Bedford VA Two Day Getaway

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by BvilleBud, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. BvilleBud

    BvilleBud Been here awhile Supporter

    Sep 23, 2014
    My wife and I took a last minute trip last weekend; we went from Strasburg Virginia, to Bedford Virginia with a stop off in Buena Vista. It was raining or drizzling for most of the trip down, but good gear kept us dry as a bone, and the V-Strom kept us safe. To save some time, we blasted down Rt. 81 playing dodge with every tractor trailer soccer mom, and frustrated yuppie for the first couple of hours and then took beautiful Rt. 60 East to Buena Vista; "Buuuuena Vista" for those who are not from the area! My wife is from Mexico and she smiles each time she hears someone say "Buuuuuena Vista". Buena Vista is a nice mid size town in the Valley with some beautiful Victorian Houses. The town sits at the western foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is adjacent to the Maury river. Buena Vista was formerly known as Hart's Bottom, Green Forest or Green Valley until around 1890 when it was charted as its current name. While in Buena Vista visit Glen Maury Park ( or walk through Southern Virginia University (SVU) that overlooks the town. The Victorian homes next to SVU are beautiful, so weave through the neighborhood to see some of these houses. The Buena Vista Slogan is "6002 happy citizens and 3 old grouches"; so cool! From Buena Vista we continued on 60 East to the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed south for a couple of hours to Rt. 43 at Peaks of Otter, and took 43 to Bedford. While it was raining off and on and drizzling most of the trip, the cloud cover on the Blue Ridge Parkway was like something out of a movie. You would see the mist moving some distance away then enter the cloud and loose vision and feel the cool and humid air envelop you and the motorcycle; it was almost mystical.


    Bedford was originally named as Liberty, after the Colonial victory over General Cornwallis at Yorktown; it was founded as a village in 1782. Bedford is at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is best known for it's tragic losses for the causes of Liberty in Europe. Bedford lost more residents per capita in the Normandy landings than any other American community. Nineteen soldiers from Bedford died on that day, and Bedford at the time had a population of about 3,200. Three other Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign. Bedford is home to the National D-Day Memorial, we did not have time to visit the memorial this visit, but I posted about it before ( The Memorial is very educational and a somber, but great reminder to embrace the freedom (not democracy) that so many made the ultimate sacrifice to guarantee.


    From Bedford we took Dickerson Mill Road to our Cabin on Springlake Farm Road. The trip home was similar but we took more of 43 North from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Buchanan (it was beautiful) before getting back on 81 to get home before it got too late.

    The Bike

    2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 with Givi V46 top case with light kit, Givi E360 side cases and a Wolfman tank bag. The Strom lights the way with a Cyclops LED headlight and Cyclops Arora auxiliary lights controlled with a Skene dimmer. A Terry's Custom Seat and Alaska Sheepskin seat covers keep us comfy in the saddle; we could ride all day long on this motorcycle and have many times. It may actually be too comfortable, because my wife can fall asleep on the back. Here is an older pic, she has new side bags now, but pretty much the same.

    The Gear

    My wife was wearing her Alpinestars Andes DryStar jacket with a Warm & Safe Gen 4 heated jacket and remote heatroller underneath. She was wearing BMW WP pants, some merino wool socks and her favorite Doc Martens Vonda boots; I had a pair of boot covers just in case the Doc Martens got waterlogged, but she was fine. I was wearing the world's most underrated ADV jacket (FirstGear Kilimanjaro 37.5) that keeps me dryer than any other jacket in my closet. I had a Dainese mid layer jacket, Aerostich Darrien pants, merino wool socks and TCX X-Five.4 boots.

    The Stay

    We only spent a night, but we loved the cabin we rented at Spring Lake Farm. I don't think they have a website, but if you call Lee Merritt, or his son David at 540 598-9450 they will rent you a beautiful, clean, fun little one room cabin in the woods just a hundred yards from their beautiful lake. Full disclosure, the cabin did not have indoor plumbing, but the bath house was only a few steps away. This was the fanciest outhouse (OK bath house) I have ever seen! My wife loved this place and I think that even the fussiest lady would have been very happy with the facilities here. They were SPOTLESS, and super modern with a very nice antique tub, new shower stall, etc.). The bath house was not just clean, but decorated very nicely with mosaic tiles and paintings on the walls. Both Lee and David ride, and I took too much of their time talking about motorcycles and rural Virginia. Lee and David also do fish and hunt guides, we will be coming back to visit very soon.

    The Food

    Sunday night we rode about 30 minutes to Roanoke and had dinner with my brother and nephew at the 611 Steak House; it was a good deal and good comfort food. Monday we ate lunch at the Azul restaurant in Bedford and enjoyed the food very much. We had their chicken quesadillas and they were very good. I thought it was a little funny that a Mexican restaurant with pictures of Emiliano Zapata and Francisco Villa did not know who the men in the pictures on their wall were, but I was happy to tell them a story of the revolutionaries. The owner of the cabin suggested we try Liberty Station in Bedford; this is a historic building that was once the train station where the men from Bedford departed for their service and ultimate sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy. LIberty was closed on Sunday & Monday (when we were there), but we will try it on our next trip.Coming back toward the Shenandoah Valley we stopped in Amherst and tried to get a late lunch at the "Armstrong Restaurant"; if you are in Amherst skip this place at all cost. We tried to get a bowl of chili that they had on the menu, but they didn't have any, same with the stuffed tomatoes. The place was dirty and the bathroom looked like a poop bomb exploded in there. The waitress rude, the service bad.

    The Summary

    The Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains & the hidden valleys that lay at their feet are special. You could spend a lifetime exploring the Shenandoah Valley & Southwest Virginia, and never see every sight or hear every story, but you should come and experience a place where time stands still, or at least moves at a slower pace. I don’t think that there a straight road or a flat road in our part of Virginia, it is like it was made for motorcycling. It is beautiful, historic, the people here are kind and gracious, and the scenery is beautiful. Do yourself a favor and spend a few days in my favorite part of the Old Dominion. Happy motoring.
    Town Below.jpg

    hock2e, RedDogAlberta, Drew and 2 others like this.
  2. CJSRider

    CJSRider Been here awhile

    Jan 7, 2020
    Glen Allen Va
    Sounds like a great trip despite the weather.
    BvilleBud likes this.

    VADUALSPORT Adventurer

    Dec 16, 2015
    Roanoke VA
    Bedford is a neat little town. The D Day memorial is very humbling.
    Chuck Pryce and BvilleBud like this.