Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great River Ride – Day 14 – In Threes

We went to bed early last night, so we could get up early and ride the mountain roads. Our plan worked and we were just finishing breakfast at 8am, by far the earliest we’ve managed to get going so far. The funny thing about plans though, they change. I had my usual raisin bran sans milk for breakfast along with a strong cup of tea. I finished my cereal and most of my tea when my stomach told me it was time to go back to the room. NOW! I barely made it back before vomiting up my breakfast. The next three hours were not fun. Who knew? Food poisoning from cereal?! We would have stayed longer, but checkout was at 11. The hotel staff didn’t seem to care. In the future avoid the Days Inn in Sweetwater, TN.


I eventually found the strength to start riding and decided to start the day as planned and see how I felt. It was about 78F when we left. A nice break from the heat. The route I planned had us follow I-81 up to Knoxville and then making a sharp right east across the mountains to Linville Falls, NC. I felt terrible at Knoxville, so I took a break before continuing on the interstate instead of going to NC. I wasn’t in any mood or condition to ride fun mountain roads. The planned stop for tonight was Wytheville, VA. We made it there by 3pm, and by now I was feeling better. Still not eating, but better. Healed by motorcycling??


We stopped for a rest in Virginia, and my phone rang. It was the credit card company informing me my number had been stolen and someone in the UK is/was having fun with it. Grr. Now I get a new card. :(


We looked at the map and decided to follow I-77 north into West Virginia (part of tomorrows plan). It started to rain soon after we set off, so we stopped and put on the rain gear. We passed through two tunnels before we left VA.



We got on the WV turnpike and had a fun time racing through the mountains, passing piles of big trucks. The turnpike was a bit chilly in the rain, so I was wearing my liners.  I didn’t realize until later it was 65F!! I frequently smelled burned clutches and brakes from the big rigs. It didn’t smell very nice, but made me smile for some reason. I just left it in sixth gear and coasted down the mountains. Awesome views. It was also great to enjoy the cool temps!


Slippery oil in front of the toll booths!

toll booth on I-77

It reminded me of Colorado, but softer, smaller, and greener. I had no idea West Virginia was so scenic. I had plans to ride through it as quick as possible. We will spend a bit more time tomorrow here. As far as mountains go, the Alps are still my favorite with the Rockies close behind. It was my wife’s first time seeing any mountains in the US. She really enjoyed the views today. It finally quit raining just before we stopped today, so we were able to enjoy blue skies for a few minutes. It was nice.

We stopped in Charleston today, about 70 miles from our planned stop tomorrow. We’re going to re-adjust plans and spend some more time here and there. We should still be getting to Chicago on Saturday. Maybe even earlier in the day which would be nice.

I couldn’t believe the GPS when we stopped. We finished 374 miles! It didn’t feel like that long at all. The last 100 or so were very fun through the mountains. We finished three states today: TN,VA, and WV. Virginia and West Virginia are new to our states list.

Entering West Virginia Entering Virginia

Not a lot of pictures due to the rain and me not feeling well.


Dang! I just found out the GoProHD ran out of batteries right before the best part of the ride today. I didn’t notice, so I didn’t put the spare one in. Oh well.


It was not the day we planned for, but we made the best of it and had fun. You have to be flexible when travelling.


Tomorrow we have plans to get to Ohio and maybe the AMA museum.

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  1. Wow Chris you are a real trooper! I'm glad you got better eventually. That's also awful about the credit card. I hope they get to the bottom of where it was stolen. My husband had his number stolen from a Hannaford Grocery store in NY. Luckily we were able to get that taken care of. That was due to hackers.
    I'm glad the mountains in VA were beautiful and you had a good day in the end. I guess there's a lot of rain in TN still. When we moved to AL we came down Interstate 81 through NY, PA, MD, VA and TN. It was mid April and the show of Redbuds, apple trees and other spring blooming tress lining the roads and mountains was one of the most beautiful sights I'd ever seen. When we left NY it was still brown and dreary and when we got to Alabama it was full blown green! That was COOL.
    Good luck today. I hope you're feeling much better and Vicky doesn't get sick!
    Ride Safe!

  2. Eve: Thanks! I'm still not 100%, but close enough. I'm staring at breakfast and a bit scared to eat it.

    The mountains in VA were good, but WV even better. I had no idea it was this beautiful down here. We will have to come back again. It IS very green down here. It seems there is some kind of vine that grows on everything and makes it extra green.

  3. I can imagine the thoughts that would have been going through my mind as breakfast decided to make with the "fast break". I'm glad it worked out and the day took care of itself even with the CC news. Oh well, there are always days like these, but they seem even harder to take on vacation.

    My daughter lives in VA. And, when we went to visit her I, too, was surprised by West Virginia.

    May today have all the joy of yesterday without any of the "other stuff"!


  4. Hi Chris,

    Don't know what happened to my message--it just disappeared into cyberspace?! I will just say that it sounds like you two had fun. Looks like we've taken the same roads. I went from Knoxville to Johnson City and from there to Raleigh-Durham, NC through the mountains. It was fab! I too was surprised by WVirginia. The mountains were initially a challenge but I loved the Blue Ridge Parkway--very cool.

    Sounds like that cereal was old, perhaps the raisins rancid? Yikes...that sounds awful. I'm convinced that getting on two wheels accelerated your healing ;-)

    Another fun day!

  5. Keith: Yes, the "fast break" was most unenjoyable. I haven't had that wonderful experience in a couple years. Day 15 was great!

    Weird. computers are so annoying sometimes. I wanted to do the Blue Ridge Parkway, but we're out of time. Next time! Yea, rancid cereal... I don't know if I can eat that kind again. bad memories. I just posted Day 15. It was one of the best.