I woke up in the morning and it was raining. Again. Or is it still? I waited, and it let up a little, but it didn't show signs of stopping for a while, so I decided to ride through it. Checking the radar (I use the MyRadar app and it's a fantastic tool), it looked relatively clear 1-2 hours up the road, so I donned the Frog Togs and left. It seemed prudent to take the highway, at least until the weather started to clear a bit.
Finally, it began to clear, and I got off the highway. The roads turned "fun" shortly after leaving, but with the rain, I decided to take it easy.
The ride into West Virginia was still overcast, but the clearing had begun.
Of course, there was the requisite wildlife for the region.
She's on the run!!!
West Virginia had been declared a disaster zone since the storms that fell on her the day I left. Entire towns were swept away, and there were videos of cars swept underwater with their headlights still on, and houses on fire being swept downstream. I was higher in elevation, for the most part, so I didn't see many signs of the disaster, but my thoughts were with the people of West Virginia ass they continued to clean up and recover.
I also pulled into Hillsboro, West Virginia, home of Pearl S. Buck who wrote The Good Earth. It was one of the best and saddest books I read, required in high school, and this year it was also required reading for my daughter. The classics never die.
That's her home behind the tree there.It was closed, probably on account of all the flooding. Notice the sun is shining again...finally!
Just beyond this, I went into Greenbrier, WV and this town was more impacted by the rains. Also, there was a near-gridlock situation as I rode further into town. I couldn't figure it out until I saw a Super Wal-Mart and realized everyone was going there to get supplies. Still, people were patient, with no one honking their horns, or yelling, or carrying on. Sometimes the worst things happen TO us and bring out the best things IN us.
I got out of there and moved on, coming into Cass, WV an old mining (I think) company town decked out in white buildings with black trim.
There was also a lot of mountain cleanup in the area, with crews clearing debris from the roadways as it was washed off the hillsides. On one stoppage, I looked to my left and saw this little oddity: a gnome home.
I also saw HUGE satellite dishes at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. I was sorry I didn't have time to take the tour and see the dishes up close, so I will also add that to my "next time" list.
I got lost again, and this time I hooked up a GPS. It took me the most convoluted way ever, including some "Enduro" time down a backcountry road that reminded me of a scene from Deliverance. Luckily, it's a fast-moving bike, and I was able to outrun the banjo music.
I took a lot of great roads: 219, 66, 92, 250, and Senator Robert Byrd's US-48, a mammoth highway from nowhere to nowhere with no one on it. I think it was paved with Congressional pork. For a motorcyclist, it was perfect! I hit I-68 and sprinted for home, arriving as the sun set.
In six days, I travelled 2,600+ miles, covering 12 states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia.
And still, Dorothy was right: "There's no place like home!"