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

West Virginia Revisited

My friend, Dottie, who just got her motorcycle license earlier this year, has been itching to go for a ride with me. Since my usual riding partner was otherwise engaged with chores, Sunday seemed like a good day to do just that.

IMG_9574Why not take her along on Saturday? Not only did she have other plans, she hasn’t been riding for long, tires easily, and is quite sensitive to cold. So I knew the trek I had in mind on Saturday might just do her in.

Sunday’s weather wasn’t nearly as nice as it was on Saturday. Mainly because it was really windy. But it was still pretty.

I thought the temperature was just right, but Dottie was freezing. She still hasn’t figured out her proper gear combination. It takes experience for a person to know what to wear in different conditions to keep oneself comfortable. But she toughed it out, and we had a pleasant day.

When it came time to plan the route, I figured I’d take her outside of her usual riding zone and head over into West Virginia. I hadn’t been over there on my bike since early May. And even that was just a brief visit. I miss my old haunts.

We didn’t go far into West Virginia, but I did enjoy seeing that little corner of the George Washington National Forest again. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Wardensville, West Virginia was our first stop.


Star Mercantile


There’s a funky little country restaurant there — the Star Mercantile — that I like and thought Dottie might enjoy.



It’s cute, kitschy, and their food is decent. The waitress can be sorta grumpy, but that’s part of the charm.

I was excited to see some new artsy additions in town. Like this giant rooster, across the street from the restaurant.


Giant Rooster


And this interesting “mural” a couple blocks west of the Star Mercantile. Upon closer inspection, I was delighted to see it was made out of old bottle-caps.


Bottle-cap Art


I didn’t know what the heck it was supposed to be — honestly, I thought from afar that it was a pig — but found out later from Dottie’s daughter, Ashley, that it mimics The Son of Man, a famous Rene Magritte painting.

Wardensville getting artsy? Huh.

After a nice, long lunch so Dottie could warm up, we ventured into the George Washington National Forest via Trout Run Road.

Trout Pond

Trout Pond


We stopped for a quick peek at Trout Pond, which was still a bit colorful.

And then we continued through the forest. My memory isn’t as good as I thought. We did a bit of circling before we finally made it to Wolf Gap. But at least they were scenic circles.


Near Lost River, West Virginia



Near Lost River, West Virginia



Near Lost River, West Virginia


Dottie didn’t enjoy the forest roads nearly as much as I did. They are narrow, have no shoulders or no shoulders (drop-offs), were a bit covered with fallen leaves, and the bright sun through the trees made it hard to see.



Wolf Gap


In addition to being where the West Virginia/Virginia borders meet, there’s an overlook, which I have never visited, where you can see a mountain named Big Schloss.

After that, we headed home.

I did stop outside of Flint Hill, VA, on Ben Venue Road, to capture this image of the old slave quarters, rare because they are made of brick.



Former slave quarters on Ben Venue Road.


What felt like a brief ride to me — I logged 175-miles — may have been Dottie’s first 200+-mile day. She lives about 20 miles from me and we met at my house, so she covered a few more miles than I did.

It was nice being back in West Virginia, but it has left me itching for more. Hopefully, Hubby and I will get a chance to head out that way before winter really settles in. Fingers crossed…


  1. Dottie's Gravatar Dottie
    October 29, 2014    

    I love reading your posts especially when it’s about our rides together. I thoroughly enjoyed our ride (even the circles)! It’s always nice to get outside on beautiful days like this. The scenery was amazing. I will continue to improve on my snuggle to adjust my gear just right, a few electric items wouldn’t hurt! As always I love your company and the zany things we run into out there.

    • November 1, 2014    

      Yes, Dottie, you really should check out heated gear. Even summer days in the mountains can get a bit chilly for you.

  2. novos's Gravatar novos
    October 29, 2014    

    That is some goregous country out there….

    • November 1, 2014    

      Thanks, Novos. I agree. We sure landed in a pretty place.

  3. October 29, 2014    

    Wonderful scenery, and it may be time for heated gear for your friend. It makes a world of difference especially when the bike doesn’t have a huge fairing and windshield. For me, on the Beemer, no heated gear is needed until well below freezing while on the Ural, mid-30s is really cold…

    • November 1, 2014    

      I was thinking of heated gear for her, too. I’m not sure of the power requirements, though. Would a Rebel support it? I’ll have to mention it to her and tell her to do the research first.

  4. shan's Gravatar shan
    October 29, 2014    

    Wait a second. You got lost and had to make circles? Is your MOMstar broken? ;D

    • November 1, 2014    

      I wasn’t really lost. I was just having a hard time getting to the right spot. LOL. Must be old age.

  5. October 29, 2014    

    Man do you live in a pretty area. Gorgeous views from those roads.

    Our sunshine is done for the year. Well except for the liquid Oregon variety.

    • November 1, 2014    

      Sorry to hear your sun is done. LOL. I’d like to experience this fog season I’ve seen mentioned on other blogs lately. Ah, Oregon.

  6. October 29, 2014    

    Great post. Nothing beats motorcycle rides in the country.

    • November 1, 2014    

      ShyB, you got that right. Especially when the roads are curvy, hilly, and uncrowded.

  7. October 31, 2014    

    Very nice ride report. And like the others mentioned, what beautiful country!

    FWIW: It looked like a pig with a hat on…

    • November 1, 2014    

      Danny, I thought it was a pig at first glance. As I got closer, I was more like WTF is it? đŸ™‚

      It was definitely interesting. Especially considering the location, a formerly low-key, boring town on the edge of West Virginia. Nice to see it being spruced up.

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