Monday, August 10, 2009
Winchester, VA to near Williamsport, PA
I was more excited than usual to begin my ride this morning. I had a little over 100 miles of interstate, followed by about two hours of local roads that I had high hopes for.
Back on I-81, I quickly passed through West Virginia and Maryland. Concerned about rain, I hadn’t mounted the camera. I stared ruefully at the “Welcome to” signs as they flashed by overhead.
Just before Harrisburg, I exited I-81 to ride north along the west bank of the wide Susquehanna River.
Unfamiliar with what I call “the roads paradigm” of the east coast, I wasn’t sure just how rural the area around the house would be. I was picturing the “few and far between” gas stations in some prime riding areas of California, Utah, and Nevada. Scott’s mother had given me the names of some towns near the house with gas stations, but I decided to stop early (100 miles out) to get lunch and fuel up. I was spending too much time watching my gas gauge and not enough time enjoying the road. I shoudn’t have worried. It turned out that there were little towns with adequate fuel availability all along the route.
From the road reviews I’d read while planning my route, US 220 was supposed to have been one of the better motorcycling roads in the area. There were some nice curves, but also lots of construction. Portions of the road were grooved and I was stopped a couple of times by flagmen.
The local roads close to Scott’s family’s house really shone. They dipped and curved over wildflower covered hillsides and through tunnels of trees.
I had been dreading the final approach to the house. Scott had warned me about the mile+ of hard packed dirt road that I’d need to navigate. Riding buddies know that I have an irrational fear of dirt and gravel roads. It had rained recently in the area, but the road was fine. I tried to relax, stay loose, and let the ST move as it needed to.
I ended up overshooting the driveway by a few feet, but Scott was sitting on the screened in sun porch and saw me arrive. He and his sister’s husband helped me get turned around and gave me a push to get off the dirt road and onto the gravel driveway. I parked the bike and unpacked, very ready to stop riding and relax for a couple of days.