Blue Grass Valley of Virginia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by MADSTROM, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    Powhatan, Va
    2-22-2014

    With the break in the weather, I took a little ride today to "Blue Grass Valley" in Highland County Virginia . Total rountrip 376 miles in beautiful weather with clear skies. Winds did whip up in the afternoon which caused a few anxious moments . Temperatures ranged from 29 Degrees F. early A.M. to mid 60s by late afternoon. The mountain roads were covered in gravel and cinder. There were more than enough melting/frozen snow/ice run-off patches across the roads to keep me on my toes.:eek1

    For more snow pictures here's a link to my ride last year: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=756833

    Here's a link that describes this place very eloquently: http://www.country-magazine.com/road-trip/east/blue-grass-valley-road/

    Here's a screen shot of the round trip Route. From Richmond , Virginia to Blue Grass Valley

    Note: For the most enjoyable viewing adjust your screen size to 110-115% and center the pictures so they fill your screen. That's as close as you can get to experiencing the panoramic views there.

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    Here's a few of the 93 shots I took today:


    1st stop coffee Sheetz Fishersville, Va

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    Confederate Breastworks
    http://www.shenandoahatwar.org/Event-Calendar/Events/Events-past-events/Confederate-Breastworks-Shenandoah-Mountain-Trail-Hike

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    The following shots are of Blue Grass Valley
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    Downtown Blue Grass Circa 19 teens?
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    Same basic shot Today 2-22-2014 - Had Brunch there today. :dg
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    More Valley Shots -


    Snowy Mountain is in the distance in all the shots looking north. It marks the northern boundary of Blue Grass Valley and is on the West Virginia line. The Valley is approximately 30 miles long and is bounded by the West Viginia line on the north and west. Germany Valley is the next major valley to the north in WV accessed via Rte 33. It's similar to Blue Grass Valley but that's another ride and story.
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    Lots of Newborn Lambs today. Spring can't be far behind.

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    I want the house with the Red roof - That farm was for sale a couple of years ago.:cry (838mm zoom shot)
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    Stainless Steel maple syrup collection tanks with plastic tubing running from each tree. This collection system was in several places down the valley.
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    Great Camping Facility in Bath County
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    Frozen Lake - Beach
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    Camp Sites right on the lake. :dg :pot :kumbaya :freaky
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    Bath House
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    Picnic Shelter
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    #1
  2. Dusty1013

    Dusty1013 Been here awhile

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    Cool pics, good weekend to get out. Lots of snow still around up here in Pa.
    #2
  3. wvdirtbiker

    wvdirtbiker MILES2GO

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    Thanks for the pics. Blue Grass valley is my all time favorite ride. It just doesn't get more beautiful than that.

    I liked your before and after pics. Blue Grass hasn't changed that much in almost a hundred years.

    Also good pics of the Bath County Pump Storage facilities. I can still remember when it was being built. There used to be a small visitors center that had some nice displays of the operation there. I wish they would bring it back.

    Most people don't realize that there is an upper reservoir and three 28' diameter tunnels that move the water back and forth between the reservoirs.
    If I remember correctly, the vertical drop from the upper to lower reservoir is about 1500'.
    #3
  4. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    Thanks, I ride out there at least a half a dozen times a year. I'd live live there in a heart beat if I had a choice.
    I was nuclear a technical buyer for Virginia Power for 24 years. I've also been to Bath many times to work on various projects. Speaking as a true gear head that place is absolutely AWESOME!!! Most people drive right by it and have no clue how massive that place and it's sytems really are. I've been all over the place including a 4 wheeling excursion all around the upper reservoir. It's the largest pumped storage generation facility in the world. It's truly an invisible giant. Here's a good read on it:

    https://www.dom.com/about/stations/hydro/bath-county-pumped-storage-station.jsp

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_County_Pumped_Storage_Station

    https://www.google.com/search?q=bat...gHB6YCQBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CD4QsAQ&biw=1519&bih=767
    #4
  5. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Nice report and pics.


    Just curious, what are you shooting with?
    #5
  6. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    Sony DSC-HX100v Super Zoom. It does anything I need. I never take my Canon T3 with me.
    #6
  7. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    I can see why, this set of photo's is fantastic, especially for such harsh lighting.
    #7
  8. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    Yeah ... It was extremely bright. I just set it to the "Super Auto" mode. It does extemely well in any lighting including extremely bright to near darkness. It's an extremely versatile camera. It does great panaramas in either direction, movies in1080P, Macro to Telephoto and you don't have to be a professional to captue great shots. I'm sold on Sonys. And, it fits very easily in "Bags Connection City Bag" Tank Bag with plenty of room to spare. It's a medium sized 12-18 liter bag .

    #8
  9. RedneckRider

    RedneckRider Lost Again !!!

    Joined:
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    foot of Skyline Drive
    Blue Grass Valley is a most awesome place to ride ! Especially in the summer. I did Rte 642 out of Blue Grass over the mountain, hit FR54 at the WV line, by Lake Buffalo and came out on Rte 28 near the Rte 250 intersection, last summer. Fantastic ride, the rhododendron was still in bloom !!!! Also ridden Hardscrabble Rd (Rte 640) over to Snowy Mtn Rd and on to Cherry Grove. So many great rides out there !!! Planning on spending a couple of weeks in the Marlinton area this summer riding some of their FR's and CR's.
    #9
  10. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    You should see it when snow is on the ground. AWESOME!!!! I have pictures of it from a ride through there during mid winter a couple of years ago. 642 is the only road I haven't ridden. I've been looking at it on Google for a couple of years. I asked at the General Store in Blue Grass this weekend and the locals said it's pretty decent on the VA said but gets pretty chewed up on the WV side. I'm fine on forrestry roads but I hate it when it turns to rutted, wet, slimy clay and cabbage sized rocks, etc. Not fun. How did you find it? Do you have any pictures.
    #10
  11. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    Shhhhh, no one wants to visit BG Valley it's ugly, crowded, and smells, so everyone else should stay away :wink:
    #11
    kmhamlin likes this.
  12. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    True ... the sheep out number the people 10 to 1. And there almost as many cows and a few nasty Llamas. Pew!!!!! It's also NOT a place to go racing through. The road surface is often covered in gravel. It's a place for putting slowly through, taking pictures and soaking in the scenery. The residents a very friendly now. Show some respect. Let's not screw it up.

    #12
  13. James Cook

    James Cook O.H.M.S

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    Sounds a bit like around here. Nice photo's:clap
    #13
  14. RedneckRider

    RedneckRider Lost Again !!!

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    I was riding it in late spring and had no problems at all. The Va side is in really good shape, the WV side had a few not so great spots, but nothing my trusty '99 KLR couldn't handle! I would even attempt it ( in spring, summer, fall) on my '09 f800 ! Sorry I don't have any pics. I haven't figured out a way to safely carry my Canon digital SLR without bouncing it to death !!!
    #14
  15. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    Thanks for the info. It's now on my definite to do list for early this year.

    Yeah, if you don't take your camera you don't get the pictures. That's why I carry my trusty do everything Sony DSC-HX100V Super Zoom. It's half the size of my Canon T3. I don't have to carry a bunch of lenses and it's small enough to fit in my cushioned tank bag with room to spare. I can't see any significant difference in quality of the pictures between the 2 cameras. I have thousands of photos from a lot of special places from over the last several years. When cabin fever sets in, I just open Windows Live Gallery and run a slide show to get my fix on those shut in days. They also give me ideas for new rides to places I have'nt yet explored. :wink:
    #15
  16. WayneJ

    WayneJ Get Off My Lawn

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    I've been through 642/FR-54/FR-55(Allegheny Rd) a few times, once when it was wet. There is no rutted, slimy, clay or cabbage sized rocks. Most of it is nice graded gravel(a few small pot holes), with just a small amount of rougher road on FR-55. I'd do all three roads on my ST-1100 without thinking about it, even if it was a little wet.

    This is the intersection of FR-55(to the right) and FR-54 at the end of April 2011. I took the pic with the VA/WV border behind me.
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    This is 642 about 2/3 the way up the mountain in April 2012. It was wet then.
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    This is FR-55(Allegheny Rd) about 4 miles south of SR-28 last summer. Most of the road looks like this, with a couple of rougher places. He picked up a staple somewhere.
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    I might head down that way from the Laurel Fork camp out again this spring.
    #16
  17. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    The road looks very similar to the Forrestry Roads and County Routes around Laurel Forks Wilderness area most of which I've ridden over the last several years. I can make a loop starting in Blue Grass Valley out to 28 across the road at Thornwood and up to Laurel Fork wilderness! Excellent! Thanks for the info, photos and posting!!!
    #17
  18. WayneJ

    WayneJ Get Off My Lawn

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    If you go north on FR-55(Allegheny Rd) to SR-28, you can take CR-28/10(Sawmill Run Rd) or FR-112 to the top of the Mountain and then go west to Laurel Fork. CR-28/10 is paved part the way.
    #18