|The West Virginia Riders MC on the shores of Lake Riepe|
As undaunted Coach Riepe would say, "Plan for the Worst. Go for the Best. It's like buying punch card chances at a West Virginia VFW bar, you never know when I'll hit the big one."
With a sore butt, tired knees, and stiff neck I was thinking a month at the beach sounded better.
|Sweaty Dick Arriving at Chalet|
The Path to Enlightenment at Lake Riepe and to the chalet we rented was at the end of a mile-long gravel and pot-holed road with 2,000 switchbacks. When we arrived, tired, achy, and verging on grouchiness in 87-degree-heat, the road was a little dusty, slippery, and begging to be rained on.
“Smells like Ginseng root,” Gerry added.
|Evening sky at Snowshoe,WV|
We filed inside to share a meal of nuts, M&Ms, Pepperoni, Cheese, Sopprassata, Triskets, cheap wine, raisins, and single malt scotch that cost more than the new rear tire Buddha needed on his heavy RT motorcycle, and the rain started.
Twenty miles and a drizzle or two later, we arrived at a Mom and Pop No-Name motel that had its own “restaurant.” We could smell the bacon on the grill as we approached, and saliva flowed in anticipation.
Dr. “A” questioned, “A Motel Restaurant? Let’s find real place to eat.”
A smile of contentment crossed Buddha’s face as he received a new telepathic message, “Kill Frechie,” and he visualized the passing of the baton of hate.
Hunger outweighs animosity. We headed out in search of breakfast. One thing you notice about West Virginia is the lack of fast food places like Golden arches or BK that dot our neighborhoods. On the other hand, there was no lack of Correctional Facilities along the roads we traveled. Maybe we can get breakfast at one of them, I thought.
|Seneca Rocks, WV|
|Gerry, Paul, and Ron at Panorama Overlook|
That breakfast failed on many levels - food, preparation, service, ambiance all were zeroes.
|Green Bank Radiotelescope|
On that first day out, it drizzled most of the time, so we decided to stop for lunch and take a tour of The Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, in Green Bank. It was interesting to see, as was our tour guide who could have moonlighted at Hooters.
We laid in about $100 worth of steaks, bacon, eggs, huge potatoes, fresh leafy vegetables, and Devil Dogs selected by our resident Cardiologist and clean-living consultant.
Buddha, went first; then Peter. Gerry waited at the bottom of the driveway, and I pulled in behind him, kept the bike in gear, held in the clutch, and slowly put my foot down into a pothole. Ron , who was riding behind me watched as the bike and I slowly tilted to the left and fell over into the wet grass at the side of the drive.
“Just lie there and writhe as if you're in pain,” he said “I want to snap a few pictures to preserve the moment.” Then he helped me pick up the bike.
Buddha walked down the driveway and offered to ride my bike into the garage. I was fine; the bike was fine. If you’re going to fall over, it is best to do it in wet grass, although doing it in front of your riding buddies is not a good move.
“Let’s not, and let’s get something to eat,” I suggested in a diversionary move. Sharing information about me with Riepe is dangerous. What goes in seldom comes out as recognizable. Trust me on this. I know the real Bundt Cake story.
“No problem,” I said, “Let’s go down the hill next to Lake Riepe, and frack what we need.”
|Peter grilling rib eyes to perfection|
|Steak, Baked Potato, and Carrots|
|An after dinner cigar with good Buds|
We moved to the porch to watch the clouds roll in and blacken the full moon.
|Peter predicting a great riding day|
|Wet but undampened Peter, Buddha, Gerry and Ron|
Buddha, Gerry, Peter, and Ron had a great ride. Buddha said they found a West Virginia religious shrine at the top of a hill with three crucifixes; the center one was home to a basketball backboard. “Makes it convenient to pray for a three-pointer,” said Gerry.
|Ron, Buddha, Peter, and Gerry in their "Missing Dick" formation|
|Here's to good friends on a great MC adventure|
We talked about the ride home. Peter wanted to head south to Georgia and then work our way back on dusty North Carolina roads running through tobacco farms. Gerry, ever the voice of reason, suggested that we wait and see how the weather looked before we committed to a plan. Ron said that Buddha had been such a good ride Captain that anything he suggested was fine. I couldn’t find my own way off of Snowshoe Mountain without a guide, so I kept mouth shut.
On Route 50, as we came to the top of Mount Storm, we entered pea-soup fog. Buddha, Peter and Gerry turned onto what I thought was a road, but I couldn’t see more than two feet in front of me. The “road” was gravel covered and pocked with mud-filled pot holes. I stopped my bike, looked around, saw nothing but fog, and hailed Gerry on the Cardo intercom.
“Beep your horn, so we can find you.”
Even Buddha, who has ridden thousands of miles since 1974 admitted that horsing his RT through the blinding fog on wet steeply inclined roads was a challenge – especially with Dr. Aorta riding behind him and beeping for him to speed up.
|Fog break at site of inefficient wind energy|
“Bull,” she said, “I’ll bet you dropped your bike again!”
|Peter with his 25-year-old BMW|
|Gerry at Panorama Overlook|