Motorcycle Wanderings, General Travel, and a Weird Mix of Other Stuff

Breakfast and Then Some

The other morning, I had some time on my hands. The weather outlook for the day was decent, so I decided to go for a ride.

It was about 6:30 when that decision was made. Naturally, breakfast was on my mind. And since I really, really like Hardee’s breakfast biscuits, but there are no Hardee’s in the immediate vicinity, I googled Hardee’s locations near me. I opted for the one in Luray, Virginia. It’s not the closest, but it was opposite the direction I’d traveled on a couple recent rides.

Now, I admit, 43.6 miles would be too far to go for a simple, fast-food breakfast if I was in a hurry and/or had to turn around and come right back. But it makes a perfect pit-stop for a loop ride. In my opinion.

Which meant I had to define the rest of the loop.

I’m a map person. I love reading maps and plotting routes. Google makes it so easy, too, telling you how far you’ll be traveling and how much time your route may require.

map

The Route

Here’s a link to the actual Google map of the route I ended up plotting.

At some point, I started wondering if there was anything interesting in that area to see. That’s when I remembered “the parade thing” at Shenandoah Caverns. I’d read about it years before, but had never managed to visit. Hubby isn’t quite as interested in roadside oddities as I am. And some of the stuff I consider to be fun, he just thinks is dumb.

“Why would anyone collect old parade stuff?” he said when I got home and told him what I’d seen.

lucky_shirt

My Lucky Shirt

As it turns out, there’s a good reason. The guy who owns Shenandoah Caverns, Earl Hargrove, also owns a company (Hargrove, Inc.) that has been making parade floats for many years. He’s purchased quite a few floats from famous parades, too. And he thought it would be cool to share his collection.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

After I got dressed, I walked into Hubby’s office. He looked at me and said, “Are you going for a ride?”

Wonder what gave him that idea? I was wearing my black, Under Armour, capri-length pants, black over-the-calf socks, and my lucky t-shirt.

It was a gift from my mother-in-law. She prays a lot, so I figure the shirt must be lucky, right?

Plus, it’s covered in toads.

I didn’t mention that the route took me across US-211 and Thornton Gap. That’s a road I’ve mentioned here before.

US-211 on the approach to Thornton Gap.

US-211 on the approach to Thornton Gap.

 

Usually, it’s clogged with cars and other vehicles. That day, I didn’t encounter one pokey vehicle until I’d reached the top. At a point where I had plenty of room to pass.

SNP Sign

SNP Sign

 

How awesome is it that we live so close to Shenandoah National Park?

I did get stuck behind a roll-back tow truck on the way down, which was carrying a full-size, smashed-up pick-up truck and pulling a van. It was CREEPING down the mountain. Luckily I was able to pass him, too.

Soon after that, I was at Hardee’s.

My Favorite Breakfast

My Favorite Breakfast

 

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast, I was on my way.

Downtown Luray, Virginia

Downtown Luray, Virginia

 

Since I was still headed west on US-211, I got to cross the New Market Gap, too. It’s not as nice or as long as Thornton Gap, but does have some good curves, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My next stop was only about 20 miles from Hardee’s, so I got there in no time.

You’ll never guess what I saw when I arrived…

I almost didn’t believe it myself. And, yes, I did squeal loudly with delight after laying eyes upon this adorable behemoth.

giant frog

A Giant Frog!

 

giant frog2

It doesn’t get much cooler than that.

The big green guy isn’t actually at the parade place — American Celebration on Parade. It’s across the road at another part of the caverns complex.

Just seeing the giant frog would have made the whole trip worthwhile. Really.

frog_selfie

ToadMama and Frog Together

But there was so much more to see. I decided to keep my helmet on and re-visit Mr. Frog more closely after viewing the parade exhibits.

I do have more images to share, but I’ll save them for the next post.

It was SUCH a fun place. 🙂

12 Comments

  1. August 7, 2014    

    Kathy:

    whenever I notice a toad, I think of you but so far, not too many toads

    There is something inside that biscuit. I like breakfast sandwiches but I generally gravitate towards an egg with sausage patty.

    bob: riding the wet coast

    • August 7, 2014    

      Bob, there was a hunk of steak in there. A chopped steak patty, battered and deep-fried. I sometimes eat eggs on my breakfast sandwiches, like bacon, egg, and cheese, but prefer the steak and cheese without egg. Do you have Carl’s Jr.? That’s the same as Hardee’s, I think.

      • August 8, 2014    

        kathy

        sorry, no Carl’s Jr here either.

        this just reinforces the idea that you have to come here to see what we don’t have

        bob: riding the wet coast

        • ToadMama's Gravatar ToadMama
          August 8, 2014    

          Sounds like a good reason to me!

  2. shan's Gravatar shan
    August 7, 2014    

    You rode in capri length pants? Did you put riding gear on over that??

    I’ll have to chat with you some day about plotting motorcycle trips. Right now I’m doing a lot of riding with friends more than solo and I let them lead the way. I’d like to hit up some curvier roads, but not by myself til I’m feeling a bit more confident.

    • ToadMama's Gravatar ToadMama
      August 7, 2014    

      Shan, the UA pants are my new base layer. Keeps my heavy pants from sticking to me.

      Ride planning is a cinch with Google maps. I sometimes use paper maps and
      MS Streets & Trips, too.

      I wish I could come out for a visit sooner rather than later.

  3. August 8, 2014    

    I do believe Mr. Frog has been waiting for you to find him. How perfect.

    I wear knee length yoga pants in the summer under the riding pants and in the winter full length ones. They make a good base layer.

    • August 8, 2014    

      Kathy:

      I wear shorts under my riding pants. I have also tried a swim suit in 100°F weather and it was great. Yoga pants are only for slim people

      bob: riding the wet coast

  4. shan's Gravatar shan
    August 8, 2014    

    Ok, a bunch of other riders chimed in on yoga/capri pants base layers, so I stand corrected. 😉 I wear jeans, so I guess I don’t have official riding pants and I can’t imagine how hot I’d be with yoga pants underneath jeans.

    • ToadMama's Gravatar ToadMama
      August 8, 2014    

      Shan, yoga pants under jeans would be weird. I used to just wear shorts under my riding pants, but in hot weather, my legs sweat and the pants stick to enough that my knee pads were always improperly seated. And uncomfortable. The UA pants are wicking, so the pads slide around perfectly.

  5. Dar's Gravatar Dar
    August 9, 2014    

    Well I rode 50km one night to buy bacon! Love the toad selfie!

    • August 10, 2014    

      Thanks, Dar. It takes proper planning to make a bacon run REALLY worth the effort. 🙂

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  1. ToadMama.com » The Yellow Barn on August 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

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