Country Roads – Day Three


After a great night’s sleep in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, I was up with the sun to break camp and get on the road.

Once again, my eyes were swollen and my allergies wer kicking, time to hit the meds (better living through pharmaceuticals right?)

Sexy Huh?

After washing my face, taking some drugs and hitting the bathroom, I started packing up my gear and loading up the bike (my least favorite part of the trip).  I really liked my campsite and will definitely make it a point to stay at Big Bend again.

After dropping off Ginnie’s lantern and the campground comment card, I started the journey home (on the road at 8:00am).  The road to the campground is beautiful and because I was unable to take photos the night before, I stopped a lot on the way out.  The Potomac ran next to the road the entire length of Smoke Hole Canyon.

The Ninja at the entrance of Big Bend Campground

The Potomac near the campground


Eagle Rock

Back on 220, I headed north through more great roads.  The next major town I came to was Petersburg, WV.  I needed food and gas so I killed two birds with one stone and stopped at the Chevron station.

I filled up, grabbed some breakfast (a pepperoni roll and beef jerky) and started having a conversation with the attendant.  We ended up talking for about 30 minutes, mostly about the area.  The most interesting part of the conversation was about the new expressway being put in and the controversy surrounding it.  I guess in the past there had been a problem with the chicken trucks driving across the windy roads;  they were dripping chicken fat, making the road surface slick.  In response a 4-lane was built but funding had been cut and restored several times and the neighboring state, Virginia, refused to connect the expressway in their state.

After calling Andy to inform him bears hadn’t eaten me during the night, I saddles up and headed north.

On the outskirts of Moorefield, WV I ended up behind a black, late 60’s convertible with a white ragtop – license plate read SKUNK.  I’m not sure whether the gentleman inside was the mayor, or was staging his own one man parade, but he proceeded to drive through town at 10 mph waving at everyone.  Hilarious!!

Further down the road, I saw two young boys (10-12) standing near a severly bloated deer, one holding a digital camera.  I would have paid money to listen in on that conversation (“Dude, poke it, see what happens!”)

Then, keeping with my cow theme, I saw a huge black cow along a fence.  Without thinking, I yelled “Hi Cow!” at the top of my lungs while waving like a little kid.  Was delirium setting in already?

US-220 north from the campground to Bedford, PA was without doubt my favorite portion of the trip.  That whole section was set in a sort of valley with mountains on either side…gently winding roads and few cars made for and enjoyable couple of hours.

Shortly after catching north 76 I saw signs saying REMOVE SUNGLASSES…that’s weird.  Well, about half a mile later I found out why…a tunnel!! This was the first tunnel I had been through on my bike and it was the best.  With all the orange lights whizzing past and the whooshing noise around my helmet, I felt like I was going to warp into another dimension.

Up through Pennsylvania and Ohio, I kept pushing – I stopped a couple of times on the tollway and met some nice people on a Harley at one of the service stations.

I’ll admit, I broke my rule about getting gas when I knew it was available and ended up in a bit of a panic situation near Toledo.  My fuel light had been on for about 40 miles (I get about 60 after the light goes on) so I figures I’d be fine to get gas in Maumee, OH after getting off the turnpike  First gas station I went to, no gas.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to panic for too long, third try was a charm.

My night fell apart east of Okemos.  They were doing night lane closures for construction and traffic was backed up for 5 miles with both shoulders closed and no hope for escape.  I ended up power walking my bike MSF style for the entire length of the construction.  I’m not a crier, but I was definitely close after an hour of doing this (this shouldn’t happen 12 hours into a 700 mile ride!!)

Stopping as soon as I could after this mess, I composed myself, rested and turned on the tunes for the remainder of the ride.

I pulled into Grand Rapids at around 1100 PM with “Lucretia Macevil” by Blood, Sweat and Tears playing, shortly followed by Ani Difranco’s “God’s Country” (singing at the top of my lungs of course).

Finally, I was pulling into my driveway being greeted by barking and wiggling from the dogs and a big hug from Andy.  A great end to a great trip, I was definitely glad to be home!!



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