Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blue Ridge Parkway: The Second Adventure

After riding 521 miles yesterday "someone" luxuriated in a little extra sleep.  I was game enough since the bed was comfortable.  And I didn't bother masking my chuckles at his repeated exclamations of how sore he was.  After all, that wasn't my longest day on the bike.  It might have been his though.  :)

The hotel we were staying at offered a continental breakfast.  A must for getting an easy start in the morning.  I need my breakfast before crawling onto the bike.  But that led us into an entire dialog on the merits of pulling clothes on and getting breakfast right now versus showering and dressing first.  As a girl I have a very different perspective than Oilburner.  And I can only attribute it to a difference between the sexes right now.  Oilburner just wants to throw shorts on and run out the door.  Girls don't always have it that easy.  Buxom ones need to install and position over the shoulder boulder holders.  If long hair is present brushes and combs need to be employed.  And some people of the South cannot be seen in public without some form of female war paint on.  (Thankfully I am not of that variety!)  If I am going through all that work it would be easier to just do it once.  We will agree to disagree on this subject.  Just another area we have discovered as a traveling difference.  So I effectively booted him out of bed, told him if it was so easy go ahead.  Then I crawled out of bed and happily toodled around in my PJ's just gathering gear and packing up electronics cords.  Another point for hotels versus camping.  hehehe

We knew we needed to hit the road soon.  We had 280 miles (450 km) of parkway ahead of us.  And we also knew that was an aggressive distance at 45 mph (73 km/h) max.




The last time we were on the BRP our distance to time ratio was out of whack due to all of the sightseeing at all of the overlooks.  Aware of the distraction this time around we vowed not to pull into every single one.  And certainly not the first one!  We succeeded.  We did turn around twice when an "exhibit" sign looked interesting.  This sign caught our eye in passing.  Just had to go back and read what that was about.  Unfortunately, the 20-minute cliff has nothing to do with it's height in relation to any falling objects flung (or pushed) from it.



Down the road a little further the stone steps caught my eye making me back track.





We were able to forgo many overlooks soon.  The day was warm and humid.  Our temps at the ridge remained an enjoyable 74F (23C).  However, the humidity was relatively high.  The views from any overlook was hampered by the high moisture content.  There wasn't much to be had in long distance viewing or blue skies.  It also didn't help that the trees were in full leaf and difficult to see through.


We stopped at Otter Creek since every overlook leading up to this was "Otter" something or other.  Great little rock dam.



Oilburner wouldn't let me turn around for Purgatory Overlook.  But I surreptitiously steered us to Devil's Backbone.



We were actually making pretty good time without all of the stops.  I did force us off the parkway to get fuel.  I get antsy when the gauge shows two bars remaining.  Holding my breath that the fuel station on my GPS still existed I led us into the unknown in the wilds near Floyd, VA.  Wow.  Nice scenery.

Our luck was in and the fuel station was still in business.  Great place that the current owners have had in the family for 31 years.



I inquired about the "number of hot dogs sold" count.  Seems that figure is a count of 31 years!  We had already eaten lunch but ordered two for the road in case dinner was delayed.  Unfortunately we never had the chance to eat them.  :(  Have to go back!  :)

The convenience store is one of those throw back in time places that city dwellers don't usually have the opportunity to enjoy.  Among the floating cooler ball for beer storage and canned goods stood the beautiful antique glass and wood cases.  And within these cases were the hunting guns and ammo.  We didn't even recognize the pattern on some of the boxes, making us wonder how old they might have been.

From the beginning Oilburner repeatedly drilled into me that our exit was at 280 (miles).  A nice, even, round number to remember and day dream about as the road weary set in an hour before quitting time.  (The Parkway has placed wonderful stone markers with the mileage etched in at each mile of the route.  Therefore it is easy to pinpoint your location.)  It was with a heavy heart that I had to chastise him when marker 280 came and went with no hope of an exit.  The next marker came and went with my hopes dwindling more.  Then the next...  Oilburner lied to me...  He had some making up to do.  Which he achieved quite nicely with the fabulous strawberry martini that he had to force me to drink.  Then the second one.  Tsk. Tsk.  Luckily the hotel was a short saunter away through a parking lot.  The short climb up a 3 foot slope was navigable with him pushing my tush up the hill and my grabbing his arm and pulling so he didn't have to put much weight on his bum toe.  We made quite the sight and laughed the entire walk "home."

It was a spectacular day.  The weather and temps were perfect.  The roads were spot on with curves and fun to be had.  There was time enough for the few sights that caught our interest.

Interestingly, one of Oilburners headlights was out yesterday.  We should have hit the parts store as soon as we reached Waynesboro, but the heat was just begging us to get off the bikes.  So it was very interesting to see that he lost his second light today.  He was running blind!  A portion of the parkway was closed for renovations, detouring us through town.  We made a quick stop at the parts store to recover two headlight bulbs.


1 comment:

  1. Great read lori, Your pics this time aound put a different perspective on the parkway. I sense you were very much enjoying the riding and not so much bothered about the sight seeing.

    Terry is always tapping me on the shoulder and saying"look did you see that bird/tree/waterfall/house etc" normally my answer is no.