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Old 09-10-2008, 01:10 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Just GO!
Chapter 3 coming up.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:33 PM   #62
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As per your request, fixed your mama to momma!

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Old 09-10-2008, 04:54 PM   #63
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Chapter 3

"The GBT....(it shrinks?!)"
"Shay No. 11....fades to black and white."
"But not it the rain."


I woke up Sunday, Aug. 31st on the 3rd day of my tour of WVa. feeling good. I had just completed two full days of riding on the 250 and had seen more than I had really bargained for. My main objectives had been completed, there had been no mishaps and the weather had been perfect.

After showering I went downstairs to have coffee and conversation with John. One always has to be prepared for conversation, and that in plenty, when visiting with John.

He had reminded me again yesterday not to let him forget to give me that "care package" for Don back in Marietta.

As soon as I saw him he says. "Hey , don't let me forget that package for Don."

I told him to go get it before we both forgot about it and I would see if I could fit it into my backpack while we were having coffee.

We went into the gun room and he took a brown paper bag from a safe and put it on his workbench. He reached in and took out a Leupold spotting scope and a spring for a Kimber pistol.

I told him that I would be able to carry the items safely to Marietta and while I was fitting them into the backpack he said, "Wait, I've got something else. Don'll really like these!" He grabbed a clear plastic bag from another table and with those bent fingers started digging around for that "something else".

The not-so-important items.......


The "something else"...................


Friggin' prairie dog animal crackers!

That's John.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:25 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
As per your request, fixed your mama to momma!


Wow! That was fast GB. Thanks.















They can't be paying you enuf.



.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:16 PM   #65
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Anyway.

We talked for a little while and then I finished packing my gear for the day ahead. It would probably be the most I would ride in one day on my tour as I was heading for Yawkey to crash one last night with a friend I used to work with.

John, Helen and I said our goodbyes and I was on the road, rolling south on SR28 towards Green Bank.

Here's a few morning pictures ..........






I saw an interesting little road that headed off to my left so I headed off to my left....


Nelson Rocks.....





I found this at the end of the line, turned around and back to SR28.....


It looks like and old school or church. I don't think it's being used now though.






I wanted to stop at Green Bank to take the tour of the facility and I was getting a little hungry so I pulled into a gas station that also had a restaurant. I fueled up and then had a decent lunch before I went on.

But I was a little concerned about leaving my gear unattended in the parking lot of Green Bank while I took the tour. I asked a nice older lady that worked in the diner if it would be possible if I could leave my gear there while I was gone. She was more than happy to keep it there so I brought it all in and we put it behind one of the counters...out of sight.

Then I headed to Green Bank to see the worlds largest radio telescope.


No, that's not it. That's just and old barn that I passed along the way. I thought it would make a nice picher.









The radio telescope at Green Bank is an amazing spectacle.


This photo was taken from the gift shop, through a plate glass window. The telescope is about 2 miles from here!

It is believed to be, at 16,000,000 pounds, the largest moving land based structure on the planet!

It stands 485 feet tall, taller than Lady Liberty.

While I was waiting for the tour I went inside the information center. There were a number of educational centers where you could learn more about the telescope and radio astronomy.

All of it was over my numbskull head but I did come away with a pretty cool self-portrait....


After boarding the tour bus we stopped about one and a half miles from the GBT for a photo op. Because it is so sensitive to electronic interference there are no digital cameras allowed onto the compound.

All of the service vehicles are diesel...no spark plugs.

This is the closest picture I could get...


The "dish" covers 2.3 acres and measures 100X110 meters.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could play football on that thing!

After the tour we went back into the information center for a video and demonstration. They have to cool the sensitive electronics in the GBT with liquid nirtogen. This technician gave a demo by pouring some in a bucket and then putting an air-filled balloon into the nitrogen.


The liquid nitrogen slows the air molecules ( or is that "marticles"?) inside the balloon down until they virtually stop.

And guess what happens to the balloon......


Yep, it shrinks.

But don't be alarmed though. It expands to it's normal size after it warms back up.


Cool, huh? About minus 320 degrees cool.

Then he just poured the liquid nitro across the floor and within seconds it was completely gone...evaporated into thin air.


I have a curiosity about the universe, nature and the world around me and this was a good stop. It took a couple hours from my riding time but it was on my list of places to see and I'm glad that I did.

After this stop I went back to the restaurant and found out that that nice older lady had stolen all of my gear! Everything was gone! And you know, I really wouldn't have been that concerned about losing everything, but darn her, she had to go and steal Don's prairie dog animal crackers!
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:12 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just GO!
After this stop I went back to the restaurant and found out that that nice older lady had stolen all of my gear! Everything was gone! And you know, I really wouldn't have been that concerned about losing everything, but darn her, she had to go and steal Don's prairie dog animal crackers!
You're kidding, right?

That telescope is way cool. I really need to get back down that way.
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:53 PM   #67
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Great report and great pix. That's beautiful country. My in-laws live in Franklin, WV, (Pendleton County) and you probably rode right past the little canyon holler where they live.

Keep it comin'!
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:22 PM   #68
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You're kidding, right?

That telescope is way cool. I really need to get back down that way.

No, Dave, I'm not kidding!






But I chased her down on her Harley, forced her off the road, foot-chased her for about 100 yards over a barbed wire fence and through a hay field, tackled her and then proceded to beat the hell out of her till she cried uncle and finally gave up my loot.



Green Bank is definately worth the trip. It's one of those places where the ride is just as wonderful as the destination.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:24 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Twinsteel
Great report and great pix. That's beautiful country. My in-laws live in Franklin, WV, (Pendleton County) and you probably rode right past the little canyon holler where they live.

Keep it comin'!

It is beautiful country....that's one of the main reasons why I rode it.

I wasn't as far east as Franklin but it wasn't too far off.
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:15 PM   #70
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Moving on south I headed for SR 66. This shot was taken a few miles south of the Green Bank Telescope....





I headed west on SR 66 toward Cass....another one of the stops that I had to make.

This stop is for all of the train lovers at ADV.

I'll not bore you with my limited knowledge of Shay engines but I will tell you this. If you have any emotions, if you any thirst for history, if you have any interest in locomotive design and engineering, when that train comes around the bend a quarter mile away and heads down the track straight at you and the engineer blows the steam whistle it will flat put chills right down your spine.

I arrived about a half hour before the train was due off the mountain. I took that time to relax in the shade of and old oak by the river and take some notes. I rambled around the station and gift shop for a while,

took a few pics....











And then I heard that whistle...the train was still out of sight but that whistle echoed down the valley and off the hills for several seconds.

I positioned myself right in the center of the tracks and waited...........

another whistle blast.....getting closer.......but still out of sight.

A voice comes over the loud speaker warning people stay off the tracks...I ignore....the voice.

And then it rounds the bend, moving smoothly on the tracks. Another blast from the steam whistle......very loud now........








The white steam is from the whistle which at this point is REALLY loud.

The darker smoke is from the boiler.

And you can see that I did eventually move my arse off the tracks.

The ground rumbled.....


I stepped back a little.....


and she slowly came to rest.......





I stood there taking it all in, when slowly, as if stepping back into history, before digital, before electronics, before all of this technology...........Shay No. 11 gradually "faded to black and white".
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:51 PM   #71
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Great R.R.

WOW!!! Great trip and close too. I`ve been to some of those places but not on those dirt roads. Looks like I need to plan a trip to W.Va. for the spring....Thanks
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:58 PM   #72
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As I walked around the engine taking pictures the boiler huffed and chugged, steam hissed from valves and hoses. I could smell smoke, grease, fire and steel. These things are truely alive.











This, my BMW riding ADV friends, is one serious final drive ......








Lima, Ohio, FYI.

And one last parting shot..........


Cass Scenic Railroad, Cass, West Virginia. If you can...get there.

Try to schedule your day to take full advantage of this place and ride the train to the top of the mountain. Mid October, the leaves are changing and it's absolutely gorgeous!

Ride this train and I guarantee it will make you feel like a kid again.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:51 PM   #73
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Leaving Cass behind I made my way to Snowshoe Mountain. Pictures from the mountain on CR 9-3......


Same view except I was flexing my zoom lens..............


I'll be down there in a little while.






HHHMMMMM...clouds rollin' in.









The resort was sponsoring a Downhill Mountain Bike race.


The d00ds rode the ski lift back to the top after their run.


And he's OFF!


I made a pretty good attempt at getting myself and the KLR registered to race. I paid the fee, got a number and got in line. And I would have made it too but as the start timer was ticking down some kid in line behind me pointed and yelled, "Hey, that dude can't race! He's got a motor on his bike, man!"

Oh, well. Better luck next time mighty KLR.

Down from Snowshoe to head west to SR219. I had definately been getting my kicks on Route
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:38 PM   #74
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"...I hear her voice, in the morning hour she calls me, radio reminds me of my home far away, and driving down the road I get a feeling that I should have been home yesterday, yesterdayyyyyyy...

Just GO, many thanks for being the "radio" that reminds me of my homeland. As CSA rightly put it, West [by God] Virginia. I grew up in so many of those spots you rode and (wonderfully) photographed. Most picts fail to do due justice to the Mt State, but yours did right by my memories.

It's funny, w/ each page of this RR, I kept thinking 'I wish he had shots of ____' and then darned if it didn't appear. Greenbank, the Sods, and CASS!!! I still recall my Dad having us ride to the top of the mt w/ his forest industries camp students...and then making us WALK the whole way down. Or tracking mt lions on that looooong Sods road. Or his showing me those turbines (which he did the EIS for regarding Eastern flying squirrels). And the Loop Rd, I used to solo camp on that as a kid. I recall sleeping solo out there in the woods, all still at night, each sound freaking me out (good thing Blair Witch Project hadn't come out back then). Only to then have Dad tell me one year the state record bear was killed by a bow hunter right on that road!

Anyway, I rarely get home, but explore out West on my own KLR. Your photos (right down to a classic WV flab belly) were stellar. Oh, and #$%@, you even know John M.?! I bought my first pair of Fire's from his shop. He's a legend amongst Mountaineer rock climbers (ok, at least us old guard).

Ride safe, and if you're up along the Mason-Dixon riding consider a trip to Fallingwater. I interned there, and the roads around that part of PA are great (as is the local pie).

You've got a roof in Logan if you're out this way,
RTC

"...country roads, take me home, to the place, I belooooong, West Virginia, mountain mama, take me, country road. Take me home, down country roads....
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:03 PM   #75
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WOW!!! Great trip and close too. I`ve been to some of those places but not on those dirt roads. Looks like I need to plan a trip to W.Va. for the spring....Thanks
As you well know Larry, there's some really good and I mean really good riding in West Virginia.
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