The Rain Gods Were Smiling
Every Memorial Day Weekend, the North Jersey Riders, (my other club) go on a long ride to some interesting place. Actually they would go to Rolling Thunder in Washington DC every year.
In 2000 I went to Rolling Thunder, it was very interesting and I would recommend that you do it at least once in your life....would have been better if it didn't rain.
In 2001 some of the NJRs broke from tradition and instead of Rolling Thunder, went to the Eastern Shore of Maryland....in the Easton, St. Michaels area.....it was beautiful....but it rained.
In 2002 I went to do a Rolling Thunder in Tennessee....don't ask. I understand that it rained up North.....so I lucked out by going South. 2003....2004.....rain.
This year very few wanted to go....because "it always rains on Memorial Day" . So I asked the ride leader, Scott Smith if he would mind if I invited some of the Spokes-Women to join us. Problem was it conflicted with the scheduled trip to Wildwood, but I thought that I would give them the option.
I got two takers,.....Gloria (left) and Jean (right). Christine, a former member who had ridden Polar Bear with me, also wanted to go. Along with NJR members Scott and Tiffany, and Pete and Rhoda, and their friend Jeff, it made eight bikes......just the right amount for a trip down Skyline Drive in Virginia and then over the mountains into West Virginia, then the long way home through Pennsy.
It rained the whole week before...but the weather forecast for the weekend kept getting better as Friday approached. Come Thursday, the group started to dwindle, Jeff cancelled, Christine got sick, Pete and Rhoda had an opportunity to pick up a new puppy....a little Yorkie, so they decided to follow in the truck and would stay at with us for the first two nights. So there was only 5 bikes.
Friday came and no rain, we were meeting at the PA Welcome center on 78 at 4:00.......guess who was late, yeap, like usual....me. We got down to Winchester VA, 275 miles, around 10 pm....but that was after stopping for some great Mexican food at this little hole in the wall.
Jean's reflective jacket (left) helped light up the parking of the bikes... Pete and Tiffany watched as Scott backs in Tiffany's bike to chain it to his and Jeans.(right) ...Is that sunburn on Jean's face or is she blushing? (below).
Saturday after breakfast with Tiffany's friend Bob Evans.... the restaurant, Pete and Rhoda went off to get the new puppy and we took off for Front Royal where The Skyline Drive begins. I lead.....and we didn't have to do any turn arounds....but of course it's one road, 105 miles long. We stopped at various look outs to enjoy the scenery and take photos.
We ate at Weasie's on Sunday morning. Pete and Rhoda took off for home and we continued towards West Virginia.
Route 39 was beautiful running along the river but when you climb over the mountains, you better watch those tight blind turns.....I think Jean is a ready for Deal's Gap.
Coming over yet another mountain we stopped in the little town of Thomas WV and found this great coffee house/cafe/bed & breakfast called the Purple Fiddle(below). We were going to have dinner there, but we still had quite a ride to the next motel in Hancock MD.
By the time we hit the mountains of Route 50, Jean had about had it.....but what great views, I think you can see all the way over to Skyline drive on one of the turns. We had dinner outside of Cumberland MD at Uncle Tuckers ...you know, I don't remember stopping for lunch .....everyone was tired, after all we did 335 miles give or take a few.....and most of it was great mountain curves.
The next morning, I had to lie to Jean, she asked if there were any more mountains, I said no, they were all in West Virginia, well we found at least three more in PA, The one in Tuscarora State Forest was being paved, so it was very bumpy and then the last one they grooved the curves, that was real scary. Scott and Tiffany left us just outside of Pottsville to travel north and I lead Jean and Gloria to Phillipsburg where we stopped to see Jean's new house.
It was a great trip I enjoyed both the roads, and the company and we did 1000 miles without one drop of rain falling on us......that was the best part.
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