We had traveled maybe 25 miles from home when the leaden clouds decided to begin to lighten their load. It started out light but got progressively heavier. Pulling a slight grade my bike started to sput-sput-sputter and my first thought was "when did I last get fuel?". I flipped to reserve and the sputtering became less frequent, then went away. I made a slight re-route to head for a gas station and we all pulled in and topped up. I thought it strange that I only needed about 1 gallon.
I went inside to avail myself of the facilities and when I returned outside I see my companions talking with a very wet, younger fellow who was holding a small plastic gas can. He said he'd been in some pretty heavy rain since Pittsburgh, and then started telling us about his troubles. He was riding an older Honda VLX from California to Baltimore to start a new job and had run out of cash and out of gas and was hoping for a handout. I went ahead and bought him a fill-up and told him "good luck, that should get you to Baltimore" Hopefully he wasn't just pullin' a fast one!
We continued south into Maryland, hit some detour before West Virginia and became a little crossed-up. After getting back on track it was starting to get dark, and we finally made Petersburg about 10pm. We got gas again and headed south on highway 28, towards Seneca Rocks. A few miles outside of town I spot a small brown campground sign and make the turn to follow it. Up up up we go, twisting and turning on a tight unmarked macadam road. I figured we were on the top of the mountain when the road finally flattened out, then when it started to pitch back downward I stopped and we had a little powwow. Seems as though none of us had seen the campground, so we decided to abort and head back towards Petersburg and one of the hotels we had passed.
At the first hotel we found an open office door, behind which was a counter that had a sign reading "try the bell, if nobody comes dial this number" on the house phone. So I try the bell..... and try again..... then the phone.... and the phone again..... then we gave up. There was another hotel up the road a bit, but they're closed. No bell or phone even. We decide to backtrack into Petersburg and ask at a convenience store for someplace to stay. A helpful employee directs us to The Hermitage in town. She says "the office will be closed, but they have a number you call to get in", I'm thinking this line sounds familiar but we're kind of short on options, so off we go to The Hermitage. We pull in the parking lot and by the time I pull off my helmet and walk to the door the manager was opening it up. She said she heard us pull up
. 12am we finally get a room!
Day 1, Home to Petersburg WV
6 1/2 hours 159 miles