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Old 10-02-2012, 05:50 PM   #75
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,159
Tuesday 10/2: Huntington, West Virginia - Summersville, West Virginia

Short ride today, but a strategic one, so to speak. And the last 30 miles or so provided lots of enjoyment.


A Rainy Night in West Virginia

It had rained pretty hard all the day before, and it continued raining through the night. As I indicated last night, I had decided to head for Summersville, WV today. That meant taking I-64 from Huntington east to a few miles past Charleston, WV (the state capitol).

I suppose ya seen one interstate, ya seen 'em all, but I-64 was better than some:


I got all 6/6 camera functions set correctly fast enough to get a pic of the Kanawha River:


And then a few miles later I was tickled by the name of this WV town:

Actually, this has more meaning for me than you might think. When I was a kid (mid '50s) I was intrigued by "chemistry"...in particular EXPLOSIVES. My folks had bought an Encyclopedia Brittanica, and I thoroughly acquainted myself with all the "explosives-related" stuff. Hey, I was a GUY! These days the "authorities" would have labeled me a a...God knows what. But I just liked explosives. I knew all about "brisance," Cyclonite, PETN, Picric Acid (had a big bottle in the closet)...all the good stuff. Stupid stuff like gunpowder...who cared! And the thing about explosives: they are all based on NITROGEN in some way. Yeah, I grew out of it, but I also grew INTO mathematics, and physics, and a lotta stuff that gave me a CAREER. So anyway, I was tickled with "Nitro, WV." Oh yeah, think "October Sky"...that's how I grew up. One of the RR installments I'll have to elaborate on the "Dr. Greg" logo...that's what's on my T-shirts. Maybe this installment, maybe not. Probably not.

After departing I-68, 2-lane US 60 was a little prettier...although every so often there's the reminder that COAL is the industry around these parts.




That beautiful Eastern deciduous forest again...



Kanawha Falls

As I was haulin'-A around US 60 just past "Alloy, WV," I rode past this area, the hit the binders and turned around. It was pretty cool.


No, not exactly Niagara Falls, but still impressive, and able to generate a not-inconsiderable noise:


A few close-ups:






Looks like an old "water-house" where they derived some mechanical energy from the ol' Kanawha:


I even found a little Civil War content in the neighborhood:


This was a pic "across the river" where the sign seemed to indicate. *Of course there's been many changes in the land- and water-scape since then...



WV hwy 39 to Summersville

Just past Kanawha Falls I noted the skinny little line of WV hwy 39 on my map, which looked like a "back road" to Summersville. Aha, just what we like, right? And it was...


Of course there was the odd semi-truck to slow one down, plus the fact that the roads were still pretty much DAMP from the rain the night before...so I played it cool. Not too cool, of course.


I always HOPE that folks living in "twisty-road" country are a little better drivers...but sad to say it seems the average WV drive goes "meandering" across the double-yellow in the corners just like they all do. Drive me CRAZY!! Stay ON YOUR OWN SIDE!!! My life might depend on it!!!

One final shot of pretty country and some embedded industrial content...



Tonight's Situation...

So I'm ensconced at Summersville, WV tonight. Apparently this is the heart of some good "whitewater rafting," I don't really know. I leave the watersports to somebody else. I grew up on good ol' dry land. Never did like the water. Wait a minute, I LOVE running water. There's obviously some deep-seated approach-avoidance (see, I was paying attention in Psych 101) stuff going on there...


Tomorrow's Plans

Like I said yesterday, my plans are to devote tomorrow to an epic day of riding in the West Virginia mountains. From Summersville I plan to take WV 41 to Craigsville, then WV 15 to Valley Head, then WV 219/250 all the way to PA (almost). The weather forecast looks good, so it ought to be an EXCELLENT day of riding.

At the end of the day, I'll either camp (haven't been doing enough camping) at Blackwater Falls SP, Fairfax Stone Historical Monument SP, or motel-it again somewhere near Maryland.

Ought to be getting up to Gettysburg, PA sometime the night after. That's my northernmost point, and then I can start retreating southward towards my ol' high school buddy John Safford in Sumter, South Carolina ("hi, John").


Final Word for the Day...

Y'know, like I said, I'm a Westerner. The Eastern USA is always a little strange to me. Things are too close together, the visibility is too short, there are too many traffic signals. Yet there is a sense of HISTORY that I don't get in the West. And that's why I'm here.

So far, so good.

--Doc
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