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Old 05-11-2013, 09:58 PM   #23
Hulked Up
Gnarly Adventurer
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Western Massachusetts
Oddometer: 279
Day 2 is done. 263 miles, which is a lot on a KLR with TKC80's.

We started the day with rain in White Haven, Penna. We rode for about an hour to the former Centralia and we had steady rain throughout our day until about 2pm or so.

Centralia was pretty cool. It took us a few minutes to find our bearings but after a bit we located the plumes of smoke coming out of the rocky ground, right where the fire started in 1962. It was cool to see the abandoned roads and driveways leading nowhere. You'd see some signs of the former habitation, like a basketball backboard still nailed to a tree. The smoke was nothing dramatic, but cool nonetheless. You could feel the heat and sometimes find pieces of coal laying around. I went up to where the road had been blocked and walked for a bit but it wasn't a good day for a long walk to find the buckled pavement. I could have spent a couple of hours there exploring (I love urban/rural archeology).

From there we got hit with a nice downpour of rain for a few hours. We pulled in for lunch at the Ric-Mar Restaurant in Northumberland, Penna. The owner/cook saw us pull in and offered to throw our wet gear in their dryer for an hour. Yes! Great food too. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.

The rest of the day was spent riding Route 522 through southern Pennsylvania, then into Maryland (2 min.), West Virginia and Virginia. The road rivals anything we have in New England (including Vermont). 20-30 miles at a time with nothing in between, hemmed in by mountains and surrounded by farms. It kept our interest the whole day.

We also visited some more of the depressing towns that dot the area: Weatherly and Hazelton seemed the most noteworthy.

Our goal was to make Front Royal, but given our late start due to the rain and the stop in Centralia it was just a bit too far. We settled for another Holiday Inn Express in Winchester, VA. We are all exhausted.

One more thing...we have been joking around about the weight of the bikes and how much crap we took. To settle the issue we stopped at a truck stop early in the morning and put them on the scale. I think Mike will chime in on that one.

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days. I have a lot of video but it's a lot harder to edit and upload with the tools I have available to me.



Yay, spending money!



Checking map in Connecticut



Mike relaxing in NY



We thought we'd ride gravel. The sign lied!



A trail in the Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania. We didn't try it.



Abandoned roads in the former Centralia



Open fissure of steam. Mike has a good video of it. The rocks were warm and you could feel the heat coming out of it.



This is Jim at the area where the fire originated in 1962.



This is the closed section of highway that's buckled from the heat further down.

Tomorrow we join up with the Trans-East Trail and head south through VA and WV. None of us has any idea what the roads are like. The adventure begins.
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