Friday, August 14, 2009

Rocketbunny in the Blue Ridge Mountains - Day 07

Day 07
Friday, August 14, 2009
Front Royal, VA to Rocky Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, VA
297 miles

I woke up with a huge feeling of eager anticipation. Today was the day the trip REALLY got started. I had 3 days of parkways ahead of me, some of it new territory. The bike was packed and before I knew it, I found myself stopping for a photo shoot at the entrance to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive!

Starting to get hungry, I stopped at Big Meadows for another national park sticker for the ST and some food for me. After perusing the menu at the cafe, I opted for a take-out sandwich and bottled juice.

Half an hour later I was off the bike again, enjoying my lunch at a vista point.

On my way again, I crossed out of the national park and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. I'd been a little concerned about getting confused at the exit, but the transition was seamless.

Out of the national park, the area immediately began to feel more inhabited. I occasionally saw farmhouses and fields through the trees. Still beautiful though.... and NOTHING like riding through towns and past billboards on a state highway.

I'd been eagerly anticipating spending the night at Willville Bike Camp, a motorcycle-only campground at the midpoint of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It had been a long day of riding and I was very ready to get off the bike and relax.

However, when I pulled up to the driveway to camp and saw that it was a steep gravel road down to more gravel and lawns, I twisted the throttle and rode right back on to the parkway. I'd remembered seeing a national forest campground about 10 miles back. I spent the entire ride trying not to speed and grumbling to myself about proprieters who call themselves "motorcycle-friendly" yet neglect to pave their cliff-like driveways.

Note: I realize that most motorcyclists don't have this particular problem of mine and I'm sure the campground is very nice. I just wish it took into account vertically-challenged riders of heavy bikes.

On further thought, I suppose my previous day's experience with the mud had given me more than my fill of uncertain surfaces.

Rocky Knob Campground turned out to be very nice, with a paved driveway, a paved campground loop, and even *GASP* paved campsite pull-ins.

Absolutely no cell phone service though. I set my SPOT to send the nightly sign-off and set up camp.


Motorcycle Jackets said...

I like the bike pictures
Motorcycle Jackets

Netty said...

Looks great! Thanks for sharing the post.

Mark said...

really very nice pictures.

I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting.