Friday, August 10, 2018

A twisty 13th day on our cross-country BMW trip

Part of the fun of traveling across the country is to eat meals in local restaurants in the small towns we pass through. We've noticed that whole grain bread, fruit and vegetables are much more difficult to find in the South, and today was the first time I've ever seen bologna on the menu. Bologna was one of the meat options at breakfast (sausage, bacon, or bologna) in Sparta, NC and a fried bologna sandwich with American cheese was on the lunch menu in Franklin, WV.  We passed on both.

After breakfast without bologna, we started our ride heading northeast through the Appalachian Mountains, quickly crossing from North Carolina into Virginia, and then crossing back and forth across the West Virginia/Virginia border.

Once again we rode through misty fog created by low-hanging clouds that remind me of the cotton spiderwebs used to decorate for Halloween.

The sun quickly burned off the mist, and we enjoyed sunny skies for most of the day.

Our ride took us through green farmland with fat and happy cows grazing on the steep hillsides, to technical twisties up, down, and around the mountains. The tight corners, 9% grades down the mountains, rivers and streams running along the road, and the green fields and forests made this an absolutely awesome day.

Mid-morning we were startled when a bear shambled across the road in front of us, and an hour or so later a young fawn scurried across the road.

Our route took us through several national forests:  Jefferson, Washington, and Monongahela and we even went past the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia, home to the most accurate large dish radio telescope in the world. Soon after we passed the observatory and were winding our way up and down the mountains on WV 28, the BMW's odometer rolled over to 6000 miles. We did a little happy dance and continued zooming on our way.

We ended the day in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley  Tomorrow we'll continue northeast, dipping into Delaware to cross it off our list of new states.  Here is today's route

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