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: http://www.mendelson.com.
Courtney's JournalSunday, August 17th, 1997
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.
- James Madison University.... huh. so that's where it is...
- one part of the sky is pale sky blue with vast sky stretches of cloud -- and on the other - dark blue, grey with large expanses of clouds. thunderstorms predicted for the night
- booked a hotel room at the Super 8 in Lexington, VA via cellphone
- of course the discount coupon from the "Virginia Travel Coupons & Visitor Guide/Motel Discount Guide" were no good, cause they'd sold out all the rooms at that rate due to a Horse Show.
- my AAA discounts haven't panned out either yet. ...
- dave estimates we'll be there by 8m. we shall see...
- 30 miles outside Lexington, VA we just passed a relic-souvienier old geezer in a crusty rumpled hat, and a face like deep fried chicken: wrinkles deeper than the national debt, and a tan as the Food Emporium's brown paper bags.
- just passed an 18wheeler with the Last Supper painted on one full side of it.
- DOUTHAT State. on a sign
i love the idea of keeping this journal -- journals are so important anyway, but especially so when we're traveling. it helps us express ourselves, find a voice for thoughts, and also something for us to look back on and reflect. recording our country, our history
warning: don't try this trip w/o a lot of patience, full understanding of setting up hard and software, servers, and multiple scenarios for working on and off line. this has certainly been a lesson for me. probably for all of us in one way or another.
We went into town for dinner at a restuarant called "Palms" -- a typical college bar with The motorcyclists showed up around 10:30 pm. Tired and hungry, I offered to drive them to Palms. They all piled in the car and I drove them down. It was closed, so we drove around till we found an open Pizza Hut. We came back to the motel, they ate and we all struggled with our computers.
As much as i want to get our pictures up, its 3:32am and i'm in Team Unit boy and Team GCDi's room, they're getting much needed sleep, Kim and Dave are in TeamNows room, sleeping. we've all been dehydrated. this is an exciting, wonderful adventure, testing, but so worth it