New River Gorge Ghost Town Exploration (2011)
A couple weeks ago, Beard sent me a PM saying he needed to get out and clear his head, take a trip, get dirty and sleep in the woods. Couldn't complain there. "I'm in."
Set a weekend and, as ADV style plans often hold, it was forecast for pouring rain the whole time. :super
We stopped for fuel in Harrisonburg and had a granola bar. I figured we'd push on to Goshen for lunch at the Mill Creek Cafe. Somewhere around Bridgewater, I got the Stich' crotch leak. Sorta used to it by now and couldn't care less. The "crotch leak dance" was always fun for Beard to watch. Couldn't blame him :doh
We continued on up 39 and I could hear his belly grumbling from my helmet...or maybe that was mine...
Dropping into Warm Springs, the fog was heavy over the mountain but cleared and the rain stopped. I decided to turn into town looking for a bite to eat.
So on down the road we rode some more till we got to "The Varsity" gas station/restaurant across from the High School. This spot has been here a long time. We sat down to relax, consult the map for our camping spot that night and ordered a Medium pizza, forgetting these were "Country" size pies, not "City" size. We had two slices left over at the end.
Headed south for a bit on 220 then took a leak at Falling Springs
Back on the road...to make time we slabbed 64, which is a beautiful piece of highway twisting through the hills. We ran into a few showers but nothing major. In an hour, we stopped for gas along the New River.
The morning broke with some sprinkles but mostly just droplets of water falling from the trees. I hung around in the hammock enjoying the sound of the river and birds chirping.
Misty morning on the New River.
Prepared some coffee and oatmeal
A busted case mount that some straps fixed and we were off again. The road was rocky but not terrible, some of the mud puddles were a little deep and my Jesse case kept bouncing off it's bracket since the clips weren't set tight enough. I kept it below 30 and was alright.
We spoke with the rangers in the visitor center who assured u that Beury Mountain Rd behind the town was passable and in better condition than McKendree Rd we had just traveled. Well that is good news because there were some hairy bits on that last road for sure.
I slowed then just gave it a gob of throttle and road directly into the misplaced rocks in the center. I figured when in doubt, gas it out!!!! My tire track
The dip was so big coming out of the puddle it sent the Aeroflow screen into my helmet breaking off the face vent on the front. That sorta sucked. As soon as I could stop I pulled off and turned around just as Beard crested the rise, braked hard, slid into the puddle then gave it a shit ton of throttle launching his bike airborne and somewhere to the right. The front wheel landed first and the rest was history.
Said puddle of doom
AFter securing the case as best we could, we ambled out of the woods and made our way down to Rainelle for some gas and a much needed bite to eat. We spotted a highschool car was at the Advanced Auto, which Beard needed to go to anyway for some more tie-down straps, so we fancied a visit.
Not for the bikes but for...
All clean(ish) we got some Subway and picked up some red wine at the grocery store. Warm beer just wasn't cutting it and the selection was sorta crap. Matt filling up his flux capacitor to obtain max jigawats
Feeling a bit cool, we took a break at the Falls of Hills Creek.
Ol slippery wooden bridge
The colors pulling back out to 39 were just beautiful. I cannot wait for fall!
The Highland Scenic Highway was brisk and cool, and fogged in like crazy. I wanted to try out the Dakar and give Beard a chance to ride a big GS on such a fast long road. The Highland Scenic Highway is just a great road for any bike. So off we went. I tried to keep up (something I am sure he was doing all day) on the little Dakar and he discovered 6th gear on the GS and cruised away.
Stopped for a breakfast sandwich at Snowshoe Stores at the bottom of 66 and it began to rain. Up 66 we rode in the rain but it wasn't too terrible. Fun road and a little slick when wet. Descended to Cass and the rain let up. The train was heading out and visitors were boarding. I look forward to taking Lauren here once the leaves finally change.
Enjoyed the tour. This was my 5th time but still interesting.
Then it was an amble back up to old 55 and through to Wardensville where we stopped outside Lost River Brewing but didn't have a beer. Just a Granola bar and some water.
Went back by way of Stephens City
Then into the Terrasic period
It was nice to get home after the weekend and my boots were soaking wet and stinky. The shower was well deserved and the bike got a bath the following day.