May 21st 2011,
Leaving my rednecked friends to their now day’s slumber and with my now usual morning ritual of arguing with my GPS about which way I want to go (note to self – really don’t skimp on the preplotted waypoints). I took off towards Hatterass then cut across US 264 down to Stumpy Point Bay but my course to circumnavigate the point was cut short when I was confronted by a State Trooper’s car across the road. US 264 was closed to through traffic because of a Forest fire. The smell of smoke was heavy in the air. I reversed course and headed back the 16 miles to the US 64 turn off. Every vehicle that passed me for those 16 miles was a US Forestry truck filled with men and firefighting gear. I stopped counting at 30. I crossed at least three huge areas of water on low bridges. The longest of which was 6 miles. These took me to US 125 and though I had set my initial route to avoid the Interstate, it pretty much ran right beside it so the choice became look at the scenery going by at 45 miles per hour or do it at 70 miles per hour… Yeah, that’s what I would do too.
Things didn’t get too interesting road wise until I hit US 46 North at the Virginia border. Previous to that point, the road had little to write home about. Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia are fast becoming three of my favorite states to ride through. I think a lot of it has to do with attitudes towards where to put a road. NC and a lot of the Midwest laid their roads out as per the land claims of the day. If a land claim is square, the roads are going to most likely be in a grid. Most of the land here in Ontario is procured by concession, so guess what? The roads are in a grid. PA, VA and WV, the roads are laid out on the original tracks people used to travel. So needless to say, their windy twisty up and down roads are way more fun for anybody on two wheels.
I stopped by this abandoned homestead at one point to rest my ass and walk around a bit. Buildings like this have always fascinated me.
Things went pretty smoothly until I hit Charlottesville proper and the GPS chose a fairly treacherous path through traffic. I keep forgetting that our May 24 long weekend is their commencement weekend and as this is a university town, traffic gets pretty fraught. Much like Toronto, you just need to keep your head together and your eyes open. I made it to Michael’s around 3:30pm.