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Old 11-04-2012, 09:34 AM   #256
biker128pedal
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Originally Posted by dljocky View Post
Damn jdrocks! Reading this makes me want to head out again!
Looking forward to more.
I'm about ready. Just need heated socks.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #257
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I'm about ready. Just need heated socks and freakin' snow shoes.
sounds a little more accurate.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:51 PM   #258
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It was obvious that we needed to clear Berkeley Springs both very soon and as quickly as prudent speed would allow. The bikes were already mud splattered, we looked a little scruffy, the whole picture presented a discordant note, outlanders on the loose. We had already been more or less run out of Paris before we could locate our croque monsieurs and crepe chasers, avoided Winchester almost entirely, and now needed to do a flyby here before the free range chicken eggs and organic tomatoes started flying.

Things got serious when we pulled off in a parking lot so I could convince the GPS to do the right thing for a change, a partially mummified elderly lady passing in front with some kind of very tiny designer breed dog on a leash. I had the ear plugs in, so when I said to dljocky “That would look good on my plate medium rare, a splash of Texas Pete, home fries on the side, and a nice spinach salad”, the lady heard it. Damn, I’d mistakenly said it so loud that someone on the other side of the highway coulda heard it.

When she whipped around to see who was talking, I pointed at Monsieur Nix, pure reflex, the meaning obvious…“He done it”. I made a leisurely exit while the old lady was either trying to hit or stab dljocky with her cane, couldn’t tell, but then with a whiff of blue gray smoke rolling off the 705, a shift into second without the clutch, and dljocky was back out on WV522. Man, I got to keep an eye on that boy, antagonizing old ladies like that spells trouble.

North on WV522 towards the Potomac River, dljocky does a big tail wagging stoppie trying to get a photo of the silica plant that has been there forever.



More or less scared the bejesus out of everyone in sight, all the cagers fumbling for their cells, dialing 911, reporting someone on a gypsy bike that looked like…well, they probably weren’t sure exactly what they saw. That was the final straw, now we for sure had to leave West Virginia pronto, dljocky’s erratic behavior had made him persona non grata, and believe me, that says a lot considering the behavior of the general population. Me, I was golden, still had my passport.

I planned to get a photo or two of the river from the bridge deck, but when we approached the state line into Maryland at near civil aviation speed, I lost that opportunity. When I let go of the throttle at the Maryland sign on the bridge span, the staccato exhaust overrun scared a swooping flock of bridge pigeons which promptly pooped all over the southbound cars, 75 extra decibels shifts events towards unusual consequences. We needed to take a break, hide somewhere until all the excitement died down, and we were off MD522 at the Hancock exit, a little jog through town, glad we did because I needed a reminder to get tickets…



The landing at the C&O canal looked like a good hideout…



so we ducked in there, hid behind the trees.



We were the only ones there, the river mirror flat, hardly a riffle.




A young lady pulled in while we were having a drink and a granola bar, a bicycle girl, one of those $3000 mountain bikes on the rack. Monsieur Nix was quick on the trigger, checked out her assets, but then just as quickly, he was back to scanning the river. Not to be unkind, but this girl had no assets, nope, chicken bone features don’t count, and lips that looked like freakin’ bolt cutters. Yeeeoooow, ouch! To be fair, she might have a 180 IQ, and we’ll see her as the Secretary of State some day, lack of assets doesn’t seem to matter much there.

Mounting up, with a wave to our bicycle honey, still a long way to go, possible muddy roads ahead, and we were riding southwest on the Berm Road along the canal.





Dljocky was ahead, but stopped when I wanted a photo of one of the old arched stone culverts.



I was lining up another shot when I had the sense of someone behind me, and when I turned around, there was a squad car at my elbow, a young HGH puffed officer giving me the flinty eye stare.



Sorry officer, those stares don’t much work with a man three times your age, best stick with the schoolboys. He was asking some questions, but I had the bike running, helmet on, and the earplugs were in, the perfect excuse to ignore whatever he was saying, so I just held up the camera and pointed. When he left, I thought he was going to try the stare down on Monsieur Nix, but he must have given up, no sense going down 0-2. Apparently, the APB on dljocky never made it over the state line, good thing, I had gas money, no bail money.

The turn on Locher begins a long climb to MD144, an old silo marking the bottom.



Old National Pike runs roughly parallel to I68, and you can see that road occasionally as you climb generally west on MD144/40. The Pike is a wide open road, and shows the commercial remnants of it being the main road west through here before the I system was completed. It was colorful, no traffic, but mainly a transit road for us as we jumped west for a few miles on our route.

South on Swain Hollow, paved, but more in our element on this less traveled road, some creek crossings here too.



The weather still hadn’t cleared completely, sun and clouds, but in some of the areas where we were able to get a good look in the direct of travel, the skies looked promising. The road broke out of a solidly wooded stretch, now in pasture and small row crop acreage along the ridge, beautiful country.







Below Norris, the road changes to Stotlemeyer, and we were on fresh chip seal, the road shows as gravel, and probably was until a month ago. Wonderful color, and we were on the gas, the bikes sliding around some on the marbles.



Cliff Road slides off to the southwest, and it’s an easy to miss turn, looking more like a two track farm lane.



You always wonder about a road that shows little use, might be some unfavorable or impassable conditions ahead, the backtrack very time consuming. Naturally, we jumped right in.



Cliff is only a little rough in sections, and forms a small section of boundary for the Green Ridge State Forest, some 25,000 acres, originally the unlikely site of a huge orchard.

We got a look at Sideling Creek to the east for about a quarter mile, then climbed a moderately washed surface along the road’s namesake, an impressive chunk of rock.






Cliff ends at High Germany, and we literally popped back up on pavement, wary at this awkward little intersection. This road takes us back southwest towards the Potomac, and we could get a glimpse here and there, but only one spot open enough for a photo from this elevated vantage point.



I took a few photos, happened to look in the mirror, surprise, there’s Monsieur Nix’s DR flopped in the middle of the road, WTF. He had wanted a little better photo from up the road, but when he turned around, the bike fell over, a 0mph wreck. The damage assessment was a small handguard scratch on the DR, a tweaked back on the dljocky. Could have been worse, the bike was at a spot in the road that was blind from both directions. The real calamity, not a single flop photo for the archives.

Down the hill, we were back to another landing on the Potomac River, still perfectly flat, hard to envision that we could be standing in settlers’ footprints on this exact location from the year 1612, a full 400 years previous.



Through the tunnel, and we found ourselves in metropolitan Orleans, a welcome break, we had been riding hard all day.



B
ut more importantly…we had been invited to dine with the Mayor. The Mayor happened to be one very busy gentleman, and his offer was nothing if not extremely gracious.


“Thank you Sir, we accept.”

(to be continued…)
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:27 PM   #259
MTrider16
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Whatever you're using to keep the keyboard clickin' and the golden prose flowin' keep at it. Its a workin' and I'ma waitin' for more. It's even givin' me a bit of a Virginy accent.

Hey, where is the popcorn smiley?

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Old 11-05-2012, 02:25 AM   #260
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I love that part of Maryland Dave. I've got to go check out Cliff Road maybe on the way to Michaux some time.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:09 AM   #261
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It's even givin' me a bit of a Virginy accent.
David
to help ya in your quest to master the local vernacular, i'll send you the talking book version of Blue Ridge 2012...and a box of grits.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:28 AM   #262
jdrocks OP
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I love that part of Maryland Dave. I've got to go check out Cliff Road maybe on the way to Michaux some time.
hey kevin, don't go just for Cliff, there's way more riding in there and we're not done with Green Ridge yet on this trip.

i don't have extensive riding experience there, Michaux either, but they seem to be different flavors, with many Green Ridge roads more like your home territory.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:17 PM   #263
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Our new friend, the Mayor, was a feller by the name of Bill, so when it came to naming his combo eating establishment, beer joint, pool hall, and fair weather biker club house, he called it…I’ll pause a sec while you put on your freakin’ nuclear physicist hat…Bill’s Place, not to be confused with any other establishments in metro Orleans, ‘cause there ain’t none. Bill had a big time monopoly machine workin’, lucky for us he took a shine to our sparkling personalities right off the bat, ‘course it helped quite a bit that I knew a thing or two about squirrel huntin’. Officially, he was closed, but decided to reopen on our account, and that’s how we were invited to lunch with the Mayor.

I was parked in front, the logical place…



Monsieur Nix wanted to park at a location where he could capture a damn pretty girl and the DR in the same photo…



Heck, I couldn’t blame him for taking the opportunity, he already knew it would never happen in real life without the use of a firearm and handcuffs.

Bill had locked the door when we rode up, and was equipped for a squirrel hunting expedition with his grandson, very steady and mature at age 14.

“Ain’t going to fire up the grill, but if ya want a ham ‘n cheese sandwich, c’mon in”.

Usually when I eat at these places I just say “Fry something for me”, ten minutes later ya got a whole big plate of fried something in front of you, usually pretty good too. Got a friend who I think would eat a deep fried cow pie without blinking as long as he had his favorite hot sauce handy, fried is big time around here.

“What y’all want on the sandwich?”, and when I replied “Everything ya got”, dljocky said “Make it two”.

We were hardly into a running conversation on roads, bikes, deer hunting, squirrel hunting, black powder, and the mindset of average kids his grandson’s age, when our sandwiches showed up on the bar, no ordinary ham and cheese, no sir, these things were all of 4” thick, the ultra premium version. We knew they wanted to get out in the woods, so we didn’t waste any time, besides we were hungry. Actually, I don’t think a black bear could have gone through those sandwiches any quicker. The kid rang up the register, a ridiculously small amount for what we got, and when he started to hand us the change, I shook my head no, and said “Ammo”. That got a crooked smile, and “Thanks”.

Much grass to the Mayor and his grandson, it pays for moto travelers to be nice, and we were back on the bikes, apprehensive of finally finding mud after the previous day’s rain, way behind after a slow advance, and about to make a defining turn back south in not too many miles if we can only get there first.

The Mayor had given us a copy machine version of the Green Ridge road map, and we also discussed some roads across the border in West Virginia, provoking a grimace from Monsieur Nix, the memories still fresh, and I got a pretty good feel for the location of some of the roads he mentioned, some I thought were already on the route. Could have been wrong at this point, but if destiny had dealt us a hand in Texas hold ‘em, how were we supposed to know that we would bust, literally at that ol’ river card.

We started out generally west on Old Orleans, paved, crossed Fifteen Mile Creek, started another climb on another mountain, transitioning back to gravel. There were a couple commercial campgrounds fairly close to Orleans with what looked like a bunch of permanent trailers, but once into the Green Ridge, only primitive camping spots, some very nicely situated.

When the sun was able to poke through, man, the scenery lit right up.



We turned north at Dughill and were immediately on a roughly graded road, wet, but no deep mud and very rideable. In contrast to just about all the gravel roads we had been on so far, this road was not top dressed, and might be a handful in very wet weather.

Our first turn northwest was supposed to be on Stafford, but when I slowed down for the turn, there was a pickup parked in the road entrance, a closed gate behind it. I wouldn’t have minded too much if this road wasn’t the key to getting farther west to another road network, damn, I never stopped, let the GPS do it’s thing, recalculate, recalculate…freakin’ broken record, where’s my BFH.

If we were going to get all screwed up on the road network, there were worse places to have that happen, the riding was great. Plenty of hunter camps along the road, almost no vehicles on the road itself, and we continued northeast, our turn south was going to happen farther north than expected.



Dughill turned northwest, and I guessed we were less than a mile above the original route road, one of the several north/south roads in Green Ridge. Another north/south road was farther west, I knew we would intersect that one eventually. The roads were in good shape, and we were motoring along.



I knew where we were when we crossed the creek at Deep Run on the Fifteen Mile Creek road, getting closer.



They may have graded the roads for hunting season, we could really run if we wanted to get racy.



When we hit the intersection with Green Ridge, man, it was a super highway compared to what we had been riding, still gravel, but smooth and fast. We had made the defining turn, now we were southbound.

Green Ridge is gravel, chip, and macadam, another road we may find paved the next time. The original route could have been accessed again off Mertens, oops, several groups of hunters blocking the road this time, and another gate beyond. That makes two, the ominous beginning of a trend.

We had been pushing along at a good pace again, time for a break, and we stopped at the overlook near Kirk.





Monsieur Nix was trying to unwind his back, a victim of his poorly trained DR, and I thought about telling him he could probably find one of them massage places once we cross back into West Virginia, nah, better not mention it.



The view to the west overlooking Town Creek, 180 degrees of spectacular. From this location one hundred years ago, saw logs were rolled down the mountain to the creek, then rafted to the Potomac.



I wasn’t sure what this sign meant, either we were on the official “Leaf-Looker” trail, or there was a whole gang of renegade Canuckistanians ahead.



We rode Green Ridge to Dailey, mostly gravel, then down to MD51, jogged around a little, but generally east, and crossed the Potomac River into West Virginia



Dljocky concerned that his photo might already be on the bulletin board in the Paw Paw Post Office, under a heading that said “WANTED”.

(to be continued…)
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:01 AM   #264
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Bill was an interesting fellow.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:27 AM   #265
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Me thinks Mr. Rocks must have insomnia or something? Posting at 3 AM?
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:12 AM   #266
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Bill was an interesting fellow.
aren't you a little nervous, we're about to cross back over the border?
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:34 AM   #267
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Me thinks Mr. Rocks must have insomnia or something? Posting at 3 AM?
3AM? sorry, i must have overslept, obviously my Rolex clock radio has finally taken a dump.


i've noticed that for people with a great many things to accomplish, sleep is grossly over rated. i find that state less than inspirational these days.

...and, of course, since life on this earth is so very short, i'd rather spend my allotted time awake.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:00 AM   #268
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...and, of course, since life on this earth is so very short, i'd rather spend my allotted time awake.
Cheers!
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:29 AM   #269
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Monsieur Nix wanted to park at a location where he could capture a damn pretty girl and the DR in the same photo…



Heck, I couldn’t blame him for taking the opportunity, he already knew it would never happen in real life without the use of a firearm and handcuffs.
That's hilarious
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:17 AM   #270
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[QUOTE=Merlin III;19980368]Me thinks Mr. Rocks must have insomnia or something? Posting at 3 AM? [/QUOTE

Just looking forward to more updates from jdrocks.
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