My cousin's driveway is hard pack sandy type dirt. His house is about 3/4 mile off the road and dips down into this culvert and immediately rises. In addition the road has a pretty steep camber on both the downward section and the rise. To make things a bit more interesting it rained last night. This is one of those small sections of road that once you commit there is no turning back. We take a walk out to this part and make some assessments. Of course the spot to make the descent is on the outside and it is where the rain likes to hit and there is a tad bit of washout. At the bottom of the descent there is a large tree just to add some more obstacles to the treachery. My cousin suggests going to the left of the tree, which is what he usually does on his bikes. I point out that the left side is filled with leaves, which are wet and it really doesn't show the surface of the road. We consider loading up the FJR on a trailer and bringing it out to the road, but after reviewing the tie down points I decline this option.
I do opt to go this alone and John (my cousin) will drive MeAsWe (Crystal) to the main road. Bike packed up there is no better time to get this show on the road. I slow as I approach, the heart rate picks up a bit and I commit. It is over in less than 10 seconds. I am on top of the other side, and the ride was much better than what I had anticipated. Anticipation is generally worse than reality. So I am driving out to the main road and decide to cross from the right track to the left right at the end of his road. Mistake and I catch real soft dirt. I come to a stop and had to gently maneveur the rear tire out of this shit. Of course the blood pressure is rising, making me sweat a bit more than usual. I get the bike out of the soft stuff, but the road is way to soft to put the kickstand down. I wait until John and MeAsWe arrive in the car and I then make the last ride over the gravel rise (have I said I hate gravel) onto the road. John suggests I drive to the gas station down the street for MeAsWe to mount up for the day. Good idea and we say our goodbyes there.
I really wish I had a picture of his road. Next time I am down there I am going to take that picture.
Back on the road heading for Richmond, VA
Make a stop at Richmond HD to pick up a double shot glass for my collection. I don't know where I started collecting these things, but if I happen to pass a dealer I will stop in. I gotta have close to 100 of these glasses.
Maggie L Walker Historic Site is our first NP stop to shore up VA for the National Park Tour. Maggie was a black school teacher and business person. She was the first woman to charter a bank in the US. She lived between 1867 - 1934. We watched the video at the VC, which was good. Most of them are.
|Front of the house|
|Entrance to Visitor Center|
Not too far away is Tredegar Iron Works, which made most of the cannons and projectiles for the Confederate Army during the War of Northen Aggression (being in the south I like to use the local lingo).
I really like murals, so MeAsWe started to grab some of them in Richmond.
It's about 130pm and we still have to make it Petersburg National Battlefied. and then NC for the evening. Arriving at Petersburg, we grab our stamp and pin, catch the video, but elect to not take the auto tour around the battlefield.
Out of Petersburg heading for Raleigh NC for the night. We have no scheduled stops for the rest of the afternoon other some BBQ places and a few USA towns. Weather has been cloudy all day and we are catching some drizzle by this time. I decide to pull over to protect the Nikon (it is just sitting in the tank bag) and pull into this place. Not enough rain to put on the rain suits thou.
The weather is effecting MeAsWe's bodily functions, as I point to her solution
We have been sitting here for about 10 minutes. Right across the street is a trailer park and every car that turns in gives us The Look. Then a truck pulls in down the road and the police pass us by and slow. I figure this is a sign we should be leaving now.
Grab a couple of ad hoc BBQ Joints and USA Towns along the way.
|This is Alberta VA (guess I am gonna |
have to do some cropping on this one)
|South Hill begins with S for USA Tour|
We are making good time on US 1 when the GPS diverted us on a little loop to pick up Skipwith VA for the USA tour. When planning these routes sitting at my desk in Uxbridge these little side trips seem so innocuous, but seem a whole lot bigger when executing them. It's just past 5pm and we have not made it to the border of NC yet.
|Based on the gas prices I should have filled up|
Some views from the cockpit of the roads
Stovall, NC is a scheduled stop for the USA Tour. It was good timing since, MeAsWe did have to use the facilities and I took the time to call NomadBob and ShortPam to tell them where we were. Bob and Pam lived in New England and moved to the Raleigh area about awhile back to get out of the NE. We are going to visit them at the BBQ joint we are eating at tonight.
|I got a thing about water towers|
|I also have a thing for Post Offices|
One more stop before Raleigh, Stem NC for the USA tour
We finally reach are final destination for the night in Raleigh according to MapSource. I have not made hotel reservations for the night. I just figured I could stop along the way and grab a WiFi connection from someone and be done with it. We met with Bob and Pam and chatted for about an hour or so. The so was just a little too long, because as we headed for one of the hotels to just kinda of show up, it started to pour and I do mean a good southern soaking.
|For NC, this is a required BBQ joint for Smoke Chasing 2012 tour.|