be at this time of year. What I did know, is there is a Starbucks and they have an awesome, twisty road up to the mountain. So, that's where we stayed. When we were checking in, we decided to make it two nights and just do a loop through the mountains for our ride today.

And now, I've found out they have WiFi at the bar. Oh darn! It's definitely different, though, during the Fall, as far as the crowds go, virtually, none. When we arrived yesterday, it was socked in Fog; today when we got back from our ride, it was not as foggy, so we got a few pictures.

Snowshoe Village when we arrived yesterday.
Top of Ballhooter lift at Snowshoe. They have some great Mountain biking off ski season.

This is a very familiar ski spot. Looks so different with no snow.

Doesn't look like much compared to Western mountains for skiing, but one of the best places in the Eastern half of the United States to go skiing.

So the motorcycling today was a nice loop up to Petersburg, W.Va. area and back. It was fantastic. Here are a few pictures from today.

Here we are at Seneca Rocks. I'm coming back down from the gravel road that wound it's way to the rocks.
Seneca Rocks in the background.

This is Cass, W.Va. Took this photo for the Route 66 sign. We were on route 66, but it was State route 66.

You can't be lost if you have nowhere to be

We threw the planned route out the window altogether yesterday. We started along the route and thought we might make it to New Martinsville. At some point we ended up in Elkins, which is where I had planned us staying tonight. I had the GPS set on shortest route, which is always fun since we do have the perfect bikes for just about any road. Unfortunately, it also takes a more competent dirt rider than I am to do some of those roads.

Anyway, hard to explain how beautiful yesterday ended up being. We started the day with a pretty steady rain, but after a couple of hours, the rain stopped and the sun started peaking through. Absolutely beautiful.

We crossed the Potomac twice. I wish I had a picture of where we crossed it the second time coming back into West Virginia. It was a toll bridge. I asked the lady how much and she said (imagine heavy country accent) "50 cents for both." Yep, that's right. 25 cents per bike. Seems like a waste of time being there wasn't a line of vehicles. Well, the bridge was interesting. Single lane, wooden bridge. With it being rainy, I was a little nervous riding on the wood planks, which were placed lengthwise along the bridge. The river was probably only six feet under the bridge.

Here are some pictures from the rest of the day yesterday.

I don't know why, but a picture just doesn't actually capture how beautiful the rolling hills and Fall colors are here. Probably because I don't have the right kind of camera. hint hint.

This is one of the "shortest distance" roads with barely enough room for another vehicle coming the opposite direction.

Beautiful Fall day in West Virginia.

Steve is getting ready to turn my bike around on this dirt road, which had some insane pot holes.

Steve is looking at the map. This is about when we determined that we weren't making it to New Martinsville.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lazy start

We are sitting in the Fairfax Coffee House (not in Fairfax, but still in Berkeley Springs). We'll get going eventually.

I'm using my phone to post to the blog so I can add the photos that I just took. What I haven't figured out is how to add the photos one at a time and then describe them. So I have to describe now and then add photos.

As you can see, the bikes got washed last night. Thank goodness, I think mine still had dirt in places from the trip across New Mexico in April.

I swear the hotel we were in knew we were riding GSes, this suitcase shelf was a perfect fit for our boxes.

It's so nice seeing a mountain. The fog and Fall colors just add to the loveliness.

Steve in front of the coffee house. Yum.

Ok. Time to get a move on.

Monday, October 1, 2012

So familiar

Today was great. On the road for about 275 miles, mostly high-speed highway until the last 10 miles, which was a nice twisty road; exactly the reason we came to West Virginia.

We did stop in Fredricksburg, and since it is not likely we will see another Starbucks for awhile, I suppose it is only appropriate that we pay homage to the familiar.

We are in Berkeley Springs, W.V. I think this must be kind of an artsy town, which means we still might find a nice coffee shop in the morning, Starbucks or not.

We had dinner in the Mountainside Bar, and we were treated to the locals explaining the roads we should take when we set out tomorrow. One guy had us going to Pennsylvania. Not sure if it was just a good road or they were trying to get rid of us.

We happened across the Country Inn. Nice old place with "country club" charm in the country. Was hoping to watch my Boys in a little Monday Night Football but for some reason, out of the 40-plus channels here, ESPN doesn't have volume. Weird. Well, I guess I can still watch.

No alarm for tomorrow morning. No real destination tomorrow night. I have a route in mind, but it very well may change. I love traveling like this. The only destination is to be back to our house Thursday night.

Until tomorrow... Maybe.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

So need this trip

The summer has been one of the hottest here in Virginia Beach, and then August was almost the wettest. Needless to say, I've hardly ridden my motorcycle at all. I think about a month ago, I rode it 3/4 of a mile to the gas station for the state inspection. That's it. I had to ride my husbands to my BMW motorcycle club meeting because my battery was dead.

Well, the battery is all charged up, and now I need to recharge myself and take a trip. Steve and I will be doing our annual October trip to the mountains, again to West Virginia this year. We leave tomorrow. We had planned on camping and taking the dogs, but we are also in the middle of moving. Well, we've moved completely out of one house, and are in the middle of unpacking in the new house. The trailer is full of stuff.

I don't care, I'm leaving it a mess and going for a ride. It will all still be there when I get back.

I'll post if I can. After all, we will be in West Virginia, I guess it depends on if I get internet at the hotels.

Here's what the weather looks like in Ridersville, W.V. We may have rain on Tuesday. I don't care. Time to ride.