Every now and then opportunities come along that you just can’t pass up.
I’ve been friends with Rachael (aka Fuzzy) for quite a few years. We met through her blog, Fuzzygalore.com – A Girlie Motorcycle Blog, and have been following each other ever since.
We have a lot in common. First and foremost, we’re girls who love to ride motorcycles. We’re also Moms, wives, photographers, fans of roadside oddities, etc. Getting to know Rachael on-line over the years, I always felt like we were kindred spirits.
Saying she’s famous would probably embarrass Rachel, so I’ll just call her well-known throughout the moto-blogging community. She’s got quite a following. So I was always afraid she’d think I was some weirdo Internet follower/stalker. LOL.
We’d tried meeting in person several times over the years, but for various reasons those plans had been thwarted. So, when I got an e-mail from Rachael saying her and her husband, Kenny, who I also felt like I sort of “knew” through her blog, were going to be in Romney, the town near our WV Place, I knew I had to jump at the chance.
I didn’t want to jump too quickly, though. Dare I hope that it would really happen? I had an unpredictable work project that could have made it difficult. And the weather this past week was horrendous, what with the monsoon rains we experienced. So I tried not to get too excited. I figured if I made definite plans, Fate may intervene. It always seems like the more I look forward to something, the better the chance that it won’t come to pass. Know what I mean?
That’s why few folks aside from Rachel, Kenny, Mike, and me knew of my plans.
As luck would have it, Fate was on our side this time. My work project was completed as scheduled, which meant I was able to take Friday afternoon off and head out to West Virginia. I was REALLY looking forward to it.
Friday was a fabulous day for a ride. The ideal scenario was for me to get to WV in time for dinner with Rachael and her crew. Then ride with them on Saturday.
Here are some sights from my Friday ride.
The Apple House, in nearby Linden, Virginia, is supposed to have good food — especially doughnuts. I stopped there to grab lunch, and dessert, but it was pretty busy and I didn’t feel like waiting. I’ll get back there one day. If for no other reason than to buy one of their t-shirts.
Since I had some spare time, I decided I should stop at Dinosaur Land, a nearby-ish roadside attraction I’d never seen. In fact, I hadn’t even KNOWN about the place before one of Rachael’s road trips through the area.
There are various ways to get to the WV Place from our home in Virginia. But I was hoping that the Redbuds were still in bloom along US-50, west of Capon Bridge. I wasn’t disappointed.
I made it to the WV Place pretty much without incident. And I was happy to see the WV Place still standing. The inside is still a mess, but there’s no sign of mold anywhere — yay!!! — there’s still a decent amount of propane in the tanks, and there was some hard apple cider in the fridge.
I putzed around there a bit, then headed into town after connecting with Rachael.
I was so happy to finally meet Rachel and Kenny, that I didn’t think to take pictures. Can you believe it!?! The three of us did have dinner together. And we made plans to meet up the next morning. I was anxious to get back to the WV Place before dark. Two miles of gravel road, lined by cliffs in some spots, through woods heavily populated with deer, is not a place I want to be after dark with no streetlights and weak motorcycle headlights.
Rachel and Kenny trusted me enough to lead them on a ride. How about that? The challenge was to plan a route with good roads and some fun/quirky stuff I knew Rachael HAD to see. It took some thinking, but I think I came up with a pretty good ride.
We planned to meet at the entrance to my community. When they arrived, I was tickled to see they’d brought a friend along. Mark, from Boston. I never got his last name. Sorry, Mark!
Our first stop was the Oldtown Low Water Bridge, one of the few remaining privately owned toll bridges in the country. It’s such an odd, quirky little bridge, I knew they’d love it.
Oldtown is actually in Maryland. I forgot to mention that to my riding buddies yesterday.
From there, we doubled back about 15 miles so we could hit one of Mike’s favorite roads, CR-3, also known as Springfield Pike, Slanesville Pike, AND Springfield-Millesons Mill Road. Route finding in West Virginia is a challenge. We did a quick detour on WV-29 so Rachael could capture a shot of this Mail Pouch barn to add to her collection. I’d forgotten to tell her it was coming up, so she was tickled.
From there we headed back to what looks on the map like a continuation of the road we’d been on, but is actually a different road with multiple names, of course, depending on what map you use and/or where you enter the road. It’s know as Cold Stream Road, CR- 45/20, Springfield Grade Road, AND CR-15. Really.
After stopping for gas, we continued southward on CR-14/Cacapon River Road (also Capon River Road) toward Wardensville. We stopped for lunch at the Star Mercantile (see my previous post if you want to read more about the restaurant).
After lunch, I took them on Old US-55, not an easy road to follows as it wends its way around New 55, which is a great motorcycle road, even if there are almost always bits of gravel to dodge. Oddly, New 55 is now 48/55, but all of the signs pointing to the highway say “to 55”, which is what makes the old road so hard to follow.
Once we reached the end, we turned around and jumped onto New 55 so we could stop at a scenic overlook.
Then we headed to North River Road to visit my favorite herd of Oreo cows.
The locals sure got a chuckle out of seeing four motorcycles parked along this country road while four riders look at this herd of cows. They had to be thinking, “What? You’ve never seen cows before?” They probably just take their Oreo cows for granted.
Then it was off to Grassy Lick Road. I’d told Rachel about that road repeatedly. Of course, I’ve mentioned it in my blog before, too. She’d tried, unsuccessfully, to find it on Friday.
So, when we finally did get to the south end of the road, there was a guy in a pick-up in front of us toting his large pig in a trailer. What an odd sight.
I’m sure my followers were wondering why, shortly after the pig guy turned off, I led them off of Grassy Lick Road. Until Rachel saw this little barn, which I’d also forgot to mention we’d be stopping to see.
FINALLY, it was the time to run Grassy Lick. It’s smooth, fast, full of alternating twisties, and a couple of nice sweepers.
They loved it, just as much as we do. Which is good, considering all of my hype. LOL.
My favorite pic from the day was captured by Kenny (I think). Or Mark. Unbeknownst to me, he’d captured me following Rachel across my favorite bridge. How cool is that? Thanks to whoever shot this one. 🙂
Rachel and Kenny are just as awesome in person as I thought they’d be. Mark was a great riding companion, too.
Hopefully, we’ll get to ride together again one day. Maybe next time, we’ll be able to plan far enough ahead so Mike can join us.
He did get to meet them briefly, but that’s another story…
Thanks again, Fuzzmops, for the excellent riding day.