|An old homestead in West Virginia|
It was a cold and wet start. In fact, the morning air had such a chill to it that I repacked my optimistic warm weather gear and opted for a few things that would keep me warmer such as some snowmobile mid-weight thermal leggings (BRP), a heated vest as an under layer, and a set of gloves for cold and wet weather.
I was supposed to be in Markham for 0700 to meet up with Wobbly Cat, but I dreaded taking the 401 across the city on a Friday morning, so instead headed north and across Concession 7 which has a rather long gravel portion. A long, potholed gravel road with a technical section of gravel bare clay road that challenged the traction of my Conti Trail Attack2 tires, so much so that I was on the throttle and pegs through portions of it. Excitement I didn't relish at the time, but puts the "adventure" in adventure riding.
|Day 1 - Whitby ON to Haagerstown MD|
|And the adventure begins|
Here is where I get a bit embarrassed...I had programmed four tracks into the GPS, a Garmin 60cx with older software, and each track was the same colour on the display. I found I was heading south on the Day 4 track! I fixed it by calling up each track but for day 1, and deselected the "show on map" feature so they all disappeared and I was left with my Day 1 track, but here I was about 20 miles off course to the West. *sigh*
I headed West out of Springville to pick up NY16 and headed south on secondary roads that led me through a rural Amish New York State. The roads could be a bit rough, but the scenery was interesting, and while the boys were following tractor trailers on US219, I was free wheeling through the heart of NYS.
By this time the rain had gone, and all I was seeing was damp patches of road here and there in the shadows, but there was certainly evidence of heavy rainfall as the rivers were in full spate, as well as debris on the roads from the trees and rain swept shoulders.
|Amish New York|
Now I had another "Adventure by Garmin" as i largely plotted this route via Google Maps then imported anc converted a KML into a GPX file then loaded it into my GPS as a track, and that track said leave PA44 and head west which I did along a lovely little bit of twisty sideroad that sported a centre line... Then the centre line disappeared, and my GPS told me to turn onto a road that had no outlet and became gravel. Nope, gonna keep going on this one see if it recalculates... Yep, it told me to proceed West another two miles and turn left, but in a mile the road I was on turned to gravel. This is an adventure bike right?... Two miles later I turned onto, you guessed it, another gravel road, but with a bit of grass growing up through the middle, and the GPS said 500 metres of this then turn left again... The other road looked more like a ski hill access road, with not enough clearance to turn this big heavy bike around on essentially street tires. Hokay, time to turn around and get back on PA44 and just tell Garmin to route me to Coudersport where I could simply abandon part of the track and make my way south on 872, a wonderful road that leads south through the mountains and along a river past hunting and fishing camps to Renovo Road or PA120 as it it known.
|Adventures by Garmin, and this was the good road!|
|I mistakenly thought this bakery was in business to find it had been closed and used for storage. Off to the pizzeria!|
|Worth the wait for fresh made pizza dough and focacia.|
|Add in an iced tea, and I was in heaven!|
|Mountains! It's what this ride is all about!|
|Wykoff Run behind me, a bit fast due to all that rainfall.|
|A favourite spot for fisherman along the run.|
|The lighting isn't the best on this overcast day, and it shows|
|So tranquil. So beautiful.|
|The view improves.|
|Chew Mail Pouch tobacco|
While riding in Pennsylvania I've seen this advertisement many times, and like to stop and take pictures, so you will no doubt see them again and again if you continue to follow along with my blog.
|And an encore|
The roads got busier as I wound my way to Haagerstown MD, our first stop of the night, so you will have to excuse me as this is the last one you'll see from Day 1 of the trip. On to the hotel where Wobbly and David had just arrived and begun to check in, and joy oh joy! An Olive Garden right across the street from our hotel!
|Tour of Southern Italy|
Now we rubbed our full bellies and headed back to the hotel, and checked with the night clerk to see if any other of our riding buddies had arrived at the hotel, to find that as of 2030 noone had arrived. Okay, the three of them might have left late, or had a minor breakdown. It was early yet...
2330 the three of them rolled in to the hotel, as it turned out they had left after work, and with a long border wait as it was the start of a long weekend, still they made good time.
|Pat, Joe and Steve at long last!|
|Day 2 - Haagerstown MD to Roanoke VA|
|One of us is ready to go...|
|West Virginia welcomes you|
|A hour and a bit on the highway|
|Want one! :)|
|O'er the hills and far away!|
We gassed up here so we could play on the parkway with full tanks. No more Interstate for a another two days!
|Ethanol free for me!|
|Did I mention flooding?|
|After this photo stop, I forged on ahead towards are lunch stop, just a few minutes further ahead.|
|Hank's Smokehouse - lunch stop|
|More evidence of flooding in the foreground|
|There they are.|
|Oh bugger, gravel all through the corner!|
|I thought he would be injured but Pat had knee armour underneath his riding jeans|
|Knee Armour for the win!|
|All that flooding washed dirt and gravel out into the corner|
|Conti Trail Attack2 tires are wearing a bit faster than I like|
|I got here well before the rest of the group. Rest, now that that's an idea!|
|Oops, wrong way!|
|We made it!|
|Day 3 - Roanoke VA to Cumberland MD|
|Yeah, it's going to be a long day|
|Ambrose and Priscilla join the party|
|And we're off!|
|I love the hood ornament on this car|
Wobbly Cat lead us on another Adventure by Garmin
|Day 4 - Cumberland MD to Whitby ON|
|It all fits!!!|
|And we're back!|