Laurel Fork Fall 2010 on the Honda Ruckus 50cc
My VStrom is in riding condition and clean as a whistle...so I decided to take my Ruckus to West Virginia for the biannual Laurel Fork Campout.
I left Friday around 2:00PM and rode up 257 to Briery Gap just north of Reddish Knob.
Crossing over the ridge into WV, the road turns to dirt and the fall foliage really starts to pop.
I descend the mountain then travel through the small community of Sugar Grove.
Continuing up through Moyers Gap. This is the gap with Allegheny Mountain, the one I just crossed, in the background.
The road up Moyers Gap is much more enjoyable on my motorcycle since the incline reduces scoot speed dramatically. I had a ball enjoying the smells and colors of early fall however.
Cresting the gap, my max speed was...
I drop down and hit 45mph sustained until 220 then fortunately enjoy the wind to my back keeping speeds high and cars passing me minimal. Up to Snowy Mountain Rd, the views are spectacular and I savor the cool crisp breezes and natural smells of cow pastures.
I turn around to take a pic of this sign. For those not down with the lingo, a "Polecat" is another name for a skunk.
One is the loneliest number...:marc
I stopped along the way many times to pick fresh apples filling my cooler.
I soon reach 28, gas up in Circleville then head south toward Sawmill Run and enter...
The fall colors up Sawmill Run were spectacular.
Eventually, it spits me out on PR112 and I cruise over to Spruce Knob Lake on fresh asphalt funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Not sure how I feel about them paving this portion of wilderness in WV. FAIL!
Fortunately, it turns back to gravel and I make the sharp left onto PR1 which will take me toward Gandy and Dry Fork.
This is Yokum Knob lit by the afternoon rays of a setting October sun.
Errrrrt! Oh my what is this in the road?
Sure I could go around it but I'd rather stop and chat. I check to see if the farmer needs any help.
The first thing Larry, the rancher, asks is "Where'r ya from?"
"Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley" I reply.
"Good!" he says. "Them Valley folk are good people, they helped me with ma wood gate here. Now them fellas from Maryland, they ain't give me a hand and just blast on by."
"Oh really? I'll give em hell later for ya."
We continue to chat with another delayed motorist just passing through. He had not been here since he was in his twenties but enjoyed the fact that it looked unchanged from his memory. I can only hope I too experience the same when I visit in twenty years.
Larry likes my scooter and I write down all the information for him on a card about it. I offer to let the 66 year old take a seat and he gladly accepts. It put a big smile on his face.
Larry walks over to his truck then comes back with a book he wrote about the nearby Sinks of Gandy. The passing motorist purchases a copy and I suggest he has it autographed by the author himself. He does so and I sneak a picture.
A couple miles later, I roll into camp. :clap
We enjoy each others company over the evening and remark on how small a group this is from previous years. Temperatures fall in the evening with no clouds and I retire early around 10PM to my hammock in the trees. I brought extra insulated layers, insulated air mattress, 25degree down mummy bag and an army poncho liner to stay warm. It worked remarkably well until just before waking when my toes were numb. :vardy
Temperature was 30F when we woke Saturday morning.
The old honda twin fired right up and sent a sweet exhaust note into the morning air, oil coursing through the ports and warming with each stroke.
The sun eventually came around and began to burn off the frost and dew in a beautifully wispy mist rolling through camp.
The spring was running strong and I went to fill up my water to brush my teeth and make some coffee and oatmeal. Some industrious fellow had extended the spring pipe making access from the road much easier!
They did a crack job using duct tape and soda bottle as an adapter. What? No filter :evil
Buff, onaXR and XR Dad set forth into the frosty morning air, the first ride of the day.
I retired to camp, picked these delicious morsels and tripped face for the remainder of the day :choppa
Lance demonstrated the importance of the official BMW GS rider vanity mirror.
I then led a ride up to Spruce Knob with JaxObsessed, HackHawk+hubby and GS_ADV_PILOT in tow.
There is a smile under that helmet:nod
I rucked to the highest point in WV :rayof
Ordered from smallest to tallest
The view leaving Spruce Knob is amazing when it is clear.
The fall colors were a treat and in full force around 4000ft.
HackHawk made it around this corner this time. Good job man!
We stopped for lunch at the Gateway Family Restaurant
HackHawk and I both had the deluxe burger
Jax enjoyed the Chicken Salad and Mushroom Poppers
Followed by a few slices of pie and coffee
I split from the group after giving them a route for the afternoon on 72 then made for Seneca Rocks.
Schneke thought it was badass and wanted to get closer. So closer we went!
Up Roy Gap Rd, it travels between the gap beside the rocks along this stream then dead ends at private property.
Returning to camp, I stop at some more apple trees along the road and pick a basket full. I love my scooter.
Riding back up Briery Gap Rd to Spruce Knob is a blast but not as fun as chasing the GS down :evil
I stop often to smell the flowers and try not to sniff this guy up!
Green canopy of lush foliage soon to fall in autumn regularity.
The view down with Judy Gap and Germany Valley in the distance.
I come very close to this grouse in the road without even scaring it away. Guess it has never seen a scooter before.
Oh my how the colors change. Four seasons in the Appalachians truly are a wonderful sight for riders.
I take the advice of Larry and check out the Sinks of Gandy for myself. This is the entrance and I hear the exit is much larger and grand. I hope to find it on my next visit to this area.
I go inside as far as it is dry and enjoy the sound of flowing water reverberating off the Karst rocks.
The road you descend to arrive here is on private land through a farm field as cattle scamper about and moo in displeasure at your arrival.
Returning to camp, I hang around and riders eventually start to pull in from their rides.
Bloochdog covers his steed to protect the pretty paint job. :poser
A passing motorist pulls in and relays that he too rides a dual sport and this event looks cool. JD Rocks and Bloochdog schmooze it up with him while the kids watch from the backseat and his wife smiles yet gives a knowingly unapproving look at his youthful exuberance.
Everyone cooks their evening meal while the three brothers make a mess. Its a good thing your momma ain't watchin:brow
Dorito stokes the fire and clears the holes in the fire ring so it can breathe. I'm sure I'll catch hell for this one :augie
We tell lies and place blame on Scotty for just about anything we damn well please!
Scott says "Don't you WV Hills Angels see that other fire over there?!"
We relax into the night and I eventually retire at midnight. It is about 10 degrees warmer than last night due to the cloud layer above.
I sleep very well and am warm when I wake around 8 or so.
Kevin decides he needs to light the table on fire.
Jax discovers a mouse made off with his earwax encrusted plug.
Heading out I wait for Blooch and Banshee and take some pics as they approach.
What an amazing country. I truly enjoy my time here every go around despite the weather or temperature.
And I take them to see the Sinks of Gandy
We make our way back over Spruce Knob to the Gateway Restaurant just 5 min late for breakfast. Oh well, lunch will have to do.
Banshee has the Roast Beef Special
Jax shows up and we sit around for a while chit chatting.
I take off from the group and they soon pass my slow ass on a big hill. See ya'll later! :wave
I take advantage of the slow speed to take some photos and enjoy the ride up Rt.33 back to Virginia.
Germany Valley Overlook. Must have 10 of these shots with various bikes.
Passed but never stop. One day I'll ride it.
I gas up in Franklin then head toward Brandywine. I always pass this thing but never stop. The ruckus is great for that so I pay a visit to this frightening metal sculpture baby slaying monster. Wicked :super
BACK IN VIRGINIA!
I adjust my drybag and continue down the mountain home to Harrisonburg.
Great weekend and my first long-ish adventure on the ruck at just about 300mi for the weekend. Not too shabby.