I said goodbye to Grace's lovely real bed, and hit the cold morning road with camping intentions!Save for a brief jaunt to Home Depot to pick up a tarp for ground cover (I knew I'd forget to pack something), I took Rt-66 all the way to the northern entry point for the Skyline Drive in Front Royal. After a bit of stretch and wander through the local wine festival, I hit the Shenandoah National Park. It costs $10 for a pass which is good for a week, and it's the best $10 I've spent.
|Popular spot for motorcyclists to take photos!|
I cannot describe to you how amazing it was to ride the Skyline. The cool, clear weather meant absolutely stunning views of the valleys, with a perfectly smooth ribbon of tarmac guiding you along. There was hardly any traffic, just an endless winding road with easy curves under a bright blue sky. I stopped for photos early on, but soon was lost to the easy sway of the curves, and the road. I've never driven anything as heart-stoppingly beautiful.
|From the first scenic stop. I think. They all blur together so beautifully.|
A short ways in, a motorcycle was stopped slightly to the side of the road. Wondering what was wrong, I pulled over just behind him. He had a camera in his hand, and just said, "Bear!" I turned to my right, and about 8 feet from me was Nature, looking me square in the face. Actually, there were three bears. After fumbling for a photo, I decided it might be wise to scoot a little farther away. The bears went to climb trees and forage, and I scooted off.
|Bikes make great lawn ornaments.|
|Definitely rally time.|
|Scott has priorities.|
|I think that ball should be used for scooter polo.|
|Slow race, or fast race?|
|Poor beaten up rally bike.|
I was sad to have arrived too late for the group rides, but still had a great time! I got to try out Davide's lowered GS, which bounded over that muddy gravel patch (the GTS got stuck in earlier) like buttah. Unfortunately, then I borrowed
Rob's the rally Rattler for a bathroom run, and slipped in the grass like buttah, incurring some bruises and scrapes (sorry, Rattler). This should have been warning enough for later that evening, after several helpings of wine. As metabolically tends to happen after some drinks, I went for another bathroom run... and, too lazy to dig out my flashlight, did not see the creek I fell into. The rest of the evening was spent steaming off my clothes by the fire. This is not to mention pricker bush damage I incurred taking the rally bike on a joyride on the trail. Thanks to Rob for applying first aid.
|I could have kissed the cook, this simple, $4 breakfast made me so happy.|
|And back to this.|
|These gear ties are great for many things!|
|Didn't entirely dry overnight. Did you know Vespa makes laundry racks?|
|Breakfast always helps.|
|This is the first place I found cell signal after nearly 2 days of radio silence. Worth the wait.|
|Signal was strong, so I set up to work for a bit!|
|Popular rock for photos.|
|Nearly lost my scooter in the grass for this photo.|
|There's a little pull off to a narrow winding road to climb to Roanoke Peak.|
|More blue skies and mountains. How does one put up with it?|
|Otter Lake in the morning, just outside campground.|
|Little blue tailed lizard in the bridge over lower Otter Creek.|
|I would bearly notice.|
|Mabry Mill, the most photographed sight on the Parkway.|
|Set up near the bathroom, and also by the creek! Tempting fate, I know, but they're in opposite directions.|
|Sharing peanuts around the fire with Pork Chop (I swear he prefers it), Tim, and Will.|
|This place had everything and a cheap deli counter!|
Over breakfast at the Meadows of Dan mashup station, I chatted with the cyclist whose vehicle was outside. Welsh guy, headed north to Maine on that contraption. I said Portland is not to be missed.
|It doesn't end.|
|Sign at Northwest Trading Post was promising.|
|Got the last one, and added $.77 of cheddar. More biscuits, bwahaha.|
|Wish I could carry this. Alas, not actually single serving.|
|Jesse Brown's creepy cabin along the Blue Ridge Parkway.|
|Is this a convention?|
|Don introduced himself.|
|Pointing out The Snake on his map, so I could ride it later.|
|Oh what the hell, I'll follow you guys and ride it now!|
|First ADV run in! Mike, HBN on ADV.|
|It's a sign of...something.|
Next up: Arts and Crafts in Penland, drinks in Asheville, and a traveling show in Maggie Valley.