New Orleans to Nova Scotia 2017-Day 3

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ July 1, 2017/ BMW R1200RT, New Orleans to Nova Scotia 2017/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Boone, NC

Time: 0730

Weather Conditions: cloudy to clear and 76

Daily High Temperature: 89 (low at upper elevations of 62)

Destination: Staunton, VA

Daily Miles Logged: 412

Arrival Time: 1940

States Visited: North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Today was all about the ride… and replacing an iPhone that succumbed to water exposure for two days in what was supposed to be a water resistant case in a waterproof pocket.  Lesson learned… fabric leaks, no matter what, at some point it will yield to water!

With just a few clouds in the sky for our departure, we decided to stow the rain gear and take our chances for the first few hours.  This proved to be a great call as we only had a few light sprinkles throughout the day.  We did however encounter wet roads throughout the morning on what was to be  the most challenging roads of the day: The Back of the Dragon and The Snake.

We began the morning with our approach to the Snake which from our hotel was just a few miles away.  Our route took us from Mountain City to Shady Valley where the beleaguered “Country Store” created us with not so much as even a “howdy” or “mornin’.”  This was my third time visiting this spot, and each time it seems the interest in running an actual business is fading away.  Empty bins where T-Shirts once were to empty racks in the middle of the display area were a disappointment to Jr and I as we were looking to buy an updated shirt to commemorate our experience and this rite of passage.  Sadly, only a handful of T-shirts were there, all seeming to be in odd sizes and all with the same graphics as what was there years ago.  What a missed opportunity when you look at the success of places like Deals Gap!

The Back of the Dragon in Virginia,  Described as: “Thirty-two miles and over three hundred curves, the Back of the Dragon is considered by some to be the premier riding road in the nation! Ideal for sports cars or motorcycles, this road offers the most spectacular views you can find in the Appalachians.”  Even with predominantly wet asphalt, the ride was exhilarating and gave me an opportunity to revisit the very spot where I got separated from our group several years ago.  Our approach was South to North this time, but the intersection was clear to me as it was seared into my memory from the past experience.

At the end of my first trip with this group of guys, we spent our second to last day together riding some of these same roads.  I was a new rider, and certainly new to group riding, and by mid way through this curvaceous road, the pack pulled away from me and I decided, rather than chasing them, to ride the route at my own pace.  This was a good theory, but an abysmal failure in practical application as I did not have the route programmed into my GPS and I was not connected to the group comms.  I came to the point in the route where, as legend has it, the route we had been traveling on veered to the right, but I went to the left.  I stand to this day stating that anyone presented with the nice fresh blacktop that was on the route that we had been on for 15+ miles that veered to the right was the “continuation of the route” and not the old, faded and obviously worn out pavement that veered to the right!

I followed that roadway for miles with no sign of them until the roadway came to an end and I had to choose: Right or Left!  I went right and wound up in the middle of a farmers gravel driveway in his cornfields.  As I was trying to get my bike turned around, a couple of hillbillies in overalls carrying pitchforks began to walk towards me…  I hit the gas and flew out of there with extreme velocity!  I backtracked to the point where I had made the turn and went to the left and wound up in a little town near the interstate and I did what anyone in my position would have likely done: I set the GPS for home!   Alls well that ends well!  I did meet back up with the group a few miles later down the road and finished the trip with these fine gents!

Also on our ride plan for the day was the Backbone Falls and Burkes Garden.  To find a replacement phone for Trent we had to take a quick jaunt to Princeton, WV which delayed us somewhat and made these impractical for the day.  These will have to wait for another time…


Tomorrow, we push north towards PA and will spend the morning in Gettysburg exploring the battlefield and the museum before we meet back up with the rest of the gang for dinner with Matt’s family in York, PA.


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