"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

End of Blue Ridge, on to Sky Line Drive

We headed back onto the Blue Ridge Parkway bright and early Wednesday morning. The weather was just about perfect with mostly sunny Sky and temps in the lower 70's. We both had our jackets on most of the day and were very comfortable. We got back into the rhythm of the ride pretty quickly and the mile markers continued downward at a fast pace.

We made a stop where the James River and the parkway intersect. The NPS have a visitor center and after walking across a bridge over the river they have a portion of a canal and a lock that has been preserved. George Washington was instrumental in the development of this area and a waterway to move goods was constructed to help colonize the region.

Back on the bike we made a few more stops at different overlooks and took some scenery shots. We made it to the final visitor center at the Northern End of the Parkway about 2pm and took our time visiting a 19th century farm they have on display with workers in period dress explaining what it was like living on the farm back in that day.

There were several buildings on the grounds and we enjoyed touring thru them until Rudee spotted this sign. She was pretty much done after that and was ready to get the heck out of there.

We rode the final few miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway where it ends at the entrance to the Shenandoah National Park.

We found a Motel in Waynesboro Virginia and settled in for the night. We were just finishing putting the cover on the bike when the rain started. It poured on and off for most of the evening and we were sure glad we decided to stop early. The motel had a nice indoor pool and they even had a free Lasagna meal in the breakfast area, we took advantage of both before calling it a night.

Thursday morning we got a little later start then normal. We wanted to ride thru the National Park on the Sky Line Drive which is an additional 105 mile extension of the Parkway that travels from one end of the park to the other. We entered and paid our $10 fee for motorcycle (cars are $15) which allows us into the park for 6 days. The drive here is similar to the Parkway. The speed limit is 35 where as the Parkway is 45 and there is more traffic from others availing themselves of the parks facilities. There are more facilities here since this is a "working" National Park and there are several pull offs that offer fuel and food as well as the usual gift shops. We did see a lot of deer today, 16 total in the 105 miles we rode in the park. No bears though :-(

We made it to the end of the drive about 2pm and turned the bike towards Indiana.

We rode for about 50 miles and the Sky was getting grey and cloudy and it looked more and more like rain. Rudee had been wearing her rainsuit most of day since it was in the low 60's and I had my chaps and coat on. We were heading across US50 into West Virgina and our good weather luck ran out. We rode in and out of rain the rest of the day and were pretty cold when we finally made our stop in Fairmont West Virgina about 6:30 we both agreed that we had had enough. Our plan is to head to Columbus Ohio and visit with Matthew and Mandie before heading home on Saturday. I'll keep you posted.

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