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Old 07-27-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
pnoman OP
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Location: Morgantown, WVa
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Burgman meets West Virginia - Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, Smoke Hole

I'm posting this here instead of Ride Reports if that's OK. I thought there would be more interest since it's a scooter thread. Thanks.



PART I OF II



My work schedule and the weather cooperated to allow me to take the “new” Burgman 650 out for a ride to Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, and Smoke Hole Road.
After riding two Honda Nighthawk 750s, two V-Strom 1000s and a Kawasaki Concours the past 20 years, I decided to downsize.
I found a 2007 Burgman 650 with only 2,300 miles and the dealer was ready to bargain. Three weeks later, the odo reads 3,150+.
After a test-ride, I knew I wanted the Burgman. Smooth, quiet, and plenty quick enough for me. Let’s ride!


Since it was foggy, I decided to give my back porch a quick coat of paint before I left. I had scraped and cleaned it the day before,
so I was done by 9am. Most of the fog was burning off and the sun was coming through!



First stop, Philippi Bridge – site of the first land battle of the Civil War.






After almost completely burning down about 1990 it was rebuilt using traditional materials and methods.

Looks just like it did (with the exception of road surface safety improvements for traffic).







Heading out Rt 33 near Elkins. Lots of wind generators on the surrounding ridges.







Short bit of 4-lane as Rt 33 comes out of Elkins eastbound toward Seneca Rocks.







I had to stop at the cave. This man-made cave (limestone??) has been a landmark since I was a kid.







A peek inside.







Continuing on out Rt 33 on the way to Harman.







Nice overlook at Rich Mountain.








Yogi Berra said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Just west of Harman.








Hey, look! I knew if I poked around long enough taking photos the Harley crowd would catch up.


Must be Mountainfest riders from Morgantown.

Shortly after this, I caught up to their mile parade going 40MPH so no one could pass. Grrrr…….








Top of Allegheny Mt. Time to re-hydrate with Gatorade.

I was tired of following a group of 40 MPH Harleys packed together like a parade.

Sorry, but this scooter was built to RUN! No problem running 60+MPH on the mountains.








View westbound from top of Allegheny Mt on Rt 33.








Rt 33 eastbound approaching Onego. Great riding roads!!








My favorite stomping grounds – Seneca Rocks.

I used to bring my grandparents out here after church from Petersburg. We would bring a picnic lunch

and watch the climbers with binoculars. Lots of great memories. When I retired from the US Air Force,

they asked me if I wanted my retirement flag flown over the state capitol or Washington DC. I said I would

like it flown over the Seneca Rocks Visitor Center – it is a Federal facility, after all. The Park Ranger,

Sue Grafton, was very gracious and flew it on a day my parents were coming by to get photos.

In my will, I want to be cremated and the ashes thrown from the top of the rocks.








After Seneca Rocks, it was south on Rt 33/28 towards Riverton and Spruce Knob.

(Yes, I turned around northbound for a more scenic shot)








A quick detour at Riverton to go up on Horse Ridge Road for this beautiful view north.








Same location (Horse Ridge Road) but looking east toward Germany Valley (more on that later).








Climbing the road to Spruce Knob. Whoo-hooo!








Highest Point in WV – Spruce Knob.

The Burgman had no problem whatsoever. Plenty of power.








A hiker came by and took my photo with Burgman.








Cheesy attempt at a panorama from near the summit.








Leaving the parking lot of Spruce Knob to head back down.







Another overview on the way down from Spruce Knob. Looking east towards Virginia.



CONTINUED ON PART II - COMING SOON



.
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WV Historical Markers Project
My Website - Europe, Alaska, US Bike Rides
www.RidingWV.com

pnoman screwed with this post 07-27-2013 at 02:58 PM
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:40 PM   #2
gizmo309
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Looks like beautiful country. Raining here all day today so I have "ride" through your pix. Nice job.

Bob
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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Part II

PART II



Of course, I had to stop at Germany Valley overlook, on Rt 33 just west of Frankin.
One of the best overlooks in WV, in my opinion.




After filling the gas tank in Franklin (2.4 gallons for 135 miles!), it was north on Rt 220
to stop and see my folks at the farm. Mom had lunch ready!




After a great pork chop meal, it was time to head out from the farm.
First, I have to backtrack about 10 miles south to Smoke Hole.




Rt 220 south passes lots of old farms.




Smoke Hole Road. This is the south entrance just above Upper Tract.
This 18-mile road follows the North Branch Potomac River for a while
before turning up through forest and farms.




Smoke Hole Road – starting up from the south entrance.




CORRECTION: I mistakenly thought this was for oil/gas fracking, but it is a local water project.
Glad to hear that from a reader.




Eagle Rock. Guess what it is named for. (Don’t scroll down – answer is on next photo)




Bit o’ history. Grave is in background.




William Eagle’s grave.




Continuing on Smoke Hole road. Following South Branch Potomac River.




This appears to be a sealed-off cave. It has been like that since I was a kid.



Shreve’s store – probably close to 100 years old. Only store within miles.




After Shreve’s store, the road dog-legs up the mountain mile then turns into the forest.




Narrow, winding road is lots of fun on a bike.
You had better follow the 35MPH limit, though. Fine, loose gravel in many corners.




One of my favorite photo spots on Smoke Hole Road.




Another favorite photo spot on Smoke Hole Road. About 2 miles from north entrance.




Same photo but without the bike. A few years ago, I was at the local mall at Christmas and there
was a lady selling a book about WV stories. There was a photo on the cover that looked
familiar. I asked the author, and she didn’t know where it was. In fact, she was upset because
someone had told her it was actually VIRGINIA. Relax, I said. I told her it was Smoke Hole,
and emailed her a photo I had taken at this spot the year before.




Just below the north entrance of Smoke Hole Road. Nice views.




Bridge across South Branch Potomac River (North Fork) at the north entrance to
Smoke Hole Road off Rt 55/28 near Cabins.
Well, it’s late in the afternoon and I have 100 miles to get home, so that’s it for today.

Hope you enjoyed riding along with me.

MILES TRAVELED – 282
FUEL CONSUMED - 4.95 GALLONS ($18.20)
FUEL MILEAGE - 56.9 MPG

See you later.




.

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My Website - Europe, Alaska, US Bike Rides
www.RidingWV.com

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Old 07-27-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
jesionowski
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Nice report
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:17 AM   #5
klaviator
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Nice report. Brings back some memories. I used to ride around there then I lived in the DC area. I even hiked up Seneca Rocks.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:15 AM   #6
Bearcat
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Great RR and wonderful pictures. Great riding roads in West By God Virginia.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:34 AM   #7
CaptnJim
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Kudos! An outstanding photo essay - just what this island boy, livin' on a boat, scooter left behind, workin' when I'm supposed to be retired, needed!

Just for some perspective, I owned 9 Harleys over the years. Once in a while, I would ride with the local HOG group... definitely NOT a 40 mph group! These days, I like to ride at a leisurely pace to savor the feel of the bike and the scenery.

We lived in the Black Hills (western South Dakota) for a lot of years - your photos kinda reminded me of the great riding there.

Damn; now I'm going to have to go rent a scooter again. Keep it up!!

Best wishes,
Jim

Five weeks on my contract here.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:18 PM   #8
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Great trip report! I love Seneca Rocks and the surrounding area!
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:22 AM   #9
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Looks like a very nice day for a ride, or maybe a a very nice ride for a day. Your photos are great. It's hard to convey the feel of riding and seeing all the scenery in a still frame. You make it easy to want to ride on those roads.

As a new owner of a Burgman, you will still be discovering the beast. After four years and twenty thousand miles, I have a much better appreciation of how nice it is to own and ride but for the first year or two it was always surprising me. I had underestimated it in many ways, particularly in performance and handling. Ride sensibly, within your limits, but know that the Burgman is very able to perform at higher speeds. It goes fast very quickly and will stay glued to the road with good tires and good pavement. I've learned to love it for the way it satisfies the competing demands of comfort and handling so well.

I look forward to more. You make me want to organize my photos, and take better pictures. Salute.

Ride safe
Scott Fraser
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:25 AM   #10
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Beautifully done report!

My mom & grandparents roots come out of Clarksburg, WV., but I've never been.

Your report is very inspirational to get out there and start touring.

It's a shame you're not sharing this in ride reports, cause you really should.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:59 PM   #11
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Great report and pics...

It's been some time since I've seen the covered bridge at Philippi. I went to A-B (before it became a University!) and haven't been back in some time. Wife and I stay in Petersburg area (North Fork Mtn Inn on Smokehole Rd) for weekend getaways. Loved all the pics. Need to spend a few days down there again before the summer disappears. By chance, you don't happen to have the website "Riding WV" do ya?
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:34 AM   #12
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tebpac View Post
It's been some time since I've seen the covered bridge at Philippi. I went to A-B (before it became a University!) and haven't been back in some time. Wife and I stay in Petersburg area (North Fork Mtn Inn on Smokehole Rd) for weekend getaways. Loved all the pics. Need to spend a few days down there again before the summer disappears. By chance, you don't happen to have the website "Riding WV" do ya?

Yes, that's me.

Glad you enjoyed the RR.

And thanks to all the nice comments by samthg, Scott F, climbamt, CaptnJim, Bearcat, klaviator, jesionowski, and gizmo309. (Sorry if I left somebody out)


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My Website - Europe, Alaska, US Bike Rides
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