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Old 10-29-2014, 08:14 PM   #1
pnoman OP
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3 Burgmans, a BMW K1600GTL, and a Canadian Wee-Strom invade Smoke Hole WV

(I posted this over in the Scooter section, but thought I'd share it here also. Hope you don't mind.)



3 Burgmans, a BMW K1600GTL and a Canadian Wee-Strom Invade Smoke Hole


26-27 October 2014


(Part 1)








The weather was looking GREAT for a few days (70 degrees and sunny in late October!) so I emailed a few riding friends and we all took off Sunday afternoon for Petersburg. Our plan was to ride down to my grandparents' old farm (where my parents live part-time) and take off exploring on Monday morning.




After church, I hurried home and had lunch, then finished packing the bike. John stopped by on his nice BMW K1600GTL and we were soon on our way. Next stop was Kingwood to pick up Ben and Lesa on their Burgmans. Then it was off to Petersburg via back roads, preferably exploring new ones. John took us east to Terra Alta, then we headed south on the Aurora Pike/Terra Alta Road (CR 53).




I was too busy trying to keep up to stop for photos on this first leg of the ride.

Here is a FILE PHOTO of a previous ride on the Aurora Pike/Terra Alta Road (CR 53).




Once we reached Rt 50 at Aurora, we continued south on Stemple Ridge Road (CR 112), a paved but narrow path that winds through the mountains and farms of southern Preston County. Just after passing into Tucker County, we turned off onto Location Road (CR 5) which took us into St George. Again, a narrow and winding road (great for motorcycles!) with nice views along the ridges. After going through St George on Holly Meadows Road (CR 1), we turned east on Sugarlands Road (CR 25). I will have to go back to this road to take photos of the beautiful stream and small waterfalls running alongside the road. (It is best viewed heading eastbound from St George)






Shortly afterwards, we came out on Rt 219 by the huge wind turbines west of Thomas/Davis.






Quite an odd group - 3 Burgman scooters and a powerful BMW K1600GTL Six-Cylinder.

It's OK - he did a pretty good job of keeping up.





From Davis, we headed east on Rt 93 and saw the progress(?) they are making on Corrider H. It will be nice to have easy access to Virginia, but they sure are tearing up a LOT of pristine wilderness.






We had a great time descending Rt 42 from Bismarck down to Scherr.

First one down the mountain was John on his BMW K1600GTL.






Next came husband and wife team Ben and Lesa on their Burgmans.







At Scherr, we detoured through Greenland Gap on CR 3/3 past Knobley Road and on out to

Patterson Creek Road (CR 5). Then we turned left and did a small counterclockwise loop around

Belle Babb Road (CR 2) which brought us back out to Knobley Road and Greenland Gap.

It's a nice loop through some old farmland. Very scenic - narrow but well paved.




We were running close on time, so I did not stop to take photos in Greenland Gap this time.

Here are a few file photos from an earlier trip, though.




(FILE PHOTO - Greenland Gap)





(FILE PHOTO - Greenland Gap)





(FILE PHOTO - Greenland Gap Road near Medley)





(FILE PHOTO - Belle Babb Road (CR 2) near Medley




Back to the current ride:





We reached our home base just as the sun was setting.

My grandparent's old farm is near Petersburg, and my parents live there part-time now.

Since there is a creek crossing and a steep gravel road up to the house, we parked at our neighbor's.






Just a short walk up to the house.

Of course, the swinging foot-bridge over the creek was popular. (To the RH side of photo)






From Left to Right:

Me (kneeling), John (standing), my Mother and Father, Lesa, and Ben.







Mom had sandwich stuff ready and some good side dishes. Mmmm.. Thanks, Mom!





The evening was spent talking about various topics like who's bike is fastest, which branch of the military

is the best (go Air Force!), and other profound topics.





To Be Continued.....
.
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pnoman screwed with this post 10-29-2014 at 08:29 PM
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:15 PM   #2
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Part 2

PART 2


After we all had a good night's sleep, we awoke to the smell of scrambled eggs and breakfast.
Then we took a short walk up the mountain road to see the farm and stretch our legs before riding.
We were also waiting for the sun to come up and warm up a bit. Thermometer said 30 degrees.


In the morning, the bikes were covered in frost. Except John's covered BMW.
He wasn't too concerned about the cold - with a bike cover and heated seat and grips.











Not very inviting, is it?
The sun came up and melted most of the frost, so we were on our way about 8:30.




Next stop was McDonalds to meet David, a Canadian Rider who saw our notice about the ride and asked to join us.
I brushed up on my Canadian language skills (eh!) so we were good to go.
David was staying in Petersburg for a few days and riding out on days trips to see the area.
We are going to show him some good back roads and sights today.



We started out of Petersburg on Rt 220 south but took a detour at the edge of town.
This is South Mill Creek Road (CR 9) southbound near Mozer.



Still on South Mill Creek Road (CR 9) coming into Kline.



At the south end of South Mill Creek Road, we ended up in Upper Tract.
From there, it was just a couple of miles north to the south entrance of Smoke Hole Road.
The sun was up and it was already warming up - maybe 40 by now. It felt good!



Enjoying the views along Smoke Hole Road - northbound near Eagle Rock.



What a nice ride up Smoke Hole Road.
It used to be gravel, and they paved it about 15-20 years ago.



Smoke Hole Road follows the South Branch Potomac River for a while.



Scooters invade Smoke Hole Road - Hide the women and children!
Here, Ben comes around one the endless series of curves on his Burgman 650.



Right behind him is his wife on her Burgman 400.
BTW - She made that 400 move! We did not have to slow down for her at all.
In fact, I had to work hard to keep up with her on the twisties!



Next came David on his V-Strom 650. I think he was having a good time! (Eh!)



And bringing up the rear (for now) was John on his BMW K1600GTL.
He had his GoPro video camera attached to his helmet.
He maneuvered that 800-pound bike around these narrow roads like a bicycle.




And then there was me.
That's OK, I have photos of me on this curve.




Just before reaching the north end of Smoke Hole Road, there is a nice photo op facing east.
I've taken photos at this spot several times over the years and love to see the changes.



Near the north end of Smoke Hole Road looking towards Knobly Mountain.



Same view over the fence without the bikes.






Next Stop - Seneca Rocks




To Be Continued....





.
__________________
Retired USAF MSgt - Bandsman & Paralegal
2007 Suzuki Burgman 650
WV Historical Markers Project
My Website - Europe, Alaska, US Bike Rides
www.RidingWV.com

pnoman screwed with this post 10-29-2014 at 08:30 PM
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:16 PM   #3
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Part 3

PART 3




Our next stop was Seneca Rocks.
Ben and Lesa had to head back home, so we parted ways here.
Several other riders out enjoying the nice day. It was now sunny and over 60 degrees.





One of the riders at Seneca Rocks had this very nice 1976 BMW RS90.
Truly a classic!





This BMW RS90 was not a "Garage Queen", but was ridden regularly. Quite regularly!





After our bathroom break, it was south to Riverton to find John Dahle's gravesite.
He is the namesake of Dolly Sods, as he was one of the original settlers in the area.
This is Horse Ridge Road that runs up the mountain southeast of Riverton.





Continuing on Horse Ridge Road about 3 miles to John Dahle's grave.





More beautiful scenery on Horse Ridge Road.





John Dahle's gravesite. Cemetery is up the hill about 200 yards.
David elects to pass on the hike to take photos of a nearby cabin.






John and I walked up the hill to the cemetery and enjoyed this nice view back over the mountains.
You can see our bikes to the left.





There's David riding out to take photos of the cabin.
We turned and continued our trek up the hill to the cemetery.





Under this old tree lies the graves of John Dahle (to the right) and his wife (to the left).





John Dahle's gravestone.





We soon caught up with David at the old cabin.





To Be Continued....



.
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2007 Suzuki Burgman 650
WV Historical Markers Project
My Website - Europe, Alaska, US Bike Rides
www.RidingWV.com
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:17 PM   #4
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Part 4

PART 4 (Final)





After talking with a couple locals (who are riders themselves), we went back a different way.
We turned south on Bland Hills Road (CR 5/8) to come out on Rt 33.




John having a good time on his BMW.





We made a few friends along Bland Hills Road. Very friendly cows!





Shortly afterwards, I came around a corner to see.......





.... this old DeSoto Powermaster. My best guess is 1954 - give or take a year.
I saw Steven King's "Christine", so I kept a safe distance.
(Yes, I know that was a '58 Plymouth Fury)





I wonder how many offers they have had on this car?





Can you feel the power?!





The interior might need a little work.





Tail light.





Trunk.





Love these old hood ornaments.





OK, time to move on. Shortly, we were out on Rt 33 and turned left to go up to the Germany Valley overlook.

Just a few colors remaining at Germany Valley. Still a beautiful view, though.





This little guy wanted to tag along - he was just getting ready to climb up on my bike.




Next, it was lunchtime. After a quick meal at the Gateway Restaurant, we headed up the mountain to Spruce Knob.





Top of West Virginia - looking east towards the Virginia border.





The obligatory photo by the Spruce Knob sign.





Coming down off Spruce Knob, we stopped at this overlook.
Riverton and Horse Ridge Road are down by those rocks just ahead.
Germany valley is just beyond them.





John enjoying the twisties on his BMW.




At the bottom of the hill, it was time to head home. We said goodbye to our Canadian friend
David, then turned north. John took me through Jordan Run Road, which runs north from
Smoke Hole Caverns up to Maysville. Surprisingly, I've never been on that road! It was nice riding.
We enjoyed another blitz up Rt 42 from Scherr to Bismarck, then turned through Thomas, Oakland MD, and Kingwood.
We arrived back in Morgantown just as the sun was setting.
Great riding - Great new roads to explore - Great meeting new friends.



.

.
__________________
Retired USAF MSgt - Bandsman & Paralegal
2007 Suzuki Burgman 650
WV Historical Markers Project
My Website - Europe, Alaska, US Bike Rides
www.RidingWV.com

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Old 10-29-2014, 08:32 PM   #5
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Sorry - wrote the wrong BMW model in the title and can't change it.

It is a BMW K1600GTL.


.
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Retired USAF MSgt - Bandsman & Paralegal
2007 Suzuki Burgman 650
WV Historical Markers Project
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:57 AM   #6
CKutzGO
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Looks like a great ride!
WV is just amazing. I'll have to check out your website.

I stayed at black water falls and rode the surrounding area a couple times. Didn't make it out there this year though.
**
edit: your website looks like a great resource! thanks!
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:29 PM   #7
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Excellent post Mike and great pics as usual.

"The Ride Is Never Long Enough!"

The "Manor" keepers,

JC&KC
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKutzGO View Post
Looks like a great ride!
WV is just amazing. I'll have to check out your website.

I stayed at black water falls and rode the surrounding area a couple times. Didn't make it out there this year though.
**
edit: your website looks like a great resource! thanks!
Thanks. Hope my RidingWV website is helpful. Let me know if you have any questions. Maybe I can show you around some of the backroads when you're in WV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoPaRider View Post
Excellent post Mike and great pics as usual.

"The Ride Is Never Long Enough!"

The "Manor" keepers,

JC&KC
Howdy! Think of you guys often and still appreciate your hospitality this summer.

Hope you can make it down to the Petersburg area sometime to hook up.

.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:06 PM   #9
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As always, terrific RR. I've been planning a trip to WV and the sights you mentioned are on the list. I didn't realize it would be so cold so soon, but that's nothing some layers can't fix. Just wondering - have you been to the Smoke Hole Caverns? If so, are they worth visiting?
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Blixa View Post
As always, terrific RR. I've been planning a trip to WV and the sights you mentioned are on the list. I didn't realize it would be so cold so soon, but that's nothing some layers can't fix. Just wondering - have you been to the Smoke Hole Caverns? If so, are they worth visiting?

Thanks. The weather this time of year is unpredictable. We had frost in the morning, 70's by afternoon. Tonight and tomorrow, they are supposed to get 1-3 inches of snow, but it will be sunny and 60's by Tuesday. It's a roll of the dice.

Seneca Caverns (and Smoke Hole Caverns) are both nice to see, but not WOW! Interesting, but not "spectacular". Kind of touristy. Just my opinion - Your opinion may vary.


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Old 10-31-2014, 10:15 AM   #11
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Excellent report!

Been over many of the roads you were on, although it's been awhile. I think I'll correct that sometime next summer.

My mom grew up in Kingwood, and my grandparents and many other ancestors are buried there. Guess its time to make another visit. Thanks for posting up some memories.
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by pnoman View Post
Thanks. The weather this time of year is unpredictable. We had frost in the morning, 70's by afternoon. Tonight and tomorrow, they are supposed to get 1-3 inches of snow, but it will be sunny and 60's by Tuesday. It's a roll of the dice.

Seneca Caverns (and Smoke Hole Caverns) are both nice to see, but not WOW! Interesting, but not "spectacular". Kind of touristy. Just my opinion - Your opinion may vary.


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Awesome. Thank you!
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:21 PM   #13
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Super sweet! We where on smoke hole Sunday. Lots of cinders in the state, but smoke hole was CLEAR!
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:35 PM   #14
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Man, you've made me homesick. I spent HOURS on Stemple Ridge Road when I was a boy. Was just in Aurora week before last.

Thanks for great pictures!
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:17 PM   #15
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Thanks so much for sharing your pics and information. My best friend and I will be taking another ride in WV in 2015 and I will have these spots added to our ride. Thanks again!

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