House - Motorcycle Trip Reports
Hungry Mother III, 2010
Down and Back to Hungry Mother
For the last couple of years members of the K11OG group have met at Hungry Mother State Park in Southwestern Virginia for a bit of riding and lots of good food. I attended the first in the car and resolved upon leaving that the next time I would attend on a bike.
In December of 2009 I was lucky enough to find that perfect bike, a 1994 BMW K75RT owned and carefully maintained by a close friend who takes "all highway miles" to a whole new level. Preparing for this trip was a bit surreal as it seemed so familiar yet I had not done it over a decade. On the morning of my departure a quick trip to the storage locker (and a bit of digging around) yielded my Kathy's Cordura bag liners and OR dry bag, tie-down straps, sleeping bag and Thermarest. With everything organized and packed I mounted up and headed north on the Parkway with an idea to get as far as I was comfortable then find a place for the night. My first stop was at the Virginia Welcome Center to pick up some motel coupon books, these not only make finding a motel easy, the discount codes are often worth 50% and more.
I stopped for gas at the 160-mile mark and stretched out a bit to soothe some aches, it has been quite a while since I could effortlously put 350 miles under my belt before lunch. As I approached Lexington, VA I decided 200 miles for the day was a good run and pulled off the highway to look at the coupon books. Seems that the HoJo had just been completely rennovated and had a $42.99 coupon, and best of all it was directly across the street. I walked in, handed over the coupon and $46 later was relaxing on my 5th floor room balcony watching the sun set over the mountains.
Friday morning came early and I was packed up and underway by 6am. I ran north of I-64 a bit to Covington, VA where I hopped off the freeway and onto Rt. 18. Rt. 18 is a neat 2-lane road that follows a small river along between two mountain ridges with the traits of a typical West Virginia valley road, long sweepers with gentle elevation changes, incredible scenery and lots (and lots) of farms. I took Rt. 18 as far as Pearisburg where I hopped onto Rt. 100 south for the short but pleasant hop over to Rt. 42. One of the area's oldest roads, Rt. 42 (aka the Blue Grass Trail) is a long and segmented valley road with tremendous history that occasionally dips in and out of West Virginia. Along with Rt. 220 it is one of the most pleasant rides I know and I take it whenever convenient - this day it did not dissapoint.
Rt. 42's sixty miles passed too soon and I made a left onto the tight and twisty Rt. 16 for the short hop to Hungry Mother State Park and the K11OG Gathering. Much fun was had by all and before I knew it the alarm was sounding at 6am Sunday morning. I rose and packed up, said goodbyes and made my way over to Rt. 81 for the long 260-mile slog up I-81 to I-66 and home. For the first 150 miles or so I counted twelve separate Virginia State Police radar cars as well as two motorcycles, a new high - luckily the K75 seems most happy right in the legal comfort speed envelope and I passed by all without incident. I stopped once for lunch at a Subway and sat next to a table of six Virginia State Troupers, seems many tickets were handed out that day. One more quick stop for gas and a cup of coffee and I made the final 170-miles home in a single run.
For my first motorcycle trip in a decade it went without incident and with the exception of a little soreness in my wrist and a hornet sting at the tip of my nose all went exceedingly well. The bike performed flawlessly.