Old Dominion Run: PA to VA

Wyatt slays the miles the way I consume Twizzlers cherry nibs! This hombre has to ride 500 miles just to get to my casa before the run can even 'officially' start! This year's run would be minus one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; Ken had to take care of business, that meant JT would be solo from Alabama. Our rally point (RP) would be the Charlottlesville KOA; roughly half-way between Maine and Alabama. The Shenandoah Valley is a gem-don't ever go there! Since the RP was only four hours away, Wyatt and I had plenty of time to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast meal, handcrafted by my most excellent bride, before rolling out at 8 a.m.! The sun was out, albeit shrouded in gray; leaving at such an hour felt unusual to me since we seemed to always leave when the dawn sky is pushing the night sky out. None the less, our start time would allow us the luxury of taking a somewhat leisurely ride. I decided that we should run due west to the Susquehanna River and then due south to the Lincoln Highway-not the usual route to leave my neck of the woods! The Lincoln Highway west from Columbia to PA24 is nice and wide open before turning into a traffic-light infested, right-calf burning affair. Wyatt and I rolled past the York Harley-Davidson Plant where Ole Girl and the Mystery Machine were birthed over 11 years ago.We endured each set of traffic lights with good humor and were back out in the countryside of York County. Since Ken would not be joining us we felt compelled to stop at the Battlefield Harley-Davidson dealership to purchase him a t-shirt that would pay homage to his Southern Heritage; I found an appropriate shirt whilst Wyatt took self-portraits of himself with Chewbaca-insert Chewbaca trademark Wookie sound...The Confederate gray skies hung-over us while traveling south past the Gettysburg Battlefield and over the Mason-Dixon Line. The wind seemed to be trying extra hard to keep us from Virginia; the boiling-bruise gray skies over the Catoctin Mountains were especially menacing and convinced me to stay away from the Boonesville/Antietam area...

Wyatt and I did not experience any liquid sunshine. We did witness a white mini-van cut-off a tractor-trailer; I thought perhaps they were trying to re-enact a scene from the movie,"Duel". Not sure but we were behind this, I-have-a-death-wish, driver well into Virginia. I pulled into a supermarket in Haymarket so that we could enjoy a light lunch. Our mini-van experience was a great topic to discuss. Wyatt and I rolled deeper into Northern Virginia. The atmosphere above us seemed to be waiting for the most opportune moment to douse us; as our machines drew closer to the empty mark, the clouds started to take on the color of anthracite coal. We continued further into the countryside with absolutely no idea where the next gas station would be; I began to run the scenarios through my mind as Ole Girl's trip meter hit 200 miles. That is the magic got-to-get-gas number before she starts to asphyxiate from not having any gasolina. Alas, we coasted into the metropolis of Orange and into a nice sized Sheetz gas station. With our steeds watered we continued south on our journey. The late afternoon gloom was briefly pushed aside by lemon yellow sunshine. I began to notice freshly felled trees along the roadside and thought that some pretty strong storms had recently pushed through. Our route took us through the eastern edge of Charlottlesville; I found VA20 and we rode the semi-twisty trail to our final road. Two right-hand turns later we entered the Charlottesville KOA. Wyatt and I picked site 56. Our machines rumbled over to our site and as we put our kickstands down, the sun reappeared and blasted our eyes with yellow-gold sunshine! The sunshine also revealed tell-tale signs of recent heavy rainfall, namely rutted out stone pathway and clumps of tobacco brown leaves...our neighbor chimed in with his exclamation of just how bad that storm was; I just wondered if there would be anymore of 'those storms' and where the heck was JT? I sent him a text advising him that Wyatt and I had arrived, then we got down to setting camp up. By the time we were done messing around it was 5:30 PM-my belly was growling, really growling! So, we gave JT another 15 minutes before leaving camp for dinner at Mellow Mushroom pizza over in C-ville. I stopped in at the camp office and gave the owner a heads-up about our compadre. The ride into town was wet and I did not care!


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