The plan was to meet up with my long time riding buddy Bill R from Warren Mass. and his friend Marty for a get together that happens all too infrequently. We decided back in the summer to try and meet for the York Open House in September but that was only a destination on the map, not the journey or brotherhood that we share.
I was going to leave on Friday September 22 but the weather convinced me to wait until Sunday morning before I left. It rained all day on Friday and most of Saturday only to stop about 3 pm Saturday afternoon. I did not see any point in leaving that late in the day so I decided to wait until Sunday morning to ride.
I left High Ridge MO and headed East on I-64 with the intention of reaching Beckley WV that evening (587 miles). I stopped at the 1st rest area East of Mt. Vernon, IL and met Don L (Charleston WV) on his way home. We decided to hook up and ride to WV together. You meet the greatest people on the road! We crossed the WV state line just before sunset and Don headed home to the wife and kids and I headed toward Beckley as we rolled into Charleston in the dark. Fifty miles to go in the cold and on wet roads!
I meet up with Bill (MA) and Marty (NH) in Beckley Sunday night. We played catch up and had a few needed libations back at the hotel room. The next morning (Monday), we road up toward Snowshoe on Hwys 41, 20, and 15 after visiting the New River Gorge area. Wow, is New River Gorge impressive or what? We did not have the time to ride up to Snowshoe but we road as far as the junction of Hwy 15 and Hwy 219. We rode south on 219 until just before we hit I-64 we made a pit stop at the local bowling alley and visited with the locals and flirted with the cute brunette tending bar. We then continued south to I-64 and road back to Beckley. It was an all day ride the way we did it but what great riding.
Two days before we met up (Saturday), Bill and Marty road from Mass to Cumberland MD and spent the night there. The next morning, it was raining and they stopped at the first rest area in WV as they road south to Beckley. As they were looking at the road map, the Governor of WV walked up, introduced himself and asked them what their riding plans were. They stated that we planned on riding into Virginia and up the Blue Ridge Parkway. He rides himself and suggested and alternate route. He said ride north on Hwy 92 then continue north on Hwy 28 to Petersburg. We took his suggestion and headed up that way when we left to head to York, PA. What a great ride! The Gov was dead on with that suggestion. He seems to be a good guy.
We spent Tuesday night in Petersburg packed the bikes and had breakfast before riding East on Hwy 55 until we hit the interstate. We then took Hwy 7 East then Hwy 318 north into Harpers Ferry, crossed the Potomac River and then north on Hwy 67 to Hwy 66 then East on Hwy 77. Hwy 77 was a short ride but very scenic, defiantly will be on the repeat list next time I ride this way! We rode East to Hwy 15 and north to Gettysburg and stopped at Gettysburg Harley Davidson for some coffee and shop for a long sleeve T shirt. After getting a shirt, we road East on Hwy 30 into York.
The hotel we stayed at in Petersburg was 'Hermitage Motor Inn'. They are biker friendly, had a bar and restaurant, and we got two adjoining rooms for $57! We have already planned on a get together next summer and everyone meet at Petersburg at this hotel.
Thursday, we went to the open house and Bill and Marty headed north through Harrisburg around 12:30 and I rode north with them until I hit the PA turnpike and turned west towards Wheeling WV. I had only gone about 30 miles west and hit the cold, driving rain for the rest of the day. I finally pulled into a hotel that I had stayed in the past about 12 miles west of Columbus, OH for the night.
I got up the next morning, loaded the bike, hit the starter and got nothing...it seems that the cold from Thursday night killed my battery. I meet a fellow rider (Bob Losh) doing handyman type of repairs at the hotel who road a 1200 custom who was nice enough to give me a push start and I was on my way. I did not have any rain to contend with until I hit the Illinois line and it rained the rest of the way into St. Louis. It was unseasonably cold that day and windy. I never turned the bike off after Bob and I got it started. I left Columbus around 1100 and arrived home around 1730.
Overall, it was a great trip and ride. After it was all said and done, I think it was around 2500 miles.
Always remember, you can ride the same route, but never the same ride...