Amazing Roads and Opportunistic LOVE

This past weekend Hubby and I enjoyed a fabulous three-day ride south and west of our home in Virginia. We covered 850 miles on wonderful motorcycle roads in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and even parts of West Virginia.

I plotted the route using the Microsoft Streets & Trips software, but used my America Rides Maps (Virginia Mountains Set) to select many of the roads.

The Map
The Map

I’d been wanting to really put those maps to the test. And guess what? They passed with flying colors. Really. We spent three days riding a series of really awesome motorcycle roads. It was tons of fun. We were having so much fun, in fact, that I didn’t even think about taking a picture until late in the day on Friday, after we’d already been on the road for many hours. You know I’m having fun when I don’t think about pictures, right?

Along Indian Valley Road in Floyd County, Virginia.

We ended up staying in Hillsville, Virginia Friday night.

Sunset from Hillsville, VA.

Lucky for us, there was a Bojangle’s about 15 minutes from our hotel, so we both enjoyed a nice breakfast on Saturday.

Hubby and Me

It wasn’t even hard to convince Hubby to pose for a goofy selfie with me.

From there, we rode into downtown Galax, looking for LOVE. (Since it was along the way, I figured we ought to stop.)

Galax, VA LOVEwork

Fortunately, the LOVEwork was right where it was supposed to be.

For the record, I saw the LOVEwork in Christiansburg, but it was hot, there was rush hour traffic, and it was on the opposite side of a busy street, so I opted not to stop for a photo. But I saw it. That counts in my book.

My Real Love

After a brief break, we continued south into North Carolina and then west and north to Mountain City, Tennessee.

Four States in Three Days

Why Mountain City? That’s where The Snake begins. 🙂

Hubby at the NC/TN border.

I missed The Snake on my solo trip earlier this year, so I figured it would be a good destination road that both of us could enjoy.

The Snake totally lives up to all the hype.

And enjoy it we did. Seriously, it’s a FUN road. That road alone was worth the trip.

The Snake


Shady Valley Country Store, about midway on The Snake.

From there, we headed north into Virginia, to Abingdon then East on 58 through the Jefferson National Forest. A repeat road for me that I really, REALLY enjoyed during my solo trip. We then followed 16 into Marion where we stopped for lunch before continuing north on the Back of the Dragon.

Marion, Virginia


My not-so-observant Hubby.

We chose Macados for lunch after discovering that the BBQ place we’d really headed for was closed.

After we were seated, I said to Mike, “Did you see the giant dinosaur head on the wall?”

His response? “What dinosaur?” Sigh…

We continued making our way north and east toward Paint Bank, Virginia, where I’d reserved a room at the quaint Depot Lodge. En route, we stopped at the Wolf Creek Indian Village near Bastian for some more LOVE.

Bastian LOVEwork


Yet another lovely road.

Hubby enjoyed the ride just as much as I did. The weather verged on hot at times, but was very pleasant for the most part.

The Depot Lodge in Paint Bank, Virginia


Lobby at The Depot Lodge


Paint Bank General Store


View of the store from our second floor porch.


Chillaxin’ on the porch.


Our room at The Depot Lodge


Sadly, the caboose was already booked.


Outbuilding at The Depot Lodge


View of the lodge from the rear lawn.

Sunday, we had to hurry home to get the dogs from the kennel and so I could get ready to head off to Rockville, MD for work.

Humpback Bridge near Covington, Virginia.

I’d read about the bridge in a pamphlet at the hotel. A pamphlet which did NOT clue me in on a special bonus we’d also find at that location.

Humback Bridge (notice anything odd?)


We’d accidentally found another LOVEwork. How cool is that?


Covington LOVEwork


Hubby, reflecting inside the bridge.


A bit further north, we stopped at this Falling Springs overlook.


This may be the largest waterfall in Virginia.

That waterfall was easily visible from the overlook along 220 north of Covington, yet another AMAZING stretch of road.

Road south of the overlook.

We continued north on 220, all the way to Franklin, West Virginia. It was a beautiful, scenic ride alternating between mountains and valleys. Spectacular, really.

Feanklin, WV

From there, we headed east on US-33 — one of Hubby’s favorite roads — north and east through the Shenandoah Valley, and then, at New Market, east on US-211 to Warrenton.

It may sound repetitive, but that particular series of roads we covered overed three days was probably the best series of roads we’d ever ridden together. Except for maybe in the Italian/Swiss/Austrian Alps. Really. It’s a route we WILL be revisiting.


Here’s a link to my Spotwalla tracker map with a couple little caveats. I forgot to start the app on my phone, so it looks like we started in Elkton, Virginia. Also, my phone battery died just east of Luray, so it appears that we never made it home.

I hope you enjoyed the recap. Now, I have to get to work.

14 Replies to “Amazing Roads and Opportunistic LOVE”

  1. All these “love” photos brought that old early 80’s tune to mind: Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places. Except of course in your case, it’s all the right places?

    The Snake eh? A competitor to the Dragon for motorcycling enthusiasts?

    Nice ride report with binding theme….

    1. Dom, I think of that song often.

      The Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap in NC/TN, aka The Dragon, is one of the most famous motorcycle roads. In my opinion, The Snake on US 421 between Mountain City and Bristol, TN, is far superior. It’s longer, you can go faster, and it is far less heavily traveled. I honestly think I was smiling ear-to-ear the whole time. And the roads leading to the Snake are also very good roads. Really heady stuff.

  2. Nice photos of a nice trip through a greener part of the country. Here on the Oregon coast it’s wonderful but just 50 miles away it’s into triple digits…

    1. Richard, it had been unbearably hot and humid, but things cooled off for a few days. The afternoons were warm, but much less humid. The heat and humidity has returned, though. We have a very wet Spring to thank for all the green trees. 🙂

  3. How cool you found Love at a covered bridge (you know they were called kissing bridges right?)

    Sounds like a great trip. Sometimes those short one or two night jaunts can be the best. I am envious you can hit 4 states in 3 days. It takes all day to get across Oregon to Idaho.

    1. Yes, I know about the “Kissing Bridges” moniker. The coolest part about seeing the Humpback Bridge LOVE was that I didn’t know it was there. I had only seen the bridge mentioned in a pamphlet.

      It was a long ride to reach TN and NC, but was worth every second. Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia are closer. This really is a great area for motorcyclists. And I agree that the quickie getaways are usually lots of fun.

    2. Trobairitz, I totally feel your pain: Here in the west we’re kinda’ born losers when it comes to the states-in-one-day competition.

      And, Kathy, that Covington LOVEwork… How clever is that?…

      1. Ry, it is very clever, but they’ll be screwed if that tree dies. 🙂

        It’s always an adjustment for me when I travel out west because the states are so much bigger. My travel planning time is always off, since it takes longer to get from point A to B on a map that may be on the same size page, but is a totally different scale.

  4. This looks like it was really a super-great weekend. Very nice.

    That L<3VE with the tree is just fantastic! You two looks cute in front of it 🙂

    And i'm so glad to hear the maps have been working out for you. Wayne is a good dude. Did you buy the full set or just a few?

    1. Thanks. I really like that sign and the pic of us, too.

      I only bought maps 1-3 because, back in January I didn’t think I’d be riding that much this year. I know it’ll be a while before I get back down to central and western NC, so I’ll wait to buy more later. He does know how to pick good roads. 🙂

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