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Archive for June 10th, 2009

Day 184 – 10th June 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 10, 2009

Wednesday – Waynesboro, Virginia

Finished the Blue Ridge Parkway and set up for the Skyline Drive and the same bike passed me twice going the other way, weird but met the most wonderful blue eyed blonde

I had an early start today as I was intending to meet up with another Vstrommer who lives up in north Virginia who has been following my travels on the net. He said he would ride down the Skyline Drive and we would pass each other around lunchtime, depending on what time I got away. He would keep riding south until we passed. As I had no idea yesterday on what state my head would be at, I could not be precise. As it turns out, I was feeling quite OK, so off I go around 9.15 after fuelling up at the servo next door.

If you are wondering why I have not posted maps the past few days, well, it is extremely difficult to get Google maps to render the Blue Ridge Parkway, unless I zoom in real close, then I would have to post about 5 maps. Basically it is a road that goes from Cherokee in SC to Waynesboro in Virginia and basically goes north and twists and turns a lot. It is over 400 miles long and at 45mph, it takes awhile, that is not including viewing stops etc.

As you can see the day was overcast but I started out without the wet gear on, I would have plenty of places to stop and don them if need be. I of course had about 40 miles to get to the parkway where I got off yesterday at Fancy Gap and on the way I saw this trench digger on the trailer and it was digging a trench in the road, because the arm was not tied up correctly. Heaps of sparks and crap coming off it, I eventually passed them and pointed back, they pulled up and hopefully fixed it.

I finally got back on the parkway at 10.15 or so and once again was riding a very nice relaxing road, with some great scenery and views, I even saw a few deer today, which woke me up 🙂 Just up the road a ways was a place called Mabrys Mill, I had been told about this so I stopped and had a look around, a very interesting place and well set up. They even had park rangers and other people using the tools of that time to make things and on weekends they actually use the mill to grind corn etc, I missed it by a few days.

They had a working blacksmiths shop and the old chap was showing a young chap how to forge a candlestick holder.

The actual working mill was a combination mill, sawmill and workshop, you can read all about it here, it was very interesting and very smartly worked out too.

While I was doing this my bike got surrounded by hogs.

On up the road and I had seen these fences quite often over the past few days, I thought they were weird and used a lot of wood for the distance covered.

I could not imagine why they would build fences like this, I needed to ask someone if I could find someone, that is me, Richard the questioner 🙂 Some more nice views although it was getting hazy, the roads were fun, even at slow speed.

Now, see they can build straight fences, so what is the go with the zig zag ones?

While I was riding listening to music I came to the conclusion, incorrect or not, that the zig zag fences use no posts dug into the ground and are free standing fences, the straight ones used two fence posts for uprights. I would need to check on my thinking, but at least I could stop thinking about it so much and pay attention to the road and the views, of which there are many.

Dang it, road works, but only a small wait this time.

I stopped here but could not find the mountain, maybe behind all the mist I guess.

Not again, and quite a wait this time too, but I guess if they do it now, they do not interupt the weekend tourist traffic. 😦

It was shortly after this I saw who I had come to meet. It was a yellow Vstrom, the rider had a yellow jacket and yellow helmet, so yes it must be the Michael the bumblebee, I waved at him and he waved back and just up the road was the turn off to Roanoak, so I pulled over and waited.

And waited and waited, hmmm. I was over the other side of the road under a shady tree and a saw a whole heap of cars and other bikes go past, but no yellow Vstrom?? After 10-15 minutes, I figured I had got the wrong person, there must be two of them on the parkway, either that or it was him and he did not recognise me? I was at this stage 125 miles south of Waynesboro, so I started to think it was too far south, I expected to meet him further up the road towards the end of the Blue Ridge. I would continue on although slow down a bit, stop at more view points in case it was him and he was late turning around.

At one of the view points I saw this vulture up a tree, but I did not have a long enough zoom to get a real good close up.

More hills, dales and windy roads with more look outs, great stuff I like this road 🙂

Now I went past this sign and thought it was hilarious, so I went back to get a photo, wheeee, stunt time everyone 🙂

It was not as vicious as the sign made out, but fun nonetheless 🙂 Here is a bit of local trivia for ya all.

It was now nearly 4pm and guess what, I saw a yellow bumblebee riding past the other way, I waved, he waved and by crikey he even slowed down, but I have played that game before, so I kept on going slowly until he came up behind me and we waved again, so this must be Micheal 🙂 We pulled over at the next look out and met each other.

The story goes like this, that was him I had seen 3 hours ago, but he did not think it was me because he could not remember seeing red bags on my bike and did not see my flag. By the time he realised his blue, he was 30 minutes further south, so he got off the parkway, hit the interstate slab and voomed north at a rate of knots. When he got back to Waynesboro, he went to the entrance station of the national park(where the Skyline Drive is) and asked, had an Aussie bike been through here, nope, so he waited a bit then headed south and finally saw me again. He is an Iron Butt rider, so the distance was nothing to him. We headed north, we were only 30 miles or so from the end of this road and the beginning of the next, but I needed fuel, so we would head to the end, then get fuel and work our way north. I mentioned that I would prefer to get a room somewhere around the 5pm mark and as I had seen a few deer already, I did not want to ride to his home town tonight.

We had to get off the parkway and on the interstate to get fuel which we did in Waynesboro.

As it was nearly 5pm, and there was still nearly 4 hours to get to Michaels place in Sterling, we agreed to get a motel and as this was the most likely non tourist spot, we took a few rooms. I was all in for going to a different spot about 10 miles away, but Micheal shouted the rooms, so I shouted for dinner and drinks, thanks m8. We had dinner at a Ruby Tuesday, mine was lumps of crab meat baked somehow, it tasted nice, I wish there was more of it 🙂

Now, here is the spin out for the evening, the young lass who took us to our table was a beautiful blonde girl, she had the most beautiful deep blue eyes I have ever seen and she was so excited to meet an Aussie, she loved the accent and wanted me to keep on talking, lol, who could stop me. Her name is Tia 🙂

What a shame I did not set up red eye reduction on the camera but, the blue shows up well anyway. After a while I realised the fault in the American education system, I mean in particular, the parochial way they portray themselves in the world, disregarding the rest of the world. Now, while chatting with Michael, Tia kept coming back for more and during one session I asked if she wanted to ride with me to Alaska 🙂 But, you cannot ride to Alaska she said, you have to fly, uhhh what!!! You ride up the coast to Alaska via Canada, there is no water to cross unless you go via Vladivostok. No no she said you have to fly, wtf!

Never mind, we left shortly afterwards and we both came to the conclusion that what has happened is that when the schools over here show the USA, they ONLY show the USA, not the bits in between, so when you look at an American map of the USA, they remove the state of Alaska from the continent up north (and totally ignore the fact you need to go through Canada to get to it) and put it in the ocean near Hawaii on the west coast, so of course, if that is all you have been taught, you would think it is surrounded by water. We did advise Tia to recheck her geography but it was fun while it lasted. 🙂

I saw these bikes coming in for a room as I was getting some beer from the servo, the Hayabusa has the right idea, who needs too much gear, priorities m8, priorities 🙂

While chatting outside a chap called Bob turned up, he is from Texas and rides a Harley, a nice old chap but putting in some long days as well, he was gone by the time we had breakfast next morning.

It was an early night of sorts, Michael had mentioned he was also in the market for a tent and done some research along the same lines as mine. I was heading for a Cabela store up north, the tent I had seen was about the right price and the right setup, but recently when I relooked at the photo online, they had changed it, the ‘full fly’ had been removed and an open front area was there in its place, so I needed to look at it first hand. Michael had been looking at a Hooligan tent by Coleman, which seemed a better deal all around, but when I checked online, they said out of stock until 23rd June.

But, there was a store called Dicks(how fortuitous) which may have others or similar. It would be sort of on my way north, and at the same time I could take in a few extra states as well 🙂

Day – 256 miles and 412 km
Trip – 17,731 miles and 28,535 km


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Posted in Around The World, USA Leg | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

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