Posts Tagged ‘motorcycling shenandoah national park’

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For a pleasant change we had family come to visit and ride with us! Debbie’s sister (Vicky) and her husband (Jeff) trailered their Harley Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle from Ohio to our home in Front Royal, VA.  Neither of them had ridden Skyline Drive or anywhere in this part of Virginia.

They came out for the Labor Day weekend arriving late Friday afternoon. Saturday morning, we unload their Fat Boy and made ready for Skyline Drive. The morning was cool but comfortable and the view of Skyline Drive from my driveway was clear and bright.  Little did we know that the bright sun would disappear and reappear and disappear and reappear as rode along the ridges of the parkway.

Stopping at a few of the early western view overlooks Vicky and Jeff though the sites of blue skies and the Shenandoah Valley were just spectacular! They were both enjoying the smooth tarmac and twisty nature of the parkway and as it was early in the day the bonus of a low traffic.

Looking east, however, I realized that the bright and sunny would not be the way the entire trip.  Lots of clouds clung at the treetops, with breezes moving them around in movie like motions as they sweep up and down the eastern ridge. I knew, from the number of times I have ridden the parkway, that in short order we would be riding in a cloud and the temps would drop.

I was not wrong, as we approached the first exit from Skyline Drive, Thornton Gap, the clouds were right down on the parkway.  Ridding through a cloud, if you have not done so, is foggy and damp.  Riding our motorcycles out of Thornton Gap we quickly made it to Mary’s Rock Tunnel.  Of course, we had to hit the throttle to hear the music of the V-Twins reverberate from the halls of the tunnel.

We pulled off at the Mary’s Rock overlook, today’s view was more, inside of cloud, then amazing vista but, we talked to Jeff and Vicky and generally admired Skyline Drive and the other motorcycles parked at the overlook.

Back on the bikes we were in and out the clouds going from warm to cool with the occasional mist and rain drops. We dropped off Skyline Drive at the second exit and then rode the motorcycles north on SR 340 back to Ft. Royal.

After the ride we went to “Shenandoah Valley Ax Throwing Company” for dinner and some fun.  Throwing the ax was a lot of fun and a bit therapeutic depending on what you were imagining the target to be 😊.  This is the first time we had been there be it will not be the last! 

The next day was just as much fun.  We rode the motorcycle south on Fort Valley Road to Luray.  Swung by Cooters, Duke’s of Hazzard Museum and then over Thornton Gap.

Thornton’s Gap has signs on both sides that state that this is a high crash area for motorcycles! The signs are right, people overestimate their skills.

Like the day before, as we reached the top of the ridge and passed under Skyline Drive, we activated our “storm chasers” superpowers. Three quarters of the way up a nearly all the way down the other side it was motorcycling in a light rain and fog.  But it was warm and sunny when we were back in the valley below.

This day we stopped for lunch in Front Royal at “PaveMint Smokn’ Tap House” which is a great place for wood smoked meals.  Everyone loved their food, Vicky and Jeff said they would like to come back someday. 

2 days of motorcycling, with 2 members of our family for 220 miles of the best of riding in Virginia … just cannot beat that!

Ride On, Ride Safe