2011-09-10 00:18:19+0000

Another day, another 600 km...

As a recap...

Road trips and accidents

With sadness, my first post about our trip to Deal's Gap is about accidents and how I now know I respond to them. It was a slow start. I was slowed down at the border (British passport, Canadian resident crossing into the US is harder than it needs to be) but after, the progress was reasonable.

Fortunately, today we had no real dramas. Unfortunately, and all too much like yesterday, we set off late. Admittedly, this was due to fall out from yesterday. Our gracious truck driver, let's call him Nick303, had driven all over the Pennsylvania yesterday, ultimately driving out to meet us to deliver luggage. This morning, we repacked everything in order to set out again and it left us behind schedule. Well, that and the excellent corned beef hash at Rick's 50's Diner in Hopwood, PA.

We finally hit the road at about 11am give or take. The plan was to follow back roads as much as possible; nothing more than a US- road and no interstates. Most of the way out of PA was almost industrial wasteland. Strips mines and slag heaps lined the roads, while trucks rutted and gouged the roadways. At times it felt more off road that back road. And even though I paint a grim picture, there is a stark beauty to some of the scenery. It's amazing the destruction man can visit on a landscape. But don't stare at it too long otherwise you'll get side-swiped by a truck.

PA soon melted into West Virginia, a state I'd never ridden in before. For a first attempt, it provided some excellent riding. Industrial PA gave way to the 7 in WV and it was altogether a quieter and more natural groove. The 7 is definitely a road I'd want to ride again. We were hampered by both traffic (there's quite a bit in places) and time, which we plain ran out of, and thus, while this is the planned route, we changed it to take much of the I-79 instead. In truth, that wasn't a bad route either. While it was "truckier", if I can use that term, it was also very scenic and sweepy. Besides, we made half-decent time on it.

Toronto->Deal's Gap: Day Two

Toronto->Deal's Gap: Day Two

More cross country fun, this time ending up at the Natural Bridge in Slade, KY. My favourite state...

But we were still behind. Rounding Charleston, we met traffic. A detour and a stop netted us out about the same as it we had sat idling as we sawe the same UPS truck geting both off and back on. The 79 then became the 64 as approximately 400km of interstate started to take it's toll. Stops become more frequent. After that long, you'll take a break for just about anything.

And then we hit Kentucky, and all was good. The route in greets you with a monstrous refinery, spurting fire straight into the air like a steampunk dragon. Past it, the sky instantly seemed bigger somehow. Perhaps it's a stupid claim, but it was enough for me to say it out loud.

Yet another rest stop later (and some vending machine coffee) and we left the I roads for good and headed south on KY-7. Did I mention I love this state? Yes, the bourbon plays a large part in all that, but the world seems a friendler place there. And the roads were good to us. KY-7 isn't the greatest road, but it's the backbone of some nice riding. Take some of the side roads and you'll see what I mean. Unfortunately, we didn't have that chance though it's a reason to go back at least. The problem was setting off too late. Even though we changed the route to try and catch up, we just set off too late. It was getting dark as we started down the 7. By the time we'd stopped for food in West Liberty (not recommended, even if they are all very nice there) it was pitch black. Sixty more kilometers to go.

Problem is, they were climbing into Slade. The road, I am sure, would have been amazing if we could see it. No rain this time, but I would have preferred that to the mist we did have. Progress was slow, painful and cold. Especially with the cars speeding past and almost the speed of sound (ok, we were just that slow and tired).

But we eventually arrived, and what an arrival it was. Turns out there was a gang of bikers staying at the other side of the motel and they gave us a rousing cheer as we pulled in. Guys, sorry we didn't say hi as we were too damn tired...

Meant to add, I need to put in the new map. It's less exciting that the one attached, but it's at least more honest and it will be up the minute I can figure out how to get it off my GPS. If only there were some way to do that directly and post to this site... Hmm...

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