Saturday, September 3, 2011

BigTrip2011 - Day 13 - Riding West


It was a slow start to day 13 (August 10, 2011). I was in no rush to leave, and Jack wasn’t chasing me with away with a stick. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast together, and then I packed the bike. This would be the first serious day of riding west back to Minnesota.

Jack and Leslie came up with a scenic route for me to escape West Chester with, and so I set out. I followed it as best I could. The directions were quite clear. For a few miles I was sure I missed the turn I was supposed to make, but then I realized I mis-read the carefully written note.

Jack’s directions took me through Amish country. I was a bit excited to see my first horse and buggy in PA.

Amish on PA896

Further down the road, I saw my first Mennonites. I was a bit confused at first, a woman dressed in Amish looking clothes with a giant leaf blower strapped to her back. A block later it was the similar scene with another woman in traditional clothing pushing a lawn mower. I didn’t stop to take a photo, but I did stop at this pig holding a hamburger statue.


When the directions ran out, I set my GPS for Chicago, IL and just rode. I enjoyed these neat looking railroad bridges. I didn’t make a note of the location. Jack?

cool bridges

The GPS took me on I-81 south and before I knew it, I was in Maryland again. I was a bit confused, but then I remembered I had configured the GPS to avoid tolls. I-70 has tolls.  In Hagerstown, MD, I started riding east on I-68. Wow. I wish all the interstates were like I-68. Long sweeping bends criss-crossing over 1500-3000 foot peaks. Hours and hours. It was much more enjoyable than say, I-80 across Nebraska. The other bonus of the “mountains” was the heat broke once I was past Hagerstown. It was over 90F most of the day, but afterwards, it kept falling the further west I rode.


I stopped at the rest stop near Sideling Hill. They call this one a hill and other smaller ones mountains. Go figure. A great view.


The view east.


Most of the late afternoon was spent enjoying the road which was surprisingly clear of traffic. The dark clouds on the horizon kept looming, but then the road would twist in a different direction. I could see the rain falling in the distance, but I managed to stay dry. I ended the day in Morgantown, WV. The final temp was 68F. I was a bit chilled since I was still dressed for 90s.

A good day of riding.

About 300 miles today. States: PA, MD, WV

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  1. Looking good Chris,

    There really are some good stretches of slab out there, but you can't really compare anything to Nebraska, Kansas, even Iowa and parts of Minnesota... it's just not fair. Of course, if you want square tires and to move at the speed of light...

    I also wonder what people think when they hear a commission for some statues.

    "You're saying you want a wide-brimmed hat, an icecream cone, and two pigs, one in the arm, and one with it's head by her groin? Great, I can do that in a week.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  2. There is something about that photo of Sideling Hill that really makes it feel monumental. Seeing that roadway cut through the rock... awesome.

    "You're saying you want a wide-brimmed hat, an icecream cone, and two pigs, one in the arm, and one with it's head by her groin? Great, I can do that in a week."

    I chuckled out loud... for realz!

  3. Brady: Thanks! Surprisingly, yes, there are good hunks of slab. I prefer plaid to lightspeed.


    Fuzzy: It does look impressive. They used to drive over the mountain before which sounds more fun to me.

  4. I can't help to comment to the comment: ludicrous speed???? May the Schwartz be with you!


  5. William: and the schwartz with you! ;)