Courtney's Journal

Sunday, August 17th, 1997

We just pulled on Route 81 past the town of New Market, VA. Gift shops along the way advertise "Hams & Fireworks." We met up with Team Unit Boy and Team GDCi (arriving over the period of several hours) at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Skyway and the Shenandoh National Park, in Front Royal, VA. While there we also met Mendel Markstein and his son Ay, traveling also by motorcycle from Brooklyn down south. He is in the jewelry business and has a website at:

Pictured above: The groups reorganizing; Greg catching a moments respite; Me running to the digital camera after I thought the self-timer stopped.

This is amazing! Being able to look up from the laptop, and see expansive landscapes, blue mountains, deep green evergreens, wheat-colored fields. There are large pastures with Black Angus, Holsteins, and Jersey's. Beautiful old farms and farmhouses. Quaint main streets with Bed and Breakfasts, brick buildings, old wooden buildings, potted flowers and wild snap-dragons.

Kim and Me on the Blue Ridge Skyway

Dave got some iced tea in the Fox Diner, while Kim sat outside and read her book. This charming, authentic southern diner had a table set up with cellophane preserved newspaper clippings on cardboard of a story ran on them from a Swedish newspaper. "Po-hillbilly" glossary paper placemats were for sale for "$0.15, 2 for $0.25."

Pictured above: The cute Fox Diner; the shrine to the Swedish newspaper article and Po-Hillbilly glossary menus; The sign outside saying, "Bikers welcome. Good Food. Not fancy -- but A Good Place to eat."

For breakfast we "et" at the "I-270 Truck City" -- Dave and I had 2x4's (2 pieces of bacon, 2 sausages, 2 eggs (scrambled), 2 pancakes), and lots 'o coffee. Kim had chipped sausage and creamy gravy on topa true buttermilk biscuits. we laughed about Austin Powers movie, the big trucker's accent behind Dave, and the counter lady's Red Felt Stuffed Animal Octopus, with a heart on its head that vibrated while she said, "This is my new boyfriend!" uh-oh.

Earlier, before heading on the skyway, we stopped in a Farmer Jack grocery store and bought fruit and water. (and noticed huge jugs of Mississippi Mud ale -- real cheap) Everyone's getting dehydrated.

Pictured above: Horned Melons; Mississippi Mud; On Sale!

We all shut out the light last night around 2:30am and we were up at 8:30 and ready to go by around 10:3am. It really highlights one of the differences between riding the bikes and several people in a car. While in a car, one can snooze, relax, gaze out the window, type a few entries in the journal, snap a few digi pics while another drives, motorcyclists (for the most part) are the only one behind the wheel, are constantly battling (and enjoying sometimes) the elements, clutching their handlebars and riding tense on the seat, losing lots of water in hot leather gear... And they need to enjoy the trip as well, so they're progressing at a rate of about 45mph.