The mountains here on the East Coast are called the Appalachias and are actually older than the Rockies, and that is largley why they are smaller. Having said all that there are still some significantly beautiful vistas. If we couple that with the LOVE OF THE RIDE it creates a gestalt experience every time I take a ride.
+1 on that!
I grew up in the Rockies, living for the first 50 years of my life in various places in New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, and the past 34 years in Wyoming. When I first moved to Virginia I was in a serious funk about the loss of all the fabulous off-road riding that the West has to offer. I sold all the dirt bikes and kept my BMW GS and RT. After living here in central-west Virginia the past three years I haven't forgotten the thrill of dirt riding, but all these incredible roads around this region have certainly taken the sting out of it! We live in a rural area that is served by infinite miles of twisty roads that vary from asphalt to dirt and back, so the GS is the weapon of choice for me now and the RT has been sold. We're only about 15 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, an awesome ride, but there are many many more highways to choose from in all directions. West Virginia is incredible... I still miss the dirt and sometimes lament not getting to ride the huge wide open spaces, but there is no doubt this region offers some of the finest roads I've ever been on.
If you ever decide to head West PM me and I'll return the favor and offer some ride ideas! Here's a teaser:
My wife and I were riding slowly through the Sunlight Basin north of Cody, Wyoming one day (she was a n00b and so we were taking it easy) when a guy on a K12GT came flying past us in the opposite direction, full lean through a fast right-hand sweeper, giving us the thumbs-up. We continued on and pretty soon he caught up to us again from behind, so we moved over and let him by. He gave us another big thumbs up as he wheelied past. Once we got past the view point and switch-backs above and were back on the sweepers on the way to the Beartooths, here came the guy on the K12GT again and this time he sat up and gave us the two-arm victory salute
! We laughed about that later and wondered how long he had been "trapped" going back and forth on that section of incredible road, maybe for days!
I've done it myself a few times.
Thanks for the great report, ride ideas, and photos!