Before I left on Saturday, I purchased a copy of Greg Frazier’s first book, “Motorcycle Sex”, which spoofs Freudian psychology while explaining why he rides motorcycles. I look forward to reading it.
On Sunday morning when I went down to load up Gonzo, I found a note stuck between the gas tank and the seat. It was from a gentleman I met in the hotel parking lot Friday night as I was parking Gonzo and he was walking his dog. He stopped walking about 15 feet away and looked at Gonzo as I was backing him in to the parking space. I said hello and he asked about the bike. He used to ride and we had nice chat. I told him about the rally and he told me about another museum nearby as well as the fact the first Iron Butt rally in 1984 started at Montgomery Cycle which is nearby.
Gonzo seems to make people want to connect and talk about him, much the way dogs seem to start conversations between strangers. 🙂
I got everything buttoned up by 8:15 am and recorded the starting mileage of the ride back home to Arvada, CO.
The start mileage was 45,722 when I started out eight days ago.
So I’ve ridden one mile short of 1,900 miles so far.
Today’s route avoids the Pennsylvania Turnpike and wanders to the south and west through the back roads of Montgomery County, PA, until I connect with US-30, US-220 and ultimately US-50 in West Virginia. I plan to take US-50 most of the way back home. It was a leisurely ride through the Montgomery County back roads on Sunday morning with the temperature in the low to mid 70’s by 8:30 am, so it’s going to be a hot day today.
I didn’t think I would take many pictures today, but I was wrong. (Maybe I have an addiction to taking photos? Nah, that can’t be. 🙂 ). Here are some of the sights along the road that caught my interest. I put my comment about each picture in the caption.
As I continued along US-30, I realized it goes through Gettysburg, PA, and I’ve never visited the Civil War battlefield. So, I took a short detour and rode into the national park.
I parked Gonzo in a field near Cemetery Ridge and walked around for about an hour. It was 90 degrees, so conditions today were a bit hotter than the first day of the battle according to the weather during the days of the battle. The small part of the battlefield I saw is memorable and it’s a haunting experience to walk by the many memorials erected to honor the dead and the living who served in the variety of military units that where in that historic battle from the Union states.
Here is a slide show of my pictures.
After walking around the Cemetery Ridge section of the Gettysburg battlefield, I continued west on US-30. I crossed into Maryland and later, on US-220, into West Virginia.
Eventually, US-220 merges into US-50 in West Virginia. And then US-50 goes up up into the West Virginia mountains like a snake slithering up a meandering path to the top of the hills and then back down into the hollows with miles of forested canopy over your head like you riding through a cathedral while you rock back and forth through all the corners.
Many times I saw “55 MPH” followed in 500 yards by “15 MPH” as I scrambled up the 9% grade leaned into the hairpin turns. The Alps have nothing on US-50 from the junction of US-220 for 70 miles until it starts to come down to Bridgeport WV where I’m spending the night. 🙂
Along the ride I crossed the “Cheat” river. I wonder how it got that name?
Around 4:45 pm I got to my hotel in Bridgeport, WV. I had become tired and sweaty from the heat when it got up to 90 degrees across Maryland, but then I got refreshed on US-50 in West Virginia from the fabulous curvy road and the low 80 degree temperatures in the mountains.
Today I am riding the route I had planned for my first day returning from the 2017 R100RS 40th anniversary rally, but I wasn’t able to do that since I left at 2:00 pm on Monday afternoon due to Gonzo’s transmission problem, so I had to use the super-slap most of the way to Bridgeport. I’m very happy I decided to take the original first day route today. 🙂
Safe trip. Rt. 50 is a good choice.
Cheat River’s name has several explanations according to wikipedia….none strongly documented, so I guess you can pick your favorite. 🙂
I’ve been to Gettysburg a few times, a great reminder of the lives lost during the Civil War, Americans killing Americans….sometimes I wonder if we’re headed there again.