Friday, May 23, 2008

Hobnobbing with the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s

It’s Friday and the week is over the hump unfortunately. Rolling into La Follet late last night, we found Sharps Motel. Now this isn’t really that much different than most other cheap motels, other than in addition to renting out rooms they have a breading pool for mosquitoes, frogs and whatever else is on the bottom of this thing.

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We are headed for Cumberland Gap, KY, Bramwell Depot in WV and New River Gorge, WV as our stops for the day. Cumberland Gap was the Gateway to the West and all early travelers passed thru here on their way westward. Pinnacle Overlook is very reminiscent of riding up Mt Greylock in MA. You can see KY, TN and WV from up here.



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Back on the road to that motorcycle nirvana called West Virginia. Like the NC, I don’t think there are any bad roads in WV. Bramwell Depot is a turn of the century coal mining town. At one time Bramwell boasted the highest per capita millionaires in the US. Rumor has it the bank’s janitor used to use a wheel barrow to transport bags of money from the bank to the depot.



The Bramwell Café is owned by a couple from California. For 9.99 I had one very outstanding meal and when the opportunity knocks I will go back for seconds.


One amusing event (it wasn’t at the time); we stayed in this house on top of a mountain. We were this older couple’s first guest in a house that is located on their property. He met us at the bottom of the mountain and he said, “You guys don’t mind traveling on a dirt road do you?” We said no problem. What he failed to tell us there was about 100 feet of freshly laid crushed stone that was about a foot deep. Let me say it was a challenge to traverse this and we actually crossed this POS 4 times. The last time on the way out, I got about ½ ways thru and the front wheel just decides to hang a right. We with this I had to stop and I felt the bike going over. I managed to hold the bike up at about 22 degree angle and the time yelling back at Steve to come help me. After what seemed like 5 minutes he casually gets off his bike and comes over and says, “You got a problem”. To this day I don’t know how I held the bike up. No pictures to memorialize the event.

We stopped at the Beckley Mine for my stamp, but found more interest in the local Bombardier Can Am dealer

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New River is one of the oldest rivers on the continent. This bridge reduced the travel from one side to other from 45 minutes to 45 seconds. This phote really doesn't due justice to the enormity of the bridge.



The end goal for the day is to make it to Front Royal, VA and stay there for the night. On the way out of Beckley we headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway, which then runs into the Skyline Drive to Front Royal. On the BRP, I saw my first bear in a non-caged environment and then there were some more and even more of them. The deer are very arrogant along both of these roads. I came around one bend and there stood a deer right on the turn and it just looked at me. I really think it wanted to put its leg out and trip me. About half up the Skyline; we exited because it had grown to dark to be on this road with the critters all over the place. The road we took to Front Royal wasn’t much different. We arrived in Front Royal around 9pm and found a room at the Blue Ridge Motel.




Starved we headed for this place. Now these guys made one of the best pizzas I have ever had and if you are down this way it is a must eat.


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