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#1: Summer Road Trip (Day 2)

Posted on 2006-07-24 01:05:10 by Sc hmoe

Day 2 - Friday

Got up, got coffee, got more coffee. Loaded up, strapped it all down and we
hit the road around 10 AM as the temps hovered around 75. Within 2 hours,
the temps topped 90. Luckily, Pennsylvania is a choice state and from a few
minutes after we passed the state line the day before to about 20 minutes
before leaving it today, we bounced along weightless & lidless on top. when
the temps are this hot, even my relatively lightweight ½ shell feels like a
2 ton brick after a hundred miles. PA would be the only state this trip
where the choice was ours and we took full advantage. The middle of this
state has nice rolling hills, lush green this time of year and an
all-American hometown feel. About midday we arrived in Gettysburg. It was
very hot so we passed through the pretty downtown and took break among the
many battlefields that witnessed over 45,000 union and confederate casualty
(roughly 15k killed/MIA) plus 3,000+- horses. We read various plaques,
statues and markers, relearning the hideous consequences of hand-to-hand
battle that today's wars technologically sterilize. Back then, I imagine a
man's size and speed were critical to survival. Viewing the long grassy
knolls where these confrontations occurred, you can't help but feel a sense
of wonder & pride in how the U.S. so severely tested itself and somehow came
out stronger. The major battles of Gettysburg occurred in July, 143 years
ago. Was it this hot? If so, how did these men among men carry their
weapons, wearing heavy battle gear, fight these long, arduous fights? After
depositing our own droplets of heat on the battlefields, we remounted the
iron horse and continued the trek toward Marvin's Mountaintop in Masontown,
WV.

From Gettysburg, we took route 30 westward. There were a couple of towns
where traffic and construction slowed and overheated us. Finally after
Chambursburg, route 30 brought us some spec riding over mountain passes. The
Alleghany Mountains provide long sweeping turns and a few tight switchbacks.
This was our 1st taste of the quality mountain riding to be had throughout
the Appalachian's of which the Alleghany's are part. This is a very
beautiful ride with a great variety of scenery.

Heading south into western Maryland and into West Virginia on I68, the heat
wore on us a bit. In the afternoon, we were heading directly into a burning,
hazy sun.. Frequent breaks for cold water and gas station air conditioning
delayed our arrival in WV until late in the afternoon. This was ok since we
were enjoying the beautiful scenery but by the time we arrived in WV, the
heat was taking it's toll. Since we didn't buy them at Campmor, chairs were
still needed for the weekend's concerts and camping. First stop, Dollar
General outside Morgantown. Sold out. They recommended Morgontown's
Wallyworld. We thought that once we entered the festival grounds, there
would likely be no departing for the weekend. Little did we know how true
that would be. So the plan was to pick up 2 lightweight chairs and fill a
little flexible green cooler with ice and beer. Wallyworld had a Supergirl
kids chair fit Risa ok and a regular fold up chair for me but they don't
sell beer so another stop near the mountaintop was required.

With Risa holding 2 chairs and the beer/ice laden cooler in her hands and me
trying to negotiate this severely overweight 2 wheeled monster on these
twisty roads, we couldn't find the entrance to the festival. Keep in mind
that most people arrived much earlier but the signs were tiny & terrible.
After getting lost and pissed for about ½ hour I found a small sign pointing
down a dirt road. That road turned out to be full of huge jutting rocks that
reeked havoc on me, Risa & the bike almost turning us upside down more than
once. The road let us to another crap rock road that led us to another pure
large gravel road. That turned out to be the worst of all. We ended up on
the end of fairly long line of cars trying to get in. The overheating
twinkie was crying the blues between the temps (mid 90's at this point), the
road and the load. I decided that we couldn't wait on this line and
proceeded to asked, apologize and nodded our way to the front while giving
the engine an occasional 2 minute cool down. Again up another gravel road to
the 1st camping area we could find where as we stopped I came this close
<hold fingers close together> to spilling us over again on loose gravel. Now
close to 9pm, rush to pitch camp, secure bike and pour beers into my
overheated gut and we made our way up the huge hill to the concert area
which turned out to be about a 1+ mile up & down hill walk from our
campsite. On the way, we were 'courteously' offered every and any known
attitude enhancing item known to hippies. There were 20 something's holding
signs advertising the high quality of their offerings, be them smokable,
injestable & edible (i.e. 2 for 1 ganja cookies). The overt openess sorta
freaked us out having never been to anything like this before. These kids
were selling & using so openly it was almost like it was condoned. And yet,
through the entire weekend, we saw nothing but people of all ages enjoying
themselves, saw no one sick or remotely unhappy. That evening we heard some
terrific music, everything from bluegrass to fusion jazz, blues to good 'ole
rock 'n roll. We drank scotch from my handy-dandy snifter. The festival beer
sponsor was Magic Hat, a Vermont brewer which makes a heavily flavored ale.
They gave away Magic Hat condoms too (get it, Magic Hat <g>). I took 1 for a
collectors item. Maybe I'll give it to the Banker as a gift so they have
wedding night protection and there aren't any more little Bankers running
around. We drank our fill and enjoyed the company of 20,000 of our closest
friends, hitting the tent around 1AM after the arduous walk back. There was
as much people-watching entertainment away from the concert area as the
music itself.

The next day/night we stayed at the festival, no way we even thought about
heading out of there even though it was broiling hot, that gravel road
proved a fight to tiresome to consider. We stayed, we broiled, we ate, we
drank, we saw several 1st rate bands. I'll skip details of that day since it's
a non-riding day but suffice it to say we somehow managed to have fun. :)
Next up, a Sunday ride down through the WV mountains to the Beckley area
known for it's world class whitewater rafting...


--
Bruce... #128 BS#224
'06 FLHTCUi (gateway to senility)

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