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A Year On the RT - Part3 (long w/photos)


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On the 4th-of- July weekend we take Cheryl on her first tour--a three-day, thousand-mile trip, through wild, wonderful, West Virginia. The tight switchbacks and elevation changes are a first and probably terrifying for her, but we not moving as fast as we need to. This puts us into an accommodation bind each evening. Saturday evening, we have to ride from Elkins to Clarksburg on I-79 to find a room. Oh yea, prior to this, she’s ridden about ten interstate highway miles. Traffic or I-79 moves at 80. It’s scenic though.




We spend Sunday night at the funky White Motel on US60 in White Sulfur Springs, VA getting the last two rooms. The new owner is a refugee from California where he owned sport-bikes. He’s fascinated by the big BMW’s and we spend the late evening and early money talking bikes.




Monday, the heat really ratchets up and the trip across 55 and I-66 from Petersburg, WV is just brutal. I’m very happy to get home. I had doubts whether Cheryl had any fun, but by mid-week, she’s proud of her accomplishment.




The rest of the summer I intersperse a few day rides with indoor home-remodeling projects. I’ve had it with the heat, mesh gear not withstanding. I want to ride in a t-shirt and white jeans. Like the old days, when I met the nicest people on a Honda.




Labor Day weekend we ride to Wellsboro, PA and the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. This is my first trip north of Gettysburg on the bike, and I really enjoy the roads and the respite from the heat. The Coachstop Inn, with restaurant and lounge, west of town on US6 is a good place to stay. The morning finds us climbing through the forest on a spooky, foggy road in Colton Point State Park. We’re rewarded for our tenacity with zero views.




We return to Wellsboro for gas and head back up to the other park on the eastern slope for a second chance. It’s worth the trip.






When we come back to the bikes, our three BMW’s have multiplied to nine. Riders on their way home from the rally near Watkins Glen, NY.


Lou & Cheryl



The rest of the month, I concentrate on long weekend rides with a Saturday overnight on the road. I touch the NC border, start to recognize curves on the BRP, and know where to find gas. I know my way around West Virginia better than northern Maryland.








On October 2, I reach and exceed my goal while riding with Lou, who rode my new bike home from the dealer a year before.


So—here’s to all who I have met and those I’ve yet to meet. Thanks for the knowledge, inspiration, opinions, laughs, prose, and pictures. I’m mostly a loner and not really the club-by or rally type, but here’s to David, the moderators, and the rest of the founding fathers unknown to me – you have created something special here. Thank you.


Next year, THE WEST. Should be less strenuous, this time.



Wolf Creek Pass, 10,850’





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